Regular Pigging System Maintenance Ensures Continued Efficiency, Reliability and Longevity
HPS pigging systems are high-quality, reliable, robust and are designed to last a long time. Of course, like most things, nothing lasts forever.
Over time, pigging system components are exposed to wear and tear, meaning certain parts will eventually need replacing.
However, with some care, regular servicing and planned maintenance, this will maximise efficiency, reliability and the longevity of your pigging system. In fact, we have many customers with HPS systems that are working effectively after twenty years due to routine maintenance.
This blog article focuses on pigging system maintenance. It also includes our top tips, which will help to ensure your system keeps running at optimum performance.
Tip One – Planned Maintenance not Unplanned Downtime
We strongly recommend that you have a preventative maintenance programme in place for your HPS system. This involves HPS engineers visiting your site on agreed schedules. They’ll perform essential maintenance on your equipment, such as replacing parts of your pigging system that are ready to be replaced and ensuring the system is running smoothly.
Although preventative maintenance incurs a certain amount of downtime, we always keep it to a minimum. However, that is nothing compared to actual ‘unplanned’ maintenance caused by parts breaking. Because it is planned, production can propose the optimal time and can factor maintenance in when it suits you, not when the system stops working. In this way, preventative maintenance programmes are less damaging, more efficient and cost-effective than unplanned maintenance. Other benefits of the HPS preventative maintenance programme include:
- Loss of production due to breakdowns
- Identify faults and issues early on, so repairs are quicker to fix
- Reduces the chance of emergency repair calls. If the pigging system equipment stops working, it can sometimes take a day or two for our specialist engineers to determine the issue. However, preventative maintenance can minimise the chances of this happening.
- Reduces downtime required to replace the parts that are no longer working.
Here’s more about our preventative maintenance plans for pigging systems.
Tip Two – Don’t Wait for Things to Go Wrong!
Following on from tip one, don’t wait for something to go wrong with your pigging system.
Unplanned maintenance, also referred to as emergency, reactive or breakdown maintenance can be extremely detrimental due to the downtime associated with it. There are also the high costs to consider which include
- Lost production
- Expensive labour
- Loss of man-hours
- Decreased efficiency due to bringing production to a halt.
And that’s only some of the costs! So, don’t take the risk with your productivity and keep your production line moving continuously with a preventative maintenance plan.
Tip Three – Have Critical Spares in Stock
Following on from tip two, we recommend having a set of critical spares on site as a minimum to keep your system running and minimising the chances of long downtime periods. If something does go wrong with your system, having critical spares readily available allows your company to maintain your plant’s productivity and avoid a production line shutdown.
We stock an extensive range of spare parts at our head office in Nottingham, UK, which we can dispatch globally at short notice. However, certain HPS products have a longer lead time than others. The last thing you want is your production line to come to a halt and lose productivity due to waiting for a spare part to arrive. That’s why we strongly advise you to keep spare parts in stock, especially the critical spares. If you need further clarification on what critical spares are required for your HPS system, please contact our customer care department on +44 (0) 115 925400.
Tip Four – Replace Pigs at Regular Intervals
HPS hygienic pigs are durable, reliable and are designed to provide a long working life as possible. However, they will eventually need replacing. We strongly recommend that you replace the pig (or pigs) before they pass their recommended usage limits and avoid using worn or damaged pigs.
Using pigs that are worn and damaged can have major implications. As well as having a severe impact on the performance of your system, it may cause unnecessary downtime. Worst case scenario, it may lead to product bypass, resulting in product dilution and contamination issues. However, all of this can be easily avoided by checking the condition of your pig regularly for wear-and-tear such as cuts, dents, distortion etc, and replacing as and when required.
Tip Five – Regularly Inspect Your Pigging System and Components
As well as frequently checking the condition of your pig, we also recommend that you carry out a visual inspection of your pigging system components on a regular basis. We’ll let you know exactly how often your equipment needs inspecting when we install your solution. Visual inspections are one of the best ways of troubleshooting, identifying issues before they escalate into something bigger, and minimising pigging system downtime.
Tip Six – Pigging System Training
Pigging systems offer many benefits such as increasing yields, reducing waste, minimising downtime and speeding up changeovers. They can be simple solutions such as single-pig product recovery system or complex, multi-source, multi-destination solutions. Nevertheless, regardless of the solution, we strongly recommend pigging system training for everyone likely to maintain, operate, and work with the system.
Pigging system training ensures that those who come into contact with the system fully understand it and are able to use it correctly, effectively, and safely. Users will also be trained in basic care and maintenance of the equipment. We also offer ‘top-up’ training if you need it. For instance, if there are new members of staff who are unsure of how to use the equipment. Please contact us for more details.
Here’s more about pigging system training and the different types we offer.
Bonus Tip – Install Pig Usage Software
We recommend that you install our latest Pig Usage Software if you have an automatic pigging solution. The software tells your operators when a system pig is coming towards the end of its working life. As well as preventing unnecessary downtime, the software minimises the risks associated with using worn or damaged pigs. It also makes maintenance a whole lot easier.
If you are interested in installing the pig usage software. please leave us a message in the form below.
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We hope you enjoyed reading about our top tips of pigging system maintenance. If you process liquids or wet product and want to bring the benefits of pigging to your processing operations, please contact HPS!