A personal care facility located in Memphis, Tennessee utilized a series of 8 storage tanks and process vessels, each with center agitators. The company manufactures a variety of water resistant lotions and experienced severe difficulties in cleaning the tanks between each batch. Their cleaning method included a pre-rinse with DI water, followed by a boiling out process that utilized 864,560 kg of ethanol per year. This is an excessive amount of a very costly solution to ensure effectiveness.
The company purchased a Alfa Laval Gamajet mobile CIP system with rotary impingement. The process included two GJ 9 rotary impingement tank cleaning devices. The machines were strategically placed at the top of the tank through a 3” triclover inlet, around the agitators to ensure no areas were missed. The blades were not agitated during the Alfa Laval Gamajet cleaning, except for a mid-cycle “jog” to ensure a few potential shadow areas were sufficiently cleaned. The machines were configured to operate at 180 psi and 22 gallons per minute, per device. Based on the residue, this configuration offered the most efficient cleaning for the residue, resulting in 10-15 lbs. of force at the furthest distance, the bottom corners of the tank. The machines ran for a 15-minute open cycle pre-rinse to remove the bulk of the residue. Afterward, a 35 minute re-circulated wash with a 1% caustic concentrate was run, allowing for the Alfa Laval Gamajet machines to make 3 complete 360-degree indexing patterns (meaning every part of the tank was hit three times). This was followed by an un-circulated 10-minute final rinse with the requested ethanol solution.
The total cleaning time took 1 hour per tank, an 88% reduction in time. Ethanol usage was reduced by 53%; resulting in a $457,833 savings and revenue recovered (based off of a $4,700 per hour tank revenue) amounting to $9.97 million. Additional savings in energy and labor were also experienced but not documented.