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SUEZ's award-winning technology, has recently opened its new Ice Pigging test lab where products are being rigorously tested for a variety of different sectors.
common problems facing the cosmetic industry today
Increasing energy and ingredient prices, coupled with water scarcity in many places make efficiency in cosmetic production an ongoing challenge. But especially in factories that have been subject to continuous improvement programs for many years and where the war on waste has long been started, game-changing step-changes in production efficiency are rare.
Operators of modern cosmetics factories must balance the opposing challenges of maintaining consistent product quality with reducing costs and reducing waste. Waste costs money, it costs the environment, and creates problems, but sometimes waste is inevitable when quality and hygiene standards cannot be compromised. So what can be done?
Waste, in the form of lost product can occur mostly at product changeover, during bottling, or where quality has been compromised and a batch must be discarded. Product lost during changeover and during bottling is where product remains in pipes and pipework, and must be flushed with water to clear the pipe ready for the next product, turning valuable product into an expensive waste.
Ice Pigging is a solution that uses ice slurry to remove product from pipes that would otherwise be lost to Clean-In-Place processes. Reducing waste in this area reduces CIP use, which reduces energy consumption in heating water, reduces produced effluent to be treated, reduces time intervals between different products, and reduces water consumption significantly. The New Ice Pigging solution, launched in 2016 for the cosmetics industry represents a WIN-WIN for efficiency and cost reduction, and is a major step-change in efficiency for production processes.
what are the benefits of ice pigging for the cosmetic industry?
Ice Pigging works particularly well on viscous products such as face creams, shampoo & conditioner and other common cosmetic products. Product recovery on such products is typically between 75-85% with a major reduction in effluent, water & energy use and much shorter changeover times between batches – meaning the plant is much more profitable.
Time and time again we’re hearing the same issues and concerns from manufacturers worldwide and Ice Pigging offers a remedy to many of those issues all from the convenience of one specially designed high grade hygienic ice pigging machine - the AQL500.
efficient pipe cleaning with an ice slurry
A semi-solid ice slurry that is used for Ice Pigging can be applied uniquely because it is both pumpable like a liquid, but also has properties of a solid, making navigating process lines ideal. Ice has a significantly more effective cleaning power compared to water flushing and has the ability to navigate bends, restrictions, valves and most obstructions that limit the use of solid pigs. This is particularly effective within the food, beverage and HPC environments. Unlike solid pigs, the ice pig never runs the risk of becoming stuck in a pipeline. If it were to become stuck, it would simply melt.
During water flushing, water is either heated to around 90° for a much more effective clean, or it is used as is, for a cold water flush. Both of these methods require energy to push the water through the pipes, which contributes to operating costs and water use.
Water and energy use are both interdependent and where one is used, so is the other – and in manufacturing, this rings especially true. We call this concept, the water-energy nexus, the relationship between water and energy use.
When a product is at the end of its transfer and it has been flushed out with water, it can no longer be salvaged and must be treated and disposed of properly. The cost of treating effluent is expensive and can be avoided with Ice Pigging. Plants are encouraged to reduce the amount of industrial effluent production not only for the benefit of reduced operating costs but also for the environmental impact that it can have.
the ultimate clean
In the cosmetic industry, where maintaining hygienic conditions is crucial, Ice Pigging is very effective at cleaning process lines and can significantly reduce CIP times. In some cases, it can even replace the pre-rinse (Step 1) and some recirculation (Step 2). By eliminating or even reducing the use of CIP, Ice Pigging proves to be one of the most cost-effective methods of cleaning pipelines.