This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

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.”

HOW THE PROCESS WORKS Ice pigging is proving popular because it is a highly efficient line cleaning and product recovery technique. In the process, ice slurry is pushed through production pipelines to clean and recover product. It differs from conventional solid pigging in that the ice pig is capable of navigating complex pipework that may incorporate changes in pipe diameter, bends, valve systems and other obstructions with no risk of becoming stuck. The ice pig is composed of fine ice crystals and a carrier fluid containing an additive used to maintain the correct fluid characteristics. In most cases the additive can be an ingredient already used in the product. How the process works in a typical application is

that once the factory’s process has completed and the line is ready for either cleaning or push out, the factory calls the AQL500 ice pigging machine to inject ice. The plant automatically pushes ice to the purge valve, with the injection valve closed. This removes any melt that may have occurred to ensure a sharp product interface. Once the purge volume has been delivered the plant stops and alerts the factory that ice is ready for injection. Once the factory has prepared the line a start signal is sent to the AQL500 machine, which then injects the correct volume of ice for the selected recipe. Upon completion, the factory receives a confirmation signal and can proceed to the ice propulsion stage. The ice pig must then be propelled to the line end. This task is undertaken by the factory and can be achieved using several methods: water push, CIP liquid push or even using the next product. Finally, to maintain the quality of the product being recovered it is important to detect the product and ice pig interface. Upon detection of


AQL500 factory- ready

hygienic ice pigging machine from Suez

this interface a divert valve can be activated to direct the ice pig to a separate collection point. Several options are available for interface detection, where possible sensors present in the system can be used. Suitable measurements include density, brix, conductivity, turbidity and temperature.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Ice pigging is such an effective cleaning process that it can reduce or even eradicate the need for a chemical clean-in-place (CIP) flush. The process is also highly flexible, making it suited to a diverse range of products within a number of industries such as food, beverage and personal care. The process can be optimised to efficiently recover and clean products that are normally challenging – such as jam, mayonnaise and face creams. Another key benefit to users is reduced downtime. More effective cleaning considerably decreases cleaning time and fluid volume. Ice pigging is also environmentally friendly as efficient cleaning drastically reduces effluent volume and concentration. n

Greta Eliasson is with Suez.


eo Valley is the largest organic business in the UK, producing over 2,000 tonnes of yoghurt each week. The current method

of flushing dairy products from pipelines is usually done by heating water to around 80°C, then flushing it through the pipes before sending it down the drain, taking the remaining product, wasted heat and energy with it. In a recent project, ice pigging was used to remove a custard product from production machinery. Compared to the usual flushing process, ice

pigging was able to recover an additional 50 litres of product per run. The ice pig had a clearly defined

interface between the pig and the product, as much as 75% of product in the line is able to be recovered. The amount of mixed product and ice slurry was considerably less than the amount of mixed product and water produced using the existing process. This meant that less effluent was produced for disposal. “As an engineer myself I was very interested and

involved in the project and could see the benefits of ice pigging straight away compared to traditional pigging systems. Ice pigging technology has great potential for the dairy and food industry,” comments Andrew Rimell, general manager of Yeo Valley’s Newton Abbot site. n 7

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52