Pigging your pipeline

J Tube Pig with Stainless Steel Brushes

Pigging your pipeline will generally mean that you need to keep track of any pigs or equipment you use along the way.  While cleaning and investigating your pipeline may be particularly complex if you aren’t benefitting from pigs that can be tracked and monitored, it is just as important to make sure that you have the right tracking pigs for the job you’re taking on.  Pigs can be tracked and monitored in a number of ways and Pigtek offer a host of options for pipelines of all shapes and sizes – but you should ideally be making the distinction between Acoustic and Magnetic pig tracking before jumping into your project.


Acoustic pig tracking

Acoustic Monitoring Equipment

Acoustic pig tracking is largely conducted via vibrations that can be picked up along a pig’s travels – meaning that a sensor will be able to sense when a pig has travelled across certain welds and fittings within a pipeline interior.  The sensor supplied will be able to convert pulses to the monitoring equipment and audio output.  Acoustic monitoring works well with magnetic services, however, it is also well worth implementing a system on its own basis – it’s a fantastic way to keep a steady check on where a pig is along the pipeline and it will allow anyone monitoring to regularly update on its location should there be any concerns.  Acoustic pig tracking is useful for those who need to send a pig down a pipeline which may be at risk of heavy build-up or blockages.


Magnetic pig tracking

Magnetic Cleaning Pig removed from a pipeline

Magnetic pig tracking, too, is very useful depending upon your specific needs and wants.  This type of tracking, as you would expect, operates thanks to magnetic fields – and it reports back to the user when there are changes detected in such fields.  A magnetic system requires sensors to be fitted along the pipeline so that users can pick up on certain checkpoints – while an acoustic system will be more reliant upon a central tracking system and any problems a pig may run into during its journey.  Magnetic pig tracking, like acoustic pig tracking, can be completely portable, meaning that you won’t necessarily be tied to keeping track of your pigging in any one location.


Magnetic pig tracking is largely used in the field and is considered extremely reliable – it’s a popular choice for many companies and professionals looking to keep track of their pigs, but there may be many people who are keen to opt for a more traditional acoustic system.  However, pigs simply need to be fitted with a magnet to be considered fit for purpose for this type of system – meaning that both methods could be considered fairly easy to set up and operate.

 Contact us today

If you are in need of pig tracking for your pipeline and are unsure which system to opt for, Pigtek Ltd can help.  Simply contact +44 (0) 1246 850220 or email us at your convenience and we will be happy to discuss your needs with you in as much length as you may desire.

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Pipeline Pig Testing and Trialling