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What are the benefits of Automated Tank Cleaning (CIP) compared with manual cleaning?


Industrial Tank cleaning is a fundamental process especially within hygiene critical industries (Food, Beverage and Pharmaceuticals). Poor tank cleaning can result in significant repercussions like cross contamination, damage to tanks or the increased danger to workers. 

Traditionally, the process of tank cleaning has been performed manually with workers required to clean from the outside and enter the vessel itself. This has mixed results with inconsistency presenting itself as its major challenge. This method allows for a greater OH&S risk due to personnel exposure and manned entry into the tank. The other common practice involved in tank cleaning is referred to as Clean in Place (CIP) or automated tank cleaning via spray nozzles and spray balls mounted inside tanks or inserted via lightweight movable assembly mounts/lances. This solution is customisable and can result in many other benefits to an operation outside of just cleaner tanks. Depending on the individual business, these two applications are the common methods associated with the cleaning of tanks.

Manual Cleaning 

Manual cleaning is a traditional and out-dated process to clean tanks. Although relatively effective, with the development of technology and resources, there are other means to combat the issues associated with tank cleaning and reach sustainable, effective and consistent results. Despite its benefits around being a controllable method because of human interaction and control, this can also serve as a major drawback as it leaves room for human error. The inability to get into hard-to reach places, overuse of water, a lack of knowledge, training and understanding eventuate into a poorer standard of cleaning in comparison to other automated methods. Manned Industrial Tank Cleaning

Additionally, this method raises questions around a business' water usage to reach the optimal standard and can cause significant unforeseen costs. There are also potential dangers associated with this method which raises significant OH&S concerns. Without appropriate PPE gear, these risks can be detrimental to workers safety. The possibility of an operation commencing without knowledge of an individual in or around the tank increases in likeliness.

Continued costs associated with this method, uncontrolled water wastage and inconsistent results are all factors into why manual cleaning is not always the ideal method to achieve consistent high-grade results every time.

Automated Tank Cleaning / Clean-In-Place (CIP) Using Tank Cleaning Nozzles

CIP (Clean-In-Place) refers to a controlled method of cleaning with a combination of chemicals, heat and water without the need to dismantle or remove the vessel for cleaning. This includes cleaning interior surfaces including pipes, filters and fittings. With the latest innovative tank cleaning technology, an ideal CIP method has the characteristics that will allow for a customised automated system that will deliver safe, thorough and consistent results.

Before the innovation of CIP and Tank Cleaning Nozzle technology the old manual disassembly of closed systems were significantly time consuming. Since CIP and nozzles have evolved to become the preferred method of tank cleaning it has allowed for thorough cleaning of equipment in a shorter amount of time with less manual labour needed, and the added benefit of being cost effective and safe for workers. This frees up resources and reduces downtime – workers are free to contribute to or participate in other aspects of the operation while production time can be increased as tanks are returned to service quicker.

CIP Automated Tank CleaningAn Automated CIP Tank Cleaning Solution

Automated TankJet® tank cleaners are designed to efficiently clean tanks, barrels, totes, vats and vessels (as small as one metre in diameter and as large as 30 metres in diameter). From gentle rinsing to high-impact cleaning, tank cleaning products offer automated solutions to ensure the highest quality clean possible, for both portable and CIP tank cleaning. 

A critical benefit for businesses who implement automated tank cleaning is the reduction of water usage. Water is money and its true cost is often underappreciated. Automated tank cleaning can help reduce the time of cleaning cycles resulting in a reduction in water usage. If water usage is reduced, manufacturers can save significantly on water costs, lower maintenance costs and see a large reduction in its pump running costs, water heating & chemicals costs.

Most company’s investment in an automated tank cleaning solution results in large savings that pay back the investment in a short period of time (months, sometimes even weeks)


A customisable automated tank cleaning solution.

We understand the challenges of demanding CIP applications and provide a full line of powerful, sanitary designed products and solutions. An automated CIP system will vary from business to business depending on the specific needs of that operation and the desired outcome. Therefore, planning and implementing a strategy, in coordination with tank cleaning experts, that specifically works towards cleaning tanks more efficiently should be the primary focus. That's where we can help. 

Our Sales Engineers have the experience and knowledge to revolutionise your operation with a high regard to safety, sustainability and cost effectiveness. With spray balls and spray nozzles in varying degrees for positioning, velocity, and spray patterns; Spraying Systems Co’s unmatched TankJet product range and over 80+ years of hands on experience means that our experts can reach a safer, quicker, repeatable and more cost-effective tank cleaning solution.

Our website showcases our range of Tank Cleaning products and our recommendations – To find out more about our CIP capability and tank cleaning offerings by industry click here. To discuss your company’s tank cleaning and CIP needs, contact a Sales Engineer.