FAQs

Equipment and Operation

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Equipment and Operation

Will a pigging system help my plant meet sustainable manufacturing, continuous improvement and environmental stewardship objectives?

Absolutely. All three objectives are accomplished by recovering product, reducing flushing waste, and minimizing consumption of raw materials, energy, and natural resources. Pigging systems are one of the few investments a plant can make to not only reach sustainable manufacturing, continuous improvement, and environmental stewardship objectives, but also achieve rapid returns.

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How much residual product will be left in the line as a result of pigging?

Pigging Solutions pigging systems recover trapped product and clean the transfer line with greater than 99% efficiency. Where there is a trade-off between system cost and residual product, Pigging Solutions provides the most cost effective system design that meets the residual product tolerance level of each application.

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Can harsh chemicals and viscous or high temperature products be pigged?

Pigging Solutions has pig styles and materials suitable for a wide range of application, including those that involve harsh chemicals and viscous or high temperature products. Our design options and experience make Pigging Solutions an industry leader. Virtually any product that can be pumped through the transfer lines can be pigged by our systems.

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Are pigging systems a good investment for my company?

Absolutely. Because our systems recover high value product and eliminate the creation of flush waste, pigging systems normally have paybacks of less than 1 year and often show a return on investment in just a few months.

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How long will my pigging system last?

Pigging Solutions systems are quality manufactured from carbon and stainless steel to ASME standards by certified technicians. Prior to shipping, fabricated hardware is hydro-tested to elevated pressures to assure leak-free operation and long service life. With routine replacement of consumables, such as seals and pigs, and routine maintenance of valves and sensors, our pigging systems will last indefinitely.

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My existing pigging system design makes it difficult for pig inspection and maintenance. Does Pigging Solutions provide pigging systems that permit rapid and safe access to pigs for easy inspection and maintenance?

LQC Operation

Yes. Pigging Solutions Pig Launcher/Receivers (PLR’s) are equipped with the patented LQC® Pressure Locking Safety Access Cap and Pig Wiper Disc Relax Chamber. The LQC safety cap securely connects with just a quarter-turn and does not permit operator removal when under pressure. The Relax Chamber allows operators to ergonomically insert and remove pigs easily without "stuffing" or "tugging" the compressed pig from the transfer line. Pig Launcher design is such that operators can remove and inspect pigs in less than 15 sections without tools or involvement of maintenance personnel.

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Regulatory and political environments are placing an increased focus on worker safety. Are pigging systems safe for operators to use?

Pigging Solutions systems are the industry leader with respect to both safety and operator ease-of-use. Pig Launcher/Receivers (PLR’s) are equipped with the patented LQC safety cap that securely connects with just a quarter-turn and does not permit operator removal when under pressure. All pigging hardware is manufactured to ASME standards by certified technicians and then hydro-tested at elevated pressures to assure leak-free operation and long service life.

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Why are Short Branch Piggable Tees with pig bars important to trouble free pigging?

For effective displacement and pipe wall cleaning, the pig is compressed tightly in the transfer piping. Without use of Piggable Tees, the pig would have a tendency to “nose dive” into the tee branch opening and become stuck and possibly damaged. Piggable Tees provided by Pigging Solutions have a uniquely integrated, non-welded, pig bar across the tee branch opening to prevent pig hang-up in the tee branch and assure smooth transition of the pig through the tee. The Pigging Solutions short tee branch length minimizes the dead leg product residual above the pigged transfer line created by the tee branch.

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I have a sanitary application that requires CIP of the transfer system. Is it possible to have a pigging system where the pig is exposed to the CIP process to prevent risk of exposure to microbial growth?

For this unique application, Pigging Solutions provides Pig Launcher/Receivers with CIP Rise Chambers that permit both the pig and pig launcher to be exposed to the CIP process.

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My plant requires all piping to meet ASME B31.3 Standards. Can the pigging hardware be certified to ASME B31.3?

All pigging hardware components are manufactured to ASME standards and ASME B31.3 testing certification can be provided.

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I need to routinely conduct both simultaneous transfers and switch transfers between multiple supply sources to multiple destination locations. Is this possible with a pigging system?

Yes. Pigging Solutions supplies safe and easy to use hard piped Piggable Manifolds and 3-Way Piggable Diverter Valves that allow both simultaneous and sequential flow diversion between multiple sources and destinations. See Multiple Source to Multiple Destination sample sketches for more.

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Can I pig through hose?

Due to potential hose failure, pigging though hose is not normally recommended. However, pigging through hose can be done under certain rigorous conditions. Hoses must have piggable connection fittings on each end, the internal surface must be smooth, and the piping ID must either be schedule 40 or sanitary tube. To provide safety and minimize the risk of kinking, the hose should have armor, be rigid, and kept very short in length. Pigging Solutions recommends the use of hard piped piggable manifolds as a safe alternative to hose pigging. Pigging Solutions does not recommend or supply hose for pigging applications, but will assist clients in evaluating potential applications with limited use of hose pigging. See Piggable Manifolds, Diverter Valves, And Transfer Panels for more.

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Can Pigging Solutions provide automated control for my pigging system?

Yes. Pigging Solutions can provide low cost and effective stand-along PLC automated pigging control. Where the pigging system is to be integrated into overall plant operations and control, Pigging Solutions will provide the pigging automation sequence for integrating into the plant DCS system.

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I would like to have an automated system but prefer to start with a manual system. Is that possible?

