Pigging technology: The solution for clean and safe production

Jul 05, 2023

Pigging is an effective way to clean and secure production equipment. In this blog post, you will learn how pigging systems work, the benefits they offer, and what to look for during planning, implementation, and maintenance. As a production engineer, planning engineer, or plant manager, careful selection of the right pig can help you increase the efficiency of your facilities while protecting the environment.

What is pigging technology?

Pigging technology refers to the use of pigs in piping systems to clean, inspect or transport materials. This technology is commonly used in various industries such as food and beverage, chemical, and wastewater. Here, the geometry of the piping system plays an important role in selecting the appropriate pig.

Filling systems can also benefit from pigging technology, as it can help reduce contamination and ensure efficient production processes. The benefits of this technology are many: it enables fast and thorough cleaning, as well as increasing efficiency through continuous material transport without interruption.


Pigging is a cleaning method for pipelines, tanks and filling systems. It involves pushing a so-called fitting body (pig) through the pipe, which can be equipped with various technologies to remove residues or optimize production processes. Cleaning with a pig is done without additional chemicals or manual steps, saving time and costs.

Pig technology enables fast and cost-effective cleaning of pipelines, tanks, and filling systems without additional chemicals or manual steps.

There are different types of pigs, such as foam or magnetic pigs. Special pigs are used depending on the application and the properties of the pipeline. By using pigs, production downtime can be minimized and production remains safe and efficient.

Mode of operation

Pigging is a proven method to effectively clean filling systems in production. It involves pushing a special cleaning pig through the system, which removes all residues and thus ensures hygienic conditions. The geometry of the system plays a crucial role here, as the pig must be adapted precisely to the requirements.

To ensure that the cleaning process is complete and controlled, it is carried out and monitored in several steps. There are various technologies for this, such as cameras or sensors. Thanks to automatic control, the entire cleaning process can be easily monitored, allowing you to focus on your core competencies.

The advantages of automated pigging technology are clear: High efficiency saves you time and money while improving your production conditions. As a result, you can be sure that your filling system will work perfectly at all times - whether you are building new plants or upgrading existing production facilities.

Application areas

Pigging technology can be used in various industries, such as the chemical, pharmaceutical or food industries. The technology is suitable for both new and existing plants and can be used at different sizes. Special considerations should be made when integrating the technology into a production line, especially with regard to filling systems and geometry.

Careful planning when implementing pigging technology ensures optimal performance as well as safety during operation. It is therefore advisable to seek the cooperation of experienced professionals in the field of production plant maintenance or modernization through planning engineers or companies, as well as plant personnel and production managers.


The use of pigging technology results in numerous economic benefits, such as efficient cleaning of pipelines and filling systems. The method also meets the highest safety standards and thus ensures a smooth production process. This leads to increased occupational safety and reduces the risk of operational downtime.

Furthermore, the use of pigs has an impact on environmental and occupational safety. Due to their special geometry, minimal cleaning agent is required, which saves costs as well as being environmentally friendly. In addition, regular cleaning with pigs minimizes the risk of contamination or pollution in production.

  • Reduced operating costs
  • Higher occupational and product safety
  • Lower cleaning agent consumption

Pigging technology in production

The use of pigging technology in production can ensure clean and efficient manufacturing. The pig, as a flexible cleaning device, safely transports production residues out of pipelines and containers. This ensures a smooth flow in production and prevents contamination or stagnation in the process.

In addition to clean production, pigging technology also contributes to safety. Thanks to the closed system, employees cannot come into contact with harmful residues or be endangered by unforeseen blockages. Thus, pigging technology is an indispensable tool for production engineers to ensure the safety of their employees.

Clean Production

Effective cleaning of piping and equipment is essential to avoid contamination risks from residues. Pigging technology is used to ensure thorough cleaning. Hygienic conditions help to increase product quality and are thus crucial for clean production.

With the use of pigs, even stubborn deposits in pipelines can be removed. The system allows complete passage of the medium without contamination or residue, ensuring a hygienic condition. The benefits are manifold: fewer rejects, higher operational reliability, and ultimately cost savings in maintenance and repair.

Safe production

Regular cleaning and maintenance help reduce the risk of accidents. Preventing contamination in sensitive areas such as food production ensures safe production. Using pigging technology protects against breakdowns or damage to production equipment, ensuring a safe production process

Efficient Production

The use of pigging technology enables significant time savings compared to manual cleaning, ensuring efficient production. Controlled material flows during pigging operations optimize the production process, resulting in higher quality. Another consequence is a reduction in maintenance costs due to reduced downtime.

Pigging planning and implementation

For successful pigging technology planning and implementation, several factors must be considered. First, it is important to determine the need and define the requirements for the system. These include, for example, material compatibility, flow rate and cleaning intervals.

