The Case for Waterproof Labels
Here at Metalcraft we produce many types of tags and labels that are waterproof. We have our line of metal tags that are naturally waterproof but we also have our polyester/plastic line of asset labels that are also waterproof due to how the are constructed.
Before we dive into specific products though let's first consider why would you want to invest in waterproof labels.
Many of our customers want to label their owned property to track it across industrial or office environments or in the hands of a mobile workforce. Many more are using our waterproof labels for customer-facing product identification.
In all contexts, the value of durable identification cannot be overstated. Labels are knowingly and unknowingly exposed to a range of environmental hazards – abrasion, spills, cleaning products, sunlight, rain – that can render them unreadable. Readability is especially important with bar code labels that you’re scanning.
Consider the time and money investment in having lost property, needing to replace a label or disappointing a customer. The incremental additional investment in a durable label is apparent for all but the most temporary of labeling needs.
How to Choose Waterproof Labels
There are three primary considerations for choosing a waterproof label: identification function, operating environment and application surface.
Label functions: identification, asset tracking and access control
For consumer product identification, the label function seems obvious – to make a positive impression with the product owner. However, many of our customers are using product labels to support customer service, directing people to phone numbers and, especially, webpages and videos using URLs and QR Codes.
For property management and other asset tracking functions, there are decisions to make about the label technologies. We print durable sub-surface graphics for people to read, but we also work in bar code and RFID. The value of the tracked assets and the operating environment inform these technology decisions. It’s worth reading up on RFID tags to understand how they can automate business processes, potentially saving you additional time and money. Access control, in particular, is an application that sees strong benefits from RFID technology.
The next consideration is the label’s operating environment. For labels that are used in offices, there are waterproof labels made from plastic or thin, anodized aluminum that stand up to the abrasion and other relatively mild forces. Labels for industrial environments often need to withstand more wear and tear and typically require thicker metals or heavier plastics like the housing on our RFID Hard Tag.
A third consideration is the application surface. Typically, labels use an adhesive, and these come in a range of compounds to match surfaces. For example, keeping a polyester waterproof tag attached to curved polyethylene or polypropylene surfaces requires a rubber-based adhesive.
We test a range of adhesives for wood, glass, plastic, paint and metal to ensure your label stays put. Note that there are adhesives designed to allow a waterproof label to be reused; our EZ-Peel Removable asset labels are perfect for applications requiring repeat labeling.
Some weatherproof labels are attached rather than applied. Sometimes the durability of rivet attachment is worth the time and expense. We make identification products for processes and events where a cable tie, hang tag or wristband works best for attachment. Check out our bar code cable labels to see an example of the challenges we can meet in identification and tracking with waterproof labels.
Waterproof Labels: Bottom Line Savings
Investing in durable labels means they’ll stay readable – a long-term value for all who use it and peace of mind for you in making the purchase. As the most expensive and often overlooked component of labeling is the labor cost of application, it makes sense to get the labeling right the first time.
By considering the function, environment and application you require, it should be easy to find an affordable, durable waterproof label. Of course, if you still have questions, contact a Metalcraft ID Specialist is available at 800-437-5283 to help.