Guide to Hygienic Pigging Systems

What is Pigging?


Hygienic pigging systems are used to recover residual product from process piping in a variety of sanitary industries including food, beverage, personal care, and dairy processes. If the product is not recovered during the sanitary pigging process, then it would go to waste and be flushed down the drain during the facility’s cleaning process.


Sanitary process systems cleaned with pigging systems are becoming increasingly important for hygienic processors. This is a result of an increasing concern with environmental consciousness, costly wastewater treatment, product losses, stringent hygienic standards, and production streamlining.


Through installation and use of sanitary pigging systems manufacturers are able to:


  •  Recapture valuable end product that can be processed along with the rest of the batch 
  •  Avoid inflated wastewater costs

Pigging System 101: How It Works


Sanitary pigging systems, in their most basic form, are comprised of a “pig” being transported through a pipeline by pressure behind it (compressed air, water, or another force depending on the application) that is used to push remaining product in the pipe to its designated destination (filler, mixing, etc.).


See a hygienic pigging system from our partner LIAG Laufer in action here.


Benefits of Sanitary Pigging Systems

  •  Minimum product loss
  •  Safe separation of product – no mixed phases
  •  Reduction of time-consuming cleaning
  •  Increased uptime
  •  Faster changeovers
  •  Maximum product quality & yield
  •  Reduced wastewater generation
  •  Environmentally sound



Sanitary pigging systems help producers keep up with production demands by recapturing significant usable product from process piping. The result is drastically less waste and more end product to sell for consumer consumption. On top of decreased waste, properly designed hygienic pigging systems can also add to the bottom line by assisting in process streamlining, leading to boosted efficiency and greater uptime.




Sanitary Pig

Our pigging system partner, LIAGoffers a uniquely designed “pig” that ensures a high capture rate. The 2-seal lip pig and homogeneous hygienic design recovers more product than competitors’ pigs and further reduces the chance of cross-contamination from product left in the pipe.




Simply stated, when you start a cleaning process with pipes that have been pigged you are one step ahead of the typical cleaning procedure. There is less product to remove which reduces the effort and resources needed to clean process piping. Quicker, less intensive cleaning decreases labor costs and downtime.




Less time cleaning means more time producing! Sanitary pigging systems add to uptime through decreased cleaning times, process streamlining, and flexibility.




Keeping up with the rapidly changing consumer demands and the ability to offer a wide variety of product ranges has created a greater emphasis on manufacturing flexibility. Because producers don’t have the capacity to designate a single line for each product, high waste costs and production downtime have become pain points during product changeovers. Pigging speeds up changeovers due to the reduced time allotment for the wash cycle.




Increased product yields are the most obvious benefit of sanitary pigging systems. Even the best designed sanitary process systems will have leftover product residual. Pigging recaptures the residue and allow it to be useable product instead of waste. Pigging systems are particularly beneficial to producers that run any sticky, thick, or viscous products regularly. The higher the product viscosity the greater the amount of leftover residue.


See how LIAG’s pigging system performs in this caramel application.




Because a sanitary pigging system recovers a significant amount of product left in the pipe there is less product that goes to waste and CIP processes require a reduced amount of cleaning chemicals and water. The results are a direct waste reduction through decreased waste processing and reduction of utilities usage.




Pigging systems save water and reduce the number of hazardous chemicals associated with cleaning as well as contribute significantly to reduced waste. Not only are utilities, chemicals and waste processing costly but they negatively impact the environment. For environmentally conscious producers, sanitary pigging systems offer significant benefits.


Types of Pigging Systems


Hygienic pigging systems are not one-size-fit all solutions. Deployment of a pigging system in an existing process or new build requires in-depth evaluation and specifications based on the particulars of the process. LIAG DMV Product Recovery systems can be broken down to five main categories illustrated below. Consult a pigging system expert for full analysis and recommendations based on your needs.


DMV Pigging System Advantage-Reliable Tight


Hygienic Pigging System

LIAG’s uniquely designed DMV pigging system works with a 2-seal lip pig and has a homogeneous hygienic design. It offers excellent cleaning effects and are virtually free of wear. Two dynamic lips form a reliable seal with the pipe wall, the action of pressure and counter pressure forms the seals to the pipe wall, compensating for minor deviations in the pipe geometry. The pigs are highly flexible and can pass tight radii (R= 1.5 x D). Dynamic lip pigs are optionally equipped with a magnet for location and control.

High Return on Investment


Sanitary pigging systems offer a high return on investment. A typical sanitary pigging system from LIAG can offer a one-year payback on initial investment. LIAG pigging systems are used by some of the best-known companies on the globe. Ask a Rodem representative to help calculate your potential savings from a sanitary pigging system installation.


Is a Sanitary Pigging System Right for your Process?


In conclusion, for processors that manufacturer liquids, sanitary pigging systems are one of the most impactful ways to boost product yields, minimize waste, increase production times, and reduce water usage. In addition, pigging systems save product and other resources resulting in a positive impact on the environment. For more information and help planning a hygienic pigging system for your sanitary process contact your Rodem representative. Don’t leave your profit in the pipe!