What are the Key Trends Impacting Process Pigging and Liquid Product Recovery?
With 2021 well underway, we thought we’d look at some of the key trends predicted to impact the process pigging industry. The year 2020 certainly brought the unexpected, so what’s in store for the process pigging industry in 2021 and beyond?
From plant-based focus to sustainability and automation, we expect 2021 to be a year of innovation and importance, with increasing yields, reducing waste, and improving the efficiency of operations high on the agenda for many companies.
If you’ve just come across this page and are unsure what pigging is, here’s where you can learn about what pigging is and how it works.
So, here are the top trends expected to impact the process pigging industry in 2021:
1. Pandemic Trends Continue
The global Covid-19 pandemic has affected all industries, while changing people’s lives in all corners of the world. Despite the disruption from the pandemic, it has also created opportunities for some industries. For example, the pandemic has boosted the demand for immunity-boosting food and beverage offerings.
It’s also drastically increased the demand for hand sanitiser and other similar cleaning products. As a result, manufacturers increased their production capacity to meet the soaring demand. To tackle the pandemic, some manufacturers even switched production and added hand sanitiser to their portfolio.
We received a lot of enquiries in 2020 from companies looking to increase their capacity and improve their flexibility and agility by using liquid product recovery and pigging solutions. We expect this to continue into 2021 and beyond.
2. Sustainability High on the Priority List
Sustainability has been a key focus for most companies in recent years. In 2021, we expect this to continue with more companies that process liquids investing in the latest sustainability efforts.
Despite the global pandemic, many manufacturers still made considerable efforts to reduce their waste, cut water usage and meet their sustainability goals.
However, for some, sustainability issues have somewhat understandably taken a back seat. However, sustainability is a massive problem that isn’t going away. At the same time, consumers are becoming more concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. As such, they seek brands that align with their values.
Therefore, we expect to see manufacturers upping their sustainability efforts in 2021 and investing in sustainable and “green” technology that can save water, energy, resources, and support climate goals.
Pigging is a sustainable technology that is widely used by companies that process liquids to cut waste, reduce water usage, decrease the use of cleaning chemicals, and reduce energy use. Pigging also lowers the costs and resources associated with waste disposal and transportation.
Therefore, the environmental benefits of pigging systems for food, beverage, cosmetics, personal care, homecare, and paint production are major.
So, for manufacturers looking to make their processing operations more sustainable, pigging will certainly be high on the priority list in 2021.
3. Plant-Forward Focus
Plant-based items continue to be a huge trend across many categories including the food, beverage, cosmetics industry and so on. 2021 is expected to deliver even more plant-based options, with more manufacturers capitalising on the profitable and growing trend.
As a result, we expect to see even more enquiries in 2021 from manufacturers looking to incorporate pigging into their plant-based production processes to increase yields, cut waste, speed up changeovers, improve efficiency and more.
Pigging systems are already in wide use in a variety of food and beverage manufacturing operations such as soft drinks, sauces, juices, peanut butter, dairy, spirits plus many more. And as the plant-based category continues to grow as companies create new ice cream, yogurt, ready meals, and cheese alternatives, we’ll see even more companies reaping the benefits of pigging technology.
4. A.I., Robotics, Internet of things, and Automation Reaching New Heights
In 2021, we expect to see huge demand and rapid growth in automation. Manual systems will be a thing of the past, as more companies that process liquids look to automate all aspects of their manufacturing processes.
The adoption of automation and robotics will enable manufacturers to reduce the risks of human error, streamline efficiencies, lower costs, improve productivity, enhance safety plus much more.
The covid-19 pandemic has sparked a wave of innovation and has spurred many food and beverage manufacturers to update their processes, especially regarding automation.
Therefore, we anticipate lots of automation projects in 2021, where liquid product recovery (pigging) is a key part of the projects. Automated pigging systems ensure maximum levels of safety, performance, process speed, productivity, and efficiency.
5. More Frequent Sanitation
Although hygiene and sanitation are critical to most companies that process liquids, it became ever more important during the pandemic. Production plants were requiring more frequent sanitation to help reduce the chance of any spread of the virus.
In certain processes, it’s sometime common to dismantle the equipment as part of the cleaning procedure. Plant workers would then clean the equipment by manually scaping and brushing. However, due to covid-19, this has resulted in many manufacturers focusing on reducing human contact with the processes as much as possible.
The more manufacturers can reduce contact, the better for control and containment of potential issues for covid-19 as well as to reduce allergens and other potential contaminants. This trend is set to continue way into 2021 and beyond.
So, we expect to see more companies that process liquids incorporating pigging into their production processes to efficiently clean their pipelines and reduce contamination and cross-contamination risks.
6. Expect Further Innovations from the Process Pigging Industry
As the market continues to demand increased efficiency, productivity and sustainability, so process pigging companies such as HPS will continue to innovate.
Last year saw the release of the game changing AccuTect Pig Detector, and 2021 is likely to see further developments in areas such as specialist valves and ancillary products for pigging systems. There are also some really exciting developments happening in the HPS R&D department. We’re keeping them under wraps for now, but watch this space!
Thank You for Reading
We hope you enjoyed reading about the trends for 2021 in the process pigging industry. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing how these trends pan out as the year progresses.
The year of 2020 undoubtedly brought the unexpected. But, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t plan for everything. That’s why it’s so critical for companies that process liquids to be as resilient, flexible and adaptable as possible.