Advantages of Clean-in-Place Conveyor Belt Cleaning

Conveyor Belt Cleaning

In every food and beverage company, production hygiene is paramount to ensure product safety. For this reason, all equipment that comes in contact with the food or beverage product must be adequately cleaned and sanitized, and operating in top working condition at all times. One area of particular focus and historically time-consuming to clean are conveyor belts.

What is Clean In Place (CIP)?

Like other specialty manufacturing, food production requires the highest level of hygiene during all instances of production. “Clean in place” (CIP) is cleaning or sanitation systems that are designed to clean without having to remove the underlying items, in this case, conveyor belts. CIP technology developed particularly for conveyor belt cleaning in food and pharmaceutical producing companies allows production to continue and reduces downtime and cleaning costs. Due to strict oversight, there is a need to ensure non-contamination when cleaning conveyor belts. Opting for the CIP is the best decision that guarantees profit by saving time and labor without compromising the safety and quality of all goods produced.

Advantages to Clean in Place Belt Cleaning Solutions

Speed and Efficiency

CIP systems help to immediately save time and labor costs, making it much faster than manual cleaning. It reduces the production downtime, increases production capacity translating into more products, sales, and profitability. One company even saved over $79K in indirect labor cost after installing clean in place conveyor belt systems on their lines.

Reliability

With CIP systems, the benefits of cleaning and sanitation are apparent. Continued testing for pathogens is always suggested, but CIP systems do tend to offer more reliability.

Safety

No doubt, safety is of top priority when it comes to food production. When CIP belt cleaning systems are in use, they can clean more efficiently than the human eye. Since 2011, the FSMA increased the need for cleaning equipment that typical hand cleaning cannot keep up with. It also can help reduce the tendency of accidents such as slipping and falling during cleaning.

Dry Steam and CIP – The Perfect Pair

When CIP belt cleaning systems are paired with dry steam, it produces a perfect cleaning duo. Dry steam is superheated steam with all the cleaning and sanitizing power of “Wet” steam, but only a 5% moisture content. It obliterates oils, soils, allergens, and more and leaves surfaces clean and dry.

CIP dry steam cleaning systems also reduce water consumption up to 98% vs. traditional wet cleaning systems. If the reduction in water consumption is a corporate initiative for your business, dry steam should be an immediate focus area.

THE FACTS ABOUT STEAM

Steam Cleaning

  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize conveyor belts without the use of chemical cleaners that could be toxic.
  • Dry steam at a temperature of about 290 °F cleans grime, oils, kills microbes on contact, and leaves the belt dried almost instantly.
  • Since little or no water is left after using dry steam, there’s little t worry about the growth of mold, bacteria, and other pathogens.
  • Use up to 98% less water than other cleaning systems.

The Bottom Line

Better cleaning in less time that delivers more profitability. CIP solutions for belt cleaning offer almost immediate ROI, with most having 100% ROI in months, not years. Not only is it evident that manual cleaning of conveyor belts is time-wasting, but it’s also less efficient and prone to cause mistakes that could ruin the integrity of your food or beverage product. To install CIP belt cleaning systems in your food or beverage processing plant to ensure top-notch safety and optimum quality of your products. Check out our clean-in-place belt cleaning systems.

Next Steps:

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Get tips on How to Clean Ready -to- Eat Snack Manufacturing Equipment

Food Safety: The FSMA And How Can Steam Help

Environmental pathogen control is a vital part of everyday safety and product quality management in food processing facilities. According to the CDC, about 48 million people in the U.S. (1 in 6) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. Most of these illnesses and deaths are preventable. How do you ask? Proper cleaning and sanitation programs, including strong sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOP).

The FSMA and Food Safety: Why Does It Matter?

Since the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on Jan. 4, 2011, it has provided specific oversight and application of cleaning and sanitation methods that have delivered better public health protection by strengthening the food safety system. What makes this so significant? Everyone has to eat, and as trends in U.S. consumer behaviors move towards more processed or partially processed foods, production must evolve with it. Before the food even reaches the store shelf or table, it will have been through many different productions, processing, and packaging systems, all that require specific cleaning and sanitation procedures.

