Common questions about pigging systems for lubricants

Got a Question about Pigging Lubricants?

Liquid product recovery (“pigging”) systems are commonly used in process applications to recover valuable residual product from pipelines, minimizing waste and boosting efficiency. One of the key industries benefiting from pigging systems is the lubricants industry.

With environmental regulations becoming increasingly stringent, lubricant manufacturers are under pressure to reduce waste and improve sustainability. As a result, many companies in this sector are adopting pigging systems to address these challenges effectively.

At HPS, we have extensive expertise in pigging systems for lubricants processing and production. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common questions we get asked about pigging lubricants.

How Does a Pigging Systems Work in Lubricant Manufacturing?

Pigging systems refer to an advanced specialist technology used in lubricant manufacturing plants to reclaim residual product from pipelines.

The pigging process works by using a projectile (called a ‘pig’), a flexible, cylindrical device that has an interference fit with the pipeline. The pig, propelled through the pipe, usually by compressed air, gas, other liquids, or even the next product to be processed, pushes the product through the transfer lines to its destination.

Because the HPS pig maintains a strong, interference fit when travelling through the pipeline, there’s rarely any significant bypass.

Advanced pigging technology by HPS typically reclaims up to 99.5% of product from full pipelines. This remarkable efficiency not only maximizes yields but also significantly reduces waste, making pigging systems a must-have investment in lubricant manufacturing operations.

What are the key benefits of pigging for lubricant manufacturing?

Pigging systems deliver many tangible benefits for lubricant processing and production.

Product Recovery: Pigging systems reclaim residual product from pipelines. This minimizes waste, while maximizing the use of valuable product.

Faster Changeovers and Cleaning:  Pigging technology enhances changeovers and cleaning by eliminating practically all traces of product from pipelines. This also reduces downtime while boosting capacity and optimizing resource utilization, resulting in enhanced operational efficiency.

Cost Reduction: The technology helps reduce costs associated with product loss, waste disposal, and cleaning chemicals, contributing to overall cost savings.

Improved Product Quality: Because the pipeline pig recovers all residual product from the pipe between different lubricant batches, this helps maintain high product quality while reducing cross-contamination risks.

Sustainability: Pigging saves waste, water, chemicals, and decreases related transport and disposal costs, resulting in a more environmentally friendly operation.

Pigging systems for lubricants, greases and similar products

Do pigging systems work with all types of lubricants?

HPS can pig a wide range of products, including various types of lubricants such as motor oil and gearbox oil to hydraulic oil, greases and many more. We have a saying at HPS: “If you can pump it, we can pig it.”

However, the suitability depends on factors such as viscosity and composition of the lubricant as well as the specific requirement of the application.

It’s important to note, while the majority of lubricants are compatible with pigging systems, it’s essential to ensure that when choosing a pigging system and pig, they are appropriate for the lubricant being processed.

Contacting a pigging system specialist early on in your pigging project can help determine the compatibility and feasibility of pigging for specific lubricants in your operation.

Which pigging system configuration is suitable for my application?

Determining the ideal pigging system configuration for your application involves considering various factors. HPS provides a diverse range of options, from single pig pigging systems to tank drop-off pigging systems. Consulting with a pigging system provider allows for customization to meet your specific requirements, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency tailored to your operation.

What types of pigs are used in lubricant pipelines?

The type of pig depends on the exact product being processed. Our pigging system experts will discuss your application and exact requirements during the initial stages of your project.

However, in most lubricant projects, the pigs typically used are hygienic (sanitary) and bi-directional, contain no solid magnets and are designed to meet FDA regulations. These pigs ensure effective cleaning, product recovery, and compliance with industry standards.

What are the key components of a pigging system for lubricant manufacturing?

