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Frequently Asked Questions On Asset Tags & Asset Labels

What Are Asset Tags?

Asset Tags are used to monitor and track a company’s physical assets. Combined with an asset tracking software program, asset tags are the foundation for a seamless process of repairs, maintenance and inventory control for enterprises.

Physical assets can be defined as one of the following types:

• Moveable assets. This includes furniture and equipment not part of a building or infrastructure. Laptop computers are a good example of a moveable asset; a laptop may change hands and locations many times throughout its lifespan. Asset tags in this case are used for inventory control, assignment of equipment or supplies, and loss prevention.

• Fixed assets. This type of physical asset is also known as an Infrastructure Asset and essentially defines any physical property controlled by an enterprise which remains in a fixed location throughout its lifespan. It can include road signs, bridges, tunnels, water and sewer systems, dams and lighting systems, buildings and any machinery or equipment attached to a building. In this case, asset tags offer the ability to produce a broad map overview that identifies the company’s assets for the purposes of analysis and project planning. Asset tags are also used to track maintenance and repairs of fixed assets.

What Types of Asset Tags Do I Need?

There are a number of types of asset labels and asset tags designed to meet the varying needs of numerous applications. Camcode offers asset labels and tags designed to maintain readability throughout the life of an asset. To determine what types of asset labels you need, you should understand how they will be used. Do you need durable asset labels, or will you apply them to indoor assets only?

Foil Asset Labels are the most widely used asset label. If you are tracking a variety of assets, such as computers and machinery, foil is the perfect option. These labels are made of durable 100% anodized aluminum, but flexible enough to adjust to uneven surfaces. Graphics are sealed below the surface of the label, creating a barrier that withstands abrasion, most chemicals and solvents, heat and even long term outdoor exposure. Combined with our super-strong adhesive, these labels will adhere to almost any indoor or outdoor asset.

Premium Polyester Asset Labels are a great choice for assets in typical office settings, like fixtures, furniture, equipment and computers. Premium Polyester Asset Labels from Camcode have an over-laminate that protects the graphics against things like mild chemicals and scuffing. The permanent adhesive means the label will stick for the life of the asset.

For applications that require security features, Camcode offers asset labels that deter theft or improper transfer. If someone tries to detach our Tamper-Evident Polyester Asset Labels, the word “VOID” is left behind on the asset’s surface and the back of the label. Our Destructible Vinyl Asset Labels are nearly impossible to take off in one piece.

If you need an extremely durable asset tag, we offer rigid Metalphoto® Aluminum Asset Tags in a variety of thicknesses. They stand up to the harshest environments, indoors and outdoors. These asset tags come with adhesive or holes for mechanical attachment. Our Metalphoto Asset Tags are the most durable asset tag you will find. They withstand impact, abrasion, UV light, heat and chemicals. Choose these tags for applications like machinery or equipment in challenging environments.

We also offers other choices like Two-Part Asset Labels, which have a second tab with identical ID numbers to place on your records. Our Removable Asset Tags are perfect for short-term asset identification. Constructed of polypropylene, these tags can be removed cleanly or repositioned.

We also have durable bar code labels for harsh industrial environments and Warehouse Labels that integrate with your warehouse management system (WMS).

Which Assets Require Tagging?

Not every asset needs a tag, but because there are so many uses for asset tags and tracking systems, companies often find it’s a cost-saving investment for tracking other assets not originally considered necessary. Generally, any asset which requires monitoring of some sort – whether maintenance, location, utilization planning, or something else – should be tagged. Those which require ownership verification and assets which could be lost, stolen or damaged should be tagged for security measures. UID labeling is required by the DoD according to MIL-STD-130. Vendors and suppliers may be required to utilize UID Labels for items sold for use by those organizations.

When Do I Use Color Coding of Assets Tags?

Color coding of asset tags is sometimes an effective means of quick visual identification of ownership or departmental responsibility. Personnel can easily identify which items to scan for a specific purpose or record if there are a number of assets which differ in function yet look similar in form. Color-coded labels may also be used in place of bar coded labels for organizations with limited assets. This reduces the number of variables tracked and simplifies record-keeping even further.

