The SIP System, Automatic Sterilization System

SIP system stands for Sterilization-in-Place system or also known as Steam-in-Place is an automatic sterilization system performed on production equipment without requiring an operator to run / clean it or remove and dismantle the equipment, which will consume more energy, time, and money.

SIP is a process stage that occurs after the CIP system is carried out on the equipment. SIP usually performs sterilization using superheated steam to reduce and kill germs and bacteria or other harmful microorganisms that are still present or alive inside the equipment after the CIP process is carried out.

SIP can be said as an additional process in sterilizing and cleaning a tool, because basically the SIP system is intended to remove and kill the remnants of microorganisms that are still alive and active even though they have gone through the CIP process. The rest of these microorganisms are killed using hot steam which usually has a temperature of > 1210C, without using an autoclave and 2 bars for about 60 to 70 minutes. Generally, the duration times will be according to the application and system type used.

SIP is very often used and applied in many industries, like biotechnology, health, food and beverage, and many more. Similar to the purpose of the CIP system, SIP is also carried out to maintain the cleanliness of tools and places as a whole in order to maintain the cleanliness and quality of products according to the specified standards, as well as the safety of consumers who use or consume it. Because basically, CIP and SIP systems are processes that work and occur on the same equipment, that's why the purpose of doing these two processes is not much different from each other.

Also, just like the CIP system, the SIP system needs to be carried out as often as possible and repeatedly to make the condition of the equipment and place can live last-longer and support an optimal output result.

There are several things and questions that need to be considered for the operators when regulating the use of hot steam in the SIP system, such as:

  • The air movement and difference in the plant room / area during the sterilization process.
  • Increase the overall temperature of all system equipment to a predetermined sterilization temperature.
  • Avoid and prevent temperature loss and condensate formation.
  • Has the sterilization temperature been reached throughout the system?
  • At what point in the system was the required temperature last reached?
  • At what points must temperature monitors be installed?
  • Where are the lowest points of the system, and how can the condensate be blown out?

The points above are some of the things and questions that must be considered by the operators before and during the SIP system, then, if you already carried out the process, are there other things that need to be considered after? The answer is yes. Like adjusting the pressure and ensuring that the air in the system equipment is returned to being sterile to prevent the presence of ambient air, as well as using distilled or sterilized water as control, rinsing or barrier liquid on the equipment concerned. 

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