As dairy processing facilities have become more automated, sanitation equipment has stayed right in step, or even lead the way.

It takes fewer people to operate a dairy line these days, and therefore sanitation practices are designed for more efficient and more automated execution. Whether they are dealing with cheesemaking equipment, milk bottling lines, ice cream fillers or yogurt vats, processors have more clean in place (CIP) options and more efficient portable sanitation equipment than ever.

All dairy processors have tanks and silos that need to be cleaned between uses. Most of these vessels, even those used for aseptic processing can now be outfitted with CIP systems. DCI Inc., St. Cloud, Minn., recently introduced a new Upward Spray system for use in silo tanks. The new system, with primary and secondary internal vent lines, performs all CIP operations without requiring access to the top of the tank. For the processor, this can yield some cost savings, as the additional purchase of external ladders, walkways, and cages is eliminated. The use of internal CIP lines also limits the need for insulation and heat tape.

Some spatial efficiency can also be achieved through the elimination of external hardware. The Upward Spray system is USDA accepted for use in 3-A silos tanks.

For aseptic applications, Gamajet Cleaning System, Devault, Pa., offers the Aseptic 6 Tank Cleaner, a 3A-approved compact unit that can provide 360-degree coverage for tanks. The Aseptic 6 is designed to completely eliminate all areas of potential germ or bacteria growth within the unit.

Chessemakers often turn to Damrow Inc. of Fond du Lac, Wis. for equipment needs. Damrow's latest Double O vats are fitted with a new CIP equipment from Chemdet Inc., Port Wash., N.Y. Chemdet's Clipdisc sanitary tank washers use a disc to provide a sphere of heavy, fast moving droplets. The clipdiscs operate at pressures ranging from 20 to 60 psi and flow rates of 22 to 67 gpm with a cleansing radius of 6.5 to 7.5 feet. These washers allow the removal of all cheesemaking byproducts from deep vats.

These are just a few examples of some of the sanitation tools available to processors. A number of suppliers also offer external sanitation tools including portable CIP systems, high pressure steam and hot water hose down stations, and portable surface cleaners.