The Seven Major Rules

Throughout many different points of the supply chain, the FSMA has seven major rules to ensure the safety of consumers:

DISCOVER RULE-FOLLOWING SOLUTIONS

Steam Cleaning

How Can Modern Cleaning Technologies Help You Achieve Optimal Safety?

Manufacturers and food producers are constantly looking for the latest technology to meet and exceed FSMA guidelines and requirements. One of the most innovative and disruptive technologies in the last decade introduces “dry” steam technology. Dry steam has been superheated to deliver the benefits of steam (removes oils, allergens, kills bacteria, etc.) but with only 5%-10% moisture content. It makes it ideal for cleaning production surfaces, especially in water-sensitive and “dry clean only” environments.

 

With dry vapor steam cleaning, you don’t need to use chemicals to clean equipment. Additionally, it leaves equipment dry and ready for immediate use because of the cleaning method’s low moisture content. Substances such as stubborn grease, oil, dirt, and other residues can be cleaned from all kinds of surfaces, even small holes and crevices, with only water and without any need for chemicals.

      •   Dry vapor steam dissolves oils, fats, sugars, oils, and more without harsh scrubbing.

In food and beverage processing facilities, dry vapor steam cleaning is a great solution to dissolve grease, oils, or other types of residues on stoves, hoods, burners, vents, and even ceilings. Steam is excellent for cleaning small parts, tubes, switches, sensors, moving parts, or areas that can’t be reached with wiping. Machines like our commercial vapor steam cleaner with vacuum make it easy to sanitize and clean at the same time.

      •   The steam process can sanitize machinery, conveyor belts, and packaging equipment while reducing changeover times, in some cases eliminating changeovers.

With dry vapor steam cleaning on conveyor belts, it’s not necessary to dismantle parts or, in some cases, even to stop production. Steam delivers amazing labor-saving technology by decreasing sanitation time and increasing productivity with faster changeovers. Learn more about our fixed brushless belt cleaning solutions.

Bottom line? Steam is the solution you’ve been looking for to use in your cleaning and sanitation procedures.

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Legionella Now And In A Post COVID World

legionnaires disease

No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow on every continent in the world. Lockdowns were immediately imposed, which led to the closure of shops, offices, industries, malls, schools, and commercial buildings. However, normalcy will be restored, and gradually people will return to these buildings that were once vacant. To ensure a safe re-opening of offices and buildings, there is a dire need to carry out thorough preventive maintenance of these buildings cooling towers. This will prevent the possible outbreak of diseases like Legionella.

Reports and studies from the CDC corroborate a likelihood of legionella bacteria growing in buildings left unoccupied or unused for a long time in both the potable water systems and HVAC systems and cooling towers. It is noteworthy that legionella bacteria grows in stagnant water bodies, which is the characteristic of water in an unused cooling tower.

This is a wake-up call to Facility managers and HVAC professionals to swing into action to eliminate the possible outbreak of legionella disease. As a start, an adequate legionella risk assessment must be carried out before re-opening any building, especially those with an installed cooling tower, to ensure that water and air quality are not compromised.

Legionella In A Post COVID World

According to an article published on ACS PUBLICATION, there is a considerable risk of legionella outbreak after the COVID-19 pandemic if adequate and appropriate measures are not put in place. New recommendations must be developed and implemented as post-COVID time sets to mitigate the risk of an outbreak. These acts will be similar to what was done after the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

These recommendations will enforce and ensure that no commercial building left unoccupied or unused during COVID is re-opened without proper and rigorous inspection. Besides, across much of the country, the winter season is gradually drawing the curtain. The warm season will set in soon. Remember that legionella bacteria love warm and stagnant unused water, particularly a feature of buildings with cooling towers during COVID.

The Latest Legionella Outbreak

The need to take necessary precautions and appropriate legionella risk management measures cannot be over-emphasized. In Union County, New Jersey,  fourteen cases of legionella disease have been reported and confirmed with one death. Records showed that these cases were reported between February 3rd and February 26th.

In fact, the New Jersey Department of Health is currently investigating the outbreak’s source to prevent future occurrences. Currently, the department’s official, alongside local health workers, has identified some legionella bacteria sources and is working to neutralize and curb the growth and spread.

