Food & Beverage Industry Equipment Cleaning: Selecting a Safe, Effective Method

food beverage industry equipment cleaning

The importance of a safe, effective cleaning method extends beyond the wellbeing of food and beverage industry workers. Additionally, a safe cleaning method impacts the health of millions who enjoy food and beverage products around the world. While the necessity of equipment cleaning safety cannot be overstated, there is not one perfect tank cleaning solution. Requirements often drastically differ for individual applications.

In the content below, we discuss how evaluating your needs, planning for the right cleaning solution, and knowing the available options are paramount to selecting a safe, effective method for your equipment cleaning needs.

Equipment Cleaning Safety: Eliminate Manual Cleaning

Manual cleaning is one of the most dangerous methods of equipment cleaning. Many potential hazards arise when inside any confined space, such as a tank. Lack of light, lack of air flow, possible exposure to toxic gas, creating environmental contamination, or other physical dangers can threaten the livelihood of an employee.

Fortunately, the dangers of manual tank cleaning are avoidable. Utilizing a safe, effective equipment cleaning nozzle guarantees injury-free, consistent cleaning every time, protecting industry workers and millions of consumers.

Equipment Cleaning Efficiency: Why Clean?

The benefits of an established, efficient method of equipment cleaning are many.

  1. Efficient cleaning prevents cross-contamination among products.
  2. Cleaning eliminates food contamination, often leading to disease or diminishing product quality.
  3. Equipment cleaning efficiency allows for the consistent production of high-quality products.
  4. Efficient cleaning allows for proper sanitation or disinfection.
  5. Cleaning ensures consumer safety while adhering to legal standards.
  6. Workers remain safe, freed from manual cleaning and allowed to operate in a sanitized environment with clean equipment.
  7. Proper equipment ensure that the cleaning-process is repeatable and verifiable.

Plan Ahead

Before a proper cleaning method can be selected, it is important to understand the fundamentals of cleaning technology and the specific sanitary needs of your application.

Sinner’s Circle

Four fundamental factors impact successful equipment cleaning: cleaning agent chosen, mechanical system (nozzle) selected, temperature at which cleaning is performed, and the total duration of the cleaning process. Each factor forms a complete cleaning process. While planning for the ideal nozzle for your food & beverage application, understanding how each factor reacts can produce significant efficiency.

Ideally, the mechanical nozzle selected for your cleaning process should take up most of the circle. If the cleaning process relies heavily on an efficient nozzle system, costly factors –time, cleaning agent, and temperature – are reduced.

Understand Your Needs

Do you need a nozzle system to remove soiling within tanks? If so, consider if the soiling is mild or severe. For your application, is it best to find a nozzle capable of cleaning in place that will remain installed during production? If applicable, should the system be mobile? Consider if your cleaning equipment must comply with unique hygienic requirements. If so, your chosen nozzle system must be able to perform cleaning within this strict environment. Additionally, evaluate the size of your tanks as well. Certain nozzles are apt to clean in small environments, others are built to sanitize huge equipment.

Take the time to evaluate what cleaning system might be best for your unique application.

Know Your Options

Following the completion of the planning phase and you fully understand your equipment cleaning needs, the next step requires nozzle selection. Tank cleaning nozzles are separated into the various mechanics of specific nozzles and cleaning efficiency classes, each intended for differing applications.

Food & Beverage Equipment Cleaning: Nozzle Mechanics

  • Static

Static spray nozzles do not rotate. Therefore, they require considerably more fluid during cleaning than rotational nozzles. However, static nozzles are inexpensive and robust, often used for rinsing purposes rather than intense soil removal.

  • Free-spinning

Free-spinning nozzles rotate, driven by the cleaning fluid by means of specially positions orifices. These nozzles remove soil and rinse equipment via repeated surface impact at low pressures. They are often utilized in small to medium-sized tanks.

  • Controlled rotation

Controlled rotation cleaning nozzles are driven by fluid as well; however, an internal gear controls the direction of the rotation. Even at higher pressures, controlled rotation nozzles remain at an optimal speed. Due to larger droplets and higher speeds, these nozzles are perfect for large tanks and more challenging soils.

  • Gear-controlled

Finally, gear-controlled nozzles are driven by an internal gear, rotating by two axes. The jet nozzles on this design produce a powerful spray that sweep the entire tank surface in a specific, pre-programmed pattern. Gear-controlled nozzles generate the highest impact, often utilized in large tanks with the toughest cleaning tasks.

Food & Beverage Equipment Cleaning: Efficiency Classes

  • Class 1

Static spray nozzles fall into Cleaning Efficiency Class 1. Thus, this class is often utilized for rinsing purposes. Products in Class 1 are designed for operation at high temperatures, guaranteeing consistent cleaning reliability.

  • Class 2

Class 2 nozzles are common for rinsing and the removal of light soil, popular in the food and beverage industry. Nozzles in this class are free-spinning.

  • Class 3

Free-spinning rotating nozzles found in Class 3 are suitable for cleaning medium soiling, often made from especially high-grade materials.

  • Class 4

Controlled rotation nozzles fall into Class 4 efficiency, suitable for contact with food and the cleaning of large tanks. Nozzles in this class are suitable for removing heavy soiling at high temperatures.

  • Class 5

Severe soiling often requires nozzles found in Cleaning Efficiency Class 5, high-impact tank cleaning equipment that work with deliberately controlled rotation. Once again, nozzles in Class 5 are often found in the food & beverage industry.

Lechler: A Resource for Expert Advice

At Lechler, we are here to guide you in selecting a safe, effective equipment cleaning method for your specific application. The food and beverage industry adheres to stringent sanitation guidelines, and our experts are accustomed to identifying the best possible solution for the most efficient cleaning.

Lechler’s Hygiene Requirements

Our nozzles are designed to meet rigorous hygiene requirements. For example, our nozzles self-drain, are built with minimized dead space, and are designed without unnecessary external gaps and edges. Furthermore, every nozzle is designed with the lowest possible surface roughness. For particular hygiene requirements, we also offer specially certified nozzles, such as the PTFE Whirly.

Please feel free to reach out today! You can get in touch at 800.777.2926 or via our online contact form.