Innovative Engineering Solutions For Risk Mitigation
Pigging is a standard process within the Energy industry involving the deployment of a specialist cleaning device (Pig) down a process pipeline, using the downstream process pressure to drive the Pig to the end of the line. The Pig is then required to be removed to allow the continuation of production of the plant, which varies in its end position within the pipeline due to the varying pressure and friction forces in the pipeline.
Forth were approached by a customer who were unhappy with the current labour- intensive Pigging process, which used a long reach hook and tirfor to latch and then retract the Pig to the retrieval point and were seeking a safer, more efficient solution Forth, therefore, began to develop a modular tool spread that integrates an ATEX Zone 1 pneumatic winch to a receiving cradle for the Pig, which is then coupled to a lightweight, self-supported and centralised long reach grabbing device (adjustable up to 15m), utilising an auto-locking grab at the front of the assembly,
which latches to the Pig upon contact with the Pig’s latching point, used in tandem with a front-mounted ATEX Zone 1 camera linked to a topside viewing monitor, to provide a feedback loop to the operator, thus reducing manual handling and operating time, to allow the swift return to production as well as improving the ultimate safety of the process. The latching point on the Pig for this project was a wire rope which drove the design of the front grab, however, due to the modular design of the tool spread, only the front grab need be modified to tailor to any different Pig latching point designs.