pet food processors benefiting from pigging

Pet Food is in Demand

The global pet food market is thriving, owing to the increase in pet ownership across the globe. It’s projected to reach USD 139.29 billion by 2030. That’s a CAGR of 4.4%, according to a recent report by Grand View Research Inc.

This increasing demand has put huge pressure on pet food manufacturers to improve efficiency, increase throughput and production capacity.

Pet Food Processing Has Evolved in Recent Years

Although pet food is big business, it’s not without its challenges.

In recent years, pet food processing and production has had to evolve. Pet owners these days have higher expectations and demand the highest possible standards of nutritional quality from the food they feed their beloved pets.

What’s more, they expect pet food products that address the health issues currently influencing human food production.

pet food industry is booming

Pandemic Impact on the Pet Food Industry

Like most industries, pet food manufacturers have also had to contend with the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with price inflation, higher energy costs, labour shortages and disrupted supply chains.

In addition, the demand for sustainable manufacturing along with pet food packaging has also created obstacles for pet food manufacturers.

However, it’s not all bad news for pet food manufacturers, as there’s a solution. Many pet food manufacturers are turning to innovative and agile technologies to meet customer demand and ensure faster, more efficient, and sustainable processing and production.

How HPS Pigging Systems Can Help

A technology that is increasingly being adopted to improve performance by pet food manufacturing companies is liquid product recovery (“pigging”).

From meat emulsion and slurry, to pet treats, and snacks, pigging systems for pet food recover residual liquid or wet product from pipelines. This product would otherwise go to waste.

Pigging systems deliver a wide range of benefits to pet food processing and production. They also provide a high return on investment (ROI) with fast payback. That’s why pigging systems are in high demand by pet food processors and manufacturers.

pigging systems for pet food manufacture

A Brief Overview of Pigging

HPS custom pigging systems are designed around the precise needs and requirements of each customer.

The typical pigging system consists of a variety of key components, including the pig, pig detection, receive and launch station, pig housing, various valves, pigging automation, and control software plus more.

The most important component of any pigging system is the pipeline pig. The HPS magnetised silicone pig is propelled through the pipe usually with compressed air, carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen, clean water or even the next product.

Importantly, instead of flushing perfectly usable product to waste, pigging reclaims it (typically up to 99.5% of product from full pipelines). This means you can continue to process it, or pack, stock or sell it.

So, how exactly can pigging systems improve a pet food manufacturing plant?

Increasing Yields and Reducing Waste

Many wet pet food formulations have a thicker consistency. Not only are they typically pumped at high pressures, but they can also be notably difficult to remove from the interior of pipelines.

Because of the thick and sticky consistency of pet food, the cleaning process can be extremely time-consuming, wasteful, inefficient, and require extensive amounts of water and cleaning chemicals to remove product residue remaining in the pipe. In many cases, this still isn’t enough to remove all traces of residue from the pipe, which can lead to contamination and the spread of bacteria.

And that’s where product recovery and pigging technology can deliver significant gains. pigging recovers nearly all residual wet product remaining in the pipe at the end of each batch run. So, the product yield increases resulting from pigging are significant.

HPS pigging systems also speed up processing, improve uptime, lower water, and chemical usage, and reduce product waste.

pigging systems for pet food manufacturers

Process Optimisation and Efficiency Gains from Pigging

Pet food manufacturers that pump liquids or wet products have a lot to gain from pigging in regard to process optimisation and efficiency.

And the more different formulations they have, the greater volume of product they pump, and the further they pump it, the greater the gains.

Using product recovery systems to cut waste during changeovers and cleaning, recover product, decrease cross-contamination risks while at the same time making changeovers as fast as possible is an easy win for pet food manufacturers. Importantly, it offers huge potential for process optimisation. It delivers this through higher product yields, improved capacity, while boosting operational efficiency, and lowering costs.

Reducing Contamination and Cross-Contamination Risks

If you’ve followed the news in the past year, then you are probably familiar with the various pet food recalls for numerous different brands. These recalls are for various reasons, but the primary reason is nearly always bacterial contamination.

Because HPS pigging systems recover nearly all the residue product remaining in the pipe, the chances of contamination and cross-contamination are greatly reduced.

Essentially, because the HPS pig reclaims so much product, it prevents product from building up. In addition, with a pigging process, manufacturers can clear the pipe as frequently as they like, while ensuring a hygienic and dry environment. In this way, product recovery systems inhibit the growth of bacteria and result in consistently higher product quality.

What’s more, due to the high recovery rates of HPS pigging systems, cross-contamination risks are greatly reduced and there’s less need for long flush outs or clean-in-place (CIP). In many cases, the same processing lines and equipment can be used for multiple pet food formulations with minimal mixing and dilution between products.

pet food processing and pigging

Meeting Customer Demand with Increased Capacity

From holistic and human-grade pet food formulations and treats to sustainably produced, and premium pet food, consumer trends in the pet food aisle are constantly changing. But what has never changed, and has only increased, is the demand for a wider range of pet foods and treats.

To stay on top of these trends and meet customer demands, many manufacturers are ramping up their production, expanding their capabilities, and improving their plant capacity, with new facilities, production lines and investments.

However, this can be extremely costly. In addition, although adding new production lines may work in the short term, a pet food processing plant can only accommodate so much equipment.

Pigging systems are an effective way to meet increased demand while keeping the cost of new installations to a minimum. Because pigging reclaims nearly all product from pipes, the same processing line can be used for multiple products. This keeps the number of dedicated lines to a minimum.

So, dedicated production lines can be replaced with a lower number of shared lines. Not only does this increase plant capacity and boost efficiency but it enables manufacturers to meet customer demand for greater product variety.

Improving the Sustainability of Pet Food Processing operations

Customers are increasingly demanding sustainably produced food products. And the food for their beloved pets is no exception.

Pigging systems are an effective way to improve the environmental sustainability of a pet food processing plant.

This is due to the significant reductions in product waste, water, cleaning chemicals and energy usage along with reduced transportation requirement associated with a pigging process.

That’s why implementing a pigging system is one of the most effective actions a pet food manufacturer can take to reduce their environmental impact of their business, and to lower their costs.

HPS pigging demo room equipment

Find Out More

A pigging system can seriously improve your pet food manufacturing plant through increased yields, less waste, faster changeovers, improve efficiency, increased capacity plus much more.

To bring the benefits of pigging to your pet food plant, then please get in touch with the experts today:

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