automation in liquid processing industries

Product Recovery (Pigging) Industry Trends

From automation to sustainability, we’ve outlined the key trends that are predicted to have the biggest impact on the process pigging industry in 2018.

Trend 1: Automation is a Mustautomation key trend

From rising prices of ingredients and other raw materials to increasing demand for innovative new food products, more manufacturers are looking into how they can reduce their costs, increase their efficiency and improve their bottom line through automation.

Automation is gaining traction in the processing industries, as more companies realise the benefits that automating their systems and processes offers. The benefits include improved productivity, better product quality and better product consistency. But, where does pigging fit into this?

Pigging systems are in wide use by the processing industries. These systems recover liquid or wet product from the pipelines following a product changeover. This speeds up changeovers, reduces cleaning times and minimises cross-contamination risks. What’s more, because pigging recovers liquid that would otherwise be wasted, this increases yield and improves efficiency by saving energy, labour, water and cleaning fluids.

Choosing an automatic pigging system enhances these benefits even further. As well as increasing reliability and efficiency, automatic pigging also enhances safety and reduces the chances of human error. In fact, it’s far more common these days for HPS to supply fully automated pigging solutions than manually controlled systems.

Trend 2: Even Greater Focus on Sustainability

In 2018 it’s likely that even more emphasis will be placed on sustainability. As consumers become more and more concerned about where and how products are made, businesses are placing more importance on adopting an ethical approach to business and are implementing technologies to address the trends process pigging

Because pigging systems save significant amounts of product, lower wastage (and associated costs) and reduce water usage, they help companies achieve their sustainability objectives. Take a look at our infographic, which demonstrates how implementing a pigging system can have an extremely positive environmental impact.

Trend 3: Growing Importance of Traceability and Lot Control

Traceability in the production chain is increasingly important in food, beverage and many other liquid production processes. Businesses need to know exactly what’s in their supply chain and have the traceability to find the precise location and cause of the problem if contamination or cross-contamination does occur.

In recent years, there’s been a staggering amount of product recalls in the food and drink industry believed to be due to cost-cutting in the production process. As such, contamination and cross-contamination incidents are occurring more frequently, with food recalls almost doubling over the past three years.

In 2018 expect to see an increasing focus on accurate batch and lot traceability, especially in food and beverage production. Doing this will lower recall costs and minimise the damage of the recall on the customers and end users.

Pigging can significantly improve lot traceability during liquid and wet processing. That’s because pigging can help to segment and differentiate batches by creating clear barriers between them. This will significantly improve traceability and minimises costs particularly if contamination incidents do occur.

Trend 4: Industry 4.0 Takes Shape in 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (also referred to as ‘Industry 4.0) will gain even more traction in 2018.

Industry 4.0 offers lots of opportunities for manufacturers such as optimising production and increasing efficiency. The food and drink industry could benefit further from Industry 4.0, even more than most industries. This is due to Industry 4.0 offering greater flexibility, which will enable food and drink manufacturers to adapt to customers ever-changing needs and product specifications.

It’s expected that pigging, along with many other technologies and different industries, will be transformed, or be part of, the fourth industrial revolution.

Trend 5: Rise in Automatrix Flowverter Systems

2018 will see a rise in the number of manufacturers choosing automatic liquid distribution (Automatrix) systems, as they look at new ways to significantly improve changeover times.automatrix liquid distribution system for paints

Flowverter Automatrix systems are used by a wide range of companies that process liquids, including paint and coatings, household and food and drink manufacture plus more.

Automatrix systems offers many advantages, including saving resources and labour, significantly improving changeover times and reducing manual handling activity. They also improve safety and minimise the chances of mistakes and errors.

Trend 6: Solutions That Can Handle Multiple Products

There are now a wide variety of different products being processed at production plants, due to customers evolving needs and requirements. Often when companies expand their product ranges, they often use previously dedicated pipelines. However, changing from one product to another can account for significant product loss. Therefore, manufacturers are constantly looking for solutions that can handle multiple products, with as little downtime as possible.

Even more manufacturers will be embracing pigging technology in 2018, as it can speed up changeovers significantly. That’s because pigging reduces the length of the wash, and in many cases, it’s often possible to follow on with the next product almost instantly after pigging (if there is minimal change to the product colour, flavour or scent).

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Can you think of any trends that you’d like us to add? If so, please let us know as we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Alternatively, if you process liquids or wet product and want to find out more about how pigging can increase product yields, efficiency and also save significant amounts of waste and water, then please get in touch.

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