Yes. Most manual components from Pigging Solutions can later be automated if desired.

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How will my operators know how to use the pigging system?  Will an operations manual be provided? 

Pigging Solutions will provide a client specific operations manual that will include a description of the key hardware components, their unique features, and their purpose in the system. The manual will additionally provide a sequence of operations for users to follow in order to safely operate the systems or for use in developing system automation. The operations manual also provides installation tips and component drawings and instrumentation specification sheets.

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If I want to see a system in operation, is that possible?

Pigging Solutions has many systems in operation across the USA. A few of these clients will permit Pigging Solutions to show non-competing company representatives these systems in operation.

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What is the recommended pig speed?

Pig speeds of between 3-5 feet per second are recommended. Lower pig speeds only slow the pigging process and do not impact pigging performance while high pig travel speeds can result in both pig and system damage. Pigging Solutions assists clients in designing systems that effectively control pigging speeds.

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System Design and Installation

Why is it important to have a Pigging Solutions professional design my pigging system?

In most cases, potential clients are not aware of all options and capabilities of pigging systems. There are often trade-offs between cost and system performance levels. Pigging Solutions has the widest array of system options in the industry and works with each client to assure design and supply of a system that is cost effective and appropriate for the application. By working with Pigging Solutions, clients are assured of a properly designed system that performs reliably and does not result in expensive modifications after installation to achieve the desired level of performance.

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Can Pigging Solutions fabricate my piggable piping system?

In addition to our primary pigging components, Pigging Solutions can also design and fabricate other system piping components for shipping and on-site installation. Examples include such components as, distribution headers and piping sections for installation in difficult access areas or hazardous locations that do not permit welding.

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Does the pigging application have an impact on system design?

Absolutely. Pigging system design varies depending on the level of residual product that can be tolerated in the line after pigging, the number of input sources and destination locations along the line, flexibility to make simultaneous transfers and cross-connect between multiple supply sources and multiple destinations, chemical and physical properties of the products to be pigged, the pipe schedule to be used, and other factors. Pigging Solutions works with each client to design pigging systems that meet the specific application needs.

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Do the products to be pigged have an impact on system design?

More aggressive chemicals, high temperatures, and high viscosity can all have an impact on system design. Pig materials that are more resistant to high heat and chemical attack are also less physically forgiving to bending and flexing. Systems requiring the use of more chemically resistant or heat tolerant pig materials will benefit significantly from system designs that minimize flexing and bending. Similarly, viscous products will also benefit from system designs with more sweeping elbows that lower the pressure required to propel the pig. Pigging Solutions will provide system designs appropriate the products and application.

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Does the choice of piping have an impact on the pigging system design and operation?

The choice of piping only impacts system design when schedule 10 piping is used as there are no standard valves with schedule 10 porting. Pigging Solutions can provide system designs that do not use valves or can provide designs using special schedule 10 ported piggable valves from Pigging Solutions.

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Does the orientation of system components have an impact on performance?

Pigging component orientation can have an impact on residuals remaining in the line and ergonomic access for operators. Pigging Solutions will be happy to review installation plans and provide recommendations.

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Do I need special valves in a pigging system?

Pigging systems require that all components in the line, including valves, be very close or the same ID (internal diameter) as the piping. For sanitary tube and schedule 40 piping, standard "full port" valves are satisfactory for pigging. However, for schedule 10 piping, special schedule 10 ported valves are required for trouble free pigging. Schedule 10 ported piggable valves are available from Pigging Solutions. We can also provide system designs for schedule 10 applications that do not require the use of isolation valves.

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Do I need special pipe or tubing for a pigging system?

No special piping is necessary for Pigging Solutions systems. In most instances, the piping type and surface finish suitable for the product transfer is also suitable for pigging. Sanitary tubing as well as both tubular and seam welded pipe are all suitable for pigged transfer applications.

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Do I need to hire a piping contractor experienced with pigging systems?

Though not a requirement, prior experience is always a plus. Any quality piping contractor with certified welders can meet the recommendations for piggable pipe welding and installation. Installation recommendations for piggable piping systems are available from Pigging Solutions.

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Is it beneficial to have long radius "sweep" elbows in a pigging system?

The degree of benefit depends on the nature of the application. Pigs can pass effectively through standard 1.5D radius elbows. However, the use of more sweeping 3D or 5D radius elbows can provides lower system pressure requirements and increases pig life. Pigging Solutions provides system designs appropriate for the products and applications.

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Pigging is a key component of a larger project being managed by an engineering firm. How can I assure the pigging system will meet my application needs?

Pigging Solutions routinely works jointly with both engineering firms and end user clients to assure cost effective and application appropriate design. We recommend Pigging Solutions works directly with the client in developing the pigging system. Once the design is approved by the end user client, Pigging Solutions can provide the needed components and desired level of installation and commissioning assistance to the engineering firm managing the overall project.

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Is line cleaning recommended prior to pigging system commissioning?

Line cleaning, using a combination of brush and foam surfaced pigs, helps to remove welding and other debris that may have accumulated in the pipe during installation and storage. As carbon steel pipe is often stored outside and can arrive with debris and flash rust from storage, Pigging Solutions highly recommends cleaning carbon steel pipelines prior to pigging. Stainless steel pipelines often arrive in better condition, but cleaning before pigging helps speed up the commissioning process. Line cleaning components and recommended cleaning procedures are available from Pigging Solutions.

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