When Are Bar Codes Necessary for Asset Tags?

Bar codes provide error-free, machine-readable (bar code scanners) recording, avoiding manual transcription errors caused by humans. These are valuable – and often necessary – to businesses or educational institutions with large or diversified inventories of physical property that must be monitored, tracked or maintained.

Bar code readers or scanners decode the information in the bar codes and compare them against a database for tracking or maintenance purposes. This provides secure access to a number of records and pieces of information for essential team members. This information can be more readily shared across an organization without the need to copy or scan what could be sensitive documents. Bar codes are strictly required if you are a vendor or supplier of products to certain military or government bodies which must comply with standards such as MIL-STD-130.

When Should I use Sequential Serial Numbering?

Sometimes, human-readable elements can provide an added layer of functionality to an asset tracking system. Assets using such a numbering system may be deciphered without scanners, or at least more readily identified by personnel for accessing deeper levels of data within a database. Numbering of bar code labels may be sequential or non-sequential, and may start from any number or use any series you specify.

Will the Bar Codes Work with My Scanner?

The short answer is yes. But you want to ensure you have the right type of scanner for your type of bar code. We help you construct the proper symbology so your bar code will work in whatever manner you need. Our bar code labels are constructed to work with any bar code scanner, including wireless, pen, laser, pocket-sized, and even cell phone bar code app scanners.

Please note that if you are scanning a two dimensional (2D) or Data Matrix codes, you must use a scanner that is equipped to handle these types of codes. Bar code scanners that only read linear bar codes will not read 2D codes.

How Many Characters Can I Put in the Bar Code?

The number of characters you can place in a bar code depends on factors such as the size of the label and the symbology you select. All bar codes must contain a quiet zone, which is empty space on either side of the code. This tells a bar code scanner when the symbology starts and stops. The quiet zone should be about ten times the width of the narrowest element of the bar code, which is known as the X dimension. The X dimension is used to determine the density of a bar code, or the amount of information that can be captured in a bar code. Therefore, the more characters you get the denser the code.

We will help you construct your bar code symbology to ensure your labels contain the data you require. Click the link for more information on bar code symbologies.

What Will the Labels Stick to?

Camcode offers a variety of labels to meet your needs. When deciding what types of asset labels you need, you must consider the surfaces and environments where the labels will be placed. What type of environment will the labels be placed (indoors or outdoors)? On what type of surface will the label be placed (smooth metals or rough plastics)? Answering these questions can help you select the proper adhesive for your bar code label.

The strength of bar code label’s adhesion depends on the material’s surface energy. The higher the surface energy, the better the bond; the lower the surface energy, the weaker the bond. High surface energy materials include metals and plastics such as PVC, polyester, epoxy, polycarbonate, fiberglass and acrylic. Plastics like polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene and Teflon® are low surface energy materials. Click the link for more information on how to select the right adhesive for bar code labels.

To ensure sure your adhesive label stays properly attached to any surface, be sure to follow the proper label installation instructions.

Do you Sell Software to go with the Labels?

Camcode has partnerships with some of the best software providers in the industry. We can recommend the right company for your application, and provide you with additional information, or put you in contact with a specialist. Contact us for more information on asset tracking software.

What is the Order Process?

Once you’re ready to order from Camcode, send us a purchase order or contact a customer service representative for credit card charges. We’ll send you a PDF proof of your exact design and bar code symbology, if applicable, to ensure it’s correct before anything is created. Asset labels and asset tags are shipped approximately 10 to 15 days after we receive your approval. Expedited shipping is available for an additional charge.

What is Foil?

Foil is .003″ Metalphoto® anodized aluminum. It is a very durable and popular type of asset label. Our Foil labels have superior resistance to chemicals and solvents, scuffing, heat, cold and UV light. Foil Asset Labels are flexible to adhere to contoured surfaces, making these labels perfect for a wide range of applications, from computers to outdoor equipment.

