Equipment Cleaning Solutions for Food and Beverage

Equipment Cleaning Solutions for Food and Beverage

We live in a culture where foods and beverages are produced for mass consumption.  Processed foods and beverages accommodate the lifestyles of many families.   In order to keep up with this demand, equipment must be used for processing and packaging so that high volumes can be produced.  For Production Managers, this means greater production and reduced downtimes, which leaves little room for error, especially where food safety and quality are critical.  Recent laws like the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) make sure that companies not only follow good manufacturing practices (GMP’s) but they remain compliant.

ROUTINE CLEANING

Food and beverage plants should be performing routine equipment cleaning to ensure a robust safety program.    Depending on your production process, routine cleaning can vary from daily to weekly.   Equipment cleaning focuses on surface areas in which your product comes in contact with but this can present many challenges.

THE CHALLENGE

Stainless steel tanks, ovens, and conveyors are used for processing foods and beverages but these come with many options in various shapes and sizes.   Equipment manufacturers typically do not design equipment with accessible cleaning in mind.   Equipment must often be disassembled by the operator to ensure that every surface area is properly cleaned and free of contaminants.  This can be time consuming and often dangerous for employees but there are other options that can be considered.

EQUIPMENT CLEANING SOLUTIONS

Aftermarket products, like spray nozzles provide solutions for cleaning and sanitizing equipment.  Spray nozzles automate the cleaning process and ensure complete coverage for cleaning surface areas.   Spray nozzles can reduce water consumption, precisely clean surface areas and increase production times because less time is spent manually cleaning.  The aftermarket installment is worth the investment and overtime will pay for itself.

SELECTING THE RIGHT NOZZLE

Determining which nozzle is best for cleaning equipment is subject to the type of equipment being used and what must be cleaned.   Food and beverage plants will use several types of processing equipment to produce a product from start to finish.

Stainless steel tanks are the most common types of equipment used for processing foods and beverages. They are used for mixing, blending, storing and fermenting products and tanks vary in both size and shape.  Tank size is important to consider when selecting a nozzle but more importantly is the type of soil being cleaned. 

CLEANING EFFICIENCY CLASSES

Lechler classifies tank cleaning nozzles by Cleaning Efficiency Classes 1 – 5. Cleaning Efficiency Classes are defined on the basis of the soil type including:  rinsing, light to medium soil, and persistent soil. 

  • Cleaning Efficiency Class 1 is defined as a light rinse, where minimal spray impact is required.  Static spray balls are suitable for this task because complete spray coverage is not necessary.
  • Cleaning Efficiency Class 2 requires removal of light soils where free-spinning nozzles are used best.  Free-spinning nozzles in Class 2 have a maximum spray distance for tanks with a diameter up to 10ft.
  • Cleaning Efficiency Class 3 calls for medium soiling and nozzles in this category are designed with greater spray impact over Class 2.    These free spinning nozzles can clean tanks with diameters up to 18ft.
  • Cleaning Efficiency Class 4 is classified as heavy soiling and controlled rotational nozzles are suitable for removing these soils.  The controlled rotation has better spray impact and coverage over free-spinning nozzles and ensures a clean tank.
  • Cleaning Efficiency Class 5​​​​​​​ is the most persistent soil, where high impact tank cleaning nozzles are used.  These nozzles are equipped with high grade gear units and work with gear controlled rotation.  Solid jet nozzles ensure maximum efficiency and impact.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT NOZZLE MANUFACTURER

When considering a nozzle for your application, cleaning efficiency classes can help narrow your selection but it is best to consult an expert.  Lechler is a nozzle manufacturing company with your best interest in mind. We know that choosing the right tank cleaning nozzle will positively impact your bottom line. At Lechler, we will work with you, helping you choose the best aftermarket cleaning solution for your specific application.

Lechler's experts are here to help you with every step of the process.

Ask us a question