The healthcare industry, like most others, is under growing pressure to squeeze every production hour out of each day. But unlike some other industries, pharmaceutical companies must also meet exacting regulations on product quality and plant cleanliness. So when a major US drug company looked for a solution it had a very specific goal in mind – reduce tank downtime while improving tank cleanliness. The pharmaceutical giant was using a static spray ball system to clean the tanks in which it produced zinc oxide cream at its New Jersey production facility. However, they were experiencing problems with the agitators and blades in their mixing tanks not being properly cleaned. As a result the company switched to a fill/dump method of cleaning. This meant the loss of 12 hours of production time each time the tanks were cleaned.
The SaniJet 20 rotary jet head was recommended for onsite trials. Developed specifically for the healthcare industry, SaniJet 20 is constructed entirely from FDA-approved materials. The jet head is designed for permanent installation and offers 360° coverage via four powerful jets. “We tested various options in our tanks,” says Dean Childers, a product manager at the pharmaceutical company. “They also ran some simulations for us.”
The proprietary 3D TRAX® simulation software helps determine the optimal location, nozzle size, flow rate, pressure, rotation speed and effective throw length to implement on each tank cleaning machine. “We could already see we’d get a very satisfactory result with just two jet heads, but in the end we decided to use three (SaniJet 20s) for optimal results,” says Childers.
The results exceeded expectations. Using three SaniJet 20 rotary jet heads, the company was able to cut downtime to just four hours – a massive 67% decrease compared to their previous system. This gave the healthcare giant an extra 8 hours of production each time the tanks were cleaned. “We’re very satisfied with the new tank cleaning system.” says Childers.