Label Stock: An Essential Consideration

Whether you’re using labels for business or personal use, there are many things to consider. Among them, what colours to choose, what style of label you need and whether you should purchase a label printer or order labels to use in an existing printer. But of equal importance is the label stock you choose.

What is Label Stock?

The definition of label stock is any paper or other material that can be used to make labels. This could be anything from fabric to film to foil. Label stock can be used in the creation of coating, backing sheets and face materials that form the various parts of a label.

What Will You Use your Labels For?

Although this may seem like a no-brainer, thinking about what the label will actually be used for is something that often ends up at the bottom of the priority list. But really, how a label will be used is a critical element to consider when choosing the right stock.

You may need your labels for asset tracking, or you may be using them to identify and track components. And you must consider the ideal permanency for your labels as well. Will they need to be removable, or do you need to be able to reposition them? Once they’re applied, will they be permanent, or will they be removed at some point during the delivery process?

Another consideration for label use is whether or not the label will be applied automatically by machine or manually by individual, as this will also affect the stock of label you choose.

What Surface Will Your Labels Need to Stick To?

Adhesives definitely matter when choosing label stock. However, if the stock isn’t strong enough to handle being stuck to certain surface, it will rip and be illegible. Understanding not only the surface that the label will be applied to, but the characteristics of that surface is important. A label that’s stuck to a curved surface will require more strength and flexibility than one that is attached to a flat surface.

Environmental Conditions

Next, it’s time to consider the other side: the weather and temperature that your labels will be exposed to. Moist conditions will require label stock that will allow information to remain legible. The same is true of labels exposed to extreme heat or cold. Anything that will endure chemical exposure must be labelled using stock that won’t react with certain substances.

How Will They Be Printed?

Labels can be printed using several types of technology, all which produce different strengths of labels. Printing inkjet labels produces a product that’s ideal for adhering to boxes and bags, where direct thermal printing allows for labels that are durable in virtually any kind of weather.

Another element of printing to consider is whether to print the labels yourself or hire a company to print them for you.

Are There Legal Requirements?

Although the legality of your labels may not seem to involve stock, the stock you choose does matter. Some agencies have certain requirements for labels. For example, labels needing to meet SAE requirements must appear on certain areas of a container, but must also be made of certain materials, depending on what is being labelled and where the product will be stored.

It can be overwhelming to select the right label stock. But the above considerations can go a long way to helping you decide which label stock will work best for your business. And in choosing the right label stock from the beginning, your business can save a lot of time, money and frustration in the long run.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

Outdoor Self-Adhesive Labels Continue to Enjoy increased Popularity

The market for outdoor products is enjoying continued growth. As a result, highly durable labels that can last as long as these products are also seeing increased use. These labels allow users to have access to product information like warranties, safety warnings, barcodes and lot numbers over the long term. The hallmark of outdoor labels is their ability to stay on products without losing colour or legibility, or becoming faded or scratched.

Outdoor Labelling Requirements

There are minimal requirements in place for outdoor labels, and they differ according to the industry. For example, companies which manufacture farm equipment will have different standards according to where the label will be placed on equipment, the underlying surface type they will be adhered to, and what kind of environmental conditions they will be expected to endure.

In general, most OEMs must consider three main factors for their outdoor labels: the surface onto which they will be attached, the level of weathering resistance, and the printing technology used to manufacture them.

Varnishing and Lamination for Protection

Printed outdoor inkjet labels can get adequate protection from all manner of weather when they are varnished or laminated. One method of protecting labels from sun, weather and chemicals is to place a transparent laminate film over the printed label. Adding this film can not only protect labels by absorbing and reflecting UV rays, but they also help to guard labels against damage from abrasion, chemicals, ozone and humidity and increase their overall durability. In addition to protecting labels from damage, varnishing and lamination can also protect light-sensitive inks from losing both colour and legibility.

