Labeling for Harsh Environments
Cold, wet tuna. Hawaiian tuna processors purchase whole tuna daily at a dock-side auction. In order to record details about the specific tuna, the variable information is entered into our SIMBA software using a mobile tablet, and the tag is printed. The tag is made of thin synthetic material that will withstand the cold and wet conditions.
There are times when an adhesive label won’t work. The surface may be too irregular; the environment may be too harsh or abrasive. In some of these cases, the best choice is to rivet the tag to the asset. Metal tags with rivet holes can be purchased, preprinted, with a sequential barcode and (if desired) company name or other information.
Labeling sample test tubes or very small objects can be an issue – especially if they will be exposed to chemicals or extreme heat. This “dot” with a 2-dimensional barcode can be as small as ¼”, and is able to withstand heat that will melt plastic and chemicals that will disintegrate or corrode most materials.
Secure Asset Labels
You want to label your assets, and you want to make sure the label can secure them from fraud or theft. There are several ways to handle this requirement with a label that will print in a barcode printer.
Destructible and Void Labels: These labels are made of special synthetic materials that will assure that the asset identifying barcode cannot be removed or moved. A destructible label will literally “go to pieces” if peeled off. The void labels will destroy the label too. In this case the word “void” comes off the label and is left on the asset.
UV-marked Labels: For ultra-secure labeling it is possible to print an invisible code, work, or image (such as a logo) on the label. It will only show if a black light is shone. A barcode can be printed over the UV print without affecting the barcode scanning – much like the hologram on a driver’s license.
How to Save Money When Ordering Labels
The cost of labeling can add up – especially when using specialty materials. Here are some ideas that will help save money when ordering:
- Order the smallest size that will work for your application and that will work in your printer. Labels are priced by the square inch, so smaller is cheaper.
- Order more labels less often. A large part of the cost of a label is the labor to set up and run the presses. There is a significant difference between one roll and five rolls – order as many as you can justify.
- Preprinted and colored logos or text make for a “pretty” label, but increase the cost. If you want color, try to use just one – multiple colors require multiple runs on the press and can double or triple the labor costs.
- Preprinted generic labels (purchase with serialized barcodes) can save money too, because they are usually printed in very large quantities.