LABELS AND RIBBONS
Labelling is a fundamental part of the logistics process, ensuring that products are quickly identifiable and location data can be entered into your system, often through the use of barcodes. Barcode-IT have many years experience providing all manner of identification products to customers and can recommend the correct label, tag, wristband or ribbon for your needs.
Clear and accurate labelling is often overlooked and dismissed as peripheral to the logistics process, however it is actually central to the efficient running of the supply chain. Ensuring you have purchased the right labels is essential, not only to ensure that they are fit for purpose, but also to ensure that the image produced is clear and the barcode can be read by a scanner, if required. Over the last 25 years, we have gained a huge amount of knowledge in supplying labelling solutions, through working with customers in every industrial sector. We've supplied tags to be attached to stone and survive for months in harsh outdoor conditions, and labels that need to adhere to plastic bags straight from the blast freezer, as well as everyday labels for despatch and product identification.
Below we have detailed some of the labelling and identification options we can provide, but should your requirement not be included, please contact us for more information.
Using good quality labels ensures not only a good final print quality but also helps to prolong the life of the printhead on your printer. Below are some of the factors you need to think about when purchasing labels for your project. Armed with the information below, you can get a quotation for the right labels in no time at all.
Size of Label
It is possible to get almost any size of label, the only limitation is the width of printer that you are using. Some label sizes are very common and are therefore often kept in stock. These sizes are based on inch measurements generally, for example 2" x 1" (50mm x 25mm) or 4" x 6" (101mm x 152mm). If your perfect label size is around a stock size, it may be a much more cost effective solution to compromise slightly and opt for a stock size. Delivery will be quicker and there are no cutter charges involved for exact label sizes. However, if a particular label size is required, we can get you a competitive quotation, whatever the quantity.
Make and Model of Printer
Knowing what type of printer the labels are to go through is important when purchasing labels. The printer make and model determines the core size and the maximum number of labels you can have on a roll. Also some labels use different methods of detecting where to stop printing or how to find the next label.
Paper vs. Plastic
Paper labels are very common and used in a huge number of label printing applications. Paper labels are suitable where there is no chance of the labels getting wet, the environment is not too harsh and it's not a problem if the labels are ripped. Plastic/synthetic labels are a more durable label solution, surviving in very harsh environments, thay are tear resistant and a much more longlife labelling solution.
Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer
Confused about the type of label you need to use. We're here to help guide you through the process. Labels can be purchased as either direct thermal or thermal transfer.
Direct thermal labels use thermal paper to transfer the image to the label using just heat created by the printhead. Direct thermal labels can appear more expensive, but when you consider that there is no need to purchase ribbons or a thermal transfer mechanism on the printer, they can be a much more cost effective solution for labels required for short-term use. Direct thermal labels have a shorter shelf life than thermal transfer labels, as they are more susceptible to heat and light, so we advise a shelf life of up to 6 months for these labels once printed or for storage purposes.
Thermal transfer labels require a ribbon to transfer an image onto the label. The label and ribbon pass through the printer at the same time and heat created by the printhead transfers the image onto the label. Thermal transfer labels are a longer life solution for label requirements and survive in harsh environments well, if the label and ribbon are matched correctly. It's important to ensure that your label material and ribbon are well matched, to avoid the image on the label smudging or not being transferred to the label at all.
Permanent vs. Removable Adhesive
Labels can be ordered with various different types of adhesive. Permanent adhesive is the most common type of adhesive, as generally customers do not want or need the labels to be removed. However, in some applications, especially products that are sent to consumers like glasses, plates, etc., labels need to be removed for aesthetic reasons.
Racking or location labels are used in warehouses to locate stock that has been putaway. Location labels are attached to the racking giving identification to the bays within the warehouse. These can be single location labels or multilevel labels depending on the structure of the racking and warehouse.
Single Location Labels
Our labels can be matched to suit all shelving and racking types in any environments: freezer, chiller, inside or outside. Available in a range of materials, colours and adhesives, we can design and specify the labels to fit your application and budget. Single location labels can be used in conjunction with multilevel labels to coordinate and manage high stack racking systems.
Upright and cross-beam multilevel barcode labels simplify the management of racking locations within your warehouse.
Identification of levels - can use different co-ordinated colours
Applied at eye level to uprights or crossbeams for ease of scanning
No need for long range scanners
Excellent scan quality with high definition printing
Designed for fast accurate barcode scanning from truck mounted readers
Can provide installation if necessary
More information on correctly labelling your warehouse can be found one our Blog or contact us for pricing and recommendations.
Whatever your thermal ribbon needs, Barcode-IT can recommend and provide a solution for you. We take time to speak to you and get to know your specific needs, and will go that extra mile to ensure that you get the right products every time plus our prices are really competitive and we keep a huge number of ribbon types and sizes in stock, to provide you with efficient, next day delivery.
We supply thermal ribbons for Datamax, Zebra, Printronix, Toshiba TEC, Sato, Intermec, Monarch and many more printers - just let us know what you're using and we'll provide a competitive quotation.
What different types of ribbon are there?
There are 3 major ribbon types that are used in industry; wax, wax/resin and resin:
Wax ribbons are most commonly used for printing on paper labels
Wax/Resin ribbons offer a more durable image for paper labels
Resin ribbons are most commonly used in harsh environments with polypropylene or polyester labels, where heat or chemical resistance is an issue
The majority of ribbons purchased by our customers are black ribbons for printing a variety of label types, but we can also supply coloured ribbons for more specialised projects - but make sure you let us know what you're using your labels for as barcode labels only work in certain colours, otherwise the barcodes can't be read by the scanner. Within the 3 categories above there are variations of ribbon to suit very specific applications, for example ribbons to produce print on labels that must survive extreme temperatures for the manufacturing process, etc.
Relatively new to mainstream markets, RFID tags and labels allow real-time visibility within the supply chain to enable streamlining, minimising errors and full tracking and identification information.
When deciding which RFID label or tag is right for your application, it helps to seek advice from the experts. Alongside all of the usual considerations when choosing a label or tag material, with RFID there is the added complexity of ensuring that the inlay is correct and works with your RFID printers and readers. Considerations include:
Learning more about your labelling application will enable us to recommend the right material and adhesive you need, and the type of label and tag that could withstand exposure to extreme cold, heat, moisture, UV light, etc.
Right Chip Selection
We can determine whether a standard or high memory tag will work best, and the level of privacy protection or encryption your application requires.
Our recommendation of the best type and size of label is based on the analysis of your actual environment, whether it is RF friendly, or your labelling surface is metal or in contact with liquids.
To see details of RFID used within the automotive industry, watch our latest video, showing how using RFID has allowed Fontaine Fifth Wheel to provide customers Volvo and Daimler full traceability of their products.
Let us use our experience as a Zebra RFID certified partner, to ensure your journey into RFID identification is a smooth one. Contact us on 01200 441977 to discuss your requirements.