Label Construction is Application-Specific

As stated previously, the requirements for outdoor labels are directly related to the situation in which they will be used. Therefore, no single testing method will work for all. Different labels will behave differently when affixed to particular substrates, as well as when they contain protective coatings. It is for this reason that the performance of a label’s components must be tested.

Conditioning Tests

There are several conditioning tests which can be performed on outdoor labels. Some of the most common conditioning tests include immersing labels in cleaners or chemicals, exposing them to salt spray (for labels being used in marine environments), oven and freezer ageing, and exposure to high humidity levels. Labels are also commonly tested for their response to water resistance, climate cycling and accelerated weathering.

Because these tests vary so widely according to the construction of each label, they can be expensive, taking months to complete. This is due to the fact that their resistance to abrasion, colour retention, legibility and adhesion must also be placed under scrutiny.

Lower Costs and More Success with Suppliers

Many companies choose to partner with a label supplier to help reduce their testing costs. Doing this also increases the chance of successful condition testing. Indeed, there is no substitute for an experienced supplier with the expertise to perform multiple tests across several substrates. Suppliers can also recommend those tests and materials which will most effectively meet end-use specifications. This has the added benefit of helping label converters to innovate and produce new label products.

Partnering with suppliers who can advise about better testing and materials can also lead to increased OEM investment into expanded testing facilities.

The requirements for outdoor labels continue to evolve, resulting in label manufacturers having to meet even tougher specifications for performance. In order to achieve these, OEMS must spend more on label materials that are more specialised. However, as long as OEMs continue to keep up with their understanding of different performance variables, the durability of outdoor labels will continue to increase, as will their life and cost-effectiveness.

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Work Still To Be Done On Recycling Of Self-Adhesive Label Liners

The self-adhesive label is proving to be quite successful, despite market complexity and increased competition. This kind of label is proving to have many benefits for label converters who have added a higher variety of self-adhesive labels to their ranges, including the generation of new business and the garnering of attention from end users.

Interestingly, despite the fact that other label technologies are soon to come, a large portion of brand owners were not ready to leave their self-adhesive products behind, according to a recent Radar survey conducted by Finat. The survey was just part of the in-depth report which profiles Europe’s diversified label industry using focused research and analysis conducted by market research company LPC.

Included in LPC’s research are those factors in current marketing which are having the most impact on label supply chains, including suppliers of raw material, label converters and customers. The most recent and sixth edition of the Finat Radar report focused on the view of label end users, which is both crucial and fast-changing. This viewpoint revealed the work to be done with raising awareness about sustainability and ensuring the environmental friendliness of self-adhesive inkjet labels in terms of efficient waste recycling.

Separation of Label Converters from Label Application

One aspect of the environmental friendliness of self-adhesive labels that appears to have gone unaddressed is the continued distance of label converters from the point where their labels are actually applied. It’s at this point that label release liner enters the waste stream, and precisely the point which requires more thought as to the development of regular and practical collection systems for used liner and the general waste from label production.

Interestingly, over half of end-users surveyed for the Finat Radar report stated that they were not aware of currently-available options for the recycling of release liner from labels. An even larger percentage of end users were not engaged in the recycling of liner waste. Their primary reason for not doing so was the fact that the logistics involved with the collection and transport of waste to a recycling facility were too complex.

Education Needed

Finat also recently released a study focused on the recycling of used label release liner. The study recorded the current practices in the EU’s ten largest member states surrounding waste management and recycling legislation, as well as the level of understanding of the differences between incineration, landfill and recycling. The study also included EU practices for end-of-life options.

The results revealed that more education was needed about not only the importance of recycling used label liner, but also the economic benefits of doing so, across the entire value chain.

If the expectation of brand owners in the survey is correct, label demand in 2017 will increase by a whopping three percent or more. Although this comes in below their expectation for last year, it still indicates the strength of this business sector. Regarding digital print solutions, brand owner expectations were to offer five percent more of these solutions in 2018 than they do this year.

