Industrial applications represent some of the most compelling use cases for barcode technology as automation continues to have a strong influence on process improvements. Facilities managers often look to asset tracking, inventory management, and other functions to find efficiencies that can reduce cost while adding value for the company and its customers. The global industrial automation market is expected to see a strong annual growth rate of 7.2% through at least 2026, representing massive opportunities for suppliers, companies, and end-users. Companies that can improve their efficiency and speed while maintaining a reliable operation will be poised to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Since barcodes are used extensively in warehouses, logistics, and manufacturing environments, it is important that they are durable and able to withstand a variety of conditions. In addition, barcode labels can play a role in the marking of products, work-in-progress, raw materials, or packaged goods that enter or exit these facilities. A durable barcode label is one that is designed to withstand exposure to harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures, UV rays, sources of abrasion, chemicals, and solvents. This post will explain some important reasons why durable barcode labels continue to be a leading choice for many vital industrial applications.
Recording and Traceability
Durable barcode labels are used extensively in asset tracking applications where reliability is an important requirement. A suitable asset label should be able to last at least as long as the asset’s expected lifespan and maintain adequate readability and integrity. This requires the selection of a suitable substrate, adhesive, and finish that can prevent damage to the graphic barcode label surface. Equipment can sometimes be transported long distances with the potential for exposure to a variety of environmental conditions. Losing an asset barcode label during transportation, or at any other point in its lifecycle, can lead to inventory inaccuracies, data loss, and wasted time trying to look up equipment manually.
Ability to Withstand Harsh Conditions
Durable materials give barcode labels added protection against harsh conditions, ensuring readability for accessing any information that may be stored on asset tags and labels. Customers that manage sources of abrasion, extreme temperatures, and chemicals that are present during industrial processes often look to durable barcode labels for their asset tracking needs. Some examples of such conditions include:
- Dirt and grime
- Chemicals and solvents
- Impact hazards and abrasion
- Extreme high or low temperatures
- Snow, ice, and rain
Site Safety Standards
For most industrial sites, durable safety signs, placards, and labels are a common occurrence and important requirement for maintaining safety awareness for all personnel. They are an effective and reliable way to convey important information, and barcode labels used in these facilities serve an equally important purpose. Barcode labels can be used to audit supplies, review maintenance activities, and trace the whereabouts of equipment at any time. Especially for those facilities that handle and process hazardous materials, durable barcode labels are often placed on drums, containers, and other vessels that are used onsite.
Implementing facilities management software with barcoding technology is a useful way to automate processes in a factory or warehouse. Durable barcode labels not only help reduce costs by enabling these improvements but also have an excellent shelf life and require fewer replacements than traditional labels. Having long-lasting labels that can be customized for use with a wide variety of scanning technologies helps to manage costs while improving your industrial capabilities.
Durable barcode labels are often selected for their dependability for use in long-term asset tagging. If a modern asset management system is fully capable, it will likely take advantage of barcode scanning for many standard workflows across functions like maintenance, inventory, and production. Companies want to use durable barcode labels so that they can be considered a permanent fixture on the asset. Some examples include product labels and serial number tags.
Some industries, such as defense, aerospace, and maritime, have specific requirements for asset tracking and labeling of vessels and equipment. The use of durable barcode labels helps to reduce the risk of non-compliance. It is always a good idea to consult local, federal, and international regulations that govern your industry before purchasing any labels. There may also be unique requirements for barcode symbologies and label information that must be included.
As you can see, durable barcode labels play a central role in most industrial applications. The potential for exposure to harsh conditions combined with the constant movement and flow of materials requires implementing a barcode label that is resilient and designed to withstand these challenges.