KIESELMANN Insights

    Efficient pigging technology

    Read below how you can save time and money by automatically extending the pipeline.

Thorough savings

Savings potential of up to 80% of the conventional water consumption.

Saves time when changing products, no mixing phases, minimum cleaning time.

Reduction of environmental pollution by saving resources.

Cost reduction due to lower cleaning expenses.

Emptying pays off

Analysis of the Return on Investment (ROI)

When it comes to lubricants, the first thing that comes to mind is the engine oil for the car. Due to their versatility, lubricants are irreplaceable in the technical environment and in many production processes. Lubricants reduce friction and decrease the wear of moving parts in transmissions.

They support the power transmission in hydraulic components and dampen the vibration in shock absorbers. They are also used for cooling during milling and for corrosion protection.

The automotive industry defines very high demands on the physical properties and blend quality of special engine oils. Almost every major vehicle manufacturer now specifies its own formulations of base oils and special additives to take account of the individual characteristics of its engines.

Many independent lubricant manufacturers, who often produce a wide range of lubricants and special oils for the automotive industry in their plants, are required to achieve a high degree of product flexibility in their production plants while at the same time making their manufacturing processes economical and efficient.


In contrast, the food industry, for example, requires hygienically perfect lubricants for all parts of its machines and systems that come into contact with food. Lubrication with oils that have approvals from authorities such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is a basic requirement.

The contamination-free nature of all these individual formulations must therefore be ensured by the manufacturer without exception.

For such applications pigging systems offer an economical and above all environmentally friendly solution.

What is pigging technology

Quite simple:
With this technique, an elastomer body (pig) is pushed through the product lines to the filler with compressed air or cleaning medium.
The pig corresponds to the inner diameter of the pipeline.
In this way the pipes are emptied almost completely.

How does such an investment pay off?

Using the example of a well-known lubricant specialist

KIESELMANN received the order to optimise the existing production processes by means of advanced pigging technology and to bring them up to the state of the art.

The aim was to minimise product losses and the associated production costs. Piggable piping systems require very precise planning and careful execution. In addition to a precise analysis of the processes, the plant engineering department was able to draw on many years of experience in the design of pigging systems.

The result of the process analysis led to a requirement profile that included the planning and implementation of several pigging systems. Thus an automation of the individual batch processes could be implemented. A basic prerequisite for the proverbial friction-free operation is the surface quality of the inner walls as well as the quality of the welded joints. Orbital welding technology is essential for these lines. The pipelines and fittings for these systems must be made completely of stainless steel.

Of course the fittings must be piggable. This means that the full pipe diameter must be available when the valve is open. The plant manufacturer was able to fall back on the proven valves and components from KIESELMANN.

Replacement of individual valves is usually unavoidable when retrofitting, as in this case. This offers the possibility of converting manual processes to automation. Due to the wide variety of components in the lubricant manufacturer's oils, the selection of elastomer materials was somewhat more complex.

For example, resistance tests of various elastomers with pure additives as well as complete recipes were carried out in advance, in some cases under operating conditions. For the static seals FKM and for the pig a VMQ quality proved to be suitable. This effort is worthwhile in any case. The use of these elastomers matched to the lubricant manufacturer's products ensures trouble-free operation.

The result is impressive

In the existing production plant with 35 filler units, around 50 product changes per day were performed.

This resulted in a loss of between 200-400 litres of oil at each change.

Thanks to optimized fluid management and standardization of production processes, product loss has been reduced on average to less than five liters per product change.

This corresponds to a saving in disposal costs of around 12,000 euros per day. Not taking into account the losses due to contaminated production batches.

This ensures a timely return on investment. A further advantage is that only a thin product film adheres to the pipe wall after pigging.

Conclusion: Pigging systems pay for themselves and are suitable for generating a significant competitive advantage in a relatively short time.

