Ensuring Product Quality in Paint and Coatings Production
The goal of every paint and coatings manufacturer is to produce and deliver high-quality paint and coatings products to their customers.
To ensure product quality, water-based formulations need to remain microbiologically stable until they are used, and in some cases, for some time after their use. However, due to their high-water content, water-based paints are more susceptible to microbial contamination and spoilage.
Due to stringent regulatory requirements, paint and coatings manufacturers can no longer rely on biocides to assist with the delivery and maintenance of product qualities so that they meet customer expectations. Therefore, many manufacturers are moving towards the hygiene standards applicable in the food and beverage industry.
The Shift Towards Hygienic Paint and Coatings Production
Stringent plant hygiene has become critical for many paint and coatings manufacturers.
By ensuring every aspect of the manufacturing process is as hygienic as possible, this lowers the final cost of the product as well as ensuring that a high-quality product is manufactured and delivered.
One of the technologies being widely adopted by paint and coatings manufacturers is hygienic product recovery (pigging) technology.
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This blog article looks at the paint and coatings industry and the transition towards hygienic production. It also looks at how industrial process pipeline pigging systems are helping paint and coatings manufacturers recover and remove paint residue in the pipelines and reduce the risks of contamination and spoilage.
The Transition from Solvent to Water-Based Paint and Coatings
Although water-based paint and coatings are now widely used in the paint and coatings industry, this wasn’t always the case.
In recent years, paint and coatings manufacturers have transitioned from solvent to water-based paint formulations.
There are several reasons for this shift in preference. Because of their impact on air quality, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions associated with solvent-based coatings have become a major focus of tightening regulatory requirements. Water-based coatings offer a solution for paint and coatings manufacturers. That’s because they contain less VOC’s than their solvent based counterparts. This makes them a more sustainable, environmentally friendly option for paint and coatings manufacturers.
Another reason for the shift towards water-based paints is due to advances in paint technology. These mean that water-based formulations are in many ways equal, or superior to, solvent-based paints. Water-based paints are also easier to clean up and require less effort to remove, which make them an ideal choice for home projects.
Microbial Contamination and Spoilage of Water-Based Paints and Coatings
As mentioned previously, although water-based paints are less toxic and more environmentally friendly than solvent-based formulations, they are susceptible to microbial contamination.
Microbial susceptibility can cause a variety of problems including product degradation, decreased shelf life and reduced product performance. What’s worse, it may even cause hygiene and human health issues. Endangering health could result in a wide range of possible consequences, including product recall, customer complaints, legal recourse, reduced perception of product quality, production downtime and more.
With the use of chemical preservatives (biocides) now severely restricted, hygienic production has become the answer for many paint and coatings manufacturers.
Manufacturing Paints in a Hygienic Environment
To ensure paint and coatings manufacturing plants are as hygienic as possible, it requires manufacturers to identify processes, procedures, practices, processing equipment, and raw materials in the production plant that can contribute to microbial contamination and spoilage.
By addressing these areas, paint and coatings manufacturers can identify potential problems which can be addressed before they reach the customer.
Many paint and coatings production plants now have extensive plant hygiene programmes in place. By ensuring plant sanitation and cleaning is conducted properly, this not only ensures contamination risks are limited and eliminates microbial-induced issues, but it also results is a safe and quality product, increased production uptime and, potentially, more sales.
The areas requiring particular attention include processing equipment and piping systems, mixing, milling and reaction vessels, raw material storage and handling systems, source water and source water-handling systems and so on.
Cleaning Paint and Coatings Internal Transfer Pipelines by Pigging
One of the most effective ways to clean internal transfer pipelines while the piping system remains intact is by using hygienic pigging technology.
Hygienic pigging systems use a specialist projectile (the ‘pig’) to recover and remove the product residue remaining in the pipeline at the end of the transfer process. The hygienic (sanitary) pig has a diameter slightly larger than the pipeline that it is pigging. So, this enables the pig to recover nearly all the product remaining in the pipeline.
HPS pigs have been specially designed and engineered for hygienic and sanitary applications. They are made from FDA approved materials and feature a one-piece full contact design which enables them to recover up to 99.5% of product residue from full pipelines. Being widely used in the food and beverage industries makes them ideal for use in hygienic paint and coatings environments, and paint manufacturers have been quick on the uptake to use HPS pigs and pigging systems.
In addition, HPS pigs contain a special, silicone-based magnetised core (instead of solid magnets). In this way, HPS pigs seriously enhance safety and reduce contamination risks.
Preventing the Build-Up of Paint Residue in the Pipeline
Because the HPS pig recovers practically all the product from the pipe, it ensures a hygienic and dry environment as well as helping to prevent the build-up of paint residue on the internal wall of the pipeline.
In this way, pigging inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and minimises the risks of cross-contamination. In addition, by removing the product residue from the pipe, this means better product quality, more consistent product output, lower rework and better control over raw material and finished product inventory.
Pigging also enables the same pipeline to be used for multiple products, with minimal mixing between batches and different products. Although some additional cleaning may be required after pigging depending on individual company standards, this requirement will be significantly reduced. So, cleaning will be quicker, easier and require less water and cleaning chemicals.
Extensive Range of Benefits of Pigging for Paint and Coatings
As well as recovering massive amounts of product, reducing cross-contamination risks, improving product quality, and speeding up the cleaning process, pigging systems offer a wide range of benefits for paint and coatings manufacturers.
This includes reduced waste processing, higher yields, water reduction, improved production capacity, faster changeovers, increased efficiency, boosted productivity and so on.
Designed around the precise requirements of each customer, HPS hygienic pigging systems also deliver a high return on investment. In most cases, payback from a pigging solution is between 6 and 12 months. And after that, it’s all profit.
Find Out More
From PPG, Akzo Nobel and Kelly-Moore Paints, to Ronseal, Benjamin Moore, and Sherwin-Williams, HPS hygienic pigging and product recovery solutions are trusted throughout the world.
Our proven, high-performance pigging system paint solutions are delivering a wide range of benefits such as reduced cross-contamination risks, decreased waste processing, faster processing, increased yields, the recovery of significant amounts of useable product plus much more.
If you process paint and coatings and are looking to transform your processes by pigging, then please contact our process system experts today.
Also, if you process paints or chemicals, here are some blog articles that you may be of interest to you:
A Glossy Future for Paints and Coatings Manufacturers
The Paints and Coatings Industry and Rising Raw Material Costs
Contamination and Cross-Contamination in Paint Manufacture