pigging and pipeline cleaning

Pipelines are used to convey a wide variety of liquids and gases to homes and industries all around the world – and, as such, they never truly stop. This is why pigging your pipelines is so important!

This being said, the cleaning and upkeep of long pipes and pipelines can be particularly tricky – not only can it be difficult to analyse the entirety of a pipeline single-handed, but doing so may well disrupt the flow of product.

Such an interruption could have a knock effect for both business and the public alike.  Pipeline pigging, however, was devised to help make pipeline cleaning and inspection a relative breeze.


Pigging: The Basics

By using a device known as a ‘pig’, which can arrive in many different forms depending upon the task at hand, even the longest of pipelines can be cleared out and investigated with ease, allowing for the transfer of the product to continue without disruption.

Pigs are designed to fit a wide range of pipeline sizes and shapes and are furthermore designed to be carried along internal pipework with the flow of liquid or even in a natural gas pipeline– meaning that they can be safely launched at a ‘start’ station before reaching an ‘end’ station.

The entire process is carried out without interruption to any business or flow, making pipeline-pigging systems extremely efficient and cost-effective in pipe maintenance.

Inspecting the internal makeup of long pipelines is nigh of impossible physically – therefore, pipeline pigs can be used to scout through pipes to check for any anomalies in the pipework, remove debris and even find any internal damage – allowing the operator to source out any problems quickly for a speedy fix.


Different Types of Pigs – and Why They’re Useful

Different types of pigs include those that clean, those which investigate for damage or irregularities, and even those classed as ‘intelligent pigs’ – which, by using internal technology, can allow the pipeline pigging process to become one of a research project as such a pig will return with detailed information on the condition and dimensions of the interior pipework.

You’ll also find pigs designed in specific shapes and materials for bespoke needs and systems. A pig trap may include solid cast pigs or spherical pigs, for example, depending on the problem currently impacting your pipelines.

The best part to all of this is that Pigtek can set up a pigging system to benefit almost any need. We design and deploy pigging essentials to help inspect complex lines and scrape pipe wall after all. A bespoke design built for your pipes will ensure you stay clean and clear for years to come.


Is Pigging for me?

Clear acrylic flanges on wye-piece and tee for viewing pig during trials

Pipeline pigging is essential for large businesses and corporations which depend on constantly flowing products, and pigs have also been taken up by smaller brands and businesses who have been interested in saving time and effort on clearing and investigating internal piping.

As such, the pipeline-pigging industry is thriving – but you must always make sure that you partner with a team or organisation with a wealth of expertise behind them.

If you’re constantly struggling with debris blocking your pipes and are starting to struggle with business as a result, you could benefit from specialty pigs and bespoke services. For example, consider magnetic flux leakage pigs to help reduce ferrous deposits spoiling your product.


Pipeline Pigging – Made Easy

Pigtek has experience designing, manufacturing, and using all kinds of pigs (including smart pigs, foam pigs, mechanical pigs, gel pigs, utility pigs and more) – not to mention pig launchers themselves. We have even helped a stuck pig or two get out of some hard bends! In fact, product recovery is more common than you might think in both oil and gas pipelines.

Pigtek is at the forefront of the pipeline pigging industry, having supplied pig solutions, products and support to a number of high-profile brands, organisations, and pipeline operators – from Texaco to Yorkshire Water to Statoil.

Our team has over a century of combined industry experience between us, and as such, they can be depended upon for advice, supplies and even practical support. For hassle-free and efficient pipe maintenance, you really can do no better than a pig!

Our pigs sweep your pipelines while also conducting a pipeline inspection. They gather information on the current state of the pipeline, the flow of the product, the pipeline pressure, and any potential damages, all while pushing debris ahead and cleaning even multi-diameter pipelines as they go.

For further information on our pigging supplies and support, simply call us on 01246 850220, and we will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have regarding pigs, processes and your pipelines in as little or as much detail as you require.