The manufacturing industry is placed as the second highest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. The leading contributor is energy consumption, which includes energy usage from every sector. Consequently, greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing sector are higher than reported and largely stem from energy consumption.

Implementing hi-tech technology and equipment that helps to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing processes is key to reaching sustainability goals.

Challenges and Concerns

There are many challenges and concerns within the liquid manufacturing sector around reaching local, national, and international sustainability targets.

Materials sourcing and procurement, production, circularity, and waste management are areas of manufacturing that companies are under pressure to improve. Many manufacturers are already working towards improving their sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

So, how can HPS Advanced Liquid Product Recovery (Pigging) Technology help companies reach their goals faster?

Pigging for Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

Pigging technology is an innovative solution for manufacturers of liquid and wet products who are looking to improve their sustainability. This includes a wide range of industries, including food, beverages, paint, chemicals, lubricants, and more.

The concept of pigging is quite simple: a projectile is inserted into the pipeline via a pig launcher and propelled using a suitable propellant to push any product remaining in the pipeline to its destination. The pig then enters a receive station and is returned through the line to the pig launcher.

The HPS hygienic pig is extremely effective at recovering product, with a recovery rate of up to 99.5% from full pipelines.

Although the concept of pigging remains simple, there are several different pigging system configurations available for use with different applications. These configurations are:

  • Single-pig pigging system
  • Double-pig pigging system
  • Dual-pig pigging system
  • Tank drop-off pigging system

HPS engineers are available to advise on and design the configuration best suited to your individual process.

Explore our whitepaper to learn about the different pigging system configurations and their ideal applications.

Reduce Waste, Maximise Efficiency

20th century economies have been based on linear economy practices where products are made, used, and binned, with little regard for the larger environmental and social impact.

The 21st century, however, has seen an incredible rise in consumers and companies recognising the need for careful product creation and consumption. Emphasis on recycling, sustainable sourcing, and the circular economy has risen, and legislative changes have enforced the need for better manufacturing practices.

Pigging technology works with companies looking to implement circular economy practices into their manufacturing. By recovering residual product from pipelines, pigging significantly reduces how much product is flushed down drains as waste or effluent. This reduces waste significantly.

So, not only does pigging help the environment, but it also maximises efficiency. With less product wasted, companies spend less time on changeovers, flushes, and clean-in-place (CIP) procedures. In turn, this reduces the quantity of non-productive labour hours and increases productivity.

Since implementing HPS pigging technology, the DCS Group has reduced their waste by 93% compared to when using IBCs.

Explore more about the role of pigging in circular economy strategies in our recent blog article.

Reducing Water Usage by Pigging

Pigging systems offer an efficient solution for reducing water usage in industrial processes.

In some cases, companies utilising pigging technology use water as the propellant for pigs.

The HPS pig is so effective at recovering product that the water can then be recycled for the next pigging sequence or redirected for use within the product itself.

Pigging to Help the Environment

For many companies, the key benefits of pigging systems are the high recovery rates, reduced downtime, and increased yields. But these aren’t the only benefits.

As well as reducing waste and water use, HPS pigging systems cut chemical and cleaning agent consumption, decrease energy consumption, and reduce carbon emissions.

Cutting the quantity of chemicals and cleaning agents used in changeover and CIP procedures reduces the impact that they have on the environment when they are flushed to waste. The chances of water and land pollution decrease, improving local flora and fauna habitats and benefiting the company’s reputation.

Pigging Systems Reduce Energy Consumption

Energy consumption during manufacturing and changeovers can be incredibly high, depending on the equipment used. For companies who currently perform hot flushes, heating gallons of water is time consuming and expensive.

Using pigging technology to recover the product before cleaning begins reduces the length of time that equipment has to run for and can, in some cases, remove steps such as the initial flush all together. Pigging systems are, in comparison, economically and environmentally friendly, reducing reliance on unsustainably produced gas and electricity.

These factors combine to reduce the overall carbon emissions released during changeovers. A 2022 study found that HPS Advanced Liquid Product Recovery (Pigging) Technology reduced carbon emissions by up to 99.3% per changeover for a paint manufacturer!

Check out the full report by Carbon-Zero on HPS pigging systems carbon savings.

What Pigging Means for the Future Environment

Widespread adoption of pigging technology by liquid manufacturers has significant potential for the recovery of the natural environment.

It is common knowledge that greenhouse gas emissions are the cause of the rapid climate change currently occurring. If more greenhouse gases build in the atmosphere, temperatures will continue to rise, water and food will increase in scarcity, and weather patterns will change.

As the industry that emits the second largest quantity of greenhouse gases, manufacturers need to act. Implementing sustainable solutions, such as pigging systems, will help the environment heal and decrease the speed of climate change.

Additionally, natural resources, such as raw ingredients and materials, will have longer replenishment periods, bringing prices down as demand and supply level out. Natural habitats will be able to grow and recover from pollution, encouraging the return of wildlife and the growth of native plants.

Predicted Trends for Sustainable Manufacturing Solutions

As sustainable manufacturing continues to grow and be implemented throughout companies, various trends will appear.

Ethical sourcing of raw materials and ingredients is already an important part of product manufacturing, with many consumers and stakeholders keen to support and use environmentally friendly products.

One example of ethical sourcing includes the move away from using palm oil in products such as chocolate, biscuits, shampoo, cosmetics, and cleaning products. In 2022/23, over 78 million metric tons of palm oil were used worldwide. In 2023/24, it is anticipated that there will be a decrease to 77 million metric tons. Although only a small change, it shows the importance of listening to consumers’ and stakeholders’ wants and needs for products.

Automation within manufacturing plants is also expected to rise in the future. Automated machinery provides accurate measurements and dispersal of ingredients, reducing waste and improving procedures. Automation may also reduce the need for transportation of personnel and goods, cutting associated carbon emissions. Any infrastructure required to make this happen will have a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

Finally, it’s expected that manufacturers will continue to invest in pigging technology. The benefits of pigging are holistic and positively impact commercial stability and environmental efforts.

After 29 years in business, HPS is confident in saying that pigging technology is here to stay and will continue to develop, ensuring seamless integration with the Internet of Things and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

About HPS

HPS Product Recovery Solutions has been providing pigging systems to manufacturers around the world since 1995. We have successfully helped clients reduce waste, carbon emissions, water consumption, and more through custom designed pigging and liquid transfer solutions.

To find out how we can help you achieve your environmental goals, send an email to or fill in the contact form.

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