Essential Insights to Kickstart Your Product Recovery Project

Industrial process pigging is probably the most popular and effective method of recovering useable, residual product from pipelines.

Its versatility spans across a spectrum of production processes, ranging from alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, paints, varnishes, confectionery, pet food, high-end cosmetics, and household cleaning fluids.


Successfully implemented, pigging systems deliver a wide range of benefits with clear return on investment (ROI). They can be deployed on existing industrial plant as well as new equipment, and the majority of solutions delivered by HPS typically pay for themselves in less than twelve months.

But like many projects, getting started can often be one of the most difficult hurdles. It is, however, much less of a hurdle if you have some basic information and know where to begin.

This article serves as your guide, presenting essential background information crucial for selecting the right pigging system and outlining key considerations for planning a successful pigging-based product recovery solution.

Set Out Your Aims and Objectives

While efficient product recovery is a key driver to most pigging system projects, overall objectives often include improving environmental sustainability, streamlining operations, increased efficiency or profit maximisation.

More specific objectives often revolve around enhancing pipe cleaning efficiency, accelerating overall processing speed, and minimising water and cleaning fluid usage alongside product recovery. However, these objectives may vary depending on the specific application. For instance, a winery might prioritise mitigating dissolved oxygen or other contamination risks during liquid transfer, whereas a cosmetics company may focus on minimising product waste.

Prioritising your key objectives will make it easier for your pigging system provider to design the right solution for you. Having clearly defined SMART objectives also makes it easier for you to assess the success of your project. Typical examples are % increase in product yield during a set number of production runs, reduction in waste per week, month or year, number of minutes saved per week due to faster changeover times, reduction of water or cleaning fluid usage in litres per month, or number of hours saved each week due to faster cleaning.

How to Choose a Pigging System

Given that there are a broad variety of applications, aims and objectives, there is similarly a broad variety of pigging system designs and specifications. As such, there is no such thing as an ‘off the shelf’ product recovery or pigging system.

At HPS, we custom-design each system to align precisely with the unique requirements, needs, and infrastructure of every customer. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you select the most suitable system for your operation. However, conducting a bit of background research can provide valuable insights, ensuring you’re familiar with the basics of single pig, double pig, and tank drop-off systems. Here are some pigging system demo videos illustrating how these different systems operate.

Different products have different requirements. For example, a single-pig system will suit many applications, but if your products has a tendency to foam, or must not come in to contact with air, we would probably recommend a double pig system. Moreover, the type product will also affect the type of pig we recommend. Whether your product is foodstuff, contains traces of silicone, or is solvent-based, will dictate the optimal pig type for your operation.

Basic Information

Once you’ve set out your aims and objectives, it is worth collating some basic information about your existing or planned infrastructure, before approaching a pigging and product recovery specialist such as HPS Product Recovery Solutions.

Here are some of the key areas of information you should be considering. Even if you can’t address every aspect, your pigging company can still offer a recommended system specification. However, the more information you can provide, the better.

Your Products

We have a saying at HPS: “If you can pump it, HPS can pig it”! 

Our pigging solutions are versatile, accommodating a wide range of liquid processing needs. However, providing additional information such as typical operating temperatures, viscosity, pumping pressures, and other relevant details will help our engineers to accurately specify a solution for you.

Understanding YoUr Current Operation

Before recommending a pigging solution, it’s crucial to understand the setup of your current liquid processing system. Provide details such as the number of product sources and destinations, the approximate distances between each, your current cleaning procedures between changeovers, the frequency of changeovers, and any other key information. This comprehensive understanding ensures that we can recommend a pigging solution that seamlessly integrates with your existing operation.

Your Existing Pipeline Infrastructure

The type, dimensions, material and condition of your existing pipeline infrastructure will directly influence the design of your pigging system. Here’s a useful article on pipeline infrastructure for pigging systems.

Existing Services

There are different ways to propel pigs. The most common is by using compressed air, or using a gas such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide. Other methods of propelling pigs include water or even the next product to be processed.

It is usually preferable to use existing services if possible. Therefore, make a note of the compressed air, gas, or other available services, including their respective ratings, to ensure compatibility with your pigging system.

Pigging System Automation

Automated pigging systems are more efficient, more reliable, easier to run and safer than manual systems. You may have your own PLC, SCADA or HMI system specialists that will be able to set up programming and control for you.

Alternatively, if you choose HPS as your pigging provider, you gain access to our team of experienced automation specialists, ensuring seamless integration and optimised performance of your pigging system.

Selecting a Pigging System Provider

When choosing a pigging system provider, consider factors such as their experience, expertise, and track record in the industry. Look for a provider who offers customised solutions and has a proven track record of delivering successful projects for their clients.

Additionally, ensure that the provider offers comprehensive support throughout the project lifecycle, from initial consultation to installation and ongoing maintenance. A reliable provider will also offer training and support to ensure that your team can maximise the benefits of your pigging system.

By selecting the right process pigging system company, you can ensure that your project is successful and delivers the desired results.

Choose HPS as your pigging system provider, and benefit from our expertise, experience, and commitment to delivering innovative solutions tailored to your needs.

Next Steps

Once you’ve clarified your objectives and gathered some background and technical information, it will be easier for your chosen partner company to provide you with some pigging system costs.

For accurate pricing, our pigging system request a quote facility will help us provide you with a accurate budgetary information for your new project. They’ll also provide information about the design details, installation, delivery, training, site surveys, customer care and so on.

There’s no substitute for a face to face meeting, so if you’d like to discuss your project further with one of our specialist pigging system engineers or arrange an on-site visit, simply reach out to your local HPS representative or complete the short form below. Our friendly and knowledgeable experts are dedicated to providing you with all the information and support necessary to kickstart your project.

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