Labeling the contents of pipes in a facility is essential to safety and can help you keep track of what’s in each pipe and where it’s going. Pipe marking is commonly done through auditing the pipes in the workplace and placing an order in a catalog or online for the labels you need. That can be a great option if you only have a handful of pipes, but for larger facilities or workplaces with hundreds of pipes, it can be a costly venture. Instead, one of the most economical options is to print your own in-house. Not only will you immediately see the monetary benefit, but you no longer have to wait for labels to come in the mail or be surprised when the wrong label shows up.
An industrial label printer allows you or any employee to design and print off signs in a matter of minutes. These labels can be compliant with ammonia labeling, marine pipe marking, or the ANSI/ASME standards. Choose the color of the pipe label, add in text and arrows and voilà! An instant pipe label printed on vinyl that looks professionally made.
For most pipes, labels made from vinyl work well and hold up to industrial conditions. Industrial-grade vinyl is designed to last for years and is resistant to water, chemicals, and UV exposure. Labels printed on this material will not smudge or smear over time and can withstand temperatures from -25° all the way up to 210°. Other available label supply includes high temperature, low temperature, and UltraChem supply. While auditing your pipes, take note of pipes that will require a specialized vinyl.
It is also important to note that standard vinyl has a high halide content, which can damage stainless steel or nickel pipes (typically found in food production), leading to corrosion. If you have these types of pipes in your facility, make sure to select labels made from low halide vinyl for this application. Low halide supply is developed with low levels of halogen to protect alloy from corrosion.
Once labels are applied to pipes, they will help people identify pipe contents for a long time. This enhances your process safety management plan by assisting people during both normal operations and emergencies. Employees from other departments, visitors, and emergency personnel can all benefit from properly marked pipes.
If any changes to processes occur, make sure to evaluate the new process to determine whether any changes need to be made to your pipe marking labels. Whenever you routinely evaluate your PSM processes for PSM compliance (OSHA states that a process hazard analysis must be evaluated and updated at least every five years,) it’s also a good practice to assess your pipe marking labels at that time.
When new pipes are introduced to the facility or the contents of a pipe changes, having an industrial label printer will make these changes a breeze. Rather than placing an order over the phone and waiting days or weeks to actually get the labels, you will be able to print them off in just a few minutes! Whether you find yourself changing pipe labels frequently or have a high number of pipes you need to label, an in-house printer will save you time and money, leaving the hassle of label ordering behind.