The Importance of Routine Tank Cleaning with Rotational Nozzles

Routine tank cleaning is a critical element for any sanitation program in a food, beverage or pharmaceutical plant.  If tanks are not cleaned properly, devastating effects can occur in the next production batch. This can lead to product waste, increased costs and lost credibility.

Automated Cleaning Process

The frequency of tank cleaning depends on your product and process, varying from daily to weekly and sometimes longer. Manual cleaning processes are not as reliable as automated processes, which are known to use more water, chemicals and time.  More importantly, workers are at risk for injuring themselves in the cleaning process.  The most reliable technique for cleaning tanks is an automated Clean-In-Place (CIP) system.   For this cleaning method, spray nozzles are permanently mounted inside the tank. 

Rotational Nozzles for CIP

For a CIP System, there are several types of tank cleaning nozzles to choose from.  Choosing the right nozzle is dependent upon the type of soil being cleaned.  Lechler classifies soils into 5 Cleaning Efficiency Classes that range from light, medium and persistent.  Once the cleaning efficiency class is defined, the nozzle selection can be narrowed down.

For the types of soils classified in food, beverage and pharmaceutical plants, the most effective cleaning is accomplished with rotational spray nozzles.  For rotational tank cleaning nozzles there are two types of operating styles:  free-spinning and controlled rotation.

Free-Spinning Nozzles

For removing light to medium soils in smaller sized tanks, free-spinning rotational nozzles work best.  These nozzles are fluid-driven and provide notable spray impact and coverage at low pressures.  Rotational free-spinning nozzles require no maintenance and are relatively inexpensive for most applications.   Lechler offers several types of rotational free-spinning nozzles that meet food grade standards in various connection styles, materials and flow rates.

Controlled Rotational Nozzles

For more persistent soiling in medium to larger sized tanks, controlled rotational nozzles provide the most effective cleaning. Internal gears control the rotation of the nozzle, even at higher pressures so that the speed remains in the optimum range.  The droplets produced by controlled rotational nozzles are larger and provide greater impact for penetrating soils that are more difficult.  Maintenance for these types of nozzles can be required because of the internal gears but this is dependent upon the routine of the cleaning program.

The XactClean HP+ was designed for controlled rotation and provides effective and reliable cleaning results.

Other Considerations

A CIP system is most effective for avoiding the risk of injury and ensuring a clean tank.  Selecting the right nozzle for your routine is very important and can be narrowed down by identifying your soil classification.  In order to ensure the proper nozzle, Lechler’s engineering experts can help and our TankClean Simulation software can help plan for a perfectly clean tank.


Contact us today for a Free TankClean Simulation