The Financial Savings Associated with Implementing a Pigging System
Hygienic (sanitary) and process pigging systems are used in many different applications and can be found in all types of industries, including food and beverage, paints and coatings, pet food, homecare, cosmetics and so on.
The benefits of product recovery (pigging) technology are significant – but how does this translate to financial gain for liquid processing companies.
This blog article looks at some of the ways pigging systems can save your company money, improve profitability and help grow your business.
If you’ve just come across this page and are unsure what pigging is, here’s an explanation of pigging and how it works.
Recovering Valuable Product from Pipelines
During cleaning and changeovers, manufacturers need to purge the system to remove all remnants of the previous product. Low viscosity fluids such as water are often used to remove the product from the pipeline.
However, this can be extremely expensive and ineffective. Not only does the cleaning process use large amounts of water, but saleable product frequently gets wasted between batches. And what manufacturer wants to throw away saleable product, especially if it translates to higher disposal costs? And similarly, what manufacturer wants to flush thousands of dollars’ worth of product in perfectly good condition down the drain?
And that’s where pigging comes. Pigging makes it possible to clear out the pipeline with a specialist projectile called a pig. Because pigging recovers the majority of product from the pipelines (up to 99.5% product recovery), there’s a greater volume of product available for further processing, packaging or sale. In addition, less product will be sent to waste which lowers disposal costs significantly.
Reducing the Costs of Water Use and Disposal
Processing industries (especially the food and beverage industry) are extremely dependent on water. However, growing water scarcity is one of the biggest risks facing the industries.
Because water is a finite resource, this has put pressure on manufacturers and has resulted in increased operational costs for production plants. This includes increasing costs for process water and wastewater discharge tariffs.
Manufacturers can take direct aim to reduce the amount of water used and lower their costs by evaluating production processes to increase efficiency. Technologies such as pigging are one of the most effective ways to achieve operational savings in both water and energy.
Pigging systems improve water efficiency by reducing lengthy water flushes, re-using and recycling rinse water and improving the clean in place (CIP) process. Because pigging uses less water, this reduces the amount of wastewater treatment costs. It can also lower the cost of energy used for heating or cooling water. And the less water you use, the more savings you see on water and energy bills.
In this way, pigging can lower operating expenses, positively impact the business bottom line and improve the competitiveness of manufacturing plants.
Environmental Cost Savings
As well as using large amounts of water to clean the pipelines, liquid processing companies frequently use cleaning chemicals to prepare the pipeline for the next batch. The resulting wastewater often requires on-site treatment before it can be discharged into waterways.
Even then, not all companies have a dedicated onsite wastewater treatment system. Therefore, some manufacturers must incur even higher costs by having to transport or discharge their effluent to treatment centres. The costs of removal or treatment of waste from production plants has become a major expense to companies that process liquids and is adversely impacting the bottom line.
Manufactures can achieve significant savings and improved profitability by incorporating pigging into their processing operations. This is through much reduced levels of effluent and chemical waste, and the subsequent disposal costs.
Because there is less product being wasted with a pigging system, pipelines are easier to clean, and there’s much less cleaning and rinsing required. At the same time, less cleaning chemicals are required which will lower costs significantly. Along with the immediate product savings, waste treatment and disposal costs decline as there’s less product being flushed to waste. In this way, the environmental benefits of pigging are significant.
Reduced Labour Costs
Cleaning processing equipment can be time-consuming and labour intensive. In food and beverage manufacturing, it’s estimated that manufacturers spend 20% of their day cleaning and sanitising processing equipment.
Cleaning is also extremely costly for manufacturers. The typical cost elements of a cleaning programme include labour, water supply, treatment, water heating, cleaning equipment, chemicals, effluent, downtime plus more. Of these, labour is one of the biggest factors accounting for over 60% of the total cleaning budget.
Pigging reduces labour costs as the technology ensures quicker and less intensive cleaning. This ultimately results in less labour and, minimal downtime which in turn saves money. Importantly, it can make the workers you do have be more productive.
Because the HPS pig removes practically all of the product residue remaining in the pipeline, it reduces the effort and resources needed to clean pipelines. Semi-automated and fully automated pigging systems reduce labour costs even further. At the same time, automated solutions can support more efficient use of chemicals, water and energy while ensuring improvements to quality, accuracy, safety, and precision.
Increased Uptime of Processing Equipment
Regardless of how automated a production facility is, everything comes to a halt when a line changes from one product to another. And with the increasing customer demand for mass customised products, changeovers are occurring with greater frequency.
However, the more changeovers there are, the more downtime there is which can drive up production costs and decrease throughput. Manufacturers are finding they simply cannot keep up with the product variations and downtime required to change from one product type to another. Such capacity constraints often result in manufacturers looking to add new production lines and even build new plants. However, this can be extremely costly.
But there is an alternative. Pigging systems enable multiple products to use the same line. Because the changeover process is so quick with a pigging solution, this enables manufacturers to meet the demand for a greater product variety. It also means there’s less downtime. And the less downtime there is means higher productivity, increased up-time and ultimately more revenue.
The Bottom Line
HPS benefits of pigging (product recovery) systems are wide-ranging. Pigging will save your business money by increasing yields, cutting waste, reducing labour costs, lowering disposal costs and keeping downtime to a minimum. In this way, pigging will increase your profits, enable you to be more competitive and boost your bottom line. Here’s a recent video which shows how HPS technology can help grow your business.
Importantly, pigging systems deliver a high return on investment (ROI), with fast payback periods. However, precisely how fast payback will be varies from organisation to organisation. It depends on a number of factors, such as the value of product and how much product was being wasted prior to pigging. There are also other factors to consider such as lower waste handling and disposal costs, less energy usage, faster changeovers plus more.
Find Out More
If your business processes paints, coatings, solvents, foods, confectionery, chocolate, beverages, household, personal care products, pet foods or just about any other liquid or wet product, HPS can help you.