Brand owners not only plan to produce increasing volumes of products, but the trend is toward reduced label print runs and just-in-time delivery and personalisation. All of these only speak louder to the importance of better label waste recycling and increase the urgency for education on the proper recycling procedure for used label liner and other label waste. In countries like the UK where specific directives and goals are in place to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2020, it will be especially important to educate the end user about their recycling options, as well as have procedures in place for the efficient collection of used label liners.

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Understanding The Construction Of Self-Adhesive Labels

Self-adhesive labels are already incredibly versatile. However, with advances in technology, more can be done with the self-adhesive label than ever before. Today’s labels are available in a wide variety of formats, each with their own set of advantages. However, all self-adhesive labels still contain the same components: a facestock, a film and a liner.

The Right Facestock is Crucial

The facestock is the material which is bonded to the adhesive layer of inkjet labels, and is the functional portion of the label. Without the right facestock and adhesive, a label will not be suited to its application. A wide range of facestocks is available.

Uncoated Facestock

Vellum, or uncoated paper, is the simplest facestock available. It is also the most cost-effective. Ideal for most general purpose applications, vellum has a non-gloss finish and is porous, making it suitable for water-based adhesives.

Coated Facestock

Coated paper contains a layer of specialised coating for the purpose of improving a label’s appearance and performance properties. The heavier the layer of coating, the smoother the label’s finish and the higher its rigidity. Coated papers are ideal for multi-coloured labels as well as those labels which will be used in dry environments.

Coated facestocks are available in three varieties; which are – light weight, high gloss and primecoat. The lightweight variety has a semi-gloss appearance and increased flexibility. The high gloss variety features a thicker and shinier coating and is both rigid and water resistant. The primecoat variety has a thin coating and smooth, semi-gloss feel and appearance.

Thermal Facestock

Thermal facestock is coated with heat-sensitive chemicals which require the application of heat-activated ink from the ribbon of a thermal transfer printer to be transferred to the substrate. Examples where thermal facestock is used include sales receipts, food labels and industrial bar codes. This facestock allows quality barcodes to be produced for a low cost whilst being able to be printed relatively quickly.

Thermal facestock is available in two qualities; coated and uncoated. The coated variety, designed to protect the label from solvents, grease, fats and condensation, may have coating on both sides and is used primarily on frozen products, as well as on pre-packed meats and cheese. The uncoated variety is used for situations where short-term and well-controlled labelling is required, and is usually seen on fresh produce.

Label Films

The film on a label is that opaque or transparent material made from a wide variety of plastics that can appear on a range of commercially-available products including shampoo bottles and plastic food containers. Three kinds of label film exist: polyester film (PET), polypropylene film (PP) and polyethylene film (PE).

Polyester film is used on labels for the automotive, security and medical industry, to name but a few. It can resist heat up to 150°C, as well as resist moisture and chemicals. PP film, derived from petroleum is seen on rigid bottles and packaging like beverages and spirits. It offers high clarity and higher strength than its PE counterpart. PE film is the most environmentally-friendly of the three. It has very low stiffness, and can resist both moisture and UV light making it ideal for personal care products as well as industrial labelling.

Release Liners

The release liners on labels are largely paper-based, and must be smooth and dense in order to provide a uniform surface. Glassine liners are translucent and very strong. Resistant to air and water, glassine liners can be found on virtually all roll labels, and are used in special applications as well as photocell and automatic dispensing systems. Kraft liners are coated with clay on one side for added rigidity. This paper is made from unbleached wood pulp, and typically used for manual dispensing of labels. It is also used with heavy facestocks and on sticker sheets.

In understanding the differences between facestocks, films and liners, a more informed choice about labels products for your particular application can be made.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

This Year Will See Many Changes For Labels And Package Printing

If another successful DRUPA and Label Expo are any indication, 2017 will be a banner year for the label and package printing industry. The one word which sums it up best is change.

Developments in Production and Innovation will Continue

Today, print runs are decreasing in length, and customers are demanding more variations and versions of products. As well, the number of available label solutions has increased as the time to market has decreased. This is all thanks to advances in printing press types, digital printing technology, colour management and digitised pre-press, as well as an increase in the availability of finishing line solutions.

