best process pigging company

Getting Started with Your Pigging Project

Choosing a pigging system and selecting a provider

So, you’ve already started thinking about implementing a product recovery (pigging) or liquid transfer solution into your production plant? But how do you choose a pigging system and ensure you select the best process pigging company for your project?

Whether you’re planning a straightforward pipe pigging system or a sophisticated, PLC-controlled multi-source, multi-destination liquid product transfer solution, the initial focus should be on choosing the ideal provider.

The decision regarding your pigging provider can ultimately determine the success or setback of your project. In this blog article, we delve into key factors to consider when selecting a pigging company. Adhering to these insights will greatly contribute to the success of your pigging, product recovery, or liquid transfer project.

Factors to Consider When Comparing Process Pigging Companies

  1. Bespoke, Custom Pigging Systems – Is the pigging system bespoke and designed around your precise needs and requirements? Be wary of any company offering ‘off the shelf’ solutions, they are rarely going to be a perfect fit.
  2. Seamless Integration – Does the company have a deep understanding of your current setup, ensuring their pigging solution integrates smoothly into your existing operations?
  3. Safety Assurance – Can the pigging system company demonstrate a solid track record in safety? Have you thoroughly reviewed the range of safety features in their products and the level of assurance they provide?
  4. Proven Technology – Does the company offer solutions that are well-established and proven to be effective?
  5. High Performance Pigs – Do the pigging providers offer high performance pigs that meet your application needs?
  6. Extensive Experience and Track Record – Do the pigging system providers possess the necessary expertise and a solid track record in the field?
  7. Provide Automation and Control Systems and Programming – Can they provide comprehensive automation and control systems and programming, or collaborate effectively with your own programmers?
  8. Pigging System Commissioning and Support – How will the pigging system providers support you throughout the project and over the equipment’s lifespan?
  9. Specialists – Is pigging their core business or just an ‘add on’?
  10. ROI from Pigging and Product Recovery – Can they provide clear ROI calculations and a compelling business case for pigging and product recovery investments?

HPS high performance pigging system

Bespoke, Custom Pigging Systems Designed Around Your Needs

When selecting a pigging system provider, one of the most important considerations is whether their solutions align with your precise needs and requirements. That’s why it’s extremely important to know what your key aims and objectives are for pigging before you even start talking to a vendor.

Objectives may range from increasing yields and minimising waste to enhancing operational efficiency and improving environmental sustainability.  More targeted goals may involve accelerating processing speeds, reducing water and CIP cleaning chemical usage, decreasing aeration, and much more.

Once you have established your primary objectives, you can then seek out pigging system providers who have the capability to design the right solution for you.

Furthermore, it’s crucial when choosing a pigging system company that they offer tailored, customised pigging systems. Given the inherent variations in processing plants, it’s imperative that every pigging system is uniquely designed.

Unfortunately, not all pigging companies offer bespoke, custom pigging solutions and instead offer ‘standard one-size-fits-all’ systems. These are rarely going to work as well as bespoke solutions and may even cause you a number of issues. Keep this in mind when evaluating different process pigging vendors.

Easy Integration

Beyond selecting a pigging company capable of delivering a tailored solution that aligns with your specific needs, it’s equally crucial to consider how these solutions will seamlessly integrate into your current operations.

The implementation process should be straightforward, causing minimal downtime. In fact, simple implementation and ease of use are strong signs that the pigging provider is a proven, and reliable leader in the process pigging industry.

This holds true even for more complex, multi-route liquid product distribution solutions, which should still be designed for easy implementation with user needs in mind.

HPS pigging system pipework and equipment

Safety

Safety is of paramount importance when choosing a pigging system company. The specialised projectiles, known as ‘pigs,’ are dense objects working in pressurised systems that travel through pipelines extremely quickly. Given this, prioritising safety is crucial in mitigating the potential risks of accidents.

Ensure that you opt for a reputable company with a well-documented history of prioritising safety. It’s essential that they can provide concrete evidence of their safety protocols, including equipment safety features, established processes, and robust safety systems.

Examples of pigging system safety features includes automation sequences, interlocks, venting, physical barriers, depressurization procedures and highly accurate, reliable pig detection systems.

It’s also critical that the pig used contains no solid magnets (and instead have a magnetic, silicone, flexible core). Solid magnets in pigs pose potential hazards as they can shatter, break, or even dislodge from the pig, jeopardising the safety of both individuals and equipment.

Proven Technology

Choosing proven technology that works will make all the difference to the effectiveness, reliability, productivity, efficiency and safety of your product recovery project.

The highest performing pigging technology and pig typically recover upwards of 99.5% of residual product from full pipelines.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology, maybe consider asking the pigging system vendors for a pigging system demonstration.

Reliable and customer-centric pigging solution providers will gladly showcase the effectiveness of their products, ensuring confidence in your decision before finalising a purchase.

High Performance Pigs

The most important component of any pigging system is the pig. The best-quality, most effective pigs tend to feature a one-piece, cylindrical, flexible design. Finned pigs should be avoided due to the hygiene issues they pose over time.

