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SUEZ Advanced Solutions are today launching the world’s first hygienic Ice Pigging machine, the AQL500, suitable for applications in the food and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods sectors.
Ice Pigging is a new process for clearing pipes that uses slush ice instead of water, a common method of purging product from pipes in food processing. Slush ice has unique rheological properties that means it can pass through variations in pipe work such as valves, bends and changes in diameter without becoming stuck in the pipe, yet has highly effective cleaning properties similar to a solid ‘pig’ when in the pipe.
For the Food and Beverage sector, the Personal Care sector, and the Paint industry, Ice Pigging can bring a step change in the level of production efficiency a plant can reach. Today, during product changeover, large quantities of water may have to be used to clear pipes of product, resulting in wastage of high-value product, and at the same time creating large amounts of effluent to treat. Ice Pigging can help the recovery of the majority of product left in a pipeline, and in doing so improve the production efficiency of the plant, reduce water consumption and reduce effluent produced.
The launch of the AQL500 factory-ready hygienic Ice Pigging machine comes as a result of 5 years of development and is now available across Europe. The machine is designed for permanent installation into a production facility where it will provide ‘ice pigs’ on an automated basis.
“Much of the development of the machine has been concerned with adapting the technology to be suitable for the stringent hygiene requirements that food producers expect. From top to bottom, the AQL500 uses food grade components and is fully cleanable itself. The ice produced by one of our machines should be the cleanest ice anywhere in the world” remarked Matthew Stephenson, Head of Ice Pigging at Suez, the company behind Ice Pigging.
SUEZ Advanced Solutions are already providers of Ice Pigging services to the water sector, performing Ice Pigging on drinking water networks around the world.
“We have been offering Ice Pigging into a number of industries for some years, but the buzz we are feeling in the food and FMCG sector for this technology is very different. We see that there are some very clear drivers which are aligned with some key benefits that the technique offers, such as product recovery and effluent reduction that aligns well with what many of the major producers tell us they are trying to achieve, and appears to make for a compelling business case.”
SUEZ Advanced Solutions are specialised in water and resource recovery, offering products and services that support more effective use of the world’s most important natural resources.