Products and Industries which use Pigging Technology
Pigging technology has many benefits. It’s primary function is to recover or remove residual product that remains in the line after transfer from one location to another. The innovative and highly-effective technology is witnessing a surge in demand among businesses that process or pump liquids. This includes industries such as food, confectionery, beverages, pet food, beauty, household goods, paint, dairy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, lubricants and many more.
This blog article outlines the primary industries that HPS provide pigging products and services for, and the wide range of benefits provided by pigging technology.
Chocolate and Confectionery Industry
Today, nearly every major chocolate and confectionery manufacturer has incorporated pigging technology into their production plants. As such, this makes it almost impossible to imagine the industry without the innovative technology.
The chocolate and confectionery sector is an industry that is heavily dependent on the economic climate of the day, along with consumer demand. Cocoa prices and other major commodity costs can be extremely volatile and often move erratically. In an effort to offset these costs many manufacturers focus heavily on boosting efficiency and productivity through best practices and new technologies. So, pigging systems are frequently used by chocolate companies to increase profitability, improve production efficiency and to enable them to remain competitive.
The efficiency of pigging systems can also be reflected by the fact they typically recover 99.5% of product from the line (well an HPS system does anyway!). In addition to maximising product yields, pigging delivers other major benefits such as reducing changeover times and preventing cross-contamination. Generally, with chocolate-based confectionery it’s common to use either butter or oil (or even both) for rinsing out the lines and removing the residual product. This is an extremely time-consuming and resource intensive process. It can also be extremely costly, as the butter cannot be reused. That’s why pigging is effective, as it can significantly reduce or even eliminate the butter flush altogether.
While there are many benefits of pigging for chocolate manufacture, there are special considerations to take into account. For instance, in chocolate production the transfer lines are often jacketed to maintain the chocolate temperature at the required level. That’s why it’s essential that the pigging equipment is also jacketed so it can retain and sustain the heat without degradation. Achieving this is not as straightforward as it may at first appear – it requires high levels of knowledge and a pigging provider with a proven track record of successfully designing and implementing pigging systems for chocolate applications.
Food and Beverage Industry
Manufacturers of sauces, ready meals, dips, soups, beers, soft drinks, wines, spirits and many other type of food and beverage are recovering massive amounts of product using pigging systems. As well as increasing their product yield, these same systems are also reducing significant amounts of product waste.
Another of the key benefits of pigging systems for food and beverage processing includes reducing water consumption. Water is an essential input for most of the food and beverage industry, both as an ingredient and key processing element. And because water is a limited resource, many food and drink firms are placing water resources management as a critical environmental priority.
Many food and beer companies are implementing technologies such as pigging to reduce their water usage. For instance, in food and beverage production where hygiene is critical, Clean -in-Place (CIP) is a fundamental aspect. Often, the first part of any CIP cycle is to flush out the product residue with water before the cleaning process actually commences. However, if most of the product has already been removed with a pig, then this practically eliminates the requirement for a lengthy flush out. This reduces water usage significantly.
Paint and Coatings Industry
A wide variety of paint and coatings product manufacturers use HPS hygienic pigging solutions. This includes leading brands such as Kelly Moore Paints, AkzoNobel, Silberline and Benjamin Moore. These organisations achieve significant gains from product recovery and the faster changeovers provided by HPS pigging solutions.
One of the most significant benefits of pigging systems for paint and coatings companies include minimising paint loss during colour changes. Often in paint and coatings manufacture, companies have a wide variety of different colours, tints, tones, shades and finishes that needs to be processed.
During product changeover, for example from one colour to another in water-based paints, large quantities of water are often used in an attempt to clean the line. This can account for considerable product loss, and at the same time generates a substantial amount of effluent to treat.
Pigging technology speeds up changeovers considerably as it can reduce the length of the wash. In addition, if there is a minor change in product colour, say, from black to dark blue it may be possible to follow on instantly with the next batch after pigging. Therefore, the requirement for a flush out is eliminated.
Pet Food Industry
Many pet food manufacturers have implemented a pigging solution into their processing operations to improve their overall efficiencies and to prevent contamination. Another key benefit of pigging for pet food companies is the rapid return on investment (ROI) they deliver. Therefore, it’s no surprise that major pet food brands such as Mars Pet Care, Nestle Purina and Butchers Pet Care have adopted the innovative technology.
It’s also possible for pet food companies to use pigging as a key enabler to lot traceability. That’s because HPS systems use specially designed, highly efficient process pigs that help to segment and differentiate product batches. This is achieved by creating clear barriers between the batches, which ensures accurate wet product or ingredient separation.
Homecare and Household Industry
From polishes, liquid detergent, stain removers to fabric conditioners and washing up liquid, HPS pigging systems deliver tangible gains for homecare and household product manufacturers. Leading organisations such as P&G, Unilever and Boots have implemented product recovery systems to increase processing speed, productivity and enhance operational efficiency.
Because HPS pigging systems massively increase product yields, there’s less product to send to waste. Likewise, the cleaning and changeover processes also use less water and cleaning chemicals, which has a direct impact on waste processing costs. As such, the environmental benefits of pigging are substantial.
Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry
There are many reasons why pigging systems are used by cosmetics and personal care manufacturers, including to maximise product yield, and minimise product loss during changeovers. Many cosmetics and personal care companies have multiple product lines that need to be processed. This could be different types of deodorant i.e. fragrance and aluminium free or different scents. Changeover from one product to another can account for significant product loss. The changeover process is often also extremely water-intensive with large amounts needed for rinsing the lines.
That’s where pigging is beneficial as it speeds up changeover times significantly. For instance, as the HPS pig typically recovers 99.5% of the residual product in the line, it’s sometimes possible to follow on immediately with the next product. This reduces the requirement for a lengthy wash out. In addition, it reduces production down-time attributed to changeovers and cleaning, enhancing plant capacity.
Many other industries are also reaping the benefits of pigging technology. This includes chemicals, dairy, oils and lubricants, pharmaceuticals and even the nuclear industries who are implementing pipeline pigging to enhance process efficiency, maximise product yields, reduce waste, save water and lower their costs.
Find Out More
HPS provide pigging solutions predominately for the food, beverage, chocolate, confectionery, pet food, paints, coatings, homecare and household processing industries. However, we have a wide range of clients so if your industry is not listed, that doesn’t mean we can’t pig it!
Almost any liquid or wet product that can be pumped can be pigged! So, why not contact HPS and find out – we’ll be happy to help!