Pipeline Pigging Can Improve Efficiency & Sustainability
Process Pigging President, Neil O’Connor, Offers Industry Insight
As pharmaceutical manufacturers strive to find green production methods, many companies are discovering that sustainable strategies also can improve efficiency and reduce costs. One such strategy is pigging,the process of injecting a sanitary, solid, silicone rubber projectile into a safe, closed-loop sanitary system to clean out the pipeline between batches (see Figure 1). The projectile, or pig, is forced through a pipeline by compressed air, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, or the next product. The pigs generally are made of medical-grade silicone that complies with 21 Section 177.2600 and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Some of pigging’s advantages for the pharmaceutical processing industry include the following:
- Product recovery higher than 99%
- Quick product changeovers
- A 50% reduction in water consumption
- A 30% reduction in cleaning-chemical consumption