Of course, all of this innovation will mean added pressure to keep costs down and profitability up, not only with product production, but also with the demands of supply chain traceability, environmental friendliness and stricter food labelling requirements. This increased pressure may well cause printers to increase the amount of automation of their production and administration, as well as increased use of management information systems which integrate printing technology with specialised inspection for the least amount of errors as possible.

Continued Evolution in the Face of Increased Consumer Demand

Technology continues to change the shopping process of consumers, allowing them to conduct research over the internet on products before they buy. This has only served to make competition for the consumer dollar more intense. As well, convenience is king, with consumers choosing multi-trip shopping over single trips to big box stores. This is placing pressure on label and packaging to stand out even further.

One way companies are accomplishing this to offer value-added products, such as personalisation and the ability to customise. Another way is to offer customers products in a range of graduated levels, which promotes exclusivity as well as inspires customer loyalty.

Labels Doing More Than Ever

Today’s labels not only help consumers identify the products they buy. Digital trends have also expanded a label’s ability to hold regulatory information, brand identity and special coding, which provides consumers with more product information. This is currently being done via the use of colour-changing and tactile label features, as well as QR codes and label personalisation.

These innovations have also extended to security labels, increasing the sophistication of product identification features with the use of various in-label security measures, including holograms and computer chips.

Of course, along with these increased features are refinements in the digital technology used to create them. Some of the refinements expected in the near future include those made to hybrid digital/analogue presses, advanced inks with special features and new substrates to carry them.

More Centralised Packaging Procurement

As competition increases, so too does the challenge continue for label converters to find new ways to add value to their products. One way that many label converters are doing this is to make their procurement of printed packaging more centralised. In the past, new vendors might have had to deal with the research and development, marketing and package engineering themselves. Today, these channels are closing, and vendors are now being directed to deal with only the sourcing and procurement departments. This has led to label converters developing new strategies for business development and marketing to woo new customers, as they ensure their production meets existing customer needs.

The bottom line for 2017 is that the industry continues to march quickly and confidently into the future. However, the pace at which it is doing so is accelerating, revealing many opportunities for growth. Label converters and packaging companies who ensure they’re up to speed on current technologies and processes will be the ones who stand out from the crowd.

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Be Aware Of Your Label Adhesive Options

Choosing your labels will inevitably involve choosing the right adhesive, which can be difficult if you aren’t aware of your options. This article will serve to inform you about the most common adhesives used on self-adhesive labels, most of which are based on rubber or synthetic resins.

Rubber Means Synthetic

Although it’s true that pure rubber was traditionally used to make rubber adhesives, almost all adhesives referred to as rubber-based are now made of synthetic materials. Regardless, rubber adhesives offer a higher degree of adhesion than do their acrylic counterparts. They also adhere to surfaces more quickly. Rubber adhesives bond particularly well to plastics, but are not as resistant to UV rays and ageing as acrylic-based adhesives.

Acrylic Adhesives

Acrylic adhesives are actually constructed of synthetic polymer. Although they don’t attach as quickly to surfaces as rubber adhesives do, a label with an acrylic adhesive will be stronger and more durable. As well, acrylic adhesives become longer-lasting over time. They can endure temperature extremes and when exposed to chemicals can outperform rubber adhesives. Acrylics age well and offer high UV resistance. They can also be easily modified for any application.

Adhesive Formulation: Carriers

Several types of adhesives include something called a carrier in their formulation, which is what the adhesives active components are dispersed or dissolved in. Without a carrier, an adhesive would be completely solid.

Application-Specific Label Adhesives

Demanding applications will usually warrant the use of labels with solvent-based adhesives. This kind of system contains a solvent that evaporates during drying. The solvent is then able to be reused, which is feasible considering that these adhesives are higher in cost. Solvent-based adhesives can be used on a wide variety of substrates and offer some tolerance for humidity and low temperatures.

