How to Improve Your Liquid Processing with ‘Pigging’

Liquid product recovery (pigging) is widely used by liquid processing companies to increase yields, reduce waste, speed up processing and improve efficiency.


Pipeline pig efficiently recovering product from the pipeline. (All images provided by HPS. Used with permission.)

Liquid product recovery (often referred to as “pigging”) systems are found in many production facilities throughout the world. These include food, beverage, confectionery, homecare, personal care, cosmetics, pet food, paint, coatings and more. 

That’s because pigging systems are one of the most effective ways to increase yields, reduce waste, speed up processing, save water and improve efficiency.

Pigging is used during the manufacture, processing, packaging and bottling of a wide range of products. It’s used with food products such as oils, fats and sauces, right through to beverages such as wines, spirits and soft drinks. It’s used with homecare products such as dishwasher fluid and washing up liquid as well as personal care products such as shower gel, shampoo, moisturizer and so on. 

The most important component of a liquid product recovery (pigging) system is the pipeline pig.The technology works by using a specialist projectile (called the ‘pig’) to recover the liquid product remaining in the pipelines during changeovers. It delivers a wide range of benefits to liquid processing companies and offers an attractive return on investment. In fact, nearly all pigging solutions pay back in less than a year.

How Pigging Improves Liquid Processing Performance

During product changeovers, large amounts of water, cleaning chemicals and energy are frequently used to clear the pipeline of product. This results in significant product losses, high wastage costs and costly production downtime. 

Pigging systems can help liquid processing manufacturers by recovering practically all of the product from the pipelines. The result is increased yields, less waste, reduced water consumption and higher profits.

The reclaimed product is perfectly usable and can continue to be processed, bottled, canned or stored. Savings from pigging can be significant. As an example, a soft drinks manufacturer is saving $31,500 US dollars from a pigging system.

Pigging systems enable the same line to be used for multiple products.Improving Production Capacity

Because pigging increases yields and reduces flush waste, it lowers the use of cleaning agents, chemicals and water. As a result, manufacturers save on the direct cost of these products, along with the associated transportation and disposal costs.

By doing all of this, pigging significantly speeds up the changeover process. If the next product being processed differs slightly in color and flavor, it is often possible to follow on immediately with the next product after pigging. This eliminates the need for flushing altogether.

Pigging also increases the capacity and flexibility of operations by enabling the same line to be used for multiple products with very little downtime. 

Other Reasons for Pigging

As well as increasing yields, reducing waste, lowering water consumption, speeding up changeovers and improving production capacity, pigging offers a wide range of additional benefits to companies that process liquids.

Process pigging systems offer a wide range of benefits to liquid processing companies.For example, pigging is also used by manufacturers to reduce cross-contamination risks and prevent aeration, foaming and dissolved oxygen.

Importantly, pigging saves money, increases profits and boosts the bottom line for liquid processing companies. 

So, if your company processes food, beverages, personal care and cosmetics products, homecare and household goods, pet food, paint, coatings or just about any other liquid or wet product, then read the full guide to pigging. 

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This content is sponsored by HPS. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Process Flow Network editorial team.