Lafferty also has fine-tuned its spinner assembly systems, which can be mounted above conveyor lines in various positions and angles to perform high-pressure CIP. The spinner assembly offers full-circle and flat-spray cleaning at high-impact water velocities. These spinner assemblies are available in 24-, 30-, 36-, and 46-inch standard models. But systems also can be customized to meet specific applications.
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Lafferty estimates that its foamer and spinner assembly systems can increase cleanup time and water-usage efficiencies by approximately one-third versus some more conventional spray bar systems.
Improve COP Efficiencies
Food and beverage processors are very familiar with CIP systems, which involve the use of programmable logic controllers to recirculate washing, sanitizing, and rinsing solutions through equipment and pipelines. But, while this method works exceedingly well for dairy, beverage, and brewing operations, some other food category processors have equipment that must be at least partially disassembled for manual cleaning. That necessity moves them into the realm of clean-out-of-place (COP).
Sani-Matic is also working to optimize efficiencies of COP systems. “Many of these manual cleaning operations can be automated or semi-automated to improve cleaning performance and repeatability, while at the same time decreasing the amount of water, chemicals, energy, and time required to clean and sanitize the equipment,” Miller noted.
As an example, Sani-Matic cites its automated Sani-Cab cabinet washer program. Similar to an industrial-sized dishwasher, a cabinet washer is a large enclosure with a recirculation pump, a reservoir, and rotating spray arms. Most food processing and packaging equipment take-down parts—for example, pump rotors, pipes, valves, weigh scale buckets, and filling/depositing equipment components—can be cleaned in a cabinet washer.
A typical cleaning cycle sequence for a COP cabinet includes:
- Pre-rinse with recovered rinse water to remove heavy soil deposits;
- Wash with hot caustic or hot acid solution for a pre-set time;
- Post-rinse with fresh water to rinse away residues (this post-rinse water can be saved for the next pre-rinse cleaning cycle); and
- Sanitizing cycle, if required.
A more conventional cabinet washer may hold 200-plus gallons of water. The new Sani-Cab washer holds approximately 17 gallons of water, using less than one-tenth the water and chemicals required for a more typical COP cleaning cycle. And, considering that the cleaning water must usually be heated to at least 140 degrees F or higher, the time and energy needed to heat the lower volume of water represents a major cost reduction.
New Approach for Frying
An interesting new advancement recently introduced by Diversey Inc., of Sturtevant, Wis., is the One-Step Fryer Boil-Out (FBO) program. Designed to offer a more sustainable means of cleaning carbonized soils from fryers and other food manufacturing equipment, the FBO program reduces labor requirements, energy costs, and chemical usage. The one-step process considerably decreases cleaning and rinsing times, as well as the amount of energy, cleaning chemicals, and water needed to complete the task.
“Current methods for eliminating the build-up and grease in a fryer can take upwards of 10 hours,” said Diversey sector expert Todd Willis. “With our one-step system, required cleaning time is cut in half, enabling operators to refocus on other areas of the facility.”
Automated and semi-automated conveyor cleaning can save food and beverage companies considerably on labor, energy, and water usage. Efficiencies are also being improved in equipment that must be at least partially disassembled for manual cleaning.
While developing the specific cleaning formulas for this one-step FBO program, Diversey carefully evaluated several factors, including the various types of cooking processes, cooking oils, and cooking temperatures, as well as the metal used in the frying machinery. The resulting program has reduced downtime for cleaning, increased productivity, and improved the overall effectiveness of FBO. One satisfied customer is Frito-Lay North America, which recently presented Diversey’s One-Step FBO Program with innovation accolades.