6 Pipe Marking Applications
By Jack Rubinger, Graphic Products, Inc.
While the image of enormous pipes carrying oil across frozen tundras or sewer pipelines which serve millions of city-dwellers come to mind from the media, in reality pipes may be found in less prominent scenarios like the boiler rooms of New York apartment buildings.
What all pipes have in common is the need to be properly identified for those who work on the pipes such as construction crews or maintenance and repair contractors. Pipe marking labels have been created specifically to communicate pipe contents and directional flow. Because pipes may be exposed to oil and chemical spills, extreme temperatures and UV sunlight, pipe marking labels must be industrial-strength, yet easy to read from any distance.
Below are six common industrial pipe marking applications – all requiring heavy duty labeling. For those seeking a pipe marking label printer, Graphic Products, Inc. has introduced a full-family of thermal transfer printers suited for pipe marking.
A complete reference to Pipe Marking
Ammonia Pipe Marking
Facilities such as ice cream manufacturing plants have anhydrous ammonia refrigeration systems which require pipe marking as a matter of EPA and OSHA compliance. Constant relabeling is needed as companies grow and components need replacing, so having the ability to make labels continuously saves companies time and money vs. waiting for expensive outside suppliers.
Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) Pipe Marking
Fugitive emission leaks from components at petrochemical refineries have a profound impact on worker's safety, community health, our environment and industry profits as production yields are negatively impacted when emissions escape from process equipment. These pipes, which may number in the thousands, all need to be labeled.
HVAC Pipe Marking
Effectively managing a physical plant is a major responsibility. Some have reported responding to more than 75,000 maintenance calls per year. Adding to the challenge are the thousands of pipes used to convey and distribute fluids that staff HVAC managers must maintain. Many have reported wasting huge amounts of time following and re-following unmarked water and steamer lines.
Boiler Room Pipe Marking
If you manage a New York apartment building, you've got to know where that water is flowing – for putting out fires and for upgrades, maintenance and inspections. With pre-war buildings and ancient water pipes, repairs are costly and inconvenient to dwellers dealing with essential service interruptions during major water pipe repairs. Although water pipes and shut-off valve locations may be identifiable when schematic drawings are available, usually this documentation doesn't exist – especially with older properties. It's important to track down small leaks as they occur when maintaining water supply and drain lines in pre-war buildings. It makes good sense to be pro-active before inevitable problems occur. The process is simply called "pipe marking" and the investment of time required in labeling the pipes now will save time and money in the future.
Nuclear Reactor Pipe Marking
What can go wrong at a nuclear reactor? All sorts of events, both natural and man-made can endanger lives and compromise a nuclear reactor's ability to deliver power to hundreds and thousands of homes. You simply don't want a burst pipe at a nuclear reactor. These pipes must be properly labeled or marked for contents and directional flow. The practice of pipe marking aids in repairing and replacing pipes when necessary.
Mine Pipe Marking
Identifying pipe labels with different color tape based on pipe contents is a requirement at mines. Color choices are based on flammability, corrosive/toxic, combustible, fire quenching and compressed air. Arrows indicating flow direction are placed before and after the text. These colors give quick reference for maintenance and fire crews. Upstream or downstream vessels or machine identification numbers can be used to further clarify pipe contents. It's recommended to include the line number or individual markings on the label as this will allow easy cross reference for future maintenance.