How to Increase Yields and Cut Waste by ‘Pigging’

Liquid product recovery (pigging) is widely used by companies that process liquids to increase yields, reduce waste, and transform processing operations.


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.

The widely established technology 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, moisturiser and so on. 

Pigging technology works by sending a specialist projectile (called the 'pig') through a pipeline. (All images provided by HPS Product Recovery Solutions. Used with permission.)Pigging delivers a wide range of benefits to companies that process liquids and offers an attractive return on investment.

How Pigging Systems Increase Yields and Cut Waste

Whenever a process transfers liquid along a pipe, there’s nearly always product residue left in the pipe that needs removing. And the more viscous the liquid is, the more residue there is.

Pigging systems can help companies that process liquids by recovering practically all of the residual liquid product from the pipelines. This increases yield and reduces the amount of waste produced. If the liquid wasn’t recovered by pigging, it would be discarded as waste. 

The reclaimed product is perfectly usable and can continue to be processed, bottled, canned, or stored. 

Overview of Pigging Technology

Pigging technology works by using a specialist projectile (called the ‘pig’) to recover the liquid product remaining in the pipelines. 

Because the pig is an extremely tight fit, it pushes practically all the residual product out of the pipeline to its destination. The destination could be the filler or tank, bottling or packaging, or the reclaimed liquid could be sent to continue processing along with the rest of the product. 

Importantly, instead of sending this residual product to waste, it’s saved. And in many liquid processing plants, there is a lot of product transfer pipelines which are left full of residual product at the end of transfer batches. So, savings from pigging can be significant. As an example, a soft drinks manufacturer is saving $31,500 US dollars from a pigging system.

Pipeline pig being put in pipe.Other Benefits of Pigging

As well as increasing yields and cutting waste, pigging delivers a wide range of additional benefits. 

Pigging also speeds up changeovers and CIP, reduces the use of water and cleaning fluids, lowers cross-contamination risks, improves production capacity, increases production efficiency and much more. 

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.