Intelligent Pigs

Published: October 31, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Intelligent Pigs Mean?

Intelligent pigs are used as trenchless inspection tools to determine faults in an underground pipe so that repairs can be accurately scoped. Ultrasonic and magnetic flux leakage are used to identify erosion, corrosion, wall thickness loss and cracks in the pipe.

Accurately identifying problems in an underground pipe is the first step to planning a trenchless rehabilitation project.

PIG is an acronym for pipeline inspection gauge, however, the term is commonly used in the industry with lower casing, "pigs."


Trenchlesspedia Explains Intelligent Pigs

PIG is an acronym for pipeline inspection gauge, but it is also conveys the idea of the squealing noise that a pig makes as it travels along an underground pipe. Intelligent pigs consist of complex electronics and measurement tools that provide data for engineers to analyze. They are sent along the pipeline, taking measurements all along the pipe and recording their results. Engineers can identify both the type of fault on the pipe as well as the actual location, making repairs easy to plan and execute.



Pipeline Inspection Gauge

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