When assessing process pigging providers, it’s crucial to consider the recovery rates of their pigs—ideally, these should exceed 99 percent. Additionally, look for reliability in the pigs, such as whether they come with a minimum usage guarantee. A high-quality pig should demonstrate exceptional longevity without requiring frequent replacement.

Safety of the process line pigs is also extremely critical so make sure they can prove how their pigs meet stringent safety and quality standards (i.e., provide pigs that contain no solid magnets).

Furthermore, a reputable process pigging provider should offer a variety of pig types tailored to suit your specific application. For example, in food-related applications, pigs should be manufactured from food-grade, FDA-compliant materials. For solvent-based applications, a pig made from solvent-resistant materials should be available, and so forth

hps pig being put in housing

Extensive Experience and Track Record

The best pigging system company is typically one who has decades of experience and a high level of expertise in designing liquid product recovery and pigging systems.

Although the principles of pigging are straightforward, getting it right is not as easy as it may look at first glance. Designing, implementing, and commissioning an effective and safe pigging system, one that yields cost-savings and tangible benefits with a high ROI and swift payback, demands a wealth of experience and specialised expertise.

By choosing an experienced pigging provider, they’ll understand the typical pitfalls, the pros and cons of different systems. Moreover, an experienced provider recognises that what works for one company may not necessarily be the best fit for another.

Furthermore, choosing a pigging vendor with a proven track record in your industry sector ensures that you’re partnering with a knowledgeable and reliable company capable of delivering high-quality, innovative solutions.

To validate their expertise, it’s important to request references within your industry sector. They’ll most likely have a worldwide customer base, so will operate on a global scale.

For added assurance, consider asking for the opportunity to visit one of their existing customer’s production plants to witness a pigging system they’ve designed and implemented in action. This first-hand experience can provide invaluable insight into their capabilities and the effectiveness of their solutions.

Provide Automation and Control Systems and Programming

Most pigging systems are fully automated. So, when considering a process pigging provider, ensure they have extensive expertise in developing, writing, integrating and commissioning fully flexible, tried and tested pigging control systems and software.

They should have a team of experienced software experts on hand that can write systems and software to your plant PLC and HMI programming needs. They should be able to modify existing as well as integrate new equipment into existing systems. And they should be able to help you with just about any process control issue you’re having!

And if you prefer to do the programming yourself, the pigging provider should be more than happy to provide you with the Functional Design Specifications (FDS) and support you throughout the process.

Pigging System Commissioning, Technical Support and After-Sales

Throughout the entire process of implementing your pigging system, you’ll likely require support from your chosen pigging system provider.

Therefore, before finalising the purchase of a pigging system, it’s crucial to thoroughly review the commissioning and after-sales support offered by the vendor.

You should definitely consider a pigging provider that insists on commissioning their pigging systems. This ensures that every component functions as intended, guaranteeing both safety and effectiveness. Additionally, they should be committed to training your operators on proper and safe system operation, and should not leave your site until everything is operating seamlessly.

In addition, look out for pigging providers that offer after-sales support. This may include a dedicated customer care team with swift response capabilities, or even additional pigging system training and maintenance plans.

Regardless of your specific support requirements, it’s imperative that your chosen provider remains readily available at every stage of your pigging project, ensuring a seamless and successful implementation.

hps pigging staff

Pigging System Specialists

There are plenty of companies out there that provide process pigging systems. Some are specialists in pigging, whereas some companies offer a wide range of other products alongside pigging. In same large companies, pigging is only a small area of what they do, whereas specialist companies ‘live and breathe’ pigging all the time.

That’s why when planning a pigging system and choosing a pigging provider for your organisation, you should seriously consider working with a specialist company, with hygienic and sanitary product recovery at the core of their business. Your project will be in safe hands when you choose a specialist.

ROI from Pigging and Product Recovery

Like with all projects, it’s important that you ask any potential providers for an estimation of your return on investment (ROI) and payback from a pigging and product recovery system. They should be willing to provide clear ROI calculations and a sound business case with the expected benefits of pigging clearly identified.

It’s worth noting that a reputable pigging company prioritises your business’s best interests and won’t advocate for a system if the financials don’t align with your specific situation. They’re committed to ensuring that the investment makes sound sense for your business.

You Can Trust Us – The HPS Difference

HPS are the world’s leading experts in pigging, product recovery and liquid transfer solutions. Our proven technology is trusted throughout the world.

We’ve built an unrivalled reputation for designing tailored, quality pigging solutions that offer high levels of performance, reliability, efficiency and safety. Additionally, we are deeply committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience.

At the forefront of the process pigging industry, our unique and highly effective pigs are renowned for their high recovery rates, long life expectancies and patented silicone magnetised core.

So, if you’re considering pigging providers for your project, you should seriously think about using a hygienic and sanitary product recovery specialist such as HPS!

Contact HPS

To find out more about an HPS product recovery or pigging solution designed around the precise needs and requirements of your business, please get in touch.

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