Case Study – Rachel’s Organic
How an Automatic Pigging System Increases Yields, Improves Efficiency and Cleanliness in Yoghurt Production
- HPS designed, supplied and implemented a fully-automatic 2.5-inch single-pig pigging system in an organic yoghurt processing plant
- The system reduced product waste, increased yields and improved cleanliness of the production lines
- Pigging has also increased the speed of changeovers and improved operational efficiency
- By saving energy and resources, pigging has also helped the company’s environmental sustainability credentials
Rachel’s Organic started as a family business from an organic farm in Brynllys, Wales. The farm was one of the first to sign up to the Soil Association and the first ever certified organic dairy farm in the UK. In 1992 the demand for Rachel’s yoghurts grew so much that they built a new dairy in Aberystwyth.
Today, Rachel’s is a household name. The company produces a wide range of dairy products and supplies to many large retailers and supermarkets.
Maintaining the very highest levels of hygiene is essential in dairy production. It’s also important to optimise yields, minimise waste and ensure the highest levels of operational efficiency.
Rachel’s approached HPS to discuss how a pigging solution could increase product yields and improve the cleanliness of the product lines at their natural and fruit flavoured yoghurt production facility in Aberystwyth.
Why Rachel’s Chose HPS as their Pigging Systems Provider
HPS has a strong reputation as the world’s leading hygienic and sanitary pigging systems specialists, and has worked with several companies that produce dairy products. In fact, one of HPS’s very first clients was also a well-known dairy company, and since its installation in 1995 their HPS pigging system is (as far as we know) still in use today!
This experience, along with the proven reliability and effectiveness of HPS products, assured Rachel’s that HPS were an excellent choice of pigging solutions provider.
For safety, reliability and operational efficiency, HPS recommended a fully automated pigging system.
HPS designed, manufactured, supplied and commissioned a 2.5-inch fully automatic single-pig pigging system. This included a 3-way inflatable seal launch valve with pneumatic actuator and pig housing, receive and return module, pig detection systems, various valves, fittings, seals, clamps and other components.
HPS has a team of software engineers, programmers and developers. Automation included providing the PLC programming for the pigging sequence and graphic HMI programmes to enable easy and efficient control of the system.
When commissioning was complete, HPS engineers ensured Rachel’s staff fully understood how the systems worked and were fully trained to properly and safely operate and maintain the equipment.
The primary aims of the project were to reduce product waste, increase yield and improve cleanliness of the production lines. The HPS system achieved all these goals.
The line and equipment are integrated into every cleaning process, ensuring all the necessary hygienic tests are passed. Because of the HPS pigging system, the cleaning of the line has improved therefore increasing the speed of the changeovers between products, which in turn increases operational efficiency.
In addition, by reducing waste saving energy and other resources, pigging has helped Rachel’s improve their company’s environmental sustainability credentials.