Pipe marking

Why use pipe marking?

Industrial pipes can put personnel, maintenance crew and visitors in danger if there is a lack of visual communication. Pipe marking also known as pipe labels, process labelling or pipe markers, help us provide the crucial information needed by visually communicating it through these pipe labels to keep the user(s) safe. It is therefore important to implement a comprehensive pipe marking system that supports this safety messaging in order for safe operation and as accident prevention.

The most common Marking standards

A pipe marking systems purpose is to visually communicate the content of the pipes and provide all important details, if specific hazards such as extremely high pressure or high temperatures exists.

There are laws and standards in every country for the marking of pipelines. The pipe marking is a crucial part of the safety marking system in an industrial complex that provides an safe environment for the workers and visitors on a daily basis. Pipe labels help us to respond to issues a lot quicker and in this way also prevent major catastrophes in time. The pipe marking standard depends on the type of facility and location, e.g. if your industrial facility is located in the south of Europe, the standard may differ from the standard used in a country in the Nordics, e.g. Finland’s PSK 0903.


The general pipe marking standard in the USA e.g. is The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) that offers a comprehensive approach for labelling piping systems for different types of industries and public facilities, ANSI /ASME A13.1. The standard is the broadest and most common pipe marking standard used in the United States, which is an outstanding starting point for most pipe marking projects in most industries in the USA.

Old SFS3701 Pipe marking

What pipe marking standard to use?

The latest pipe marking standard, ISO 20560-1 was created to be used as a world wide international standard. Why? The answer is simple, today we have maintenance personnel travelling across boarders, across continents from one industrial facility to another with a rapid pace. There is a lack of knowledge of languages spoken and therefore a misunderstandings knowing what the content of the pipes may be. ISO 20560-1 is the visible solution to this phenomenon. With one international standard, one colour coding method and rules of appearance, this standard is a game changer when it comes to increased level of safety and knowhow at the same time we minimize the chances of accidents.

We manufacture process labels of different standards e.g. Finland, PSK 0903, Sweden SS741: 17, ISO 20560-. ANSI/ASME A13.1, ISO 14726, UK 1710 standard, or in accordance with European Union EC Directive 92/58 / EEC standards.

Signwell as a precursor developing new standards

Signwell Oy is a company specializing in pipe markers and process labelling overall. For the past 30 years we have been providing industries across the world with our pipe marking. In co-operation with the authorities in the field, we have raised e.g. PSK0903 in 2023 and in close co-operation with our partners, we are constantly developing our products in accordance with international regulations and standards.

Implementation of pipe marking

The label indicates the clear name of the substance, the direction of flow and the color according to the identification color of the fluid. Pipe marking is a communication tool to identify contents and flow directions of pipe lines. Not only do the pipe marking provide a clear communication of the substances, it also contributes to an safer environment for the personnel during operation as well as maintenance. If abbreviations for substances are also used in the label, they are presented according to PSK 0903.

The Components of a pipe label

Most standards, e.g. ANSI/ASME A13.1 / ISO 20560-1 or PSK 0903 divides the components of a pipe label into five elements.

The size of the text varies depending on the diameter and reading distance of the pipe. The color coding is crucial to include in a pipe label in order to visually communicate the substance of the pipeline. Color coding helps the recognition of pipes and alerts personnel to the type of hazard potentially caused by a pipe lines contents. If necessary, the name of the fluid may be supplemented immediately by markings indicating pressure, temperature, concentration or other important property. A separate chemical label is used to label hazardous substances (GHS symbol).

Placement of the labels is important. Consider how personnel will approach and view the pipe line. The goal is to install the labels a persons view of point. For example, if the pipe is overhead, install the pipe label below the centerline. Piping at the beginning and end of the marking line and at each branch and bushings on both sides. The long line is marked with a pipe markers every 10–15 meters and the marking frequency of the hazardous substance line is reduced as necessary. In vertical tubes, the reading direction of the text is from bottom to top. The pipe markings of natural gas pipelines must comply with the standard, eg. PSK0903.

The best way for the most effective placement of the pipe label:

Product: RGHS0540, GHS marking roll

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

GHS is a globally harmonized system containing nine pictograms, GHS01/ GHS02/ GHS03/ GHS04/ GHS05/ GHS06 / GHS07 / GHS08/ GHS09 for hazardous classified substances developed by The United Nations (UN). These pictograms are used for labelling chemical substances and are being applied together with the pipe markers on pipe lines, on storage tanks and are used in transportation of such goods that require any of the necessary nine GHS symbols.

Three Pipe label quality levels; Economy, Standard, Premium

We supply pipe markings for every purpose (marine, industrial & the real estate) worldwide. Our Pipe markings are available in 3 different qualities and can be customized to include any pipe, contents and flow direction for your / customer’s need. Over the years, we have gained many satisfied customers from all over the world.

Our Premium tape is a 3M ™ MCS ™ (Matched Components System) made with high performance PVC free “Sandwitch” (Tape-Printing Ink-Laminate) technology.

Process identification: Pipe marking


The pipe markings are available in different materials that are suitable for different purposes. Pipe signs, for example, are perfectly suited for spaces where a normal pipe sticker would be covered in dirt within a couple of weeks. The advantages of pipe plates are e.g. sustainability and visibility.

Signwell Premium marker, the highest quality in pipe marking

There are factors that can cause quality problems in pipe marking. Factors that influence not only the quality of the pipe markers but also the influence of markings on your pipes. Signwell Premium is the highest quality product available on the market. It is produced using the 3M MCS or Matched Component System. It comprises a sandwich of polyester base material that the image is printed on, finished with a protective polyester laminate. The base material has a halogen-free adhesive backing that makes it suitable for applying to stainless steel piping as well. The protective properties of the polyester laminate, such as resistance to UV and numerous chemicals, guarantee a long service life.

ISO 20560-1 Pipe marking standard

The NEW ISO 20560 standard implements a global, harmonized hazard identification system for pipe marking systems with uniform graphics, color coding, and a format for safety messages.

Pipe marking tape

The starting point of this standard is a safety information philosophy into which technical information can be integrated. Designing a standard based on these principles creates logical links to existing safety sign standards and global standards to demonstrate hazards.

Update your markings to the ISO 20560-1 standard? Request a quotation

Implemantation of the Pipe marking

Signwell takes care of the entire process. Everything from planning to realisation of pipe marking. Our team will do the engineering and layout and produce the pipe markings in our production facilities, in order for us to adequately realise your deliveries and projects. When you are in the process of choosing the right supplies in order to ensure that the process labelling system is as effective and comprehensive as you need it to be, quality plays a lead role. We produce the markings by appropriate quality requirements, to endure even the most harsh environments and desired life span. Our installation teams specialized in marking pipes, will take care of the implementation, and make sure that the markings are placed visibly and accordingly. When you are ready to begin your labelling project and other visual communication goals for your industrial facility, you can rely on us as your safety partner.

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