The new fully automated clean in place (CIP) system provides greater efficiency in plant cleaning and milk production. It also has the added bonus of allowing cleaning and sanitising chemicals to be recycled for use which has proven to be an extremely effective cleaner production initiative. The installation of this 'recycling cleaning system' has not only improved the economic efficiency of Paul's operation in Darwin but has also achieved their environmental objective of 'Producing an integrated and on-going approach for managing the business efficiently and improving profitability whilst having full consideration of possible environmental impacts.'
Pauls Limited (N.T) manufactures and markets a range of recognised brands of dairy food and beverage products for Northern and Central Australia. They are committed to a program of waste management and have established an Environmental Policy which includes minimising the use of raw materials and energy; ensuring that products and services are produced, packaged, delivered, disposed of and recycled in a responsible manner with minimal adverse impact on the environment; assessment of the environmental impacts associated with new projects at the planning stage; and staff acceptance of environmental responsibilities in day to day activities.
Pauls Limited (N.T) is legally required to conform to hygiene requirements in milk product manufacture. These requirements are established to meet the key objectives of assuring that the product:
- Will not be a hazard to the consumer; and
- Will not spoil within the set shelf life and under the intended distribution and retail conditions.
To achieve this, hygiene must be seen to encompass a consideration of all features of building design and maintenance, engineering services and production procedures. That is the whole production unit should be designed, maintained and operated with hygiene in mind and with thought given to both minimising relevant contamination and to the cleanability of equipment and factory environment.
Pauls Limited (N.T) had previously utilised a single use Single Use CIP system (Figure 1). This system was based on the premise that all required chemicals and water were used only once following each clean before they were discharged as waste.
The single use CIP system had a number of associated problems when employed by Pauls Limited (N.T) such as:
- Cost inefficiency;
- Excessive use of cleaning chemicals;
- Involved too much time out of the production schedule to clean on a continuous basis;
- Limited documented proof of cleans performed on the milk production system; and
- Parts were no longer available for repairs.