Case Study – Unilever
The Unilever Vietnam site produces washing liquids, laundry detergents and surface cleaning products.
HPS has worked with Unilever plants around the world for many years, since the early days of the company in 1996. In fact, Unilever were one of the first companies to adopt HPS pigging technology for homecare products.
One of the main projects between Unilever Vietnam and HPS was when HPS provided and commissioned a 6-inch multi-tank pigging system, along with twelve 2-inch single-pig pigging systems.
HPS appointed a Project Engineer at the early stages of the project to co-ordinate the project and work closely with the Unilever team.
Unilever chose to use their own software team to code the pigging system control, so HPS also provided a Functional Design Specification (FDS) to enable Unilever’s selected software writer to construct the Pigging Sequences.
Unilever installed the 6-inch pigging system on a pipeline running from the mixing tanks to the storage tanks. The twelve 2-inch pigging systems whee then installed on the lines from the storage tanks to 12 filling lines.
HPS engineers commissioned the systems to ensure they were working correctly, safely and effectively. They also trained key Unilever staff in correct operation and maintenance of the systems.
After the project completion, the benefits Unilever Vietnam achieved by using HPS pigging technology included increased yield from the line for each transfer of product.
The increase in yield from the line was also the same volume of product not sent to drain. This meant a significant decrease in waste discharge and therefore gave Unilever a rapid payback and return on investment.
In addition, there was a large reduction in water usage for flush-outs and CIP, which helps environmental sustainability. The system also enabled faster cleaning and changeover times between products, reducing labour-hours and increasing available production time.
From a quality point of view pigging the product or water residue after a flushout or CIP greatly reduced the risk of product dilution and operators having to guess the interface correctly, which could often lead to overrun.
From an environmental perspective HPS Pigging systems have a positive impact and reduced the Unilever’s carbon footprint.