A leading biopharmaceutical company was looking to update their filter cleaning solution. In the past the process was a very labor and time intensive procedure. The filter assemblies had to be lifted by a crane and manually separated by two employees. After this the employees had to clean the filters with wash down guns, hoses and cloths. This process created safety risks and was too time consuming and expensive. To solve the issues we were contacted to design a system that could provide excellent cleaning in place with minimal water and chemical use and no manual handling. Furthermore, the system had to be equipped with hygienic, pharma grade, components that were self-cleaning and flushing to prevent cross contamination.
The proposed cleaning in place solution
As the leading global spraying technology company, Spraying Systems was contacted to provide specialist insights into the requested cleaning in place process.
In the biopharmaceutical industry the level of cleaning is obviously critical, so residue was out of the question. As an extra challenge the nozzles would rest in the product during the filter’s operation. With the set specifications we developed a system that consisted out of 3 Mini-ROKON® D41800 nozzles that were installed in the filter unit. We also added a 27500D for rinsing down from the top of the filter bed. The cleaning process would be controlled by a pump skid that could easily be attached to the filters for the cleaning process.
After several visits and discussions the cleaning in place system was put on trial on one filter unit for 6 months before delivering the remaining systems.
After the trial period the customer was convinced of the performance of our proposed cleaning in place solution. The filter cleaning process no longer requires the help of 2 employees to manually clean each filter unit. The units are now moved to a wash area and connected to a pump skid to be cleaned.
This new process also enables the cleaning of multiple filters at the same time, another major time-saver.
Apart from freeing up labor costs the cleaning in place system also has a major impact on important sustainability topics. The new solution uses less water, less chemicals and is a lot safer. Also cloths or other consumables are no longer used in the cleaning process.
Altogether, the new system has had a profound effect on the end customers filter cleaning process and its environmental footprint.