As part of this mini series of articles on how to deploy a barcode solution, we turn to the label today!

So you have your barcode structure, the barcode symbology is set but what the heck do you print them out on!?  The label is actually an exceptionally important part of any barcoding solution and it can be the difference between a successful one and an inefficient one, sometimes even collapsing the whole thing down.  The other thing about barcode labels is that there are so many types to choose from, all designed for different scenarios and for different solutions.  Here’s our top tips on what to think about when choosing the label.

Tip 1 – Ruggedness is key to labels being used outside or in dusty, wet or rugged conditions. If you need barcodes that will last in rugged conditions then choose one that works for that condition.  Water proof ones stick like glue and can be wiped clean of dust and debris and labels used in medical or clean environments need to also be plastic in type not paper.

Tip 2 – The label material can be pretty anything you can think of these days but you do need to spare a thought as to whether the label needs to be made of plastic, paper, be of metallic material or more.  Each has its own properties and can be like a fish out of water in the wrong scenario.

Tip 3 – Mounting the label needs thought too.  We’ve had projects where labels needed to be “fused” to metal, riveted to wood, put behind plastic sleeves and where they needed to be easily peeled or super stuck down.  Make sure you know where these labels are going to be mounted and how you will mount them.  Get this wrong and you could find all your labels are gone at the first gust of wind!

Tip 4 – labels don’t have to be stuck down in typical sticker format.  They can be tied to products, sleeved into holders, be glued down permanently or even printed right into metal for DPM engine part marking.  Think about how the barcode will be used.

Tip 5 – Location, Location, Location is also key as if users can’t find the barcode, they can’t scan it!  Make sure the labels are easily located so that users will find them easily and be able to easily employ scanning them into their work routines.

Tip 6 – Beware Shiny labels in sunny or strong light conditions because they can play havoc with the scanners trying to read them.  Shiny barcode labels tend to be a trade of with how touch and string they are so just spare a thought if choosing string, platsicy labels that might be too shiny to be practical for your barcode solution.

Tip 7 – Size and colour certainly matter when it comes to barcodes!  Coloured barcodes might look great and might be cool when using them to colour code areas but the contracts of some colours can make them a nightmare to scan.  Likewise the size of the label

The last thing I would mention is that you don’t have to print your own barcode labels.  We can get rolls of pre-printed labels printer for you that can be used to barcode up your assets.  This is often the least costly and least complicated way to get going.

That’s it for labels, we’ll finish tomorrow with a look at the Barcode scanners themselves.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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