“Hygienic design is much more than just smooth surfaces,” says Bernhard Scheller, Managing Director of Ruland Engineering & Consulting, a manufacturer of equipment for liquid products. Hygienic design starts with a hygienic environment and continues through the machinery and equipment. It considers the smallest details. The beginnings in hygienic design have mainly dealt with the direct process components (valves, sensors, pipe connections). In the meantime, institutions such as the EHEDG have made the topic more and more widespread and accepted. With regard to Hygienic Design, many customers still focus exclusively on the process components. Certificates (as for example from EHEDG) can easily be used as a guide, and many manufacturers offer hygienic models with detailed solutions for pumps, valves, handles, feet, screws, control cabinets and more. Thus, hygienic design for components can be defined and executed very comprehensively today. Other, essential requirements for design and construction are merely described in guidelines and are often difficult to grasp and compare. In frame and bracket construction, in the cabling of plant modules or in stage construction, there are numerous variations that can be evaluated differently, both from a hygienic point of view and in terms of costs. The task of plant engineers, such as Ruland Engineering & Consulting, is to point out these differences, to match them with the requirements of the customer and his product, and to define the best solution in terms of costs and benefits together with the customer. Companies that want to create a holistic hygienic design concept have to take a fresh look at their products, the process and its surroundings. First, the microbial stability and the microbial load of the raw materials have to be evaluated as well as the microbial sensitivity of the finished products Next the process needs to be examined: Is it open or closed? Which microbial conditions are in place? It is also important to check the points at which foreign materials or microorganisms could invade the process from outside and possibly cause damage to the product. With these basic conditions, the plant engineer can design a process according to hygienic needs.