Product identification and traceability play a vital role in preventing the loss and misidentification of electrical stock, so don’t dismiss labels as a minor purchase. In this post, IML Labels looks at what makes a good and durable label for items in the building, construction, and electrical industry.

It’s important not to underestimate the need for durable, reliable labelling within the electrical industry. There are valuable tools and equipment that need not only looking after, but properly labelled. Labels and tags need to be weather resistant, rip-proof and robust enough to perform in rough and dirty conditions. Vital information such as material codes, product types and handling procedures need to remain visible at every stage in the supply chain. With so many items and products being used in construction, and building projects throughout the world today, product traceability and durability is paramount, especially for high value products.

The Importance of Labelling Electrical Items

The purpose of product labelling is to provide complete information on the content of products in order to protect the consumer’s health and interest. This is especially important in the electrical industry, as there are many warning signs and labels needed on products, such as a Switchgear and control gear. In turn, the incentive for manufacturers is that a well-labelled product significantly decreases liability. In the UK, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, any descriptions of the goods must be accurate. Although these are national rules, they set a good example for exporting products into the EU as well.

Clear, concise labelling allows builders, electricians, etc... stock to be identified correctly and supports full product traceability. Often labels are often viewed as periphery in the grand scale of operations. But just what happens when a label falls off? The knock-on effects of label failure become apparent quickly. Unidentified components cannot be traded as traceability is often now a contract requirement of the supply agreement. Products that can’t be identified, often has to be scrapped or reprocessed; which is costly to business and a major hindrance to efficient trading.  

Rip-proof Tags

At some point during the lifecycle of a product, it is normally required to withstand some form of outdoor conditions, either on site or on in transit. Flatbed transportation causes tags to flap and flutter putting the tag under extreme stress and sometimes cause labels to tear and fall off.  In order to combat this common problem, Rip-proof tags which are constructed from cross-woven polyester offering superb multi-directional stability.  Even after punching, nicking or cutting Rip-proof tags do not tear making them suitable for attaching using nails, welded studs, clips or wires.  These tags are also available in a range of colours, to support the easy visual identification of steel products at long range.  The surface is specially coated to accept thermal transfer overprinted variable data such as batch codes, barcodes and weights.  Rip-proof is virtually indestructible and has little memory meaning it springs back to its original form after creasing and crushing which is an important factor in maintaining barcode readability in industrial environments where mechanical handling is the norm.  

Permanent Self Adhesive Labels

Image removed.Prolonged outdoor exposure tends to speed up the deterioration of any products.  Self-adhesive labels which were stuck securely to a product at the beginning of a journey can fail as the surface begins to flake. Particularly important for building and construction products, such as steel. Look for a highly aggressive permanent self-adhesive material in order to meet this unique set of conditions. The high coat weight of adhesive provides good initial grab which continues to interact with the surface of the product in the days following application to result in a secure bond.

Next time you order or apply a label consider for a moment the demand of its role and how your ability to trade efficiently hangs in the balance. If that label also carries your branding your reputation as a business is also at stake. A poor-quality label might save a few pounds in the short-term but your business efficiencies and reputation deserve protection.


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