What is cleaned, in what order it is cleaned, and how it is cleaned are managed in an S88 flowchart-style recipe. Process knowledgeable personnel can modify these recipes with a minimum of training, without modifying the existent, validated, controller programming. Compliance increases because recipes execute consistently under the S88 management software package.
Capable S88 batch management packages allow users to define values to collect from the process control and incorporate into a permanent record. Reporting monitors compliance with the approved cleaning procedures. Historical cleaning batch records are useful in many ways related to maintaining safe, quality food production.
Because the same equipment control and coordination control are used for the cleaning processes as are used for the production processes, enhancements to the operator interface (HMI) are possible. Operators who are aware of coordination conflicts can determine an appropriate course of action and, with appropriate permission, enact it.
A Real-World Example
In 2011, ECS Solutions received a contract from Unilver to provide a control system for a “super kitchen” that included 40 tanks and other major pieces of equipment, 500 valves, 30 pumps, 30 agitators, and 170 instruments. The equipment was piped in what S88 calls a network structure, making it capable of producing batches of several different products simultaneously. The product included dairy components, making cleanliness even more important to product quality and food safety.
ECS provided a recipe managed CIP system based on S88 Builder. The initial cleaning recipes were developed based on calculations done by the process designer and on ECS’ and the customer’s experience. These recipes were tested during commissioning to provide ample, but not necessarily optimal, cleanliness.
After commissioning and without ECS’ involvement, a customer team began the process of optimizing the CIP processes. Equipment was broken down and tested with ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The team followed an iterative process of modifying the flowchart-style master recipe in the batch management package, running the “worst case” product, and re-testing the equipment with ATP. Individual component cleaning times increased when necessary to improve cleaning. Times decreased when possible to save time and maintain cleanliness. Throughout, the focus was impeccable food safety, accomplished as efficiently as possible.
Maintaining product quality and food safety requires consistency and accountability. The Unilever process engineer responsible for the system explains that the old, pinning chart based CIP system required CIP specialists. “CIP specialists stepped around, each cleaning differently. Cleaning took longer with more labor. Now, because the look and feel of running CIP is like running a batch, our production operators do the cleaning. The recipe gives us efficient, consistent cleaning. Reports are printed by the operators on conclusion of the cleaning, signed, and kept.” Reporting includes the four factors identified as key to good CIP—time, temperature, flow, and conductivity.
Unilever stays focused on system cleanliness. The responsible process engineer continues, “We continue to monitor cleanliness using ATP.” Should testing indicate a problem, he can modify the CIP himself. He can modify how a certain component (control module or CM) operates within a certain task (equipment module or EM). He can also easily modify the recipe, changing the procedure or simply changing the time spent on any portion.
Features identified as important to effective management of the process line cleaning include:
• The operators can clean the entire process cell, a unit, and all associated equipment, or an individual piece of the process;
• A Unilever process engineer can configure the operation of any component within a task without the assistance of a programmer;
• Likewise, a Unilever engineer can quickly customize a recipe on his or her own, for example, to add a quick acid rinse; and
• Recipes are password protected, so operators clean consistently as engineering and management have determined.