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Case Study – St Ivel

How an Automatic Pigging System Improves Efficiency of Butter Oil Production


  • HPS designed, supplied and implemented an automatic 2-inch single-pig pigging system in a new butter oil processing facility
  • The system recovers approximately 200 kg of product on each run
  • Pigging also ensures downtime for cleaning is minimised

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About st ivel

St Ivel is a long-established St Ivel logodairy brand which has been through several different ownerships since its inception in the early part of the 20th century. Today, St Ivel products are manufactured at various locations and the brand remains a household name.

Project Background

St Ivel had produced a new process for use with a new product.  The product, a type of butter oil, was transferred in a 90-metre-long pipeline between a tanker and existing storage tanks. The product travels in both directions. To minimise product waste and maximise yield, St Ivel wanted to quickly, efficiently and reliably pig the line to reclaim as much product as possible.

Why St Ivel Chose HPS as their Pigging Systems Provider

New products and processes can often present challenges. However, because HPS has a proven track record of successfully designing and implementing pigging systems in similar liquid production environments, St Ivel were confident that HPS would deliver a solution to meet their requirements.

The Solution

HPS designed, manufactured, supplied and commissioned a 2-inch automatic single-pig pigging system. This included integrating a new HPS control system with an existing control system. Key components supplied by HPS included a 3-way inflatable seal launch valve with pneumatic actuator and pig housing, receive and return module, pig detection systems, various valves, fittings, seals, clamps, control panel and other equipment.

To perform a pigging operation, the operator selects the start position for the pig prior to the transfer from an existing control system, which in turn communicates instructions to a new HPS control system. The HPS control system relays information back to the existing control system for sequence handling and SCADA display.

At the end of the product transfer the pig is launched and pushes the product residue to the selected storage tank or to a tanker.

When commissioning was complete, HPS engineers ensured St Ivel staff fully understood how the systems worked and were fully trained to properly and safely operate and maintain the equipment.

The Results

The primary aims of the project were to minimise product waste and maximise product yield.

The HPS pigging system design recovers approximately 200 kilograms of good product per run that would otherwise go to waste or become effluent. Residual product following pigging is barely measurable.

Pigging is quick and efficient which minimises downtime for cleaning.