A pharmaceutical company in Philipsburg, New Jersey was utilizing manual labor to clean their tanks. The company manufactures a wide range of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients. They were experiencing significant revenue loss to their tank cleaning procedure and they were under significant pressure to provide a more validatable clean and eliminate confined space entry. The company has three process vessels, with center agitators, each costing them $9,000 in revenue for every hour out of operation. Their cleaning process included five hours of manual cleaning every three days. In addition to the regular cleaning, a 20-hour manual cleaning was performed every quarter. At such a high cost per hour, any cleaning time saved would have a significant impact on production and revenue. In addition, a repeatable and reliable pattern would satisfy the sanitarian and so would the elimination of confined space entry.
The solution included two GJ A6 rotary impingement tank cleaning devices. The machines were installed at the top of the tank, above the liquid level and around the agitators. No jogging during the cleaning cycle was necessary because of the size of the blades. The machines were powered by an Alfa Laval Gamajet-designed CIP System, with a sanitary pump, configured to operate at 120 psi and 20 gallons per minute, 10 gallons per minute, per device. Due to the nature of the residue, this particular configuration offered the most efficient cleaning by resulting in 7-10 lbs. of force at the furthest distance. The machines ran for a 15 minute, open cycle pre-rinse to remove the bulk of the residue, followed by a 30 minute re-circulated wash with a 2% caustic concentrate and a final 15 minute un-circulated wash. Based on the design of the machines, the indexing-full-coverage-pattern was completed a total of 6 times throughout the 1 hour wash period.
By using the Alfa Laval Gamajet to replace manual labor, the company was able to reduce cleaning time by 82% and completely eliminate the quarterly cleaning. In addition, 71% less chemicals and water was used and over $5.1 million was recovered in revenue.