For pharmaceutical manufacturers, the Clean in Place (CIP) process is critical as it helps safeguard product quality. Cleaning equipment between batches ensures no impurities are introduced into the product. At the same time, it is important to keep CIP cycle times as short as possible to avoid wasting time and resources. Traditionally, it has been difficult for drug companies to identify CIP cycle inconsistencies, which potentially leads to overcleaning and inefficiency. The lack of CIP optimization can lengthen the time between pharmaceutical production runs.
A large drug company needed to optimize CIP processes to improve efficiency while maintaining quality. Typically, its CIP cycles would follow routine time-based cleaning cycles to ensure equipment cleanliness. These standardized cleaning cycles inevitably built in some inefficiency. The process engineering team knew they could save time and resources by optimizing their CIP processes.
From a technical standpoint, the challenge was to identify which time series were relevant for CIP analysis and to aggregate time-series data during cleaning periods. The goal was to quantify results by both assets and CIP loops, enabling the engineers to identify targets for improvement. Reducing CIP cycle time by just an hour can produce substantial cost savings for utilities and additional time in production.
Read how the team developed process models for each of the company’s CIP units and was able to identify excessively long procedures that represented overcleaning events.