Spray Dryer CIP, Part 2: Shorten Dryer CIPs

In a previous post, we discussed how to improve the efficiency of your spray dryer by extending the duration between CIPs. In this post, we’ll discuss how to shorten dryer CIPs to further improve overall equipment efficiency (OEE).

The potential savings with this strategy are significant. For instance, if you reduce your CIP time from 16 hours to 8 hours, over the course of a year, you would be cutting the number of hours from 192 to only 48 hours per year. If you are washing in an environment with allergen class, flavor or batch segregation requirements, you might be CIP cleaning the complete dryer 2-3 times per week. In this case, if you reduced your CIP times from 12 hours to 6 hours, that’s a reduction of 1,440 hours per year to only 720 hours per year. How much more could you produce with an extra 720 hours of production time ? How long could you delay your next capital investment?

Easy Ways to Shorten Dryer CIPs

  • Identify/locate all tools and key pieces of your CIP system ahead of time to improve the efficiency of the process.
  • Check all CIP filters.
  • Repair/maintain all CIP pumps, valves and nozzles while in production, rather than waiting until it’s time to CIP (don’t try to fix the roof while it’s raining).
  • Rinse your nozzles at the end of the run, then start the dryer CIP, then start the feed CIP.
  • Issue proper procedures, documentation and training.

Other Opportunities to Shorten Dryer CIPs

An automated or tool-less setup will always be more efficient and run more smoothly. Items to automate:

  • Rotary valves
  • CIP isolation plates
  • Valves instead of key pieces (swing connections)
  • CIP-able sifter

Automated Nozzles v. Spray Balls

An automatic system incurs a one-time capital cost, but the amount of time spent on each manual CIP adds up.

CIP Kitchen

Many spray dryer CIP systems consist of one tank and the following characteristics:           

  • Time-intensive
  • Slow turnaround
  • Low capex cost

A four-tank CIP system, on the other hand, features:

  • No queuing (wash multiple items at the same time)
  • Fastest turnaround
  • High capex cost


There are two types of CIP systems — one in which you rinse and soak; the other in which you rinse/wash as much as possible at once.

In the rinse and soak method, you spray one zone and let it soak while you spray the next zone, and so on. This type of system entails small tanks and pumps, low water volumes and chemical usage, but also takes longer to implement.

If you rinse/wash as much as possible at the same time, bigger tanks, pumps and volumes of water and chemicals are needed, but the process can be completed in a much shorter time.

Other Areas to Consider

Stick to standard timers and don’t stray from them unless absolutely necessary. Know the base program and always revert back to that. This is the #1 problem in achieving OEE. Standards need to be known by staff and there needs to be accountability for changing the system back to its standards if changes are made.

A constant issue is poor maintenance of CIP nozzles. Make this a regular inspection point.

Dry-out steps are often drawn out unnecessarily. Dry-out times are often extended without scientific justification.

Caloris is Here to Help!

You can reap big benefits if you shorten dryer CIPs, but system changes need to be carefully undertaken to avoid issues with product quality. Contact Caloris today for assistance with a system review and recommendations. Call us at 410-822-6900 or send email to problem.solved@caloris.com.


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.