Application Note

Cleaning A Ribbon Blender

Source: STERIS Corporation

A large agrochemical products manufacturing company was interested in improving the cleaning procedure in their dry products formulation line. The interest in evaluating STERIS Corporation's cleaning agents in this dry formulations area arose following the successful implementation of a cleaning solvent substitution program using STERIS’s aqueous-based cleaning agent, CIP 100® Alkaline Process and Research Cleaner, at one of their large liquid products manufacturing plants.

In the dry formulations process, inert and technical (active) materials are charged together, blended, milled and batched out, after which they go through granulation and clarification lines. Multiple product formulations are manufactured in the same process equipment, thus requiring cleaning to meet pre-established residue limits in the low ppm levels.

Since the equipment used in the process was not designed for handling liquids, the cleaning process consisted of manually cleaning the process equipment with personnel entry. To help improve this labor-intensive and time-intensive cleaning process, it was decided to evaluate the feasibility of cleaning-in-place (CIP) the equipment with an aqueous cleaning agent dispensed through spray nozzles. The objective was to have a simple CIP system fabricated in-house without having to do major equipment modifications.

A horizontal ribbon blender was chosen for the cleaning evaluation and trial.