Challenge: Cross contamination between batches became a critical concern for Bowman Ingredients when they recently expanded production capacity with the installation of new mixer vessels fed by pneumatic conveyors from a sack tip area. Compared with the original practice of direct addition of low volume ingredients at the top of the mixers pipework was becoming encrusted. Especially with whey powder which, being hygroscopic, was drawing moisture and creating an even more difficult to remove build-up layer. The temporary solution was the labour intensive regular disassembly of all the pipework for steam cleaning. Which, due to loss of production time, was clearly not an acceptable long term course of action. Wet cleaning-in-place was not feasible and pipe runs at high level were inaccessible for daily access.
Solution: Martec designed a fully dry CIP system based on the principles of their patented hygienic pigging system. At the end of each recipe production run the MarplugTM would pass through the associated pipework driving out all material that had been deposited on the walls of the pneumatic conveyor. By using the dry CIP system immediately before any build-up of material there was reduced time for hygroscopic material to draw moisture. The MarplugTM could make a complete pass in 30 seconds, less time than it took for a manual brush down of the sack tip area and hence not affecting production scheduling.
Benefits: The Martec supplied technology continues in daily use (up to 10 times a day depending on recipe changeovers). It helps keep build-up of material to a minimum, extend the period of time between dismantling deep cleans and assist the achievement of low levels of cross-contamination.