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Tags for 100% leak free start-ups

Braden Lewis

If you are not involved with moving liquids or gases through complex pipework systems, you might not understand “Flange Management”, or even care about it? Even so, you might be very surprised to find that many large organisations think that maintenance, including shutdowns, rely on Flange Tags (sometimes known as torque tags) to ensure they are carried out safely and smoothly.


Figures from the UK Offshore Operators Association indicate that 25% of critical joints leak on start-up, and research shows that 10% of hydrocarbon leaks offshore are from bolted flange joints. Downstream, it’s believed such joint failures may be even higher than this.

25% of critical joints leak on start-up

Many of these processes and systems are in high risk environments and carried out in the harshest environments worldwide. The consequences of not getting it right can be disastrous to you and your company. This is where you require a reliable process tagging solution which is what REGALTAGS® provides.

In industry, piping plays a critical role in conveying your product (liquid or gas) from one location in the process to another. Pipe sections are connected by flanged joints which are as critical to the process as the piping itself. Under normal conditions, the importance of pipe flanges goes virtually unnoticed, but that is not always the case. Problems can arise when a flange leaks, or in a worst-case scenario, they completely fail. This can occur for two primary reasons. First, when the flange joint was reassembled, it was not carried out properly through the use of incorrect bolting, wrong gaskets or even the improper application of the torque setting causing flange joint misalignment. The second cause of leakage could be due to flange deterioration as a result of the corrosive nature of the product within the piping. In either of these two cases, the result is unacceptable and could cause you serious challenges.

Flanged connections should not leak. Whilst all flanged joints are important, some are even more vital than others. These are referred to as “critical flanges.” In any process plant, these are the flanges that, if compromised, can lead to safety, health, environmental or production loss. Since each plant and the products produced are different, the determination of what is and what is not a critical flange is determined by the experts.

The benefits of the REGALTAGS® solution are clear. We are specified by many major industries worldwide (in 68 countries to be precise). The FLANjTAG® solution is written into flange management and joint integrity processes onshore and offshore. Using highly durable material, the Tags are customisable to individual requirements. All Tags are highly visual, at a glance, and cover the whole process, from Flange inspection, joint integrity, breaking containment and small-bore tube fittings.

A FLANjTAG® gives a colour-coded visual record, both on the flange and in the control room, that all steps of the procedure have been safely carried out. Nothing should be activated until all Tag sections have been signed off and received back in the control room for a 100% leak-free start-up.


Ensuring all bolted joints remain intact and leak-free can be daunting for any Asset Manager. Leaks can endanger the safety of plant, impact the environment and result in a major loss of revenue for the operator. It’s not surprising that joint integrity is experiencing an increasingly high profile within maintenance programmes.

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Are your flange management processes as effective as they should be? Do you have a Flange Tagging system in place which is up to date with your procedures?

Using our 40 years of industry knowledge, we can share insights and solutions to create your bespoke Tags.

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