Then the system is planned and designed, taking into account local conditions as well as specific requirements. This requires a high level of expertise as well as experience in handling pigging systems in order to develop an optimally matched system. During implementation and commissioning, it is then important to install all components professionally as well as to provide thorough training for personnel to ensure smooth operation.

Determining requirements

A successful needs assessment is the first step toward efficient pigging technology. Analysis of the production plant allows specific requirements and difficulties to be identified. By identifying cleaning needs, appropriate pig types can be selected to ensure thorough and cost-effective cleaning. Accurate determination of the optimal pig type is critical to the success and safety of your production by minimizing downtime and preventing contamination.

Planning and design

Careful planning and design is essential for the successful implementation of pigging technology. This involves creating a detailed plan for the pigging section, selecting appropriate materials for the pig and piping, and optimizing process control. Only precise planning and design can ensure efficient, safe, and clean production.

An important factor in planning and design is also the consideration of future requirements for the system. For example, possible expansions or new production requirements should already be planned for in the development phase in order to minimize later effort. Careful planning can thus not only save costs, but also ensure a smooth production process.

Implementation and commissioning

Successful implementation and commissioning of the pigging system requires careful installation in accordance with the design documents and the performance of tests to verify its functionality. Training should be provided to inform and educate personnel to ensure that all employees understand the requirements and know how to operate the equipment. The pigging system must be installed and commissioned in accordance with the design documents.

During the implementation and commissioning phase, it is important to ensure that all components are installed correctly. Testing the system to ensure it is functioning properly is also essential. Training for employees must be conducted on a regular basis to ensure smooth operations.

Choosing the right pig

There are several criteria to consider when choosing the right pig. First, it is important to know the intended use and the nature of the production plant. The type and volume of media to be conveyed also plays a role in choosing the appropriate type of pig.

A common option is so-called polyurethane pigs, which are characterized by their high abrasion resistance and are therefore particularly durable. Silicone pigs can be used for high-temperature applications, while fluorine-containing materials are recommended for aggressive chemicals. Choosing the right pig thus depends on many factors and requires a precise analysis of the individual needs of a production plant.

Criteria for selection

Choosing the right pig for your plant depends on several criteria. Here are some important factors to consider when making your selection:

  • Material resistance of the pig to the substances to be conveyed
  • Diameter and length of the pig in relation to the pipe dimensions
  • Operating conditions such as temperature, pressure and flow velocity of the media
  • Pig frequency and cleaning efficiency
  • Safety requirements such as prevention of leakage or explosion hazards

These factors affect not only the effectiveness, but also the safety of your production. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider which type of pig is the most suitable.

Typical Pig Types

Cleaning pigs, capping pigs and transport pigs are typical pig types. These are used in pigging applications to remove residues or deposits, seal pipeline sections, or transport materials through pipelines. Here is an overview:

  • Cleaning pigs for removing residues or deposits in pipes or tanks
  • Capping pigs for sealing pipe sections during maintenance work or repairs
  • Transport pigs for transporting materials through pipelines, for example when filling silos

The choice of the right pig always depends on the individual application.

Maintenance and servicing of pigging systems

Regular maintenance of pigging systems is essential to ensure reliable and efficient production. In particular, the seals, drives and piping should be checked for wear and damage.

The maintenance and servicing of pigging systems should only be carried out by specialist personnel. They not only have the necessary know-how, but also the necessary tools and spare parts for quick repair in the event of a malfunction.

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance of pigging equipment is essential for safe and efficient production. Depending on the intensity of use, the frequency of maintenance work should be adjusted. The scope of work includes, among other things, the inspection of wear parts as well as cleaning and disinfection measures. Regular maintenance offers numerous advantages, such as avoiding production downtime or reducing maintenance costs by detecting defects at an early stage.

Maintenance and servicing by qualified personnel

For effective maintenance and servicing of pigging systems, qualified personnel are required. Personnel should have the necessary qualifications to operate the system safely and efficiently. It is also important to provide training for personnel to ensure that they are familiar with the latest technologies and procedures.

Selecting a reliable partner for pigging system maintenance and repair work is also critical. The partner should have an experienced team of professionals to respond quickly to problems. Regular inspection of the equipment can help minimize downtime and maximize equipment life.


Pigging technology can help production engineers, planning engineers and plant personnel ensure effective cleaning of production equipment. This is necessary to increase production safety and minimize downtime and maintenance costs. By using pigs, thorough cleaning is achieved, even in hard-to-reach places in pipelines or tanks.

For the new installation, maintenance or modernization of production plants, the use of pigging technology is thus recommended as a sustainable solution for clean and safe production. Investing in this technology pays off in the long term and helps optimize the entire production process.

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