What Types of Materials do you Print On?

Our labels are printed on a variety of materials depending on your application. For asset tracking in typical indoor settings such as offices, we print asset labels on polyester, polypropylene or vinyl, over-laminated with a clear polyester film for increased protection.

When your applications require durability, we recommend Metalphoto® anodized aluminum. Through a unique manufacturing process, the label’s image is embedded below the surface, creating an indestructible barrier to heat, cold, UV light, chemicals and solvents. These labels can be used indoors or outdoors on everything from laptops to machinery.

For warehouse applications, our labels are constructed from a range of materials including polyester, polypropylene, polyester with reflective-film coating, and Metalphoto amongst others. See our full line of warehouse labels for more information.

What is a Bar Code Symbology?

Basically, symbologies are what make the bar code useful. Think of symbologies as a language that a bar code scanner reads and interprets. Symbologies are systems of encoded data in a bar code that readers or scanners decode and process.

Symbologies typically contain components such as a character set, continuous or discrete code, “x” dimension and quiet zone.

Click the link for more specific information on bar code symbologies.

What’s the Difference Between Code 39 and 128? Which is More Popular?

Code 39 and Code 128 are among the most common symbologies for bar code labels. The symbology you choose depends on the data you need to encode.

Code 39 – This is a discrete code frequently used for bar code labels in military, healthcare and automotive industries. The code’s pattern is often referred to as thin, thin, thick, thick, thin. Code 39 uses alphanumeric characters with upper case alpha characters only, and can also include a limited number of special characters. A 10X quiet zones are required.

Code 128 – This is a continuous code where alphanumeric characters are used. Code 128 gets its name from its 128 encodable characters. It contains three subsets:
• Subset A: Uppercase and alphas, numbers 0-9, with several special characters.
• Subset B: Uppercase and lowercase alphas, numbers 0-9, several special characters.
• Subset C: Double-density numeric only. All two-character combinations from 00-99.

Click the link for more specific information on Code 39 and Code 128 bar code symbologies.

What’s your most Durable Asset Tag?

Our most durable asset tags are made of Metalphoto® anodized aluminum. These tags are available in both foil and rigid form, varying in thicknesses from .003″ to .063″. Metalphoto tags are designed to be extremely durable and withstand the harshest environments for indoor and outdoor asset tracking. Because the image is sealed beneath the surface of the label, Metalphoto tags resist extreme heat, long-term exposure to weather, UV rays, abrasion, salt spray, abrasion, solvents, chemicals and more.

Metalphoto Foil Asset Tags are available in thicknesses of .003″ and .005″, with permanent pressure sensitive adhesive. Rigid Metalphoto Asset Tags are available in thicknesses from .008″ to .063″. Attachment options for Rigid Metalphoto Asset Tags include holes for mechanical fastening and/or permanent pressure sensitive adhesive.

Whatever your application or environment, foil and rigid Metalphoto asset tags are created to last the lifetime of your asset.

Will the Labels Last Outdoors?

Our Metalphoto® labels are designed to be the most durable asset label you will find. Both Foil and Rigid Metalphoto Asset Labels have an expected exterior life of 20+ years. The label’s image is sealed beneath the surface, making Metalphoto Asset Labels extremely resistant to heat, long-term exposure to weather, UV rays, abrasion, salt spray, abrasion, solvents, chemicals and more. Metalphoto is durable enough to withstand the harshest environments for a variety of indoor and outdoor asset tracking applications.

Can the Labels be Easily Peeled Up?

Our asset labels are designed to be extremely durable. When combined with our permanent pressure sensitive adhesive, these labels will last the lifetime of your assets.

To ensure your labels reach the maximum adhesion, it’s important to follow the application and storage instructions.

We also offer a variety of security and tamper-evident labels that discourage theft and break apart if someone attempts to remove them.

Keep Operations Efficient with Barcode Asset Tracking Tags

If you're having trouble finding the ideal tracking solution for your project or organization, build it with Camcode. Talk to our team today.