In simplest terms the PIG launchers and receiver are the segments of the pipeline which allow the PIG to enter and depart the pipeline. They are usually funnel, Y-shaped segments of the pipe that can be pressurized or depressurized and then safely opened to insert or remove PIGs. Most pigging systems use bidirectional launchers and receivers that could work in either direction. It is important to permit the PIG to be retrieved by the launcher if there's a blockage in the pipeline that prevents it from reaching the receiver.
They're also optimized to be appropriate to the pressure and temperature demands of the pipeline. Launchers and recipients may be horizontal or vertical depending on the needs of the pipeline.
Some launchers are designed to maintain multiple PIGs at once and configured to establish them according to preset conditions. This is quite useful as it allows a lot of the work to be accomplished remotely. Additionally it prevents the launcher from having to become depressurized and repressurized again every time one PIG is necessary. It's the pressure from the flow of merchandise that moves the PIGs throughout the pipeline. Thus one of the main roles of launchers and receivers would be to securely interface between the low-pressure external world and the high-pressure pipeline..
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