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Guide to Pig Launchers and Receivers for Your Application

Jul 08 , 2024

Pig launchers and receivers are essential components in pipeline maintenance and operations, providing a means to introduce and retrieve pipeline inspection tools, commonly known as "pigs." Understanding their functions, benefits, and applications can significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of your pipeline systems. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of pig launchers and receivers, including their design, operation, and key considerations for your application.

What is a Pig Launcher and Receiver?

A pig launcher is a device used to insert a pipeline pig into the pipeline, while a pig receiver is used to retrieve the pig once it has traveled through the pipeline. These devices are critical for tasks such as cleaning, inspecting, and maintaining pipelines, ensuring optimal flow and preventing blockages or damages.

Components of Pig Launchers and Receivers

Pig launchers and receivers consist of several key components that work together to facilitate the safe and efficient handling of pigs. These components include:

1. Barrel

The barrel is the main body of the launcher or receiver, designed to accommodate the pig. It must be robust and durable to withstand the pressures and conditions within the pipeline.

2. Closure

The closure is a crucial safety feature, ensuring the launcher or receiver is securely sealed during operation. It allows for easy and safe access to the barrel for pig insertion or retrieval.

Pig Launcher Receiver

Pig Launcher Receiver

3. Pig Signaller

A pig signaller indicates the pig's passage through the launcher or receiver, providing real-time information on the pig’s location and ensuring accurate and safe operations.

4. Bypass Valve

The bypass valve allows for the isolation of the launcher or receiver from the pipeline flow, enabling safe insertion and retrieval of pigs without interrupting pipeline operations.

How to Operate a Pig Launcher and Receiver?

Operating a pig launcher and receiver involves several steps to ensure safety and efficiency:

1. Preparation

Before launching or receiving a pig, ensure all safety protocols are followed, and the necessary equipment is in place. Verify the integrity of the launcher or receiver and check for any potential issues.

Pig Launcher and Receiver

Pig Launchers and Receiver

2. Pig Launching

To launch a pig, open the closure and insert the pig into the barrel. Secure the closure, open the bypass valve, and gradually introduce the pig into the pipeline by controlling the flow of the pipeline fluid.

3. Pig Receiving

To receive a pig, open the bypass valve to isolate the receiver from the pipeline flow. Once the pig enters the receiver barrel, close the bypass valve and secure the closure before safely removing the pig.

Benefits of Using Pig Launchers and Receivers

Utilizing pig launchers and receivers offers several advantages, including:

1. Improved Pipeline Maintenance

Pig launchers and receivers facilitate regular cleaning and inspection of pipelines, preventing build-up and blockages that can compromise pipeline integrity and performance.

2. Enhanced Safety

These devices allow for safe handling of pigs, minimizing the risk of accidents or injuries during pipeline maintenance operations.

Pig Launcher Receiver

Pig Launcher Receiver

3. Operational Efficiency

By enabling continuous pipeline operations during pigging activities, pig launchers and receivers reduce downtime and enhance overall operational efficiency.

Applications of Pig Launchers and Receivers

Pig launchers and receivers are used in various industries and applications, including:

1. Oil and Gas Pipelines

In the oil and gas industry, pig launchers and receivers are essential for maintaining pipeline integrity, ensuring efficient flow, and conducting regular inspections.

2. Chemical and Petrochemical Pipelines

These devices are used to clean and inspect pipelines transporting chemicals and petrochemicals, preventing contamination and ensuring safe operations.

3. Water and Wastewater Pipelines

Pig launchers and receivers help maintain clean and efficient water and wastewater pipelines, reducing the risk of blockages and ensuring optimal flow.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pig Launchers and Receivers

Here are some common questions people have about pig launchers and receivers:

Q: How often should pigging operations be conducted?

A: The frequency of pigging operations depends on the specific pipeline and its usage. Regular inspections and maintenance schedules should be established based on the pipeline’s operational requirements and conditions.

Q: Can pig launchers and receivers be used for different types of pigs?

A: Yes, pig launchers and receivers are designed to accommodate various types of pigs, including cleaning pigs, inspection pigs, and batching pigs, depending on the specific requirements of the pipeline.

Q: What safety measures should be taken during pigging operations?

A: Safety measures include following standard operating procedures, ensuring proper training for personnel, conducting regular equipment inspections, and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

By understanding the functions and benefits of pig launchers and receivers, you can effectively incorporate them into your pipeline maintenance strategy, ensuring efficient and safe operations for your application.

Do you want to receive more information about pig launchers and receivers? Then we are happy to answer your questions. Fill in the contact form or send an email to

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