Legionella in Stagnant Water

How To Protect Against Legionella

An unfortunate truth is that little to or no attention is paid to the maintenance of cooling towers and water treatment in them as long as they are functioning properly.

To prevent the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease within cooling towers, you should follow a few tips for cooling tower maintenance:

  •  Monthly inspection

It is essential to keep an eye on the water in cooling towers to check any irregularities such as scale, sediments, etc. Moreover, as we approach the warmer season, inspecting twice a month is advisable to be on the safe side and remain to rest assured of the water’s purity.

  •  Treat the Water

Water in cooling towers should be treated with a variety of antiscalant and antibacterials to manage the quality and risk of legionella and other bacterial growth. A variety of water treatment companies are available to tackle this important task on an ongoing basis. But water treatment alone is not enough. Constant maintenance and cleaning are required too.

  •  Removal of Stagnant Water

After a long period of not using a cooling tower, stagnant water should be flushed out totally and replaced with fresh water. Stagnant water might harbor legionella bacteria already without you knowing.

  •  Clean the Fill

We have learned that stagnant water can breed legionella bacteria; therefore, cleaning the fill to remove slime and scale in cooling towers must not be overlooked. Cleaning the fill allows for better flow and reduces the tendency of growth of mold and bacteria. Additionally, cleaning of tower basins is essential to remove food sources from bacteria and keep heat exchanger tubes clean.

  •  Proper Water temperature

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) provides several recommendations on how to prevent Legionnaires’ disease in cooling towers. Perhaps the most crucial piece of advice is to keep the temperature of the sump water below 68 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

  •  Surface Disinfection

Disinfection with an EPA registered antimicrobial product, labeled explicitly for HVAC use, should be used to clean surfaces of all HVAC systems and add-ons. This can help keep microorganisms from flourishing between cleaning cycles.

  •  Clean Basin Surfaces

Cleaning the basin of a cooling tower eliminates the places where harmful bacteria grow. Although basin cleaning can be a part of the monthly maintenance schedule, preventing the growth of Legionella requires a thorough basin cleaning at least once every two weeks.

Guides To Follow

Also see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems. Which clarifies compliance requirements, and is updated throughout with enforceable, code-intended language to facilitate the adoption of the standard for code and regulatory purposes.

When used in conjunction with Standard 188-2018, Guideline 12-2020 – Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems can provide prescriptive guidance for operators of water management systems to control legionellosis in building water systems.

Next Steps:

The CDC recently published a toolkit to reduce the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria.

Read more about preventing Legionella in Cooling Towers.

Discover our Cooling Tower Cleaning Solutions

Learn about Cooling Tower Fill Descaling

 

 

 

Best Practices For Boiler Cleaning

For many in the northern hemisphere, the end of the heating season is here. For facility managers, that means it’s time to look at annual maintenance and routine boiler tube cleaning. As a general rule, boilers should be cleaned and maintained at the end of each heating season to remain reliable and energy-efficient. Waiting too long can also leave little time if you identify any issues with combustion, sensors, or tube degradation.

Gone are the days of wasted labor hours using old tools to scrape scale and debris out of boiler tubes with manual rods and brushes. Modern fire tube cleaning systems are here to deliver faster, more straightforward, and better results.

Testing and Reading the Signs

Not all boilers are the same. Before deciding which solution is best for you, testing deposits and understanding your boiler’s level of “dirtiness” can help make the cleaning season run more smoothly. How often you should clean your boiler depends primarily on your system’s environmental conditions and specifically the fuel burned. This is particularly important in buildings that burn waste and garbage primarily. Still, burning other heavy fuels can present equally challenging cleaning environments.

Regularly testing your boiler’s efficiency is the best way to understand how often cleaning is needed. Testing can identify other problems including, incomplete combustion, improper firing ratios, and impingements on the flame, and more. Once testing is complete, preventive maintenance should be scheduled.

Additionally, depending on your type of boiler, make sure to look at the combustion side and the waterside. Deposits on the waterside can drastically reduce efficiency and be tackled simultaneously as combustion cleaning.

Knowing these factors can help identify the mechanical cleaning systems needed and whether should also be part of your overall maintenance plan.

