Improving the Flow

The Challenge:

Our client, a large Canadian health and beauty product manufacturer, had a challenge flowing an array of products, from sunscreen to mouthwash, from their 17-tank mixing room into their packaging facilities. Each of the 17 tanks contained a different product, and there were only 6 lines running out to packaging.

Each packaging line was deliberately capable of packaging multiple products of similar consistency and format, and the client had to maintain this flexibility for efficiency and competitiveness; after all, the more products they could package within their facilities, the more contracts their plant could win.

Each of the 17 tanks had a pump on the bottom that connected to the packaging facility via 60-foot rubber hoses. These hoses ran along the floor and across walkways, which was causing confusion, as well as safety issues. And, because there were only 6 lines out of the room, each hose had to be cleared of residual product and cleaned before being connected to a different tank and piping out the next product.

Our client needed a cleaner, more efficient piping system that would fully drain along all points, recoup all product out of the line, be flexible and interchangeable (17 tanks would still share 6 lines out to packaging), provide quick and easy clean-in-place capability, and most important, that would better comply with strict FDA and GMP standards.

The Solution:

Pure Ingenuity designed and installed a centralized flow-diversion board and sanitary stainless steel piping system that connected all 17 tanks to all 6 product-packaging lines. Our key challenges were to satisfy the production matrix while minimizing construction costs, and maximizing simplicity and ease of use for operators. And, the piping system needed to fit within a limited space while still providing ample access for operators.

Centralized flow-diversion board

Pure Ingenuity took detailed measurements of the production room and mapped the location of all the tanks, pipes and other targets, which revealed all the barriers and connection locations. We then developed a solid model to demonstrate the optimal piping and flow-board configuration within the space so our client could see the system would work before anything was built. Once that model was validated, constructed and installed the entire piping system on site within the facility.

Production room model

The Result:

Now all 17 tanks are connected to one central flow-diversion board via sanitary stainless steel tubing. The system has improved sanitation, dramatically reduced downtime for cleaning, provided operators with a much safer, more intuitive system to operate, and brought the facility up to industry leading standards of regulatory compliance.

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