Choosing an effective asset management solution is key to successful LDAR management. Using automatic identification and data capture practices along with durable, application-suitable LDAR tags and steam trap tags that are compatible with asset management software applications streamlines the process of gathering and maintaining large amounts of data for regulated parts and equipment. This drastically reduces the manual documentation time ordinarily required for extensive recordkeeping, yet also ensures regulation reporting is precise and easy to generate.
Though fugitive emissions and LDAR programs are complicated by nature, these programs generally have five primary components. While the specific requirements may vary among federal and state regulations, every LDAR program should include the following features.
- Identifying Components – Every regulated component must have a unique identification number, along with an identified location. An equipment log should be maintained which contains information on replacement parts, newly added equipment and equipment taken out of service. ID numbers should be marked on the equipment and on instrumentation diagrams. LDAR equipment in the field faces tough environmental conditions on a daily basis. Therefore, your identifying components must remain readable for the life of the equipment. Camcode’s LDAR tags and steam trap tags withstand intense environmental conditions and remain readable for more than 20 years outdoors. Camcode can also help you assign unique identification numbers to your equipment, reconcile your current asset data, and even help you match your data to your inventory items. This ensures your identifying components are unique and remain readable.
- Leak Definition – Measured in parts per million (PPM), leaks are defined as measured concentration exceeding a standard, accepted threshold based on the relevant regulation. Different federal and state regulations have different accepted thresholds, and what is considered an acceptable level may differ according to the industry, as well. In some cases, multiple regulations may apply within the same facility, which adds confusion. To solve this problem, the EPA recommends defining leaks at a level lower than the minimum accepted threshold among all applicable regulations.
- Monitoring Components – The primary method used to monitor components for the purpose of leak detection is EPA Reference Method 21. Method 21 uses a portable detecting instrument to periodically evaluate emissions weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. This frequency is also defined in regulatory guidelines and may vary among specific regulations and by industry. Using Camcode’s durable LDAR tags in an asset management system automates an LDAR technician’s work processes, making them easier and more efficient. You can perform field data acquisition more quickly and with greater accuracy, resulting in increased productivity and reduced labor costs. Camcode’s labels are proven to work with leading mobile software solutions and field data acquisition devices.
- Repairing Components – Regulatory guidelines also set forth a deadline by which detected leaks must be repaired, ranging from a few days to several weeks. Typically, repair must be attempted within five days after a leak is detected, and a second attempt at repair must occur within 15 days if the first attempt is unsuccessful. Different regulations also set forth approved repair practices, such as tightening bonnet bolts or packing gland nuts. If repair requires that equipment be shut down, it may be placed on a Delay of Repair list if properly warranted and documented. For example, all other repair alternatives not requiring shutdown must be explored before equipment may be justifiably placed on the Delay of Repair list. Asset management systems that utilize LDAR tags can help monitor lifecycle and predictive maintenance, as well as help perform reliability studies on equipment. Knowing when equipment needs repair or replacing ahead of time reduces down time and increases efficiency. Instead of manually documenting identification numbers and repair requests, operators can simply scan the corresponding asset tag to automatically place equipment in a maintenance and repair queue. Likewise, repair attempts can be more easily documented without the risk of human error leading to inaccurate or outdated records.
- Recordkeeping – LDAR regulations have strict documentation standards, requiring a vast amount of information about every regulated part to be carefully documented and maintained with accurate information. Employing an asset management system that focuses on automatic identification and data capture makes data collection faster, less expensive and more accurate than manual data collection. More accurate data leads to easy generation of accurate reports.
When these five elements become automated, man-hour demands and overhead costs are reduced, enabling effective LDAR management while reducing complexity and ensuring compliance. If your facility is subject to LDAR regulations and you’re relying on manual identification and documentation methods, you can drastically reduce compliance costs by implementing a comprehensive asset management program that focuses on automatic data capture with LDAR tags.