How To Reduce Costs In The Pharmaceutical And Food And Drink Industry

The pharmaceutical, soft drink manufacturing, brewing and dairy industries are potentially high-waste sectors. Cost reduction, therefore, focuses on reducing waste and improving efficiency – especially concerning product retention, water and energy use, efficient hygiene practices, and plant reliability. These efficiency measures go hand-in-hand with sustainability, which aims to lower costs while at the same time improve the environmental profile of the sector. The following four strategies are proven ways of reducing costs in the pharmaceutical and food and drink industry.

1) Conduct a Sustainability Audit

The first step is to conduct a sustainability audit to find out ways in which you can save money and reduce waste. For instance, you might be able to reduce water waste by improving your cleaning system, save money on energy by investing in a more efficient pump or heat exchanger, reduce your maintenance downtime, or improve product recovery rates. We can conduct a sustainability audit for you, in which we arrange our experienced team to visit your workplace and provides you with a practical action plan you can implement to save costs and boost revenue.

2) Use a Spray Head Cleaner

Cleaning is an almost continuous process in the food and drink sector, and uses plenty of water and chemicals. It also necessitates a lot of downtime, during which the plant is unproductive, lowering your efficiency. Optimising the way you clean your IBC tanks and other equipment is, therefore, an excellent way of saving time, water and money.

A simple solution is to use a spray head cleaner instead of a hose/jet wash to clean your tanks. These are installed on top of the tank or pipe network and clean using short bursts of water, as opposed to the steady stream of a jet washer. Using a spray head brings several benefits:

  • Uses less water to achieve the same result
  • Uses less solvent/caustic cleaning agent
  • Requires less downtime, as the process can be pre-scheduled and automated
  • Requires less direct staff supervision/operator time

Alfa Laval manufacture a range of spray nozzles to fit all sizes and configurations of industrial and stainless steel tank. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

3) Stop Flushing Product Down the Drain!

Another effective way of reducing your costs is to recover more product! Some product invariably ends up stuck in the pipework at every stage of processing, and the volumes can soon add up – especially with high value cosmetics and medicines. This ‘waste’ product has to be flushed out of the system, wasting water and limiting your revenue. This inefficiency is a huge waste of money, and can be avoided by using a pigging system, or product recovery system. These systems use a projectile (called a pig), which travels through the pipe network, gathering up and recovering product residues, which can then be reused. Some of our most efficient pigging systems will recover 90% of the product in the pipes, avoiding the need to flood the network and flush money down the drain.

4) Use the Right Sized Pump for your Application

As energy consumption is one of your biggest costs in manufacturing, there is money to be saved by investing in energy-efficient equipment – and by choosing the correct pump for your application. Size matters when choosing a pump because a pump that’s too small will have to work harder, using more energy and potentially overheating. A pump that’s too large will also consume more energy, raising the cost of production. Many businesses install the largest pump they can afford in order to accommodate larger capacity in future, with the result that up to 90% of pumps in the industry are incorrectly sized.

The danger of this approach is you may never recover the surplus energy expenditure while your pump is underutilised. The most economically and environmentally sustainable option is to match your pump to your current operational needs, and conduct regular sustainability audits to identify where savings and improvements can be made.

Find Out More

At Industrial Trading Solutions, we supply a range of industrial products for breweries, distilleries, dairies and other producers, in order to increase sustainability and reduce operating costs. To find out more about our market leading pumps, valves, heat exchangers and other products, as well as the suppliers we work with, please email, or call 01675 621014 today to speak with an advisor.