Reducing waste in liquid processing

Why Manufacturers are Adopting Pigging Systems to Cut Waste

In industries which process liquids, waste is a major problem. After all, waste generation, in most cases, represents inefficiency, higher overheads, and reduced profits. More and more companies are recognising that waste prevention is the optimal approach to dealing with waste.

After all, the more manufacturers can cut waste within their operations, the more efficient and profitable they will be.

One of the easiest and most well-known methods of boosting profits and reducing waste in liquid processing is to use liquid product recovery (pigging) technology.

This blog article looks at how hygienic pigging systems reduce waste and improve profitability in liquid processing.

pigging systems reduce waste

Pigging Used in a Wide Variety of Applications

From food and beverages to paint and household liquids, pigging systems are in wide use in liquid processing. Particularly in hygienic and sanitary environments.

Generally, almost any liquid or wet product that can be pumped can be pigged! This includes products with both low and high viscosities.

So, this includes everything from marmite, peanut butter, spirits, and fruit juice to moisturiser, washing up liquid, tooth paste and sanitizer. As well as paints, pet food, lubricants, solvents, adhesives plus many more.

So, how exactly do pigging systems reduce waste?

Reducing Waste in Liquid Processing

In the process industries, whenever a liquid is transferred through a process pipeline, there’s nearly always product residue left in the pipeline that needs removing. And, the higher the viscosity of a liquid, the thicker it is and the more residue there is.

Pigging systems are widely adopted by companies that process liquids. Pigging technology recovers this product residue from the pipeline. In this way, pigging systems increase yields and reduce the amount of waste produced.

Without a pigging system, the product residue remaining in the pipeline would be discarded as waste as part of CIP, flushing and the cleaning process. Not only is this bad for the environment, but often equates to high disposal costs which can hinder the bottom line.

What Happens During the Pigging Process?

Here’s a detailed description of what pigging is and how it works. But to put it briefly, pigging systems use a specialist projectile (the ‘pig’) to recover product from the pipe.

Pigs come in different shapes, sizes, materials, and design (here’s an article on choosing the best pipeline pig). HPS’s pig is a unique cylindrical style shape which maintains full body contact with the pipeline wall.

Because the pig fits compactly to the pipeline, it ensures very little liquid can get past it and enables it to reclaim the liquid product remaining in the pipeline.

So, instead of sending perfectly usable product to waste, the pig, powered by compressed air, CO2, nitrogen, water, or even the next product being pumped, recovers the product and safely transfers it to its destination tank or onto the next stage of the process. The whole procedure is usually automatic.

HPS pigs are unmatched in performance, quality, durability, and efficiency. In nearly all cases, they recover up to 99.5% of product from full pipelines.

Reducing waste in liquid processing

Savings from HPS Pigging Systems are Major

By recovering product from pipelines and dramatically reducing waste and disposal expenses, pigging systems offer significant savings.

In many processing plants, there are lots of product transfer pipelines which are left full of product residue at the end of transfer batches. In this way, there’s lots of product for the pig to recover, which increases yield and reduces waste significantly.

As an example, an Australian winery has reduced liquid waste by 1,500 litres per bottling run. This equates to around 500,000 litres per year.

In addition, HPS provided pigging systems to a household liquid manufacturer, who saves around 160 gallons of dishwater fluid per batch run. Without a pigging process, this would be sent to waste.

Similarly, HPS installed automatic pigging systems for a soft drinks manufacturer. The pigging systems are increasing yields massively which equates to 48,000 extra cans per week. If the company didn’t have a pigging system, the product would otherwise be wasted or become effluent.

Cutting Costs by Reducing Waste

By generating less waste through pigging, companies spend less money on energy as well as waste disposal and removal services.

The high recovery rates of the HPS pig can eliminate the need to water flush completely. Even if a water flush and CIP are still required for cleaning and changeovers, their length and intensity (and the amount of water used) are considerably less due to the pigging process.

In this way, HPS pigging systems lower water usage. This, in turn, decreases the amount of wastewater and reduces disposal costs. Here’s an article which looks at how pigging systems reduce wastewater treatment and disposal costs.

HPS liquid product recovery pigging system

Other Advantages of Pigging Systems

As well as increasing yields, cutting waste, reducing water usage, and improving profitability, pigging delivers a wide range of additional benefits to companies that process liquids.

This includes improved efficiency, better productivity, faster changeover times, increased capacity, lower labour costs, reduce cross-contamination risks, less downtime, prevention of aeration, foaming and dissolved oxygen, and improved environmental sustainability.

In this way, pigging systems deliver a high return on investment with fast payback. Most pigging systems pay for themselves in just a few months. And after then, it’s all profit. Generally, the more valuable the product, the quicker the return on investment will be.

Find Out More

If you have any questions about process pigging for hygienic or sanitary applications, or if you’re looking to reduce waste and improve profitability through highly effective product recovery and transfer solutions, please get in touch with HPS – the process system experts. We’ll be more than happy to help you!

Alternatively, if you’re in the research stage of pigging, then make sure you check out our pigging system resources page. It has everything from industry guides, pipeline pigging videos to FAQs and a savings calculator.

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