Surging Demand for Hand Sanitisers Throughout the World
Alcohol-based sanitizers are disinfectants used for cleaning household items, objects, as well as human hands and so on. They’re extremely effective in combatting harmful microorganisms including bacteria and are based on toxic chemicals such as iodine, chlorine, phenol, and quaternary ammonium compounds.
Unsurprisingly, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for hand sanitizers and hygiene products increased massively. Using hand-sanitizer in particular has become part of the ‘new normal’ and demand for it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
According to a report by Global Market Insights, the market is expected to surpass US $3.6 billion by 2026. The US represents the largest market for hand sanitizers in the world.
Prominent players in the hand sanitizer market include Unilever, Henkel, Reckitt Benckiser, Proctor and Gamble, Gojo Industry plus many more. Most of these companies are HPS customers.
This blog article looks at the global hand sanitizer market and how manufacturers are increasing their production capacity by utilising liquid product recovery (“pigging“) technology.
COVID-19 DRIVING DEMAND FOR HAND SANITIZER
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has played a key role in driving the dramatic expansion in demand of hand sanitizers and other similar cleaning products throughout the world.
COVID-19, being a respiratory infection, primarily spreads from person-to-person through direct contact with an infected individual or indirect contact with contaminated surfaces in the immediate environment.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, good hygiene and cleaning practices are fundamental. As a result, the demand for sanitizers has increased globally post the COVID-19 outbreak. This is because sanitizers (with at least 60 per cent alcohol content) are extremely effective against coronavirus COVID-19.
At one stage of the pandemic, the demand for hand sanitizers grew by a tremendous 1400%, as consumers raced to stock up as the COVID-19 outbreak spread. As a result, manufacturers struggled to keep up with the demand and get the essential raw materials needed to make the products.
Cleaning Product Manufacturers Increasing Production Capacity
Due to the soaring demand, cleaning product manufacturers have ramped up their production capacity to meet the ever-increasing demand for hand sanitizers. Likewise, some companies have added hand sanitizer into their product portfolio and entered new markets.
For example, Bell International Laboratories, a vertically integrated cosmetics manufacturer, recently expanded their production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Before the pandemic, the company produced roughly four million hand sanitizers a year. This was a sizeable business for Bell. However, during the midst of the pandemic, all production capabilities shifted to producing hand sanitizer. In April alone, the company produced an astonishing 22 million units.
Bell International Laboratories were by no means alone. For example, Bacardi switched production from rum to hand sanitizer amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Likewise, Radico Khaitan, owner of Rampur Indian single malt whisky and Jaisalmer gin, also began producing sanitizer on a permanent basis during the pandemic to support ongoing global health care.
Increasing Production Capacity Through Pigging Solutions
The expansion of production capacities to meet the increasing demand for hand sanitizers is a major trend that looks here to stay.
There are many ways that manufacturers can expand their manufacturing capacity. We previously wrote an article which looked at some of the strategies which can help manufacturers increase production capacity to meet increasing demand.
One of these strategies is by using HPS hygienic (sanitary) pigging solutions. Pigging technology recovers residual product from pipelines at the end of a batch run or changeover. It’s an extremely easy and cost-effective to increase capacity and enhance the flexibility of operations.
During the pandemic, HPS have received enquiries from many companies looking to incorporate pigging into their processes to increase capacity as well as reduce waste and improve the efficiency of their operations. This includes pigging for new production facilities, as well as for existing pipelines.
Pigging Technology for Household, Homecare, and Cleaning Products
Pigging technology is used by companies that process liquids. This includes manufacturers of household, homecare, and cleaning products, as well as a number of other industries ranging from food and beverage production to paint and coatings. The benefits of pigging for companies that process liquids are significant.
During the pigging of a pipeline, a specialist projectile, the hygienic (sanitary) pig, is propelled through the pipeline or tubing by either compressed air, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, or the next product being processed. As the pig is forced through the pipeline, it recovers and removes the residual liquid. The reclaimed liquid, which is perfectly usable, is then forced to the destination filler or tank. Here’s a video showing a pigging system in operation.
As well as the pig, key components of a pigging system include specialist valves, pigging control software, pig launchers and receivers, pig housing, supports and fittings, pig detectors, pipework plus more.
How Pigging Systems Increase Production Capacity and Flexibility
The recovery rates of HPS pigging systems are major. In most cases, they recover up to 99.5% of product from full pipelines. In fact, this figure can sometimes be even more, depending on the product being pigged.
Because HPS pigging systems have such a high recovery efficiency, they often enable the same line to be used for a wide range of products without resulting in cross-contamination issues.
Therefore, using HPS technology dedicated lines can be replaced with a lower number of shared lines. This increases the capacity and flexibility of operations as well as reducing the costs of new installations.
How Pigging Enhances the Cleaning Process
Without a pigging process, to prevent cross-contamination at the end of a batch, the transfer pipelines require labour-intensive and time-consuming cleaning before the next batch can proceed. This often results in significant lost production time, non-productive labour as well as generating large amounts of liquid waste and expensive handling and disposal costs.
By incorporating a pigging solution, manufacturers can increase production and produce more products with the same amount of resources. Pigging also reduces the time and labour required to clean transfer pipelines. In some cases, pigging can eliminate the need for flushing altogether. In this way, pigging can make processing operations much quicker.
In addition, because pigging recovers product, instead of sending it to waste, it reduces the total amount of liquid waste requiring costly disposal and treatment. Pigging systems also reduce waste by ensuring batch specification and colour remain segregated. In turn, this prevents the risks of cross-contamination.
Pigging Delivers High Return on Investment
Pigging offers an extensive range of benefits to companies that process liquids.
Pigging systems also increase productivity, boost efficiency, increase yields, lower energy use, reduce water consumption, limit downtime plus much more. In this way, pigging systems deliver significant savings and offer a remarkable return on investment. A quality, high-performance solution will often pay for itself in just a few months. For an estimate of how much a pigging system could save you, please try the HPS pigging systems savings calculator.
It’s quite clear why an increasing number of homecare and household manufacturers are incorporating pigging, and HPS technology in particular, into their operations.
Find Out More
The benefits of product recovery systems are extensive for manufacturers of household, homecare and cleaning products.
So, if you are looking to cut waste, speed up processing and increase the capacity and flexibility of your operations through pigging and liquid product recovery solutions, then please get in touch with HPS, the product recovery specialists.