The sanitary processing industry currently faces a multitude of challenges:
- Rising wages and competition for workers
- Rising cost of benefits
- Increased competition from large, small and international competitors
- Increase of raw material costs due to material shortages
- Increase cost and demand for shelf space from retailers
- Increase in international, state, federal and local regulations and policies
However, even with all of the above-mentioned challenges to worry about, the #1 fear a supplier has is a product recall due to contaminated or compromised products. Not only can a product recall cost the manufacturer a tremendous amount of money, time and effort, but it can also damage reputations and any good will associated with the company and brand name (think of the U.S. ice cream manufacturer we all know and love) that they have created over the years with customers. And if a company’s reputation is damaged beyond repair, the entire company could be destroyed depending on the size and magnitude of the recall.
Proper cleaning of the equipment goes a long way in preventing contamination and can be accomplished in one of two ways: either by utilizing the clean-out-of-place (COP) method or by the clean-in-place (CIP) method.
The COP method involves relying on employees to use the proper chemicals, water temperatures, time and steps to manually disassemble and hand clean the equipment, while CIP is the more modern and safer method. The plant can use a properly designed CIP system to clean the production line without the removal of the equipment. In order for the CIP system to work properly, all of the equipment in the process line must be designed specifically for CIP.
All the product surfaces should be:
- A 32 Ra or higher surface finish for stainless steel
- Free of cracks, crevices and catch points
- Durable and maintenance free
- Free draining
Third parties determine whether or not the equipment meets these requirements. The 3-A is the validation body for U.S. standards and European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) is the testing organization for Europe.
When it comes time to select the pumping equipment for a CIP system, Wilden® Hygienic™ Series (HS) pumps are one of the few North American made air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps that are validated by both 3-A in the area of CIP and EHEDG cleaning protocol. Most competitors’ pumps that are considered hygienic or sanitary are not since they lack the attributes mentioned previously. Most of these pumps have to be disassembled to be cleaned properly, which costs the end user time and money between runs as well as the risk of cross contamination or compromise in their finish product that may lead to recalls.
See how Wilden's 3-A Certificate compares to the global competition!
Wilden® 3-A Certification:
View Wilden's 3-A Certification
Murzan 3-A Certification:
Graco® 3-A Certification:
Verder 3-A Certification:
The Wilden free draining, liquid chamber also provides the highest level of sanitary standards unmatched by any competitors. In addition, Wilden HS pumps feature Pure-Fuse diaphragms, which are a smooth, durable and free draining. This diaphragm, combined with the Pro-Flo® SHIFT Air Distribution System (ADS) that is the ultimate in air efficiency, is unmatched by any competitors.
In conclusion, while product recalls loom heavy on the minds of most manufacturers, preventative measures have been put in place to help minimize the risks. One of these measures is to ensure that all of the process equipment is properly cleaned. To do so in the safest and most efficient way possible, manufacturers are relying on the CIP method. But in order for CIP to be at its most effective, manufactures need to remember to select equipment with the most sanitary design.
To learn more about 3-A and EHEDG, click on the links below.