HPS advanced innovative liquid product recovery technology

In the dynamic landscape of industrial processes, liquid product recovery (pigging) technology continues to evolve, offering innovative solutions to enhance efficiency, productivity, sustainability, and the bottom line.

Also known as ‘Advanced Liquid Product Recovery Technology’, pigging has proven to be a game-changer for various sectors, from food and beverages, to paint, coatings, personal care, lubricants and much more.

This article looks at the cutting-edge innovations of pigging in the process industries, exploring how these advancements are driving efficiency improvements, and enhancing operational performance.

Evolution of Process Pigging Technology

Over the years, pigging technology has undergone significant evolution, transforming from its origins as basic, manual pigging systems to fully automated, seamlessly integrated system known as Advanced Liquid Product Recovery Technology.

This evolution, led by industry leaders like HPS, has propelled pigging technology into the realm of cutting-edge innovation, optimising processes for maximum efficiency and performance.

Manual pigging systems, once prevalent in the industry, are now a thing of the past. In comparison to their fully automated counterparts, manual systems are hindered by labour intensive processes, heightened safety risks, and decreased productivity. Moreover, manual pigging systems are incompatible with the modern technologies and practices adopted by today’s liquid process industries.

As companies that process liquids embrace digital transformation and Industry 4.0 principles, the adoption of fully automated pigging systems becomes not just advantageous but essential.

Streamlined Operation for Maximum Product Recovery

Modern pigging systems operate through fully automated process control, propelling specialised projectiles, or ‘pigs,’ through pipelines during batch changeovers.

The pig has an interference fit with the pipeline, so reclaims nearly all the remaining product to its destination.

Without a pigging process, the product remaining in the pipeline would be flushed away during the cleaning and changeover process.

The pigging process is highly efficient, known for its rapid operation and exceptional product recovery rates. Advanced pigging systems consistently achieve remarkable recovery rates, often surpassing 99.5% of residual liquid product from full pipelines.

HPS advanced liquid product recovery pigging technology

Fully Automated Pigging Operation

Today’s pigging systems, notably those designed by HPS, are closed loop, fully automatic systems that operate independently without manual intervention.

As well as ensuring seamless operation and control, they adhere to best practises in safety, productivity, and reliability. Moreover, they uphold the highest standards of microbiological cleanliness, contributing to enhanced product quality and integrity.

Advanced automation pigging systems enable scheduled pigging operation, automatic return to the launch housing, real-time system health monitoring, and remote monitoring and control capabilities from centralised control rooms.

These systems not only streamline operations but also enhances safety by minimising the requirement for human intervention.

Extensive Safety Features

Safety is critical in pigging operations due to the high speed at which pigs travel along pipelines (here’s a video which shows how fast a pig travels through a pipeline or tube).

HPS advanced product recovery systems have extensive safety features designed to safeguard your staff, equipment, and product. For instance, our systems automatically decompress when the pig enters the launch station, without the need for mechanical or electronic control mechanisms. They also vent at appropriate stages of the pigging process.

Other key pigging system safety features include physical barriers, physical and electronic interlocks, and real-time, accurate pig detection. Importantly, the pipeline pig themselves are extremely safe.

Safe Pig Design

HPS high-tech pigging technology is engineered without solid metal magnets. The pipeline pig instead contains a magnetised flexible silicone core. This mitigates the risks associated with shattering, fragmentation, and potential product contamination.

The pig design ensures exceptionally safe operation. It’s also extremely flexible, with a cylindrical profile which ensures full contact with the inside of the pipe, even when travelling around bends.

Additionally, our pigs contain no fins, or complex shaping, further enhancing safety, reducing product bypass, and facilitating exceptional product recovery performance.

HPS pipeline pigs

Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics

Modern, fully automated pigging systems enable remote monitoring and diagnostics. This gives operators real-time insights into system performance, allowing them to monitor key parameters.

They also feature remote troubleshooting capabilities. Therefore, in the event of a system issue, HPS engineers can diagnose and troubleshoot problems remotely, without the need for onsite visits.

Through remote access to system controls and diagnostic tools, our product recovery experts can identify problems and implement actions quickly and efficiently. This capability maximises uptime, reduces service response time, and minimises production disruptions.

Data Analytics and Predictive Maintenance

The HPS Pig Health Software is another one of the key advancements enhancing the performance and efficiency of pigging systems.

Data analytics plays a key role in unlocking actionable insights from the extensive data generated by pigging operations. And that’s where the Pig Health Software comes in.

By leveraging predictive analytics techniques and maintenance alerts, the software provides operators with valuable information about how far the pig has travelled and its remaining lifespan.

This proactive approach to maintenance optimises pigging system performance and enhances scheduling. It also reduces downtime, ensures continuous operation, while maintaining the reliability of product recovery processes. Here’s more about keeping your pigging system up-to-date using HPS Pig Health Software.

Customisation and Flexibility

Advanced pigging systems are fully customised, tailored to the precise needs and requirements of each customer.

These systems can be adapted to various pipeline diameters, lengths, configurations, and product types, providing flexibility in implementation across various liquid processing applications.

Whether processing sauces, ready meals, pet food, soft drinks, toothpaste, gels, lubricants, or water-based paints, HPS pigging technology is tailored to meet diverse requirements.

In addition, the inherent flexible nature of these pigging systems enables manufacturers to use the same production line for multiple products with minimal downtime and maximum operational efficiency and productivity.

Advanced liquid product recovery systems HPS pigging experts

Integration with 4.0 Technologies

As process industries adopt digital transformation, advanced liquid product recovery is increasingly being integrated with Industry 4.0 technologies.

This integration involves leveraging data analytics, IoT sensors, and automation to further enhance efficiency, optimise resource utilisation, and drive continuous improvement in liquid transfer operations.

By utilising these cutting-edge technologies, companies can stay ahead and achieve optimal levels of productivity, efficiency, and performance in their manufacturing processes.

Wide Range of Benefits

There are significant advantages of implementing advanced pigging technology in industrial processes.

Because the technology reclaims so much product from the pipeline, it massively reduces waste, while increasing yields and capacity.

Likewise, the high recovery efficiency also equates to less energy, water, and clean in place (CIP) chemicals. It also streamlines the changeover process, making it faster, more efficient, and less resource intensive.

Overall, these benefits contribute to improved operational efficiency, cost savings, and improved profitability.

Importantly, they also greatly improve the sustainability of liquid processing operations, aligning with environmental and resource conservation goals.

Practical Examples of Advanced Liquid Product Recovery Technology

Numerous pigging system case studies and real-world examples showcase the tangible benefits and high return on investment (ROI) of advanced pigging solutions.

For example, a soft drinks manufacturer has saved the equivalent of around 48,000 cans of its product every week by incorporating pigging – this equates to a 4% increase in product yield. Likewise, a food manufacturer is recovering approximately 1200 gallons of product at each batch changeover.

A homecare product manufacturer is also reaping the benefits of pigging. The systems recover around 160 gallons of dishwasher fluid per batch. This equates to approximately $2735 store value of product each batch, and between $54700 and $60170 of product a week.

pigging automation

Misconceptions about Advanced Pigging

One obstacle to adopting pigging technology is the outdated perception held by some individuals that it’s a basic, manually operated technique.

While this may be accurate for older systems, it’s like comparing bulky, brick-sized mobile phones of the past to the sleek, multi-functional smart phones we carry today.

Pigging technology has evolved considerably in recent years, leveraging advanced technology and automation to deliver highly efficient, flexible, and sophisticated solutions.

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If you are interested in implementing an advanced liquid product recovery solution, then please contact HPS today!  

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