Innovative Cleaning Systems: Self-Learning Programs with Potential

Beverage industry
Photo: Daniel Vogel on Unsplash

​​Today, there’s a lot of interest in innovative cleaning systems in the beverage industry. Resource and cost-saving production processes are highly sought after. Self-learning programs are now able to use machine learning to create intelligent cleaning processes. But how does it work? And how effective are these new systems?

  • Fraunhofer, a leading research institute, has developed innovative cleaning systems, such as Adaptive CIP Container Cleaning and the Mobile Cleaning Device
  • Machine learning creates more efficiency in production and can reduce energy use in cleaning up to 75%
  • Modern cleaning technology must meet high hygiene and security standards – this presents a real challenge for the industry

So what technology is behind the innovative cleaning systems used by the beverage industry? Latest software innovations mean machines can both independently identify contamination in beverage production tanks and containers, and clean them in a targeted manner. Highly sensitive sensors determine the level of contamination and create an efficient cleaning process.

These days, these type of cleaning systems are completely automated. Self-learning programs create and continuously implement individualized cleaning concepts without the need for any action from employees.

Ground-Breaking Projects from Fraunhofer Institute

The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Dresden are technological trailblazers in the field of machine learning. The innovative systems created by their experts are ideally suited to the beverage industry.

Adaptive-CIP Tank Cleaning

One of the innovative projects at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, known as Adaptive-CIP Tank Cleaning, speeds up self-learning production workflows. CIP – or “Cleaning in Place” uses an optical sensor to identify contamination in tanks and initiates intelligent process management. Any remaining contamination is then managed using flourescence.

This information is then communicated to a jet cleaner, which performs precise innovative cleaning. The type of contamination, its exact location, and the actual cleaning process as well as the degree of dryness, are all documented in the Fraunhofer IVV Dresden’s resource-efficient CIP-Cleaning system.

Mobile Cleaning Device

The cleaning robot known as the Mobile Cleaning Device (MCD) was created by a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV. This smart device – along with the Adaptive-CIP Process for tanks in the beverage industry—provides customized cleaning of contaminated areas.

The MCD isn’t permanently installed and can be used flexibly for various areas. MCD cleaning technology can be used for targeted partial cleaning and to completely clean production facilities.

Photo: © Frauenhofer

The research and development for innovative cleaning systems like the Mobile Cleaning Device aims to save costs and resources in the beverage industry. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has supported this cleaning technology due to its benefits for both the economy and the environment.  

Machine Learning: Opportunities for the Beverage Industry

Conventional cleaning processes are not only intricate, but also often costly and time-consuming. Unlike innovative cleaning systems, which unite the needs of business and the environment, conventional cleaning burns through resources.

Machine learning in production redesigns workflows in the beverage industry, making them more efficient and – above all, conserving the golden resource: water. As a result, up to 75% of energy used in cleaning and 50% of cleaning time can be saved through innovation. Beverage and liquid food producers no longer have to calibrate their company’s cleaning equipment to a maximum contamination scenario. Now they can use precise individualized, automated cleaning processes.

These innovations also guarantee producers significantly reduced water usage in their cleaning processes, protecting a valuable natural resource, which is increasingly in short supply globally. Manufacturing plants benefit too, gaining capacity and availability, and companies also become more profitable. Costs for cleaning products and wastewater management are also reduced.

Proceed with Caution: Challenges for Innovative Cleaning

As is so often the case, innovation also presents challenges. Beverage companies, like other branches of the food processing industry, are bound by high standards of hygiene and security. This means that getting innovative cleaning systems off the ground hinges on detailed control mechanisms.

The security of these new cleaning processes currently depends on a series of trials conducted, based on when self-learning programs are launched. Additionally, the growing variety of products and the small batch sizes in the beverage market often require high-frequency cleaning for containers, tanks, and facilities. Developments in these areas and other pilot projects are yet to come.

The Latest in Cleaning, Water, and Water Treatment at drinktec 2022

Even if innovative cleaning systems still face hurdles when it comes to hygiene and security checks, they undoubtedly show the direction production systems are headed in the future. It’s no surprise then, that the most important trade fair in the industry is dedicated to resource-saving innovations around cleaning procedures and reduced water usage. A visit to drinktec 2022 from the 12-16 September in Munich, is well worth it and a fascinating journey into the future. Not only will you gain direct insight into innovative technologies and the thinkers behind them – exhibitions also bridge gaps between process automation and energy management. Innovative cleaning concepts await visitors in Halls A3 and B3. Get to know pioneering CIP-technology solutions and much more, from exhibitors like Ecolab Inc., GEA Brewery Systems GmbH, Kieselmann GmbH, Ruland Engineering & Consulting GmbH. Plan your drinktec visit easily with our drinktec 2022 exhibitor directory.

Stay curious: There’s more innovation at this year’s Inspiration Hub. Get ready to be wowed and inspired during exciting daily talks, discussions and best-case revelations by drinktec exhibitors, on the leading topics in 2022.

Drinktec is the leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industries and the homebase for cutting-edge innovations over the course of just over a week. Delve into self-learning cleaning systems, smartwatches that enable you to keep tabs on the status of bottling facilities, and a slew of other future-forward projects aimed at curbing the skyrocketing worldwide water usage in the industry. Discover the trends of the future today. Get your ticket now.

Would you like to find out about current trends on the beverage market and exchange professional information? Then we invite you to take part in the next drinktec, which will be held in Munich from September 12 to 16, 2022.

drinktec Blog-Team

The drinktec team writes reports on everything to do with drinktec and gives insights into what is going on behind the scenes of the trade fair.