Key Trends Impacting Process Pigging, Liquid Product Recovery and Transfer
Another year has passed and its nearly time to welcome 2022. 2021 has certainly not been without its challenges for the process pigging industry. Like many other industries, these challenges have been largely due to the negative consequences associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the positive side however, 2021 saw even more companies that process liquids increase their yields, reduce waste, speed up changeovers and reduce cross-contamination risks through HPS pigging and liquid product recovery solutions.
So, what’s in store for the process pigging industry in 2022?
From increased automation to sustainable production, this blog article looks at some of the key trends that may impact the process pigging industry in 2022 and beyond.
Disruption Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The ongoing disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to continue to impact businesses and consumers throughout the world.
Disruptions to logistics networks and capacity constraints have been a huge problem in 2021, resulting in surges in freight costs and delivery times. And this is expected to linger going into 2022.
Many manufacturers were also faced with increasing costs for raw materials, packaging and other inputs.
Process Sector Differences
The pandemic has affected different process sectors in varying ways. For example, the lubricant oil industry had to contend with global base oil prices rising considerably due to the rebound in the crude oil market and tightening supplies. There’s more about this in our blog article – How Lubricant Oil Manufacturers Can Overcome Price Hikes and Increase Profits by Using Pigging Technology.
With the threat of the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant as well as optimism about global growth, it’s going to be a while before things return to pre-pandemic levels.
Increase in Pigging Technology Implementation
We received a lot of enquiries in 2021 from companies looking to significantly boost their bottom line and improve their profits by using hygienic and sanitary pipeline product recovery systems by HPS. Not surprisingly, we also had a marked increase in enquiries from lubricant oil manufacturers looking to safely eliminate cross-contamination and ensure batch segregation by using HPS pigging solutions. And we expect this to continue into 2022.
As manufacturers of food, beverages, cosmetics, paint and so on struggle to find labour, automation is coming to the forefront as a solution to help address this challenge.
If they haven’t already, manufacturers will look to automate as many aspects of their production process as possible. The adoption of automation will help manufacturers streamline essential processes such as cleaning, preparing raw materials and packaging.
Of course, there’s been talk about automation for years, with some companies putting it on the backburner. However, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts of labour shortages, inflation, and supply chain issues, have led to many companies accelerating efforts to implement the technology.
Automated Pigging Systems
Automation has now become a number one priority for many manufacturers throughout the world. And with benefits such as improved efficiency, better productivity, lower costs, improved safety and the elimination of time-consuming and error-prone processes, it’s quite clear why.
With more companies that process liquids planning to invest in automation in their operations in 2022, liquid product recovery (pigging) will often prove an essential part of their project.
HPS automated pigging systems increase process speed, productivity and efficiency. They also improve safety and greatly reduce the chance of errors. As well as having exceptional levels of safety and reliability, they also maintain the maximum microbiological, hygienic and sanitary levels of cleanliness.
Agile Manufacturing Trends Continue
Agile manufacturing is predicted to take centre stage in 2022, with manufacturers able to respond to ever-changing consumer tastes and preferences faster than ever.
Consumers are demanding more food and beverage choices. As a result, manufacturers will turn to digital technology to improve the flexibility and agility of production lines to increase the speed to market for new products.
Pigging Increases Flexibility
Pigging is a technology helps companies that process liquids meet the need for more flexible and agile manufacturing. Because HPS pigs recover so much product from the pipe, the same line can be used for different formulations and configurations of product.
Therefore, we expect to see more companies that process liquids incorporate pigging technology into their production processes to improve flexibility, agility and enhance their competitiveness.
For manufacturers with shared production lines, a pigging solution will enable manufacturers to be more flexible. They’ll be able to launch new products rapidly as well as adapt to changes in demand. Changeovers are also significantly faster with a pigging system.
Instead of wasting time on resource-intensive cleaning and changeovers, manufacturers instead can focus their efforts on producing more product for less, and faster.
Sustainability is becoming more important for all companies, across all industries. And it’s expected to become even more important in 2022.
Despite the global pandemic, consumers views on sustainability and environmental issues haven’t changed.
In a survey conducted by BCG, 90% said they were equally or more concerned about sustainability issues following the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many consumers now only seek companies that align with their values.
That’s why, if they haven’t already, manufacturers should be focusing their efforts on embracing sustainability goals and seeking to reduce their carbon footprints in 2022.
It’s expected that even more companies that process liquids will make attempts to optimize energy processes and make every part of product manufacture as sustainable as possible.
For example, many companies are already looking into lowering water usage, reducing cleaning agents or even looking into sustainable alternatives to the aggressive cleaning chemicals used to remove product residue from processing equipment.
Pigging and Environmental Sustainability
Pigging is a green technology that can help manufacturers meet their sustainability goals. By recovering nearly all product residue from the pipe, pigging is an incredibly effective way to cut waste, lower water usage, reduce the use of cleaning chemicals, and lower energy usage.
And because less product is sent to waste, pigging saves on the costs and resources associated with waste removal, transportation, treatment, recycling, and disposal. Therefore, the environmental benefits of pigging are significant.
So, for manufacturers looking to make their processes more sustainable, efficient, productive and profitable in 2022, pigging technology will likely be a must-have investment.
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