Pigging Systems in Wide Use Throughout the World
Many processing industries (including sanitary or hygienic applications) have adopted liquid product recovery (‘pigging’) technology into their production processes.
If you have just stumbled across this page and are unsure what pigging is, we’ll quickly explain. It’s an industrial process which recovers residual liquids from the inside of process pipelines, rather than wasting it. If you require a more in-depth explanation of pigging. Here’s an overview of pigging: what it is, why it’s used, the pigging process and how it works.
Processing Industries Reaping the Benefits of Pigging Technology
Not only does pigging recover product, which increases yields and cuts waste. But pigging systems also reduce the use of cleaning fluids, minimise water usage, lower contamination risks, boost efficiency and speed up changeovers. In this way, pigging saves money, improves the bottom line and increases profits.
And because pigging reduces waste and saves resources, energy, and product, it has a positive impact on the environment.
Although most industries can reap the benefits of pigging technology, there are some industries with greater potential. From food, beverages, pet food, and cosmetics, to household goods, paints, cosmetics and chocolate manufacture, this blog article looks at which industry sector gains the most from pigging systems.
The Food and Beverage Industry
The food and beverage sector is a highly competitive and challenging industry. The industry must contend with pressure on prices and margins spiralling downwards. Food and beverage manufacturing operations must also maintain some of the highest hygiene standards. Rising commodity prices, concerns over safety, adjustments in consumer demand and environmental concerns are also putting pressure on manufacturers.
To combat these challenges, food, and beverage manufacturers are realising the cost-saving potential of recovering product from their pipelines by pigging, rather than discarding it. Along with the direct product savings, waste disposal costs decrease as there’s less product being sent to waste.
And because HPS pigging systems recover practically all of the product from the pipeline, less water and detergents are required for cleaning. In addition, energy consumption due to cleaning, along with wastewater treatment costs, will also be subsequently reduced. In this way, pigging is considered a serious way of lowering production costs, increasing profits and improving production efficiency.
Food and beverage manufacturers will also gain from the flexibility provided by pigging systems. Manufacturers process a wide range of products, and pigging enables different products to be transferred in the same line with minimal downtime and without cross-contamination.
The Chocolate and Confectionery Industry
From reducing waste and recovering product to speeding up changeovers and improving flexibility, chocolate and confectionery manufacturers have a lot to gain from implementing a pigging system.
Like the food and beverage industry, chocolate manufacturers have been hit by rising raw material costs such as cocoa and sugar. That’s why it’s important for manufacturers to recover as much product as possible, rather than letting it go to waste. At the same time, it’s important for manufacturers to lower their costs where they can to improve profitability.
Pigging can help chocolate and confectionery manufacturers meet their waste reduction targets and reduce their costs by recovering product, reducing disposal costs, lowering cleaning and labour costs, improving efficiency and generally improving their manufacturing operations.
Chocolate and confectionery manufacturers can also benefit from being able to clear the pipe as frequently as they like with little to no effort. Many chocolate products solidify if they are left stationary within a pipeline. Because pigging clears the line and sends all the product to storage, this helps prevent chocolate products settling, solidifying and then being wasted. Here’s a case study which demonstrates how pigging systems benefit chocolate production.
The Paints and Coatings Industry
Paints and coatings manufacturers can achieve significant gains from the lower contamination risks and waste reduction benefits provided by pigging technology. Because HPS pigs recover up to 99.5% of product from paints and coatings pipelines, this means minimal waste generation and lower costs for safe disposal and waste treatment. It also means contamination risks are greatly reduced.
The disposal of solvent flushing chemicals is a key concern for paints and coatings manufacturers. Not only are they expensive to store, handle and dispose of but they have a huge environmental impact. Therefore, manufacturers will benefit from the reduced solvent usage associated with pigging.
