Dimensionless Numbers

Optimizing of cleaning processes by means of process description and dimensionless numbers

Workgroup: Hygienic production

Scientific Partners and Guidance:

  1. Technical University Dresden, Mr. M. Helbig
  2. Technical University Braunschweig, Dr. W. Augustin

IGF: 464 ZBG
Financing: BMWi
Duration: 2013 – 2014

Cleaning of closed processing equipment for the manufacturing of liquid and viscous foods is usually performed by industrial automatic CIP processes (Cleaning in Place). To understand cleaning processes in general, it is essential to investigate limiting cleaning mechanism (controlling sub-process of cleaning) and hence to select appropriate cleaning tasks.

The project objective is to extend the existing knowledge of cleaning mechanisms. An identification of the controlling sub-process, dependent on the soil structure, allows an effective comparison of cleaning investigations and selection of optimal approaches to industrial cleaning applications. Thereby the present soil-systems are characterized by means of laboratory tests. A comparison of various soil-systems, as well as the transfer from laboratory to industrial application can be achieved by using dimensionless numbers. During the research project the following deliverables are aimed:

  1. A soil-system characteristic by laboratory investigation using dimensionless numbers.
  2. A dimensionless number based conclusion of time limiting mechanism during cleaning processes.
  3. An optimization of cleaning processes by aligning the process parameters that are determined in the laboratory and known correlations within the dimensionless numbers.

The concept of dimensionless numbers that is developed in the research project is an easy applicable and universally valid industrial tool, that identifies a limiting mechanism of the cleaning process. To characterize a concrete soil-system, a specific selection of bench tests is needed. These laboratory tests are developed within this project. The cost efficient and easy applicable method offers especially to SME (Small and Medium(-sized) Enter¬prise) the possibility of conducting a precise and optimized cleaning process with the use of dimensionless number approach. Furthermore, expensive test facilities and high performance mainframe computers are not required. As the research findings are also implementable to other related sectors, an expansion to likewise highly hygienic industries (Life sciences, Pharmaceutics, Cosmetics) is in all probability. The project results are a supplementary step towards an efficient and ecological production.

Project Reports


The IGF project presented here by the Research Association of the Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging (IVLV e.V.) is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy via the AiF as part of the program for the promotion of industrial community research (IGF) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.