Written by Steve Hudgik
Product identification is a broad category of labeling that includes functions such as product traceability, brand protection and variable information labels. With a rapidly changing business environment, and constant threats from theft and counterfeit products, product identification labeling is a crucial need.
Product traceability provides the ability to track a product through the manufacturing process and to the end user. In a perfect system, a product in the hands of a customer can be traced backward through the delivery, shipment, manufacturing, and raw material purchasing process such that the supplies of the original raw material can be identified.
Product traceability labels are used to improve quality and identify the source of a problem should there be a recall or other issue.
Product traceability requires product identification labels, usually incorporating an identification number or bar code. Identification labels may be used to identify batches or individual items. A variety of labeling technologies are available to accomplish this.
Vinyl or polyester labels are at times used for product identification labels. They may easily be made using a DuraLabel printer and are excellent for tracking products where security is not a major issue.
In some cases a specialized supply is needed to address industry specific product identification needs. For example, DuraLabel Metal Detectable labels are often used in the food processing industry where detecting contamination is critical. Should a label be damaged or misapplied, even if small parts of the label get into the product, they can easily be detected.
At times during some manufacturing processes a temporary label may be needed. DuraLabel Repositionable labels and DuraLabel Magnetic labels meet that need. They can be used as needed and then easily removed.
However, all of these types of labels may easily be removed or counterfeited. So a different type of label needs be used for product identification when brand reputation is a concern, or the product is a high value product that may be stolen or counterfeited.
You can make custom product identification labels that incorporate a watermark that is only visible under UV light, making these labels hard to duplicate.
These labeling supplies make product identification labels that cannot be removed and reused.
Several product identification label materials are available to meet brand reputation protection and security needs.
Variable information product labels provide product identification plus additional information such as use-by dates, batch ID codes, production date, manufacturing location or lot numbers. This information may be in the form of text and numbers, bar codes, or both.
When hand written information needs to be added to a label in a secure manner, DuraLabel Embossable Poly Tape is the answer. The hand written information is embossed into the label and cannot be erased or changed.
Variable information labels may also be traceability labels or brand reputation labels, and all of the label material options listed above are often also used for labeling that requires variable information.
Sometimes called "name plates" product identification labels on durable goods must be tough and able to withstand sometimes harsh conditions. All of the DuraLabel labeling options listed above are used for product identification labels on durable goods. In addition, there are other options that are frequently used:
Metallized Poly Tapes are sometimes used for product identification labels because they are easy to make and provide a brushed metal look. DuraLabel Metallized poly tapes are available in brushed aluminum. Metallic ribbons are available in gold and silver.
When an extra strong adhesive is needed, DuraLabel Ultra-aggressive Adhesive Vinyl has an implausibly strong adhesive. It sticks to wood, fabric and other complex surfaces.
When product identification labels must survive harsh chemical environments, such as machines that are subject to wash-downs, the DuraLabels DuraChem chemical resistant supplies get the job done. Machines and equipment used in the food industry, as well as in many industrial applications, need to be regularly cleaned. Wash-downs can use harsh chemicals and involve abrasion. DuraLabel DuraChem labels are designed to survive in this environment.
Product identification of electronics and electrical components requires unique labeling materials. DuraLabel Circuit Board Polyimide Tape offers a high dielectric strength with temperatures ranging from -40°F to 356°F. These heat accepting characteristics make polyimide tape an ideal supply for electrical component labeling used in high tech manufacturing and provide the necessary durability to survive applications around electrical and thermal insulation.
DuraLabel UL 969 Compliant Poly Tapes comply with UL requirements and are used for applications that call for the use of UL 969 "approved" labels.
When product identification labels are needed, DuraLabel has the right solution. Call 1-888-326-9244 today and ask for information about DuraLabel product identification solutions.