Getting the Most Out of Your Evaporator — Optimizing CIP

Optimizing CIP means creating an effective Clean-In-Place (CIP) strategy for your evaporator. This is crucial to maintain operating energy efficiency, product quality, ensure safety, and prolong equipment life. Let’s break down the cycle into its basic steps to highlight what plant operators should look out for when optimizing CIP.

Step 1: Pre-Rinse Cycle

The main objective of the pre-rinse cycle is to remove loose and water-soluble product residues from the evaporator and piping, most commonly using warm water. When optimizing CIP, effective control and timing of this pre-rinse also maximizes recovery of product solids from the evaporator system before discharge rinse water diverts to drain. Plant staff should ensure the rinse water is clear before moving to the next phase, indicating most loose material has been removed.

Step 2: Chemical Cleaning Cycle

The goal of this cycle is to dissolve and remove remaining residues and microbial buildup. Plant staff should be sure to select and utilize the appropriate cleaning agents, and at the appropriate chemical strength. Depending on the nature of the residues (such as protein, fat and/or minerals), choose alkaline or acidic cleaners accordingly.

When optimizing CIP, be sure to fine tune concentration and temperature. Follow manufacturer recommendations for dilution and heating to enhance cleaning efficacy without damaging equipment components. Adjust the circulation time based on the level of soiling and system capacity to ensure thorough contact with all surfaces.

Step 3: Intermediate Rinse

This step removes chemical residues from the evaporator. Operators should use water at a controlled temperature to effectively rinse away cleaning agents. Conduct pH testing or conductivity measurements to confirm the removal of chemical agents.

Step 4: Sanitization Cycle

The sanitizing cycle eliminates any remaining microorganisms to ensure product quality and safety. Be sure to use appropriate sanitizers (e.g., peracetic acid, chlorine dioxide) at recommended concentrations. Ensure contact time is sufficient for effective microbial control.

Step 5: Final Rinse

The final rinse removes any sanitizer residues. For evaporators processing food products, this step should be conducted with potable water to ensure the system is free of chemicals before returning to production.

Step 6: Dry and Preparation for Startup

This last step prepares the evaporator for the next production cycle. Operators should ensure the system is fully drained of any chemical residues. It is also recommended to routinely open evaporator system access doors and ports to conduct a visual inspection of internal system surfaces to ensure all CIP steps have been effective, or if CIP cycle conditions (such as chemical strength or sequence step times) should be optimized.

Optimization Tips:

Automation: Caloris recommends automating your CIP process.
Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review CIP cycle parameters (chemical concentration, temperature, flow rate, and duration) and adjust based on performance and outcome.
Training: Continually train staff on CIP protocols and the importance of each step to ensure compliance and effectiveness.
Record Keeping: Maintain detailed logs of CIP cycles, including any adjustments and outcomes, for continuous improvement and accountability.
Preventive Maintenance: Combine CIP optimization with routine maintenance checks to identify and address any wear or damage that could affect cleaning efficiency.

The CIP process ensures your evaporator operates efficiently, maintains high-quality product standards, and complies with safety and regulatory requirements. Optimizing CIP can result in decreased downtime, improved performance and peace of mind. Caloris is available to support your operators in improving your CIP regimen. Call Caloris at 410-822-6900 or send email to to speak with an engineer.


About Caloris

Caloris transforms process systems design for the better with unexpected, future-focused solutions that solve real operational problems. We engineer efficient, dependable and productive solutions that also improve environmental sustainability where practical. Designed with the end user in mind to drive plant productivity. Caloris offers evaporation, membrane filtration and spray drying process systems for food and dairy industries, as well as for water reuse and wastewater treatment applications. Both Caloris’ custom and pre-engineered packaged systems are designed to meet our customers’ specific concentration/purification needs utilizing the most cost effective and energy efficient technologies available. Whether concentrating dairy, food or juice products at a high-volume production facility, or processing industrial wastewaters to reduce transportation and treatment costs and recover re-usable water, Caloris provides a range of options and technologies.