beverage sector pigging systems

The Beverage Industry is Constantly Evolving

In the fast-paced, competitive, and evolving beverage landscape, safety, flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability are of utmost importance.

Beverage manufacturers must keep up with evolving consumer tastes, preferences and behaviours, from sustainable packaging and healthier product formulations to functional and convenient beverage offerings.

These evolving preferences are putting pressure on beverage manufacturers to adapt to an ever-changing consumer and to be agile, flexible, and efficient in their production.

As a result, many beverage companies are turning to technology to help them keep up with the demand. One of the technologies on the rise in the beverage sector is liquid product recovery (“pigging”) systems.

beverage industry pigging systems

Pigging Systems for the Beverage Industry

Hygienic (also referred to as sanitary) pigging systems are in wide use in the beverage industry. And their use is increasing.

The technology is used with an extensive range of beverage products including ingredients such as pulps and sugar syrups. Pigging is also used with products at their final stages of processing. These include carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, spirits, fine wines, fruit juices, beer, cider plus many more.

Pigging technology uses a specialist projectile (called the “pig”) to recover the residual liquid product from beverage pipelines that would otherwise be wasted. As well as the pig, key components of pigging technology include pig detectors, pigging control systems and HMI screens, receive and launch station, pig housing, various valves, pipework plus much more.

Cost Savings Made by Pigging

By recovering residual product from pipelines, pigging systems for beverages are an extremely effective way to increase yields, cut waste, speed up changeover times, boost efficiency and improve sustainability.

In some applications where the product being pumped is expensive, such as certain concentrates and syrups, the costs savings made by pigging are phenomenal. In one case, an HPS pigging system is saving a beverage manufacturer an estimated £31,500 Dollars per DAY. Here’s the case study on how HPS pigging systems are helping the beverage manufacturer increase yields and cut waste.

Increasing Yields and Reducing Waste in Beverage Manufacture

The benefits of pigging systems for the beverage industry are extensive. One of the key reasons why pigging systems are a must for beverage manufacturers is because they recover product, which increases yields and reduces waste.

In a beverage manufacturing plant, there are usually lots of process lines and piping that are used to transfer product. Whenever product is transferred along these lines, there’s nearly always product residue remaining that needs removing.

Pigging systems are used by beverage manufacturers and other hygienic process industries to clean the pipes and recover the residual product. By reclaiming the liquid product from the pipeline, pigging increases yields and reduces the amount of waste produced.

If the product wasn’t recovered with a pigging solution, it would mostly go to drain. Typically this would happen during flushing or clean-in-place (CIP).

Along with the immediate product savings, waste disposal and treatment costs also decline as there is less product wasted. In addition, due to the reduction in product waste, this means improved efficiency, easier cleaning, improved productivity, improved sustainability, and higher profits.

soft drink production pigging systems

Reducing Water in Beverage Processing and Production

Pigging is also a must for beverage processors and manufacturers as it helps to reduce water usage.

On top of using water as an ingredient in the product themselves, beverage manufacturers use massive quantities of water for cleaning equipment and maintaining hygiene standards.

Water is frequently used for flushing pipelines before proceeding with the cleaning process. This flush water often needs to be treated and also incurs disposal costs, which is a major operating expense for the beverage sector. Therefore, implementing a pigging solution is one of the easiest ways to reduce water consumption and improve the bottom line in the beverage industry.

Because pigging systems recover massive amounts of liquid and clean the pipe so efficiently, there is no requirement for a lengthy water flush between product transfers and batch changeovers.

Even in cases where water flushing and CIP are still required, their length and intensity are much less with a pigging solution. In this way, pigging systems save beverage companies massive amounts of water.

For example, with a pigging solution, an Australian winery is saving 40 million litres of water as well as wine savings of 440,000 litres per year.

Speeding Up Beverage Processing and Changeover Times

One of the biggest challenges’ beverage companies face when dealing with changeovers from one product to another is the amount of lost production time and downtime that can occur.

Due to ever-changing customer needs, most beverage plants are now running multiple products per line per day, including different variations of the same product along with completely different products. The result is most beverage plants spend a significant amount of time on changeovers, with many labour hours spent cleaning, adjusting, and verifying equipment setup.

In addition to being time-intensive, changeovers can also be extremely resource-intensive using large amounts of water, energy, and cleaning chemicals as well as wasting valuable product.

A major benefit of pigging is that it speeds up the changeover process and makes it more efficient. Because the HPS pipeline pig recovers nearly all the residual product in pipelines, there is less product in the pipeline after the pigging process.

In this way, there’s much less cleaning and flushing required, and changeovers are significantly faster. In some circumstances, it is often possible to follow on instantly with the next product after pigging, eliminating the need for flushing completely.

HPS liquid product recovery pigging system

Increasing Production Capacity and Flexibility with a Pigging System

Ever-changing customer needs and increasing competition in the beverage industry has driven a need for beverage manufacturers to expand their portfolios with a wider range of products, flavours, packaging, and choices. As a result, they have experienced a rapid growth in the number of stock keeping units (SKUs).

As beverage companies continue to expand their portfolio of beverages, they require automated processing equipment that are flexible and agile enough to handle different types of products efficiently. Pigging is a technology that can help beverage manufacturers meet the demand for greater product variety.

By recovering practically all the residual liquid from beverage pipelines, the same line can be used for multiple products ranging from orange juice to grape juice and fine wines with minimal downtime between batches. Incorporating a pigging system on a shared process pipeline also enables beverage companies to be more agile and adaptable and react quickly to changes in demand.

In this way, pigging systems increase the flexibility and capacity of beverage processing and production.

Take a look at our pipeline pigging case studies >>

Other Reasons Pigging Systems are a Must for Beverage Manufacturers

Pigging systems offer a wide range of additional benefits to beverage manufacturers, from reducing aeration and foaming to lowering contamination and cross-contamination risks and improving environmental sustainability.

Pigging also improves productivity and efficiency through less waste, higher yields, reduced water consumption, decreased contamination risks, faster changeovers, less chemical washouts, and increased capacity. This improves the profitability of beverage processing operations.

Importantly, pigging systems are extremely cost-effective and deliver a high return on investment (ROI) and rapid payback. Pigging system payback is nearly always less than 12 months.

So, for beverage manufacturers looking for ways to overcome challenges and improve their beverage processes, pigging is clearly a must.


Find Out More

HPS Product Recovery Solutions has a wealth of experience and a proven track record helping beverage companies improve their processes through pigging and liquid product recovery solutions.

Our customers include Coca-Cola, Campari, Pepsico, Buffalo Trace, Britvic, Heaven Hill, Pernod Ricard plus many more. HPS pigging technology is trusted throughout the world.

If you would like to speak to one of our process system experts about improving the efficiency, productivity, sustainability and profits of your beverage processes using pigging solutions, then please contact HPS.

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