Water-based adhesives are enjoying increased popularity due to their environmentally-friendly and non-chemical base. These adhesives are not flammable and can resist high temperatures very well. They are also ideal for a wide range of applications because they offer strong adhesion.

Curable adhesives are relatively new, being composed of UV cross-linkable acrylics. This completely solid adhesive is melted before being pumped to the coating station. There, the adhesive is cross-linked with UV radiation, which gives it light and water resistance, as well as increased resistance to heat and chemicals.

Similarly, hot-melt adhesives are also completely solid. This type of adhesive is heated to above-melting point and then applied to the substrate. Hot-melt adhesives are ideal where labels must be adhered to moist substrates. They offer an incredibly strong and fast adhesion to difficult surfaces, and are often used in low-temperature applications.

Factors Relating to Suitable Adhesives

When trying to choose the right adhesive, several factors should be considered. For example, all adhesives will age over time, as well as be affected by temperature and conditions on the substrate or around the site of adhesion.

Yellowing, loosening and hardening are all possibilities with any adhesive over time, making it important to consider the shelf-life of each. Age resistance is a feature of acrylic adhesives, as is resistance to UV light.

An adhesive’s properties will be affected by temperature, increasing in hardness and decreasing in stickiness as temperatures drop. High temperatures can cause adhesives to soften and possibly weaken at label edges. The temperature when labelling takes place, as well as the temperature of the environment when the label is in service are both critical to its level of effectiveness.

The substrate also affects label properties. Rough surfaces may not allow for complete adhesion. Water-based adhesives will be more tolerant of water, but in cases where moisture and humidity will be extreme, solvent-based and hot-melt adhesives will offer better performance.

Whether you require your labels to have a temporary bond, last for years or need them to be able to be frequently repositioned, knowing the properties of commercially-available labels and their adhesives will help you to make the best choice for your application.

The Warning Label: A Security Label Of A Different Sort

Every business is unique, with specific risks that may be associated with it. Therefore, providing adequate security to those who work for you or those who purchase your products becomes a top priority. Although effective in many cases, generic warning signs do not always offer enough protection to employees or customers. And it’s this situation where a custom warning label can be the solution.

The Benefits Of Custom Warning Labels

The use of security labels that have been custom-designed to warn individuals about your business’s specific risks has many benefits.

The Help You Stay Out Of Court

Where a warning sign is not sufficient, or does not communicate a danger clearly enough, litigation can soon follow. Of course, creating a product that’s as safe as possible is the first step to avoiding litigation.

The next step is to clearly communicate the risks associated with improper use. However, you cannot force anyone to take care, and if something does happen, litigation is unlikely in a case where a safe product with adequate warning labels is the subject.

They Are Budget-Friendly & Quick

One common misconception about the custom warning label is that it takes too much time to create. But the truth is that an order for customised warning labels only takes a few business days to complete, even if it is a large order.

The purchase of these labels is minimal, which is what makes them so ideal for businesses of every size to purchase and have on hand. And when you consider the cost of potential problems such as injury and litigation, the cost-effectiveness of the custom warning label increases even further.

They Protect

Warning labels are created for one reason: to protect. However, in order to be as effective as possible, a warning label must both be seen and understood by those it is meant to protect. The ultimate protection that a custom warning label can offer is only possible when the following elements are in place.

Understandable wording and clearly interpretable graphics will ensure that the label has a clear message. A label that people are not able to understand will be ignored, thereby increasing the risk of injury or other harm.

Easy compliance is another key component of an effective label. Any instructions included on the label must be both concise and easy to understand. If a complex process is necessary in order for the label reader to comply, include a reason for each step.

Any label must be large enough to be seen as well as placed in such a way as to offer the greatest possibly visibility. This is where label size, colour and line of sight come into play. When placing warning labels, think like a person who is unfamiliar with the area. Ask yourself where such a person would be looking or in which direction they may be going when deciding where to place your warning label.

They Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

When warning labels are in place, they can be a very effective business tool. When a label is designed with the unique needs of your business in mind, you can rest easy, knowing that everyone around you is protected, even if you are not there. This means that your employees and customers can enjoy continued safety as long as your business is open in a day.

While it may take some time to decide which areas of your business could benefit from a custom warning label, and then choose the best wording for it, the work you do now will bring you many future rewards in terms of healthy customers and employees, as well as money saved.

 

The Asset Label: Much More Than An Identifier

The challenge of keeping track of assets can be drastically reduced with the introduction of asset security labels. These labels can be used in several departments of a business, making them an incredibly effective method of fixed asset management.

The fact that asset labels are so easily attached, and then can be quickly and easily recorded onto a computer via software is but one benefit of the asset label. These labels also prevent theft, not in one, but several ways.

They Tell You When You Need To Purchase More Assets

Although any department in a company can submit a requisition when they need more equipment or other items, an asset label can instantly communicate to the business owner whether or not the need for additional purchases actually exists. While an employee requisition does not automatically mean that they intend to steal these items from a company, the ordering of additional items when they are not actually needed can drain precious working capital from a business. If an asset label’s information doesn’t show an item is needed, it may be able to be located in another department that is not currently using it, and repurposed.

They Allow for Easier Reporting and Spot Checks

In cases where a company must participate in regulatory audits, the asset tag can be invaluable. With asset tags in place, it becomes that much easier to generate asset reports. It also makes the job of the auditor far easier, as they can know exactly where an asset is located, and then make their determination right away instead of having to go looking for the asset.

They Support Responsibility in all Departments

When a company employs asset labels to help with inventory management, the responsibility of maintaining and securing those assets shifts to the departments in which those assets exist. Not only does this assist executive personnel and management to know exactly how much money is being spent on equipment, but the tags also show who handles the asset and how the asset is being stored.

They Help Identify Existing Assets

Growing companies can easily lose sight of their assets, and may not have a way to measure how much money exists in their fixed assets. The use of asset labels allows companies to meet their responsibility of monitoring and tracking assets so that they can be appropriately repaired and used. Asset labels can also tell companies when assets are depreciating, and at what rate. With asset labels in place, the risk of employees or vendors absconding with assets becomes extremely remote.

They Make Inventory Effortless

Traditionally, inventory is a wince-worthy process. But that need not be the case with asset labels. When they are in place, all that needs be done is for the person managing the assets to use a handheld device to scan those assets in their department. Following this, reports can be generated easily from the information received through scanning.

Really, there is no match for asset labels. In large corporations where the tracking of fixed assets can be challenging at best, asset tags can be the eyes and ears of management. Equipment that may be soon due for repairs or maintenance, or the depreciation schedule of assets along with other vital information can be communicated to management almost instantly. This only increases the efficiency of the company overall, as they are now able to more effectively direct their capital to where it needs to go, as opposed to simply throwing it where it’s assumed the capital is needed or will be used.

Label Stock: An Essential Consideration

Whether you’re using labels for business or personal use, there are many things to consider. Among them, what colours to choose, what style of label you need and whether you should purchase a label printer or order labels to use in an existing printer. But of equal importance is the label stock you choose.

What is Label Stock?

The definition of label stock is any paper or other material that can be used to make labels. This could be anything from fabric to film to foil. Label stock can be used in the creation of coating, backing sheets and face materials that form the various parts of a label.

What Will You Use your Labels For?

Although this may seem like a no-brainer, thinking about what the label will actually be used for is something that often ends up at the bottom of the priority list. But really, how a label will be used is a critical element to consider when choosing the right stock.

You may need your labels for asset tracking, or you may be using them to identify and track components. And you must consider the ideal permanency for your labels as well. Will they need to be removable, or do you need to be able to reposition them? Once they’re applied, will they be permanent, or will they be removed at some point during the delivery process?

Another consideration for label use is whether or not the label will be applied automatically by machine or manually by individual, as this will also affect the stock of label you choose.

What Surface Will Your Labels Need to Stick To?

