Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre

Brewing

Cleaning in Process

Companies often overlook Cleaning in Process when searching for ways to optimise production even though it has great potential to save time and money and to benefit the environment.

Heineken is an international brewing company, founded in 1864 in the Netherlands. Heineken is running 5 breweries and cider mills in the UK. Newcastle University and Heineken worked together as part of the Zero Emissions and Cleaning (ZEAL) consortium, a group of British companies and universities aiming to explore the benefits of the optimisation and reduction of Cleaning in Process (CIP).

Companies often overlook CIP when searching for ways to optimise production even though it has great potential to save time and money and to benefit the environment. Breweries often use an extremely rigid cleaning procedure to assure their equipment is clean to guarantee product quality. Rarely are analytical methods used to monitor the cleaning process to determine the optimal end point and concentration of detergents.

Charlotte worked in Heineken’s cider production site. She used classical Quality by Design (QbD) tools to characterise the cleaning procedure and classify capacity for optimising the process. A benchmarking activity was undertaken to understand the baseline cleaning performance of the factory and to identify areas with cost saving potential.  A deeper investigation to understand the cleaning abilities on brewery specific fouling types enabled optimisation of the use of chemicals. Further optimisation potential could be identified by looking at varying cleaning parameters like flow rate, detergent concentration, and fouling types, on cleaning time. Her model of the cleaning rate using real-time feedback from different online instrumentation led to the identification of ways to reduce chemical and water consumption, effluent costs and production down time. This demonstrated that real-time cleaning modelling is possible.

The findings were incorporated as part of a wider improvement project, which was implemented at Heineken in 2015. By contributing to this Charlotte’s work has direct impact on process improvement and technical standards of the company. The financial analysis of the stand-alone process improvement showed huge cost saving. The optimisation of the CIP has as well a significant environmental impact due to the reduced use of chemicals, water and energy.

The work had not just an impact on Heineken but as well on Charlotte’s career. You can read more here.

Case study: Brewing