The choice of asset labels is important in the success of your asset management project. We have found that only by using high-quality, preprinted labels can we achieve the needed results. This guidance applies equally to barcode and RFID labels.
A barcode label is comprised of four layers; an RFID label adds an additional layer (see below). The lowest, and one of the most important, is the adhesive. It must be stable and durable enough to last for the life of the asset, which is often 10+ years. A balance must be struck between an adhesive that is aggressive enough to bond to a wide range of surfaces and one which may be readily handled during the tagging process. It must be applied in a sufficient thickness to fill in the voids of the bonding surface or substrate. Finally, it must be sufficiently viscous to adhere initially then stabilize to its final bonding strength quickly.
Next, the type of label material or face stock must be suitable. In today’s environment, the material must be non-porous, flexible, strong and have a high reflectance characteristic. Generally, these requirements dictate use of a polyester or polypropylene stock in a sufficient thickness to assure needed durability.
On the face stock is printed the barcode image and human-readable component. It is crucial that the barcode is printed with sufficient quality to yield a first time read-rate of better than 95%. Artwork, such as name or logo, may be added to customize the label.
Finally, a layer of over-lamination is needed to protect the label from normal soiling and abrasions. This layer is simply a clear gloss or semi-gloss layer of material, which is bonded over the final printed surface.
Once the mechanical considerations have been addressed, the production process must be considered. It is important that there be no duplicate or missing asset numbers and that all labels produced fulfill the needed first time read-rate. Reading each label as part of the production process assures that these goals are achieved.
Given the alternatives available, we have consistently found that preprinted asset labels are the only solution that optimizes each of these considerations. In the final analysis, the cost of a high-quality, preprinted asset label is far less than a label that is difficult or impossible to read or becomes detached from the asset.
All of the above requirements apply to RFID labels as well. The difference is in the RFID inlay inserted between the adhesive layer and the face stock that contains the transponder and the antenna for communication. Visually, the labels look almost identical, though RFID labels tend to be larger to accommodate the antenna.
We supply standard and custom barcode labels and a complete line of RFID labels for metal and nonmetal applications. To get further information, please contact our sales team at 877-955-4321.
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