Engineering & Project Management Leakage CIP Installation Dairy Company
(*photo is not current situation).
Our customer had been having a problem with his CIP (Cleaning In Place) installation for some time now. The installation leaked diluted caustic soda and nitric acid due to a malfunctioning valve. The problem was exacerbated by foam to which the level detector was not responding. For example, it could happen that CIP liquid from a tank overflowed the floor. In this case, the problem owner was the plant manager and, because the CIP installation in the pre-plant is an installation that is used daily, he wanted to have that problem solved permanently.
An external project leader was appointed via DAPP. Our project leader immediately started making an inventory of the problem and the resulting risks.
The CIP installation turned out to be on a mezzanine floor, above the production. This meant that solving this problem, especially in the preparation phase, required a lot of attention for the architectural side of the assignment. The mezzanine floor of the CIP installation had a membrane in the floor and this was leaking in a number of places. As a result, a dangerous situation could arise on the ground floor. This led, among other things, to architectural failures: falling stucco and tiles and the crumbling of concrete lintels. This naturally had a major impact on the general hygiene in this part of the factory. This problem was mentioned several times during audits. This nuisance meant that extra rounds had to be scheduled for cleaning and repeated replacement of stucco and tiling. Last but not least, the existing situation led to the danger of leakage of lye and acid solutions down the wall where electrical switch boxes were hung. In short, a very undesirable situation.
The project decision is normally completed with a business case or a cost calculation on the basis of which a go - no go decision can be made. That was not the case in this project: the project had to be carried out anyway. What mattered instead was how it was performed. The central question was how the floor could be made completely liquid-tight. After the inventory of all alternatives, it was decided to â€œliftâ€ the CIP installation consisting of 4 tanks and place it in a metal drip tray. Our project manager had to take a number of preconditions into account. For example, in addition to architectural aspects, safety risks, production downtime and future expansions in this zone of the factory had to be taken into account. In this phase he explicitly involved the QHSE department in planning. The choices made in the project had to be able to count on the full support of that department.
In the project preparation phase, our project leader and his 4 project employees worked with the Early Equipment Management (EEM) method. This workflow system contains all management aspects that are necessary to engineer a project. If handled properly, it ensures a vertical start-up and a rapid completion of the project. It raises questions such as which materials are resistant to the action of nitric acid and caustic soda. An architectural challenge turned out to be the extra support of the roof construction necessary to be able to lift the tanks during the project execution.
The result of the project is a liquid-tight floor and a leak-free CIP installation, creating a sustainably safe environment for the employees and for the installation itself on the first floor and on the ground floor.
The plant manager was extremely pleased that the project had finally put a stop to a recurring problem. It was nice that the project could be completed within the pre-allocated budget.
The QHSE department was also very satisfied. The project passed their strict requirements with flying colors.