Got a Question about Pigging for Food Applications?
In the dynamic world of food processing, efficiency, sustainability, and product recovery are key concerns for manufacturers.
Liquid product recovery (pigging) systems offer an innovative solution to these challenges, transforming the way liquids are transferred within pipelines.
Yet, despite their widespread adoption, questions often arise about their application, benefits, and implementation.
In this article, we delve into pigging systems for food by addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. So, whether you’re considering implementing pigging technology into your operations or simply seeking a deeper understanding of its capabilities, join us as we uncover the answers to these common inquiries.
For more general pigging enquiries, be sure to check out our pigging system FAQs page.
What is a pigging system and how does it work in the context of food processing?
Pigging systems also referred to as liquid product recovery technology are used in food applications to recover residual product from pipelines that would otherwise be wasted.
The technology consists of a specialist projectile (called the ‘pig’) with a diameter slightly larger than the pipeline being pigged.
As the pig travels through the pipe (usually propelled by water, other liquid, compressed air, or gas, or even the next product to be processed), it recovers the product remaining in the pipe. The reclaimed product is then forced to the destination filler or tank to continue processing along with the rest of the product.
Here’s even more information on what pigging is and how it works.
Are pigging systems suitable for all types of food products, including liquids, and viscous materials?
Yes, HPS pigging systems are suitable for all types of liquid and ‘wet’ food products. We have a saying at HPS: ‘If you can pump it, we can pig it!’
One of the key advantages of our pigging technology is that it is extremely versatile and tailored to accommodate different product viscosities, textures, and consistencies.
Whether it’s liquids such as syrups or sauces, viscous products like creams, honey, and treacle or products such as soups, purees, nut butter, and meat products, pigging systems can effectively reclaim these products from process pipelines. However, the specific design and configuration of the pigging system will need to be tailored to suit the exact product being pigged.
What are the primary benefits of implementing a pigging system in food production facilities?
The benefits of pigging systems for food production facilities are extensive. One of the key reasons food manufacturers integrate pigging into their processing plants is to recover residual product from pipelines. This not only improves yields but also significantly reduces waste.
By reclaiming saleable product from pipelines, pigging also offers numerous other advantages such as enhanced productivity, reduced cleaning chemical requirements, decreased waste handling and disposal costs and higher profits.
Another key benefit of pigging for food manufacturers is that it speeds up changeovers, reduces downtime, and increases plant uptime, contributing to enhanced operational efficiency. It also boosts operational capacity and flexibility, providing food manufacturers with greater adaptability to meet evolving production demands.
Food manufacturers will also benefit from improved product quality and integrity. This is due to HPS pigging systems minimizing product cross-contamination between batches, as well as reducing the risks of bacterial contamination.
And because pigging saves so much waste, water, and resources, it contributes to more sustainable production processes, aligning with environmental and sustainability goals.
What are the key factors to consider when choosing a pigging system for a food production facility?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a pigging system for a food manufacturing facility. Firstly, you’ll need to ensure suitability with the types of products and pipelines used, considering factors such as product viscosity and temperature.
As with any technological investment, you’ll need to evaluate the overall cost-effectiveness and pigging system return on investment (ROI). This includes initial investment costs, ongoing operational costs, and potential cost savings in terms of product recovery and waste reduction.
Calculate your expected Pigging System Savings
You’ll also need to investigate the type of pigging system as well as the efficiency and performance of the system. Consider whether it can effectively recover product, enhance efficiency, and address your liquid processing challenges.
It’s also extremely important to choose a pigging system specialist with extensive experience, expertise, and a track record in the field. Consider factors such as ease of maintenance, availability of spare parts, safety assurance, and customer support services.
Another key factor to consider is the pigging system’s capability to meet the stringent hygiene and sanitation vital for food processing.
Look out for systems with hygienic design features (such as a pig made from FDA-approved materials), as well as other key components that are easy to clean-in-place (CIP).
Are Pigging Systems Compatible with Food Safety Regulations?
Yes, HPS pigging systems are specially designed and engineered to comply with stringent food safety regulations.
They are typically constructed from materials that are safe for food contact and are easy to clean and sanitize. For example, the HPS pig is made of food grade materials, while HPS specialist valves can be customized with wash and drain ports, further enhancing sanitation capabilities and ensuring the highest levels of cleanliness in food processing and production.
They are designed to reduce the risk of contamination and maintain the integrity of the food product being processed. Additionally, pigging systems often incorporate features such as CIP capability to ensure thorough cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization, therefore preventing bacterial growth and accumulation.
Are there industry case studies or success stories that highlight the tangible benefits and outcomes of implementing pigging systems in food processing facilities?