 Signs to Look For:

■ One or more failures due to an under-deposit corrosion mechanism, particularly hydrogen damage. The first priority must be to prevent further damage by removing the deposits via a complete chemical cleaning.

■ Major contamination events or multiple small events, particularly tube leaks. Contamination events increase the amount of deposit in the boiler and its corrosiveness. Chemical cleaning removes the deposits and the contamination underneath the deposits before they corrode to failure.

■ Replacement of boiler tubing. The rule of thumb is to chemically clean if you are replacing more than 10% of the surface area of the boiler. This helps to create a uniform layer of oxide on all the tubes.

■ A major change in the boiler fuel or burner design. Changing fuels, such as from coal to gas, or modification of the burners can result in changes to the area of high heat flux in the boiler. When implementing such a major change, it is best to start with a clean boiler.

■ A change in the chemical treatment regime. Such changes would include moving from one chemical treatment to another, say from all-volatile treatment to oxygenated treatment (OT).

The Facts About Boiler Cleaning

According to a US Department of Energy study, a firetube boiler annually uses 450,000 million Btu (MMBtu) of fuel while operating for 8,000 hours at its rated capacity of 45,000 pounds per hour (lb/hr) of 150 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG) steam. If scale 1/32nd of an inch thick is allowed to form on the boiler tubes, and the scale is of “normal” composition, the table indicates a fuel loss of 2%.The increase in operating costs, assuming energy is priced at $8.00 per million Btu ($8.00/MMBtu), is: Annual Operating Cost Increase = 450,000 MMBtu/yr x $8.00/MMBtu x 0.02 = $72,000

US Department of Energy

Efficiency loss of a boiler due to dirty boiler tubes

Determining How to Clean Your Boiler

So, you have done your testing and scheduling. The next steps are to determine the best solution for your system.

Mineral deposits or “scaling” can form on the boiler’s waterside, inhibiting water flow and heat transfer. Scale is removed through either mechanical or chemical cleaning methods. Mechanical cleaning removes scale with the use of tools like scrapers, brushes, or sandblasters. Chemical scale removal uses acids to dissolve the minerals through a chemical reaction between the scale and the liquid. The method used for cleaning, mechanical or chemical, differs depending on the thickness and type of deposits being removed.

The severity of fire tube corrosion and fouling is related to the fuel being burned. Natural gas, propane, and petroleum fuels like gasoline or No. 2 diesel fuel produce a light fouling removed by brushes without the need for heavy scrapers. Boilers burning wood, medical or municipal waste, and heavy petroleum fuels like No. 6 fuel oil often suffer from thick fouling that can only be removed by a powerful cleaning system with strong brushes and scraping tools.

Soot and corrosion from combustion can foul the fireside of boilers, causing tube wall temperature to get so hot that the tube itself weakens and can rupture. Fireside fouling can be mechanically removed with various methods; however, Goodway recommends using advanced technology.

Nylon brushes are best for light deposits. Steel spring brushes and brass brushes provide extra toughness for removing soot deposits in fire tube boilers. When you need just a little more soot-cleaning power than a brush can provide, an FTS tube scraper tool will get the job done. For the largest, heavily fouled fire tubes, nothing comes close to the cleaning strength of a rigid arm flare cone. See our brush basics infographic.

Choosing the correct boiler cleaning system is informed by the type of boiler you have, the severity and type of fouling to be removed, and system features like portability and power.

Get help choosing the best solution for your boiler cleaning, see this handy Boiler Cleaning Buying Guide.

Fire tube and water tube boilers need a routine maintenance and cleaning schedule and monitoring during service to operate effectively and without frequent breakdowns. Maintaining an operating log can help you identify when the system is operating at its most efficient and not. This can help identify the effective loss of efficiency, an increase in operating costs. As a maintenance professional, helping building owners and operators understand your hard maintenance work’s bottom-line impact can help them manage their buildings better – and maybe get you a nice bonus.

Next Steps:

Industrial Boiler Cleaning – Waterside and Fireside Solutions

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Utilize our in-house experts and allow them the opportunity to assess your specific equipment and determine what cleaning method will offer you the best results.

Ask about our customizable capabilities.

