The Importance of Pigging System Commissioning
When a pigging system is first installed, it is important to ensure that it is commissioned effectively and efficiently before it is put into operation.
Pigging systems designed, manufactured and implemented by HPS nearly always include commissioning.
Not only does pigging system commissioning ensure that the system is up and running and working effectively, but it also ensures that the system is safe, and that staff are trained to use and maintain it without affecting production.
What Does Pigging System Commissioning Mean?
Pigging system commissioning involves our highly knowledgeable and experienced engineers coming to your site to provide ongoing support and to ensure a pain-free and smooth-running start-up of your system. They will agree on a date scheduled to suit you. Please note, commissioning is carried out after installation. HPS has a team of highly experienced installers. However, some customers prefer to use their own installers or install it themselves.
For the commissioning process, our engineers will be in constant contact and will act as a single point of contact throughout the whole process. Plus, they won’t leave site or ‘sign off’ any project, unless we are certain the system is safe, operating correctly and staff are trained to use it properly.
Objectives of Commissioning
The main objectives of the pigging system commissioning process are to:
- Enable the final acceptance of the system. Make sure you, the client, are happy with the system.
- Hand over the system from HPS to your production team.
- Ensure that all components of your system meet (or exceed) the functional requirements of the design we agreed.
Step-by-Step of the Commissioning Process
So, what exactly does the HPS commissioning process involve?
Once all the relevant health and safety site inductions are completed, the HPS engineer typically has an initial meeting with the person in charge of the installation or project. They will discuss the project specifics and any site-specific concerns that there may be.
Before any commissioning can commence it is vital that the HPS engineer visually inspects the pipework to ensure it’s complete and free from dents and damage. They will also visually inspect the welds to make sure they are clean and have minimal intrusion into the internal bore of the pipe.
They will also double-check all HPS equipment is installed correctly, free from damage, properly supported and is in an accessible and maintainable position. They will also check drains, vents and air lines as well as review the electrical installation plus much more.
After the engineer has completed all the appropriate checks, commissioning can then begin!
The first stage of commissioning typically involves checking the power and air supply. If HPS has supplied the PLC/HMI system and programming, our specialist software engineer will set up the programming and control of the pigging system. If the HMI/PLC software has been supplied and written by the customer, the engineer will check the code and ensure it is verified and calibrated correctly.
The HPS engineer will then conduct the appropriate tests and check communications between PLC, HMI, and the equipment. Please note, prior to commissioning and attending site, rigorous in-house testing is carried out by our software engineers to find and rectify program faults.
Commissioning – Pigging System Sequence
The next stage of commissioning involves checking the pigging system sequence.
In order to check the safe operation of the pigging system, a sequence must first be performed without the pig in the line. Following this, a foam test pig will be used from the receive station to the launch housing to validate pipework. The foam test pig will then be checked for any signs of damage.
Once the preliminary safety checks have been completed, the HPS pig can then be introduced into the pigging system. The engineer will launch the HPS pig and adjust the Pig Detector locations where required. Following sequence completion and when the pig is back in its housing, the engineer will remove the pig for visual inspection. Again, the pig needs to be checked for any signs of damage.
The HPS engineer will then run various product transfer and clean-in-place (CIP) sequences to ensure they are working effectively and efficiently.
Pigging System Training
When our commissioning engineer is happy with the pigging system, they will then provide comprehensive training for staff that will be operating the equipment. The main purpose of pigging system training is to ensure all relevant personnel knows how to use the equipment and software correctly and safely.
Operational training also includes background to the project, what pigging is, why it’s used, its principles, purpose, and benefits, how the pig works and how it is detected. The engineer will also train relevant personnel on the functionality of your individual solution. The training will also detail safety procedures, basic maintenance and anything additional as requested by the customer.
Service Training for Maintenance Staff and Engineers
As part of the commissioning process, HPS also provides training on servicing and maintenance. Training is bespoke and tailored to each organisation’s needs, but it typically includes how to safely check and maintain individual system components, health, and safety, maintenance programmes, scheduling, and frequency, when and how to change individual parts, software maintenance, and upgrades and system troubleshooting.
The Handover Process
When you are happy with the system and your team knows how to operate it correctly, then it is ready to be handed over to you. The HPS Difference is that we won’t leave your site until the system is fully commissioned, operating properly and has been accepted by you.
Although handover is the last stage of the pigging project, it is the first stage of the much longer phase – the long-term operation of your system and you reaping its benefits.
This process involves you being introduced to your new customer care contact. The customer care contact will be able to deal with any issues or questions you have which may arise post-commissioning. They’ll act as a single point of contact and will get in touch with you to ensure your system is operating effectively. They’ll also be on hand to arrange health checks, training for new staff and can advise on spare parts and maintenance.
Find Out More
HPS has extensive experience in pigging system commissioning. We’ve been in business since 1995 and have implemented thousands of systems throughout the world. We have an exceptionally skilled team of engineers covering everything from commissioning, project management, to control software engineering and design.
To get your pigging project started, please contact HPS.