HPS pig

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: THE HPS PIG

Welcome to our key questions and answers blog series. This blog is dedicated to one of the most important components of HPS pigging systems: The hygienic (sanitary) pipeline pig.

HPS pigs are specially designed and engineered for highly effective, reliable and efficient hygienic and sanitary liquid product recovery (pigging).

So, here are some questions and answers covering basically everything you need to know about our process pigs.

If you’ve missed the first articles from the key questions and answers series, then make sure you check them out:

Key Questions and Answers about the AccuTect Pig Detector
Key Questions and Answers about HPS Piggable Diverter Valves

WHAT IS A PIG?

Pigs are key components of liquid product recovery (pigging) systems. They refer to a specialist flexible projectile that has a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the pipe it is pigging.

The pig pushes a product through a pipeline during product or batch changeovers. As the pig travels through the pipe, it recovers the product that’s remained in it. HPS pigs remove nearly all the product, leaving very little residue.

HPS hygienic (sanitary) pigs are made from material that meets the requirements of FDA regulations, so are suitable for hygienic and sanitary applications. They are extremely robust yet flexible and highly effective.

The recovery efficiency of HPS pigs is typically up to 99.5% of product in full pipelines. Our pig is also full contact design, which means it recovers product constantly, even when travelling around 1.5 D bends.

hps pig in hand

WHAT APPLICATIONS ARE HPS PIGS SUITABLE FOR?

The HPS pig is specially designed for hygienic, sanitary and other liquid processes. This includes food, beverages, confectionery, personal care, cosmetics, pet food, household, and other liquids. We also provide solvent resistant designs.

Generally, HPS pigs are suitable for pipeline diameters ranging from 1 inch to 8 inches diameter.

Please note, our pigs are NOT suitable for larger diameter pipelines (anything over 8 inches diameter). This includes utility industries such as oil, water, waste and gas.

Although, there are some similarities and cross-over between utility and process pigging, there are also some notable differences. Here’s more on the differences between process pigging systems and utility pigging systems.

HOW MUCH DOES A PIG COST?

The price of our process pigs is dependent on size and type of pig.

If you would like a price for an HPS pig, please request a quote.

HOW FAST DOES THE PIG TRAVEL THROUGH THE PIPELINE?

In HPS pigging systems, the pig travels at an extremely fast speed, which is great for efficiency and productivity.

The exact speed at which the pig travels through the pipe is dependent on several factors. For example, as the pig travels around bends, it will typically slow down. On the other hand, towards the end of the travel, the pig will tend to speed up (if there is less product flow top push through the pipe). Other factors such as using gas rather than liquids to propel the pig can also have an impact on the speed of the pig.

So, there are many factors to consider. But 10 metres per second is not uncommon for the speed of the pig in process environments. That’s why safety is the highest priority for HPS.

In a controlled environment it’s a different story. In a test conducted by our R&D department, we found that the average speed the HPS pig travelled was 40.57 MPH. In addition, the average speed the pig travelled was 165.4 metres per second. And the fastest recorded speed was 169 metres per second.

hps pipeline pig speed

HOW DO I KNOW WHERE THE PIG IS IN THE PIPELINE?

You’ll always know the location of the HPS pig with our AccuTect pig detector. The AccuTect is a specialist, innovative device that provides continuous pig detection. This improves safety and reduces the chances of errors through failed or flawed logic.

So, when the pig is in close range, the AccuTect will light up red to indicate the position of the pig. When out of range, the pig detector will light up green.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HPS PIGS?

HPS pigs have a wide range of benefits, which makes them the number-1 choice for some of the largest liquid processing companies in the world.

They’re extremely high-quality, robust, long-lasting and their typical recovery efficiency of 99.5% from full pipelines sets the benchmark for the industry.

One of the key benefits of HPS pigs is that they contain a flexible, magnetic silicone core, instead of a solid magnet. This massively improves safety and reduces the chances of contamination (due to the solid magnet shattering). HPS pigs also feature a one-piece, finless, full-contact design, so in addition to achieving high recovery rates, they also reduce the chances of product bypass.

