Using QR Codes and Cell Phones to Track Air Quality Compliance
Antea Group was contracted to develop a Leak Detection and Repair program for a gas plant, specifically to comply with New Source Performance Standard EPA 40 CFR 60 Subpart OOOOa requirements. This project was distinct in that in involved uniquely identifying and physically tagging potentially leaking components, such as valves or flanges, on site. But it also presented a challenge: to accurately track and maintain the required database of identified leaks, our team needed records of follow-up repairs, as well as all associated inspection details. The gas plant is required to perform monthly leak inspections using an IR camera, while tracking and monitoring each leak and repair among nearly 4,000 identified components, which requires an efficient and specialized identification system.
To approach this challenge, Antea Group mobilized an expert four-person team to complete the physical tagging process for nearly 4,000 components--within seven days. This included redlining existing P&IDs provided by the client corresponding to component locations, as well as physically attaching tags to equipment in a safe and secure manner. The project team developed a tagging system using Teflon coated metal tags, which are equipped with unique ID codes and corresponding QR codes. During inspections, applicable components’ QR codes, measured values, and inspector field notes were recorded and scanned through an app on the inspector’s mobile device, which was outfitted with a protective case. Their recorded information is then transmitted and received back at the office in a format that is easily inputted into the LDAR database created for clients. From there, this information is easily routed to either Antea Group or others as needed via personnel via email, text, or report, based on client needs.
Results of this identification system not only comply with the EPA OOOO requirements, but have gone above and beyond the client’s expectations. The new system allows the client to identify distinct trends among their equipment and processes because of the ability to sort the collected data by leak detection date ranges, component type, repair status, identification numbers, and more. Results can be easily organized in any manner based on client needs, and maintains all compliance records as required without much direct effort by the client. For plant personnel, this means increased efficiency and cost savings. We also believe this system can be utilized in other areas of operations for identifying plant trends and complying with maintenance requirements.