Bar-code tags keep hundreds of thousands of leak points in check

REM Staff
June 01, 2011
Written by REM Staff
Where engineers see valves, flanges, pumps and threaded connectors, the trained eye of a leak-detection and repair (LDAR) specialist sees potential leak points.

LDAR or fugitive emissions programs help major industrial facilities locate and fix equipment leaks throughout their expansive processes. For one of Canada’s leading environmental service companies (unnamed in this article), the effectiveness of their LDAR services depend on a durable, accurate bar-code tag system, which they found in Camcode’s Metalphoto asset tags.

“I’ve been quite happy with Camcode,” the company’s founder and president said. “When choosing tags, I look for what’s current at the time and I go to the company that offers the highest value solution. Camcode offered me that.”

Camcode’s asset tags play an essential role in LDAR programs. A typical industrial facility may have hundreds of thousands of potential leak points, which must be identified, tagged and tracked by an easily integrated database system. Because of the sheer quantity of such potential leak points, tags can become so voluminous that “it starts to look like a Christmas tree with so many tags on everything,” said the LDAR specialist.

That’s why part of his criteria for tag selection is the ability to easily integrate LDAR tags with other asset tracking systems used by his clients, such as a tag and lockout program.

“Placing metal tags on every potential leak point within a facility is seen by some as unnecessary and costly, and this can be true if used solely for LDAR,” he said. “But when we can tie it to other programs, it can be a very justified method of equipment tracking.”

According to Camcode, the Metalphoto tags can withstand abrasion, intense temperatures and weather conditions, and exposure to UV, chemicals and solvents. They remain readable for 30 years even in the harshest conditions, removing the need to ever relabel. As far as accuracy goes, the company says the tags virtually eliminate errors caused by manual data collection.

One recent project spearheaded by this environmental service company is an LDAR program for a major new industrial facility that will likely require more than 100,000 LDAR tags in often brutal outdoor conditions that can dip as low as –50ºC in winter months.

“My clients were particular about what they wanted,” he said. “In terms of the flexibility of the system and the design of the tags, the process went smoothly with Camcode.”

This is an edited article provided by Camcode, a leader in the design and manufacture of durable pre-print bar-code labels, such as asset tags and UID labels for asset tracking and identification. For more information, visit or call 800-627-3917.

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