Learn more about Scale Build Up

 

 

Don’t Delay On Coil Cleaning Preventative Maintenance

Coil Cleaning

Preventative Maintenance

HVAC systems rely on cooperation between your evaporator and condenser coils working together to get their job done. Over time, these coils can become dirty, causing the system to lose efficiency by reducing the ability to exchange heat. This causes increased energy costs and reduces the life of HVAC systems. Both are costly. How do you stop this from happening? Preventative maintenance. One of the most important things to do is make sure you follow a good coil cleaning program as part of your overall preventive maintenance program.

Dirty Coils Waste Money

When your HVAC system is operating with dirty coils, it can use up to 37% more energy than if they were clean. [i] A coil that has been fouled up with dirt, grease, or grime cannot work as efficiently as it once did. What are the dirty coils symptoms you need to watch out for?

  •  High Head Pressure
  • High Compression Ratio
  • Compressor Overload
  • Tripping High-Pressure Switch
  • Low Capacity
  • Poor Efficiency
  • Coil Freezing
  • Compressor Damage Due to Liquid Flood Back

Do you want to reduce the chance of issues like this occurring? Make sure you implement coil cleaning as part of your regular maintenance program. Coil cleaning should occur consistently to ensure that there is no build-up or deterioration to the coils. Do it as often as you can, especially in dusty environments, but at a minimum in the Spring and Fall, or depending on the HVAC unit’s amount of use and location.

Lack of Maintenance Reduces Efficiency

When your system is not operating efficiently, your cooling capacity can go down by 30%. Just think of what that does to monthly energy bills.  Staying on top of your coil cleaning maintenance is the only way to ensure you are keeping your HVAC operating at maximum efficiency.

Do you know how to clean coils properly? The severity of the dirt on the coils will determine the cleaning method required; however, the easiest solution is to use a coil cleaning system. These products are specifically designed for cleaning coils. Simple match the system to the right coils. They are available for cleaning evaporator coils, condenser coils in rooftop units (RTU), air-cooled chillers and heat exchangers, air handling units (AHU), PTAC units, and more.

When using coil cleaning systems, it is essential to use a machine that provides just the right amount of PSI pressure to keep coils from becoming damaged. Smaller units require lower PSI and lower water volumes. In contrast, larger condenser coils may require higher pressures and water volumes up to 3.5 gallons per minute.

The Proof Preventative Maintenance Matters

You don’t have to take our word that good coil maintenance and cleaning matters. Experts have done their own research to explore how efficient an HVAC system can be with the proper maintenance. A study printed in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) Journal concluded that good maintenance and operation practices (including coil cleaning) could improve energy performance and indoor air quality performance.

Co-op City, a 300-acre complex with multiple establishments, and houses a total of 15,372 apartments (one of the largest New York undertakings) that are heated and cooled by convectors called Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTACs). PTACs are the type of units you would find in hotel rooms. When asked how they were handling the 60,000 to 80,000 coils that make up the units, the answer was by “replacement.” When asked how they were handling the 60,000 to 80,000 coils that make up the units, the answer was by “replacement.” When a maintenance plan was introduced, the maintenance manager reported that they were doing 50% fewer replacements of the coils due to cleaning them without removing them. The Co-op City air quality was improved, and the efficiency in the units multiplied.

Westchester One houses five separate data rooms, all of which require significant amounts of cooling. Many of these server rooms operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year-and the HVAC must too. There are reports that the energy bills from Westchester One have reduced by thousands because they can use the whole coil for the operation now that they can properly clean them. One bill was even $20,000 below budget!

See the Proof with Your Own Eyes

If you have been looking for a way to make the HVAC at your home or business, run more efficiently, our coil cleaning solution to help you satisfy those needs. There is no longer a need to remove coils or replace them consistently when you can clean them and extend their lives (and the life of your unit).

You don’t have to take our word for it. Try it yourself and see just how much more efficient your system is and how much money you can save. When you begin your coil cleaning program, you will see in a short time just how much better your unit runs when you keep it clean and maintained. For help deciding what solution is best for you, check out our Coil Cleaning Buying Guide.

 

[i] https://www.sce.com/regulatory/energy-efficiency-filings/monthly-energy-efficiency-reports

[ii] https://www.sce.com/regulatory/energy-efficiency-filings/monthly-energy-efficiency-reports

 

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