Planning Your Next Pipe Marking Project

4 min read

If you are working on planning out a pipe marking project for your facility, it is important to make sure you get it done right the first time. Properly labeling and marking your pipes, if done correctly, only needs to be done about once every decade unless you make changes to your pipes. This is because proper pipe markings are designed to last a very long time as long as they are cared for.

Whether you are working on marking your pipes for the first time or it is time to update your pipe and valve labels, this type of project will provide many benefits for your company. Taking the time to learn as much as you can about what is needed will help ensure your pipe marking project goes smoothly.

Benefits of a Pipe Marking Project

One of the best things you can do to plan out your pipe marking project is to think about what benefits you hope to gain from this investment. While pipe markings are fairly inexpensive, taking the time to plan out and mark all of the pipes in your facility will take a significant investment of time and resources. By identifying the benefits of this effort, you will be more likely to be able to get approval for the project as well as ensure the work you perform helps the facility. The following are some of the key benefits of pipe markings to focus on when planning your project:

  • Workplace Safety Benefits – The most important benefit is that you will be improving the safety of the facility. By ensuring everyone can identify what is in a pipe, people are less likely to get exposed to potentially dangerous fluids, which can cause serious injuries.
  • Reduced Risk of Using Wrong Fluids – When someone is hooking up a machine to a pipe, having proper markings will ensure they are connecting to the proper one. Using the wrong fluid can cause serious damage to many machines.
  • Faster Response to Maintenance Issues – Performing maintenance on machines, or even directly on the pipes, your teams can work much more quickly because they do not need to trace out each pipe to be certain of what is in it. This helps to reduce downtime related to maintenance.
  • Regulatory Compliance – OSHA and other regulatory agencies often require that facilities have proper pipe markings to help ensure workplace safety.
  • Emergency Response – If you ever have an emergency and the fire department or other first responders have to come out, they will be able to react much more quickly if they know what is flowing through which pipes.

There may be a variety of other benefits to your facility as well depending on what, if any, markings you already have in place, the type of things traveling through the pipes, and other factors.

Points to Consider when Planning Your Pipe Markings

When it comes to actually planning out your pipe marking project, you will want to make sure you have everything you need in place. Considering some key points ahead of time will help to ensure everything goes smoothly and remains within your budget. While every pipe marking project is going to be unique, the following are some essential points to consider during the planning process:

  • Sourcing Pipe Markings – Depending on the size of your facility, you will need quite a few standard pipe markings. These will usually come in the form of labels that come pre-printed with common information. Make sure you can get markings of various sizes to fit all your pipes.
  • Sourcing Custom Pipe Markings – In many cases it will be necessary to have custom made pipe markings for atypical situations. Many companies will use an industrial label printer to quickly and easily create their custom labels. These devices can also be used to make standard labels.
  • ANSI Color Codes for Pipe MarkingANSI color codes for pipe marking are the standard that is followed in most parts of the world. Following the ANSI guidelines will not only ensure you are in line with other facilities but also help ensure you are in compliance with OSHA and other agency requirements.
  • Location of Pipe Markings – Plan out where on each pipe the markings will go. The markings should be placed so that they are easily visible from where people are working. Larger pipes should have multiple markings for greater visibility. In addition, markings need to be placed along the length of the pipe to ensure it is easy to see what is flowing through the pipe.

These are some of the most important points that you need to consider when it comes to planning out your pipe marking project. Making sure that you have planned for all of these things is a great place to start. From there you will need to look at other factors based on the type of facility you are running, what liquids or gasses are being transported through your pipes, and other details.

Proper Maintenance for Pipe Markings

Part of the process of planning out your pipe marking project needs to be how you will maintain the markings once they are all in place. Taking care of your pipe markings will allow them to last for a decade or even longer without any trouble at all. Fortunately, pipe markings are very durable and really require very little effort to keep them in good condition.

The most important thing for taking care of pipe markings is to ensure they are kept clean. While dirt and dust won’t damage the markings, it can make them difficult to read, which defeats the purpose of having the markings in the first place. The way to keep your markings clean will depend largely on your facility’s environment and what causes the markings to get dirty. If it is just dust, wiping them down with any normal cleaner is sufficient. If the pipes can get covered in grease or other similar things, they will need to be washed with something that can break through anything that has gotten on them.

When properly placed on pipes, industrial labels are very durable and can be cleaned with virtually any cleaner without causing damage. Depending on the location of the pipe, it will likely only need to be cleaned a couple times per year to ensure it is always visible. As long as proper cleaning is included with your pipe marking maintenance plan you should be all set for years to come.

 

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