Manufacturers can also benefit from the flexibility and increased capacity provided by pigging systems. Pigging technology enables different types of paint to be transferred, whether they are compatible or not, in the same line. This is extremely advantageous to paints and coatings companies that process a vast portfolio of products. If there is minimal change in colour, it is often possible to follow on immediately with the next product after pigging. This eliminates the need for flushing altogether. Even if the change in colour is significant, there is still no requirement for extensive line flushing.
The Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry
Raw material prices and energy costs are constantly fluctuating in the cosmetics and personal care industry, which is having an impact on the margins of manufacturers.
Ingredients used in luxury cosmetics products especially such as hyaluronic acid serums to retinol creams can be expensive to manufacture. That’s why manufacturers want to recover as much product as possible and avoid throwing high-valued ingredients down the drain. In this way, cosmetics and personal care manufacturers can seriously benefit from the high product recovery rates and waste reduction provided by pigging solutions from HPS.
Without a pigging system, manufacturers would prepare the pipeline for the next batch by using large amounts of water as well as cleaning chemicals to clear the pipeline. Not only does this result in valuable product being flushed away, but it uses large amounts of water, cleaning chemicals, energy, labour and resources. It’s important to note that there are a wide range of chemicals used in cosmetics and personal care products. These products create hazardous waste, so they need to be treated responsibly. Safe disposal and waste treatment can be extremely costly for cosmetics and personal care manufacturers.
Because pigging recovers so much product from the pipelines, not only does this reduce waste but it makes the cleaning process much easier. So, manufacturers can gain from the quicker changeovers, reduced flushing, fewer cleaning chemicals and less time, energy and resources provided by pigging systems.
The Pet Food Industry
As well as the increased product yield provided by HPS pigging solutions, pet food manufacturers can also benefit from increased capacity, improved production efficiency and faster changeovers.
Many pet food manufacturers process hundreds of different formulations of pet food, which can reduce the overall capacity of a plant. That’s because many pet food formulas are typically quite viscous, difficult to pump and remove from the pipelines. So, flushes and washouts are used to remove the residual product from the pipeline. Not only is this time-consuming and labour-intensive, but it wastes large amounts of product.
With a pigging process, the residual product in the pipeline is saved and is sent on through processing. And because the line has been pigged, this makes cleaning quicker and easier so improves efficiency while saving money.
Product to product pushes are commonplace in many pet food manufacturing plants. So, manufacturers can also gain from the clear product separation provided by HPS pigging systems. Because the pig acts as a barrier between two products, this minimises mixing and dilution, which improves product quality.
The Homecare and Household Goods Industry
The homecare and household goods industry is another processing industry where multi-product pipelines and frequent changeovers are commonplace. Therefore, pigging systems can deliver significant gains to manufacturers.
During each batch changeover, residual product is left in the pipelines. However, with a pigging system, it’s possible to clear out the product residue from the line with the pig. There is also no requirement for extensive line flushing. So, not only does pigging significantly speed up changeover times but it keeps plant downtime to a minimum.
Homecare and household goods manufacturers can also benefit from the improved environmental sustainability provided by pigging systems. Here’s a look at how pigging systems have a positive impact on the environment.
Which Industry Sector Gains the Most?
It’s clear there are undoubtedly tremendous benefits to almost all processing industry sectors. So, there’s no set answer to which industry sector gains the most.
In general, the longer the pipework, the larger the diameter and the more product variations and capacity you have, the more product there is to recover and waste to reduce. Larger multiproduct and batch operation processing plants tend to have more to gain from pigging systems.
However, smaller processing plants can also reap the benefits of pigging. Especially if they have a high-value product, fierce competition, have a high cleaning requirement or are incurring high costs on disposal and waste treatment.
Bring the Benefits of Pigging to Your Business
Our best practice pigging technology helps companies in a wide variety of industries improve their productivity, profits, and environmental sustainability through pipeline pigging. So, if you process food, beverage, chocolate, confectionery, pet food, paints, coatings, homecare or just about any other liquid or wet product, why not contact HPS – we’ll be happy to help.