icepigging-slider-15 Manufacturing

Ice Pigging is a highly effective, innovative pipeline cleaning solution that uses a slush ice mixture to clean and clear unwanted contaminants, materials or remaining product from manufacturing pipework.

Ice Pigging™ employs the special properties of a multiphase ice and liquid mixture. This allows the ice to flow like a liquid and move like a solid. The technique can significantly reduce the clean-in-place (CIP) cycle time and reduce the need for CIP chemicals. At the same time, it can recover product and reduce wastage.


Integrated in the production process to maximise efficiency, the Ice Pigging™ machine can significantly reduce the time and water used in flushing a pipework system. An additive in the ice is used to control the composition of the ice slurry allowing it to flow like a liquid. The ice slurry is injected directly into the pipe system via a normal process connection point. It can then be moved through the pipe network under pressure.


The Ice Pigging™ machinery can be integrated into the manufacturing facility to automatically create tailored ice slurry to meet production requirements and it can be located to clean and recover product from multiple production lines.

The Ice Pigging™ technology is highly flexible, making it suitable for a diverse range of products and manufacturing industries including aerospace, automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical, electronics, paint and coatings.


Ice Pigging™ is highly effective at removing materials and substances in pipes that require a particularly high quality clean. In processes where there is a need to recover high value product, Ice Pigging™ delivers a fast and effective solution. As part of a preventative maintenance regime, Ice Pigging™ can provide a solution for pipes that suffer from restricted flow due to product build-up and other unwanted materials, such as biofilm. Ice Pigging™ can remove highly cohesive and high viscosity materials that conventional water flushing will not remove.


Ice Pigging™ is a rapid process, achieving excellent cleaning results compared with conventional water flushing.

The process

When a factory pipeline is nearly ready to be cleaned, the factory operating system will call on the Ice Pigging™ machine (AQL500) which will prepare the ice for the Ice Pigging™ process. The additive used to make the ice may be salt, sugar, various types of acids or a process compatible material agreed with the customer.

A start signal is sent to the AQL500 Ice Pigging™ machine. The machine then injects the correct volume of ice for the selected recipe into the allocated production line. Upon completion, the factory receives a confirmation signal and can proceed to the next stage.

The Ice Pig™ must be propelled to the line end. This task can be achieved using several methods: water push, clean-in-place liquid push or even using the next product.

The Ice Pig™ along with unwanted contaminants, materials or product can be captured in a quarantine tank or ‘re-work’ tank or disposed of to a drain.


When the aim is to recover product from the line, sensors will be used to detect the interface between the Ice Pig™ and the product being recovered. Upon detection of this interface, a divert valve can be activated to direct the Ice Pig™ to a separate collection point.

The Ice Pigging™ machine interfaces with the factory operating system which can programme Ice Pigging™ across multiple production lines in the same facility. In some plants the AQL500 machine is supplemented with a AQL200D, a machine that can be used to carry the ice slurry, to serve remote locations in the site and for irregular cleans.

Low Risk: Exceptionally low risk – if ever the ice gets stuck, it will simply melt

Time: Fewer cleans are required and thus the production downtime is often significantly reduced

Cost: Overall costs can be significantly reduced as a result of time savings and cleaning efficiency

No-dismantling: Ice Pigging™ can remove materials and residues that have built up over time and may otherwise be impossible to remove without disassembling pipework

Cleans: Greatly enhanced cleaning of complex pipework. Ice Pigging™ reduces product contamination by increasing the system cleanliness and reduces spoil

Ease: The Ice Pigging™ machine operates on a continuous basis, capable of delivering ‘always-ready’ conditioned ice. The system is integrated into the factory Scada system, enabling automation

Environmental Benefits: Minimal volumes of water and therefore effluent are involved, compared with conventional cleaning

Recovery: Residues within pipes can often be retrieved for re-work resulting in higher product recovery rates

Example of Ice Pigging in operation

“Ice Pigging™ has proved to be a ‘game changer’ for us. Ice Pigging™ has now been adopted for other production sites,” Johnson Matthey

The Issue: A manufacturing customer making high value compounds had concerns about the time being taken to achieve the high level of clean they needed in their production lines. They wanted to reduce the long flushing times associated with water.


The Solution: An AQL500 was installed at their factory site to service multiple production lines. An AQL200D was added to provide the Ice Pigging™ cleaning service to an occasionally used production line in a neighbouring building.


The Results:

  • A much faster clean – from 8 hours down to 4 minutes
  • Unwanted materials removed from the production line
  • Exceeded the high-quality cleaning standards required
  • Significantly reduced downtime
  • Reduced water consumption
  • Improved production efficiencies

The Ice Pigging™ team have 90 years of experience developing and delivering this award winning, patented technology across a variety of sectors worldwide. If you want to know how Ice Pigging™ can solve issues with your pipework systems and processes, save you money and make your cleaning processes more efficient, get in touch.

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