CIP Versus COP Cleaning Systems: Which Should You Choose?

Posted on: November 30, 2021

Sanitation is an essential part of manufacturing, especially in industries like food and drink, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. A lapse in sanitation can lead to contaminated products, recalls, health and safety issues, and even regulatory penalties. Moreover, it can hurt a company’s reputation. To avoid this, every manufacturing process in one of those industries needs a cleaning system. There are two kinds of cleaning systems: CIP (Clean-in-Place) and COP (Clean-out-of-place). What are they, and which one is the best for your company?

Defining CIP and COP

Both COP and CIP systems are modern and designed to meet or exceed regulatory standards, especially if you obtain your system through Anderson Dahlen. Whether skidded or custom-engineered, you still get the same high-quality mechanisms. So the question is, what’s the difference between the two?

CIP Systems

Companies use CIP systems when the item being cleaned cannot easily be taken out of the assembly line. For example, items process piping, large vessels, and liquid processors are all best cleaned in place. A CIP system uses detergents and chemical cleaners to clean and sterilize items in the line, along with engineered turbulence to simulate scrubbing and clean out even the smallest nooks and crannies. A constant flow ensures that contaminants are carried away, and a final rinse removes any lingering detergents or cleansers. The chemicals involved can typically be reused.

COP Systems

Companies typically use COP systems when cleaning items that are not easily cleaned in place – such as utensils, fittings, clamps, mechanisms, and hoses. They may need disassembly or reorientation or might require direct cleaning rather than an even flow or bath. In addition, COP systems may use immersion tanks and spray jets to create turbulence for scrubbing and sanitation purposes.

Which Is Better: CIP or COP?

While both systems use the same detergents and cleansers and are preferable to manual cleaning, which one should you use? The deciding factor really comes down to what needs cleaning. If your manufacturing process includes a lot of smaller, more complex assemblies that need to be taken apart and cleaned, a COP system is better. Conversely, a CIP system is ideal if your system is extensive and difficult to disassemble. Neither COP nor CIP is inherently better than the other; they both have their purposes. In the rare instance where you can choose one, a CIP system is considered better. COP systems typically require some manual work or cleaning and thus can introduce human error. This human interaction also exposes workers to cleaning chemicals, which can be a health hazard if not handled properly. At Anderson Dahlen, safety is ingrained into our company’s culture – we are committed to protecting our valued employees’ safety to ensure they aren’t injured on the job. On the other hand, COP systems are often cheaper than CIP systems. COP systems can also save more in water and chemical expenses over manual cleaning, though both CIP and COP systems can reuse some chemicals.

A Quick Summary

To put it in other terms:

  • CIP systems have a higher buy-in but lower operating costs.
  • COP systems are often, though not always, partially automated.
  • Both systems are better than manual cleaning.

The system you choose will depend on your specific circumstances. That’s why the best option is to contact the highly-trained engineers at Anderson Dahlen. Our engineers can examine your existing workflow and determine what system will work best for you, how to implement it, and what chemicals to use to ensure cleanliness without contamination or harmful reactions. At Anderson Dahlen, we take the time and money to invest in our machinery and team to provide the best possible products and services. Contact us today if you want to join one of Minnesota’s most technologically advanced and safety-conscious manufacturers. We would love to take your skillset to the next level.