HPS pigs are bi-directional, which means the operational efficiency of the pig is extremely high and full automation is much simpler to achieve. They can also navigate 1.5 D bends, while maintaining a strong interference fit (many other pigs need 3D bends or even greater to perform anywhere near the level of HPS pigs).

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PIG GETS STUCK IN THE PIPELINE?

The chance of pigs (especially HPS pigs) getting stuck in the pipeline is extremely rare.

In the unlikely event that the pig gets stuck in the pipeline, there’s usually a plausible explanation for it. For example, it could be down to using a worn or damaged pig that has exceeded its recommended usage. It could also be a result of lack of propellant pressure, faults with the pipeline, leakage from a pipe connection, or an obstruction such as a closed valve in front of the pig.

However, by ensuring the HPS pig is not worn, damaged or has exceeded the recommend usage and carrying out regular maintenance, the chance of the pig getting stuck is minimal.

Having said that, pigs getting stuck is a concern many companies have, especially those that are either new to pigging or have used non-HPS products in the past. To alleviate these concerns, HPS can supply a portable AccuTect pig detector if required, so you can locate a pig in a pipe whenever you need to.

HPS liquid product recovery pigging system

ARE HPS PIGS BI-DIRECTIONAL?

Although some pigs can only travel in one direction, this isn’t the case for HPS pigs which are bi-directional. In other words, they can travel either way along the pipeline.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE THE PIG?

Although HPS pigs are robust, reliable, and last an extremely long time, nothing lasts forever. Like everything, pigs will eventually need to be replaced due to wear-and-tear.

The HPS pig will need to be changed when it is showing signs of wear, damage or typically after it has travelled through 30,000 m or equivalent of pipe.

The exact life expectancy of the pig is dependent on a number of factors including the type of product being pigged, the process, ambient temperatures and other factors. In addition, if you pig alert software (if you have it) is notifying you to replace the HPS pig, then you should do so.

IS THE HPS PIG FOOD GRADE?

Yes, the HPS hygienic (sanitary) pig is manufactured from Food Grade Silicone Polymer which meets the needs of FDA regulations (21 CFR 177.2600).

CAN THE PIG TRAVEL AROUND BENDS?

Yes, the innovative, flexible, and full-contact design of the HPS pig enables it to effectively navigate 1.5 D bends, while maintaining a strong interference fit. Importantly, while navigating bends, HPS pigs can still achieve a high recovery efficiency (of up to 99.5% of product).

WHAT’S THE MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE THAT THE PIG CAN WITHSTAND?

The maximum temperature that the HPS pig can withstand is up to 250 °C or 482 °F without degradation. So, HPS pigs can be steam cleaned if required.

DO YOU NEED AN HPS PIGGING SYSTEM TO USE AN HPS PIG?

We strongly recommend using HPS pigs with an HPS pigging system. This is not to say our pigs aren’t effective with other systems. However, the HPS pig has been specially designed and engineered to perform with perfect compatibility with HPS pigging and liquid product recovery systems.

If you would like an HPS pig but don’t have an HPS custom pigging system, expect to be asked stringent questions about you non-HPS system. This is to ensure our pigs are compatible and that they can be used safely.

HPS pig

DO YOU HAVE A PIG FOR DIFFERENT PRODUCTS?

We offer a range of pigs to meet the demands of different process applications. For example, our hygienic (sanitary) pig is specially designed for food, beverages, chocolate, confectionery as well as other hygienic applications. It’s also suitable for household liquids, personal care applications and products with silicone oil content.

In addition to hygienic pigs, we also offer pigs which are suitable for solvents and other chemical environments.

ANY MORE QUESTIONS?

If there’s anything else you’d like to know about the HPS pig, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to one of our pigging system experts about a hygienic and sanitary pigging system designed around your exact requirements, please contact HPS. Simply give us a call, send us an email, or fill in one of the contact forms on our website and we’ll be in touch.