Bi-Directional Gauging Pig in ReceiverWhen it comes to clearing pipelines – regardless of length, diameter or complexity – pigging is the most efficient way to investigate and remove waste and debris from hard-to-reach areas.  Pigs can be designed and dispatched on a bespoke basis, taking into account product flow, pipeline sizing and other factors – however, it is always important to undertake several preliminary measures before starting with pipeline pigging for the first time.  What are these measures – and why are they so essential to the whole process?

What is Pipeline Proving?

Pipeline proving is a process through which new pipe networks, or those that have simply never been pigged, can be prepared and assessed ready for a maiden dispatch.  Proving makes sure that a pipeline is both ready and secure enough for a specifically designed pig to be able to both travel its length and breadth and to ascertain whether or not there are any problems or blockages further down the network that may impede on a pig’s progress.  Proving is, essentially, the advance run.  It’s a practice pigging that is normally undertaken by foam or polly pigs – which can be fitted with magnets to provide tracking where necessary.  This is a great idea if you are hoping to gain the most accurate results from proving trials.

Our pipeline proving pigs also offer basic cleaning properties – this is so that they can easily find their way through a piping network without the risk of blockage or disruption to the process.  Proving pigs are designed to be able to navigate tight bends and to remove quantities of debris and dirt on their voyage, meaning that they work well as a first pass for pigging analysis.  While they do not perform the thorough cleaning expected of specially-designed pigging equipment, they are essential in the preliminary analysis of any pipeline network.

What does pipeline gauging do?

Bi-Directional Gauging PigAnother process important to carry out pre-pigging is pipeline gauging.  This process gives a little more in the way of detail as to the status of a pipeline further along the route, as it is primarily used to determine the exact dimensional capability of a pipe network in question.  Gauging pigs are generally flexible and are widely used to prepare pipelines for more thorough cleanings and inspections.  These, too, can be fitted with a range of tracking equipment and magnets to ensure that you receive as much data as possible during tracking.

Preparing for pipeline pigging is essential if you have never undertaken the service before – your pipe network needs to be primed and ready to be able to accept and accommodate even the most bespoke of pig solutions, and both gauging and proving will offer detailed analysis as to how capable your pipeline is in allowing certain types of pig to travel through.

If you’re considering pigging for the first time and would like to know more about our preliminary services and bespoke pig creation, please call Pigtek Ltd today on +44 (0) 1246 850220, or email us with a query via web form at your convenience.