HPS have successfully implemented pigging systems for a diverse range of food manufacturers and processers, including Haribo, Kraft, Nestle, Valeo Foods, Campbell’s and CP Kelco.
For example, in a recent project with CP Kelco, the implementation of hygienic and sanitary pipeline product recovery has resulted in significant tangible benefits including increased yields, less waste, and improved operational efficiency. If the company weren’t pigging, they would be losing roughly 1200 gallons of usable product each cycle.
Similarly, St Ivel, a dairy manufacturer, are also reaping the benefits of HPS pigging technology. Not only do the systems recover approximately 200 kg of product on each run, but they also speed up changeovers while ensuring downtime for cleaning is kept to an absolute minimum.
These pigging case studies for food applications showcase the real-world outcomes and substantial advantages achieved through the adoption of pigging technology.
How does the installation and integration of a pigging system impact existing food processing equipment and infrastructure?
The installation and integration of a pigging system typically have minimal impact on existing food processing equipment and infrastructure. HPS pigging systems are designed to be easily retrofitted into existing lines without the need for extensive modifications and disruption to operations.
We design every solution we provide around the exact needs and requirements of each customer. HPS systems are adaptable and can be customised to fit specific facility layouts and production processes. Our expert team will discuss this with you in the initial stages of your pigging project.
Overall, the implementation of a pigging system is a seamless process that enhances efficiency, productivity, profits, and sustainability while decreasing downtime and disruption to operations.
How do pigging systems assist in reducing the need for flushing and cleaning chemicals in food processing operations, and what impact does this have on overall environmental footprint?
In food applications, large amounts of water, and cleaning chemicals are often used for cleaning and sanitisation to prepare the pipeline for the next product. This process is crucial for maintaining hygiene standards and preventing cross-contamination. However, it often leads to significant resource usage and downtime.
In most cases, the quantities of water and chemicals that are used in flushing the line are often unmeasured, leading to inefficiencies and potential wastage.
Because the HPS pig reclaims the majority of product residues from the pipe, this significantly reduces the need for extensive flushing in food processing and production.
With less product residue in the pipe, food manufacturers can also use smaller volumes of cleaning chemicals during flushing operations. This not only conserves resources but also decreases the amount of wastewater generated during cleaning processes.
Additionally, it streamlines the cleaning process, resulting in quicker, more efficient cycles, further reducing the need for extensive flushing and cleaning chemicals.
So, not only does pigging help industrial process pipeline cleaning, but it has a positive impact on overall environmental footprint, as less water and chemicals are discharged into the environment.
What role do pigging systems play in preventing cross-contamination between different food products processed on the same equipment?
Along with CIP, pigging systems play a crucial role in preventing cross-contamination between different food products processed on the same line.
HPS pigging systems recover up to 99.5% of product residue from full pipelines. As a result, minimal product residue remains in the pipe, significantly reducing the risk of contamination in subsequent batches. Pigging also make the CIP process quicker and more efficient.
Pigging also prevents product build up within pipelines by actively removing residual product – build-up that could lead to bacterial growth and serious food safety hazards if left unchecked between changeovers.
Additionally, HPS designs hygienic pigging systems and components specifically to avoid being sources of contamination themselves. Food-grade materials, smooth finishes, and CIP capabilities help ensure HPS pigging technology is as sanitary as the rest of the process equipment.
In summary, the highly efficient cleaning, residue removal, and contamination-proof construction ensures consistent product integrity across batches, even when processing diverse food products on the same line. By managing crucial carryover and growth risks, pigging systems enable safe equipment changeovers and prevent cross-contamination.
I’m interested in implementing a pigging system in my food production plant. Can I see an HPS pigging system in operation?
Yes! We offer pigging system demonstrations at our UK head office in Beeston, Nottingham. For customers unable to visit our UK office, we also offer virtual demonstrations via Microsoft Teams.
If required, we can also take you to an existing installation. We’ve installed thousands of pigging systems across the globe, so locating a nearby system isn’t usually a problem. However, for competitive reasons, we showcase pigging systems from unrelated industries rather than those directly related to yours.
I have a project involving the implementation of a pigging system for a food-related application. Could you please provide me with a quotation for this?
Absolutely! We’ll just need some specific details about your requirements. Once you’ve filled out the necessary information, one of our knowledgeable experts will promptly get in touch with you to discuss the details further and provide you with a comprehensive quote tailored to your needs.
If you prefer, you can also reach out to us via email or phone, and our dedicated team will be more than happy to assist you with any questions or inquiries you may have.
any more questions?
If you have any more questions about implementing a pigging system for food, please get in touch.
Alternatively, if you process any or liquid and wet product and are interested in optimising your liquid processing efficiency, then please contact HPS.