Adhesives definitely matter when choosing label stock. However, if the stock isn’t strong enough to handle being stuck to certain surface, it will rip and be illegible. Understanding not only the surface that the label will be applied to, but the characteristics of that surface is important. A label that’s stuck to a curved surface will require more strength and flexibility than one that is attached to a flat surface.

Environmental Conditions

Next, it’s time to consider the other side: the weather and temperature that your labels will be exposed to. Moist conditions will require label stock that will allow information to remain legible. The same is true of labels exposed to extreme heat or cold. Anything that will endure chemical exposure must be labelled using stock that won’t react with certain substances.

How Will They Be Printed?

Labels can be printed using several types of technology, all which produce different strengths of labels. Printing inkjet labels produces a product that’s ideal for adhering to boxes and bags, where direct thermal printing allows for labels that are durable in virtually any kind of weather.

Another element of printing to consider is whether to print the labels yourself or hire a company to print them for you.

Are There Legal Requirements?

Although the legality of your labels may not seem to involve stock, the stock you choose does matter. Some agencies have certain requirements for labels. For example, labels needing to meet SAE requirements must appear on certain areas of a container, but must also be made of certain materials, depending on what is being labelled and where the product will be stored.

It can be overwhelming to select the right label stock. But the above considerations can go a long way to helping you decide which label stock will work best for your business. And in choosing the right label stock from the beginning, your business can save a lot of time, money and frustration n the long run.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

Solar PV Label Types

It seems everyone is going green these days. Solar energy continues to be a popular choice for many homeowners who want to start benefiting from the energy they collect from the sun. Indeed, the growth in popularity of solar systems is only expected to rise in the coming years. But an array of solar panels is not without its dangers, which is why photovoltaic solar systems or arrays are required by British Standard 7671 to carry a set of warning labels. These security labels ensure the safe handling, installation and use of the system.

Most solar PV labels are printed on self-adhesive vinyl because they will be exposed to many different temperatures and humidity levels, and so need to remain legible and in place, regardless of the season.

Label Types Usually Found On Solar PV Systems

There are several warning labels contained on the components of a solar PV system.

The inverter label warns that the AC and DC need to be isolated before any work can be carried out. This label is usually accompanied by another label which warns not to block any points of ventilation.

The do not disconnect label is responsible for informing ordinary persons not to tamper with the locking connectors. This label warns the reader not to disconnect DC plugs or sockets while they carry a load.

Dual supply labels can usually be found at all isolation points located between the supplier terminals and the PV system. Their job is to indicate that on-site generation is present, as well as to communicate the position of the main AC switch disconnector.

The DC cable label is used where long cable runs are required. These labels are usually fitted at certain intervals along a cable, usually every 5 to 10 metres on a straight run. This label warns the reader that the cable is connected to a solar PV system and therefore carries a high voltage, posing a risk if it is damaged.

The isolator label’s job is to label the DC isolator on the PV array. As well, on and off positions should be marked clearly. This label is usually placed near switch enclosures with a warning that parts are live during daylight hours.

But homeowners and solar installation workers aren’t the only ones who benefit from these warning labels.

Fire and Rescue

In addition to the label types above, it’s vital to have labels to warn fire and rescue crews that there is a solar PV system installed on the roof of the home. Notifying emergency personnel of this fact can actually save lives and property. Having a warning can allow rescue crews to alter their approach accordingly for the safety of both their personnel and the inhabitants of a home. This type of label needs to be placed next to the building’s supplier cut-out. As well, it has to be at least 100mm x 100mm in size so that it is clearly visible from a distance.

Whilst most of the labels mentioned above are already included with solar PV systems, there is no harm in confirming that all necessary labels are present before installation is complete. Because although the installers are professionals, mistakes can still occur. And whilst they will leave your property once the system has been installed, you will be at risk should someone become injured on your property as the result of inadequate labelling for your solar PV system.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a solar PV expert to know what warning labels are needed for your system. You can simply print this article or a similar document, and then use it as a checklist to ensure all labeling is in place.