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Aseptic Pigging Aseptic Pigging: How It Works

| Author/ Editor: URS HOFER and MATTHIAS STETTLER / Dr. Jörg Kempf

A new system for cleaning process installations saves valuable raw materials and cleaning agent. Aseptic pigs carry out the work — elaborate and cost-intensive rinsing through of the installation now belongs to the past.

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The new aseptic pig is available in various sizes.
The new aseptic pig is available in various sizes.
(Picture: Uresh)

Constantly rising demands are being made on the quality and purity of products from the foodstuffs, cosmetics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries. The classical cleaning procedures in the process industry, however, are hardly effective anymore. They need much water and cleaning agent in order to meet the hygiene requirements.

At the same time, a considerable portion of the flushed out raw products are lost. The left-over raw materials are mixed with the caustic cleaning solution and the water, and must go through an involved disposal procedure.

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Huff, Puff and Blow: Pneumatic Pressure for Aseptic Pigs

The firm Uresh, in Biel-Benken in Switzerland, offers an innovative concept for aseptic cleaning of process installations by means of a pigging system. The system consists of aseptic form moulds as well as transmitting and receiving stations.

The pigs are pressed through the pipes with compressed air and with only a minimal use (around ten percent of the conventional quantities) of water and cleaning agent, thus cleaning the pipes. Thanks to the geometry of the pigs and their smooth surface, remains of the product are wiped completely from the pipe walls. The system can be incorporated easily into existing installations.

What is Aseptic Pigging and How Does It Work?

The hygiene regulations call for the internal surfaces of pipes to be hygienically clean and germ-free. No traces of products or cleaning agents, which could cause cross-contamination with other products, should be left. The ejected products can be used again without losses: there is no waste. Mixing of production or raw materials with water or cleaning agent is avoided, the process is reproducible, safe and, corresponding to the increasingly strict legal requirements, can be completely documented.

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