Trends to Look Out For in 2020
This year is almost at its end and 2020 is just around the corner. While 2019 has been a great year for the process pigging industry, the future looks even brighter for 2020.
In this post, we’re recapping on some of the trends that have impacted the process pigging industry in 2019, while giving you a snapshot of what is set to take centre stage in 2020.
2019 Trend Highlights
In 2019 we wrote a blog article ‘8 Top Trends in the Process Pigging Industry 2019‘. In this article, we identified key trends that we predicted to have a big impact on the process pigging industry.
The trends identified for 2019 were the need for efficiency and flexible manufacturing, new applications and markets, better food safety, reducing cross-contamination risks and the importance of sustainability.
How Did the Trends Fare?
In 2019 we have certainly witnessed an increase in food and beverage manufacturers implementing our flexible pigging technology to accommodate their extensive product portfolio, increase production uptime and improve efficiency.
We have also seen a surge of interest from new geographic markets (Brazil and India) as well as companies interested in pigging cannabis-infused food and beverages, mainly from Canada. We have also seen a rise in companies with plant-based food and beverage products interested in improving their processing operations by pigging.
Sustainability has been a huge driving factor for many pigging projects in 2019, with processing companies looking to improve their environmental credentials by cutting waste, saving water, lowering energy and use of resources and so on. 2019 also saw a rise in processing companies turning to hygienic pigging to reduce cross-contamination risks, improve lot traceability and reduce the negative impact of a product recall.
Looking Ahead to Pigging in 2020
Here are some of the key trends predicted to impact the process pigging industry in 2020.
Small Batch Production Reaching New Heights
From plant-based offerings and high protein to low sugar and limited-edition products, food and beverage manufacturers are constantly innovating to meet customer requirements.
Due to the proliferation of trends, manufacturers must contend with multiple batches, shorter production runs, and more frequent changeovers. In 2020, small batch production is predicted to gain even more momentum.
Maximising profits on small batch runs requires fast set-up of production lines, agility to respond to ever-changing product demands as well as shared multipurpose lines that are more efficient and responsive. Therefore, expect to see even more companies with small batch sizes incorporating pigging systems into their plants in 2020.
Market volatility, rising raw material costs, price reduction pressures and increasing labour and disposal costs will continue to hinder the profitability and growth of liquid processing companies in 2020. To thwart these challenges, an increasing number of manufacturers will invest in technologies such as pigging that improve productivity, increase production uptime and speed responsiveness.
With customers demanding more than ever before, more trends are predicted to shake up the processing industries, especially the food and beverage industry in the upcoming year.
Having flexible technologies such as pigging that can handle multiple products will enable manufacturers to be agile. What’s more, because changeover times are so quick with a pigging solution, manufacturers are able to meet rapidly changing consumer demands for a greater product variety. It also means there’s less downtime, which means higher productivity and profits.
Fierce competition, tighter margins, and increasing energy costs are forcing manufacturers to change their approach of accepting energy usage as an unmanaged operational expense. Cutting energy usage has now become a business necessity.
In 2020, energy efficiency is predicted to be even more important for manufacturers as a method to cut costs. To lower energy usage, liquid processing plants need to assess the amount of energy they use and look at ways they can reduce it in 2020.
Pigging is one of the most effective ways to achieve operational savings in energy and water. Expect to see an increasing number of companies turning to pigging in 2020 to reduce their energy bills and save money.
Without a pigging process, the cleaning process is extremely energy-intensive. It uses large amounts of energy for heating or cooling water. Because pigging recovers up to 99.5% of product from the pipeline, there’s less product to remove so the cleaning process is much quicker. In this way, pigging reduces the use of energy and water.
Pigging New Products
Cannabis-infused drinks and snacks are a huge trend shaking up the food and beverage industry. Many well-known brands are already taking giant leaps into the cannabis-infused food and beverages landscape. We received many enquires in 2019 for pigging cannabis-infused products and we expect to see this number rise in 2020 as more companies enter the market. Cannabis is an expensive product, therefore pigging delivers high return on investment (ROI) through less waste, higher yields, faster changeovers, increased capacity and so on.
We also expect to see enquiries for pigging for low alcohol or no-alcohol drinks. The non-alcoholic adult beverage industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and innovation, making it an attractive market for beverage manufacturers.
As such, we anticipate an increase in enquiries from beverage manufacturers looking to increase yields, reduce waste, speed up changeovers and meet their sustainability goals by pipeline pigging and product recovery.
Industry 4.0 and Automated Systems
Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the new industrial age of digital that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning and real-time data. Manufacturers that embrace industry 4.0 will be able to connect all operations in their plants.
As industry 4.0 gains even more traction in 2020, expect an increase in companies adopting automated pigging systems into their processing plants. Industry 4.0 creates a smart factory where pigging systems and other production equipment are integrated and collaborate with the help of central control systems. This enables the equipment to work more effectively and efficiently in terms of time and cost.
Industry 4.0 also makes it easier to produce high-quality products in shorter production cycles and meet customer demand for greater product variety, as well as reducing waste across operations.
Equipment breaking down can wreak havoc with production, with manufacturers facing staggering losses and often spoilage of ingredients and products. This can be extremely costly for manufacturers. Not only are there the downtime costs to consider, but there’s also the maintenance and repair costs associated with equipment failure.
Research conducted by Aberdeen Group found these costs can be as much as $260,000 an hour. As such, we expect to see more companies adopting predictive maintenance in 2020.
Predictive maintenance enables manufacturers to monitor the health of their equipment and identify when maintenance should officially take place. Although the internet of things (IoT) technology is frequently used for predictive maintenance, we predict to see more HPS customers using HPS Pig Alert Software in 2020 to support their predictive maintenance strategy.
Pig Alert Software will notify plant operators when the pig needs changing before it adversely affects system performance.
Find Out More
Thanks for reading this blog article. There are certainly exciting times ahead for the process pigging industry.
If you process liquids or wet product and want to improve your processing operations through hygienic pigging and product recovery solutions, then contact HPS.