pigging system pipeline pig

Dispelling the Myths about Process Pigs

Pigging technology has been around for a very long time. It originates from the oil and gas industry, where it’s been used for many years to clean large diameter pipelines.

Over the years pigging has progressed from simple equipment used to clean pipelines, to advanced, fully automated industrial product recovery and liquid transfer technology in wide use in process industries today.

Because pigging has been around for so long, there’s a lot of confusion and myths surrounding pigging, especially the pipeline pigs. These range from pigs getting stuck, issues with product bypass, and an assumption that pigs can’t navigate bends.

But, how many of those are true and how many are fiction, especially when it comes to HPS pigs? Find out in our latest infographic:

info-graphic facts fiction HPS Pigs

Infographic – Fact VS Fiction HPS Pipeline Pigs

Fiction – HPS Pigs Can’t Navigate Bends

Of course, this is fiction. The innovative, flexible design of HPS pigs enables them to effectively navigate 1.5 D bends, while maintaining a strong interference fit.

What’s more, HPS pigs still achieve up to 99.5% recovery efficiency when travelling through bends. In some applications, recovery rates are even higher. See for yourselves – take a look at the HPS pig in action in our pigging system demonstration videos.

Fiction – HPS Pigs are Liable to Get Stuck in Pipelines

Again, this is fiction for HPS solutions. HPS pipeline pigs rarely, if ever, get stuck in HPS systems.

HPS have extensive experience in providing effective, efficient and reliable pipeline pigging systems and products. We’ve invested heavily in innovative research and development and enhancing the performance of our pig so that it overcomes common problems associated with other pigs on the market.

In the rare occasion that the pig does get stuck, it usually comes down to loss of pressure, a pipeline fault or an obstruction. Importantly, it can always be resolved easily, if not by your own maintenance teams, then by a quick call to HPS Customer Care.

Fiction – Product Bypass May Occur with HPS Pigs

This is also fiction. Because of the design of the HPS pig, the chances of product bypass occurring are extremely low.

Over the years, the Research and Development (R&D) Department at HPS have tried and tested most pig designs for food, beverage, confectionery, cosmetics, personal care, paint, plus other applications. In all cases, we have found HPS flexible pigs that contain a magnetised silicon core and have full-body contact with the pipeline vastly outperform all others.

Through R&D we have also found that pigs that contain multiple fins tend to be more susceptible to product bypass. That’s because finned pigs tend to have limited surface contact, as well as being subject to wear.

Each fin will let a small amount of product past. Gradually, over time the product builds up between each of the fins. Eventually the product bypass becomes significant. That’s why at HPS the main type of pig we supply is full-contact, fully moulded flexible pipeline pigs.

Fiction – Incomplete Clearance 

This is fiction. As mentioned previously, the HPS pig’s robust, cylindrical style shape is designed for full surface contact with the pipeline walls. It has been designed to recover every last drop of liquid from the pipe, which increases yields and maximises efficiency. The design also has the additional impact of reducing the propellant pressure required to propel the pig.

What’s more, the HPS pig can achieve the same high recovery rates while travelling around bends. Because the HPS pig maintains a strong, interference fit to remove product,  there’s rarely any significant bypass.

Fiction – Magnets in the Pig can Break and Contaminate the Line

For some pigs in the process pigging industry, this is true. That’s because many designs of pig contain solid magnets, which can break out of the pig, shatter and contaminate the product. This may render the entire batch unusable and may result in costly downtime.

Similarly, pigs that contain solid magnetic strips along the spine of the pig also pose a major safety and contamination risk. That’s because the strips can snap, and in some instances, the whole pig will break into pieces. Again, this will likely result in an entire batch being unusable.

Instead of solid magnets, HPS pigs contain a unique, flexible, magnetic patented silicon core. Because the magnetic core is moulded to the rest of the pig, we can confidently say that it will not shatter, fragment or break apart from the rest of the pig. This improves safety and minimises the risk of contaminating the product.

At the same time, the flexible magnetic silicon enables the pig to be easily detected in the pipe non-intrusively, using an HPS Pig Detector.

Find Out More

HPS pigs are robust, long-lasting, can navigate bends and recover over 99.5% of product. They have a silicon-based magnetic core that can’t shatter and are in wide use by many of the world’s largest liquid processing companies. So, to find out more about high-quality pigs for your organisation, please contact HPS.

Alternatively, if you have any questions about getting started with your pigging project, then speak to the process pigging system experts. We have installed thousands of systems throughout the world and have unmatched pigging expertise in our best practice solutions.

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