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Labeling 101

Sept. 5, 2018
Selling on-demand jobsite labeling systems may be a new avenue of sales for your company.

Effective and consistent labeling can make a huge impact on any workplace. Time is money, and since your customers spend their days installing and updating wires, cables and components, the success of these repetitive daily tasks can make or break the productivity, profitability and safety of their operations. Let’s take a look at some of the industries electrical contractors and electrical distributors service where labeling can add value.

Manufacturing/assembly. Manufacturers of industrial machinery, transportation equipment, agricultural machinery, computers, electronics and appliances use labels for parts and components. Examples include safety and regulatory compliance, rating and nameplates, serial numbers and equipment lock out/tag out.

Telecommunications & datacom. Installers of communication system infrastructures use UL-listed ID labels to identify cabling, connectors, cabinets, racks, load centers and other products.
Warehouse & fulfillment. Warehouses and central distribution centers also use many different kinds of labels and signs. Some include hazard and safety warnings, signs, lock-out/tag-out and labeling of electrical boxes and automation controls.

Chemical & pharmaceutical/healthcare. Chemical manufacturing and processing plants, pharmaceutical companies and R&D laboratories are all highly regulated. They must use labels for materials, container ID marking, specimen and sample IDs, serial numbers, safety & regulatory compliance and more.
Properly labeled wire and cables and components in these industries offer immediate insight into how an installation works and how it’s connected. That means customers can perform repairs, installation updates and upgrades in a safer, more secure way, with a reduced risk of human error.

Industrial labelers enhance safety and are more cost effective than handwritten or other types of labels. Here are some more advantages.
Increased efficiency. Industrial labelers can eliminate waste by importing existing information or databases from a mobile device or laptop to save time and increase accuracy.
Some of the other selling features include their ability to decrease error caused by manually typing or writing labels; saving time by printing a strip of labels perforated with half cuts; and the enhanced durability of the tape.

Labels used by industrial labelers are more durable because they have a laminate applied directly on top of the tape. This prevents writing from rubbing off over time or deteriorating from the elements of harsh environments. Tapes with UV/chemical/abrasion resistance options can also provide further protection.
These label tapes can provide additional optimization for varying environmental conditions. Enhanced tape features like extra strength adhesive for textured surfaces, flexible ID for cable wraps and flags and tamper indicating to identify when the label has been removed.

Lower cost. These labeling products can reduce wasted tape with features like pre-set cable and patch panel size settings; serialization; and half cuts that can maximize printing large volumes of labels with minimal “tails.” They also save man hours by letting the labeler do the work, Your customers can create and print labels on the job site, at home or in the office, allowing them to spend less time labeling so they can move on to the next project sooner.

Safety. Common safety applications include warning/caution labels, Lock Out/Tag Out (LOTO), floor marking, fire/first aid visuals and potential hazard labels. Job-site label printers can also help your customers satisfy requirements for LOTO processes, including critical labeling. Labeling safeguards workers servicing equipment/machines from hazardous energy releases.
The failure to properly label and control hazardous energy accounts for nearly 10% of the serious accidents in many industries, according to OSHA. (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy).
Electrical distributors can use the features listed above to more effectively sell mobile industrial labeling equipment.

Jamie Brookover is Eastern Region sales manager for the EDGE industrial labeling products division of Brother Mobile Solutions, which markets handheld and industrial labeling tools for the VDV, electrical, MRO, security, and facilities industries.