Advantages of pigging technology



  • Faster product change
  • Practically complete use of the batch
  • Higher product safety
  • Cost reduction for disposal
  • Faster ROI through significant reduction of production costs
  • Reduction of environmental pollution

"The purpose is to increase efficiency"

Three questions on pigging technology to Mr. Jürgen Raichle, product manager for pigging technology, KIESELMANN Anlagenbau.

What's pigging technology?

In simple terms, pigging technology means the pushing out of medium with the aid of an elastic pipe fitting body, the pig. In order to ensure the seal to the liquid or gaseous propellant media and to cover the manufacturing tolerances of the pipe used, the pigs always have an oversize. The purpose of pigging is to increase efficiency. This is already achieved by saving time during product change and by avoiding mixing phases.

In addition, the amount of waste water, the cleaning time and the use of cleaning agents are reduced, as only a film in the micrometer range remains in the pipeline after the pigging operation. This ensures the purity of the individual recipes and thus increases production reliability. And it benefits the environment

When does such an investment pay off and what should be considered?

A pigging system pays off if you want to minimize product losses and the associated production costs. So you can say that a pigging system always pays off. The only thing to keep in mind is that piggable piping systems require very precise planning and careful execution. The pigging system is designed by means of a precise analysis of the processes and product data.

A prerequisite for literally smooth operation is the surface quality of the inner walls and the quality of the welded joints. Orbital welding technology is essential for these lines. The pipelines and fittings for these installations must be made entirely of stainless steel. And of course the fittings must be piggable, i.e. when the valve is open, the full pipe diameter must be available.

Is it possible to upgrade an existing plant with pigging technology?

Yes, it's quite easy. Pigging systems can be integrated smoothly into most plants. Basically, today it is assumed that piping systems are laid "piggable". Nevertheless, the installed pipeline must be checked, possibly even with a "sacrificial pig". Replacement of individual valves is usually unavoidable when retrofitting. However, this also offers the possibility of converting manual processes to automation immediately.

The piggable double seat valve

KIESELMANN has developed a new, piggable double-seat valve together with engineers of the Coca-Cola plant in Knetzgau. The valve combines two systems that are already successfully used in the hygiene areas of food and cosmetics production:

The leak-proof product control of the fully automatic double seat valves and the optimized product yield and cleaning process of the pigging technology.

The piggable double seat valve is based on the low-cost, hygienic KIESELMANN double seat valve. The solid stainless steel body of the housing is matched to the KIESELMANN hygienic duplex pig and absorbs tolerances of temperature differences or fluctuations in the product lines.

The two radial seats of the valve can be addressed individually in order to optimally clean the leakage chamber as well.

The request of Coca-Cola European Partners Germany (CCEP DE) was to combine a minimum dead space in the valve with the proven KIESELMANN hygiene design.

"This reduces product losses during cleaning",

says Michael Reinmuth, Project Manager KIESELMANN Plant Engineering. The sealing was also optimally constructed by the KIESELMANN development engineers.

The piggable double seat valve is available with a moulded seal in EPDM or k-flex. The brand name k-flex stands for a form of PTFE further developed by KIESELMANN.

On the part of CCEP DE, workshop manager Thomas Etzel also participated in the development of the valve.

Together they focused on the service life and maintenance behaviour. The result is a leak-proof, resource-saving, maintenance-friendly and durable valve.

Dr. Robert Weinzierl is responsible for the Process Engineering of CCEP DE and increasingly focuses on pigging technology. The systems are currently mainly used in the Coca-Cola syrup sector to clean in a resource and time saving manner.

This increases productivity, saves costs and protects the environment. The key word is sustainability. The "Environment Award", which will be presented for the first time in 2018, also stands for this. This annual environmental award, newly announced by Coca-Cola Europe, honors the production plant that has made the greatest progress in saving water and energy.

In 2018, the CCEP DE plant in Dorsten has won. In 2019 the cup will be brought to Knetzgau. The new, piggable KIESELMANN double-seat valve comes just in time.