HPS pigging engineers with large pigs

Liquid Product Recovery Systems on a Large Scale

In the process industries, most liquid product recovery (pigging) systems are used in 2 to 4 inch pipelines. But HPS has recently installed three massive 8-inch fully automatic pigging systems with long pipe runs of around 730 meters.

This article takes a look at how HPS Pigging Systems are helping a well-known manufacturer of edible oil increase yields and reduce production cross-contamination in a large industrial port.

Tank Farm Product Recovery Solution

The lines transfer edible oils from a tanker unloading point at the docks, to multiple storage tanks located in a large industrial complex in a port area. As well as the long lines, there were numerous rises, drops, and bends to contend with.

The oil manufacturer was looking to install a liquid product recovery (“pigging”) system to increase product yields and reduce the risks of product cross-contamination.

In addition, they wanted to use pigging to clear the pipe as frequently as they like, as their product was susceptible to settling and solidifying as it cooled down. This was a problem as it would often cause transfers to cease until the lines were unblocked, resulting in costly labour, resources, and downtime.

Wealth of Experience in Pigging and Liquid Product Recovery Solutions

With our extensive experience in process pigging and liquid product recovery, the team at HPS were confident we could design a pigging solution that exceeded the customers’ expectations and delivered ongoing savings and return on investment (ROI).

HPS has a strong reputation as the global leader in hygienic and sanitary pigging systems and has worked with a wide range of companies throughout the world that manufacture edible oil and similar type products. Here are some of the key industries that are benefitting from HPS process pigging, liquid product recovery and product transfer solutions.

In addition, HPS has a wealth of experience in installing pigging systems for long pipe runs. For example, HPS implemented a pigging and liquid distribution system for a winery in Australia where the pig travels over 3000ft (which is just under 1km). Similarly, HPS installed a pigging system for a bottled water supplier in Canada and the pig also travels a very long distance of 1km.

An Overview of the Pigging Project

After lengthy discussions with the company regarding objectives and requirements, the HPS pigging design team recommended, supplied, and installed three fully automatic pigging systems to recover edible oil from the pipelines. The pigging systems recover up to 99.5% of product from full pipelines.

Two of the 8-inch automatic pigging systems recover edible oil from the transfer lines to any of the storage tanks on each system. HPS also installed a further 8-inch pigging system to recover product from a return tank to one of the transfer lines.

The pigging equipment supplied includes everything from pigging launch and receive equipment and specialist valves, supports and fittings to pig detectors, pigging control software and piggable tees. Importantly, the pigging equipment also includes bi-directional pigs, which are one of the most important components of pigging systems.

Pigs come in come in different shapes, sizes, materials, and designs. However, HPS bi-directional process pigs are a unique, cylindrical style design and contain a silicone-based magnetised core. They’re tough yet flexible and have exceptionally high recovery rates that are unmatched in the process pigging industry.

Careful Considerations for Certain Products

In many cases, the pipework in hygienic pigging systems is made of food-grade stainless steel. However, for this project, it wasn’t feasible with all of their lines. That’s because, some of their products had an acidic content, which would damage the stainless-steel line.

So, one of the lines was made of carbon steel which, being ferromagnetic, requires greater accuracy with magnetic pig detection. However, special pig-detection technology by HPS ensures accurate and reliable pig location and subsequent control by the HMI/PLC.

The lines were also clad with 1-inch thick insulating material, with both lines comprising of numerous connection flanges.

Overcoming Challenges in the Pigging and Liquid Product Recovery Project

When it came to commissioning the pigging systems, the pipes were pressure tested with water. Although it was a new tank farm, the pipework had still been in place for some time during the fabrication and assembly procedure. Because of this, the carbon steel pipeline had started accumulating rust around its inner walls, which was evident on inspection of its entry point.

Therefore, careful considerations had to be made when carrying out testing on the line. Pigging this line with a slightly lubricated test pig posed a challenge, as there was a risk that the pig would accumulate rust as it travelled through the pipe, and then could potentially get stuck in the pipeline. If this happened, large sections of pipeline would need dismantling, which would be time-consuming and labour-intensive.

However, this wasn’t a problem for HPS engineers!

As one of the most experienced pigging system providers, with more than two decades of experience, we know the typical pitfalls and exactly what we are doing. That’s why we are trusted throughout the world.

As you probably may have guessed, the initial test run effectively cleaned both pipelines. The pig didn’t get stuck, and on visual inspection, there was no damage to the pig.

The HPS engineers then ran various product transfer sequences, to ensure the pigging systems were working effectively and efficiently.

How are the Pigging Systems Performing?

The systems have only been in place for a short time, and they are already increasing yields, reducing waste, and reducing product cross-contamination risks. In addition, because the systems fully automate source and destination selection, this reduces the likelihood of costly errors. What’s more, because the systems reduce manual intervention, this removes the operator from danger zones where mistakes can be made. In this way, automatic pigging solutions greatly improve safety.

The HPS pig effectively recovers and clears the line, preventing any significant amounts of product standing in the pipes and then solidifying as it cools down. In this way, pigging speeds up changeover times and reduces downtime, by ensuring maximum uptime and preventing product solidification and blocking.

And because the systems reduce waste, and save energy and resources, the environmental benefits of pigging are significant.

And because the systems reduce waste, and save energy and resources, the environmental benefits of pigging are significant. Here’s an infographic which shows how pigging systems help the environment.

Here are some photos taken throughout the project including photos of the equipment at HPS headquarters in Nottingham, UK and at the clients site during commissioning:

Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution

Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution

Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution

Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution   Tank Farm product recovery (pigging) solution

HPS pigging project 2     HPS Pigging project    HPS pigging engineers with large pigs

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With numerous projects currently being completed throughout the world, there is no doubt HPS will retain its lead in the field of liquid product recovery and pigging solutions.

If you have an upcoming pigging project and would like to discuss it with one of our specialist pigging system engineers or arrange an on-site visit, please contact HPS. Our friendly, knowledgeable experts will provide you with all the information you need to get started with your pigging project.

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