Whether processing lubricants, chemicals, or food stuff, the key components of a pigging system remain the same. The components typically include:

  • Pig: The specialist projectile that travels through the pipeline and reclaims the residual product.
  • Pig Detector: An advanced, intelligent device that detects the presence of the pig in the pipeline when it’s in close proximity.
  • Pig Launchers and Pig Receivers: These special stations within the pigging system introduce the pig into the pipeline, propel it through the system, and store it when not in use, as well as return the pig after its run.
  • Pig Housing: Designed to store the pig when it’s not pigging.
  • Valves and Piping: Specialized valves and piping configurations that facilitate the movement of the pig and control the flow of products.
  • Control System: Automated controls that manage the pigging process, ensuring efficiency and safety.

lubricant processing and production

What are some real-world examples of successful applications of pigging systems in lubricant manufacturing?

HPS has extensive experience in pigging systems for lubricant manufacturing. We have installed pigging systems for manufacturers including Exol, Fuchs, Tetrosyl, Valvoline, Rock Oil and many more.

Through our advanced liquid product recovery technology, we’ve facilitated substantial improvements in operational efficiency and profitability. Our pigging systems are instrumental in increasing yields and capacity, streamlining changeovers, mitigating cross-contamination risks, minimizing waste, and ultimately, enhancing bottom-line performance for our customers in the lubricant manufacturing industry.

HPS recently implemented pigging technology for a manufacturer of lubricant oils in the UK. The manufacturer is expected to recover an annual sales revenue of just under £600,000. The pigging system payback period is also quick, at less than 5 months.

Can pigging systems reduce cross-contamination in my lubricant manufacturing plant? If so, how?

Yes, pigging systems can significantly reduce cross-contamination in your lubricant manufacturing plant. Here’s how they achieve this:

Recovering Residual Product: Pigging systems effectively recover practically all traces of residual product within the insides of pipelines. By doing so, they prevent the mixing of successive batches, ensuring that each product remains uncontaminated.

Interference Fit: The design of the HPS pipeline pig ensures a strong interference fit within the pipeline with no product bypass. This tight fit enables the pig to reclaim product from the inner walls of the pipe thoroughly, removing residual product and preventing cross-contamination between batches.

Quick and Efficient Cleaning: Pigging systems speed up the changeover process, allowing for quick and efficient pipeline cleaning. This minimizes the risk of leftover product from a previous batch contaminating the next product being processed, which is especially crucial when switching between different types of lubricants.

Minimized Cleaning Chemical Use: Because pigging systems are highly effective at removing residual product from the pipe, they reduce the requirement for needing extensive chemical chemicals. This not only lowers the risk of contamination from cleaning chemicals but also minimizes the time and resources required for cleaning.

Improved Product Quality: By maintaining the purity of each batch of lubricant, pigging systems enhance overall product quality. This is particularly important in industries where stringent quality standards must be met, and even minor cross-contamination can lead to product failure or rejection.

By implementing a pigging system in lubricant processing and production, manufacturers can ensure product integrity, and significantly reduce the risk of cross-contamination, ensuring high-quality lubricant production.

I have a potential project at a lubricant plant. Could I please have a quote?

Yes, certainly. All HPS pigging systems are bespoke and  tailored to meet the specific needs and requirements of each customer.

Get a Pigging System Quotation

To provide you with an accurate quote, we will need some additional information from you. This includes details such as exact product you are looking to pig, pipeline diameter and length, pipe specifications and material, number of product sources and destinations, aims for pigging and any other relevant information.

To get a quote for a custom pigging system, simply use our request a quote form or fill out a contact form with the necessary details. If you prefer, you can also contact us via email or phone. Our dedicated team will be more than happy to assist you with any questions or inquiries you may have.

pigging systems for lubricants

Any More Questions about Pigging Lubricants?

Download our Guide to Liquid Product Recovery (Pigging) for Lubricants >>

If you have any further inquiries regarding the implementation of a pigging system for lubricant production, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Alternatively, if you process liquid or wet products and want to increase yields, streamline changeovers, and reduce cross-contamination through advanced liquid product recovery technology, please contact HPS.

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