The Clear, Round Security Label

Clear round security labels are ubiquitous these days. Found on everything from CD and software packaging to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, the clear round label may be small, but it’s a very useful way to secure products.

When applied, the clear round label makes a product tamper-proof. Without it a product would be simple for any shopper to open. Why is this significant? Because as soon as a product has been opened, it puts the integrity and contents of the box into question.

If you’ve ever ordered anything from software company, it likely arrived in a sleeve of some sort, sealed with a white or clear security label, which assures you that the disc you are receiving is new and has not been tampered with.

Security Label Applications

For the business owner needing to seal their retail product, using a permanent adhesive label which is sticky enough to keep the product closed and free from tampering is a good idea. However, it’s important that the label not be so sticky that the customer will have to damage the product’s case in order to open it.

Of course, there are retail situations which will require your security labels to have a stronger, more permanent adhesive in order to prevent theft or tampering. Labels with these adhesives can also be used to secure products that are going to be shipped a great distance to the customer, and will endure a lot of bumps and rough handling.

While a stronger seal may be required for products that are in hard containers, a clear round seal with regular-strength adhesive can be more than enough for products that are packaged in plastic bags.

Is a Clear, Round Security Label The Correct Choice?

Although it may seem like a simple selection to make, it’s important to consider that the clear, round label you want to use may not be the right product choice. For example, if you need a higher degree of security, the round seal may not be able to offer it to you.

The same is true if you need to seal a larger package or make it tamper-proof or tamper-evident. For these purposes, other seal methods like a ‘void’ label or dye pack may be best.

The round security seal does work for products sold in the food, medical, retail and pharmaceutical industries, but the products sold in these industries may not need the same level of security as, say evidence that is being submitted in a court case.

Using Security Labels Properly

Whether you apply a round tamper-proof seal or a weatherproof metal seal, the same thing remains true: all seal types are attached with some sort of adhesive, and that adhesive needs time to ‘cure’. The minimum time for any label to cure is 24 hours. This will allow the label to grip whatever surface you’ve applied it to. It will also allow time for the adhesive to bond with the surface to which it was applied. In both scenarios, the security of the applied label will increase, as the bond between the label’s adhesive and the surface will become stronger over time.

Getting Professional Advice

If you aren’t sure about which type of label is right for you, it can help greatly to ask a professional printer. They will not only be able to recommend the right size of round label for your application, but they should also be able to suggest alternative label types to you in the event that a round adhesive label is not the most secure option for your retail or mailing application.

Security Ink Types

When considering the printing of security labels, you should know that there are several different types to choose from. To be exact, there are eight types of ink that are used for security purposes. The most common applications for the use of security ink include cheques, passports and security documents.

Reactive

This ink type is also known as solvent sensitive. Reactive ink will tell a person if any alteration has been attempted. Attempts to remove this type of ink usually occur on items like cheques, where variable printed information exists. Reactive ink is most commonly used in the security of printed watermarks.

Thermochromic

Thermochromic ink is temperature-sensitive, appearing or disappearing when exposed to varying temperatures. This type of ink is available in a wide range of sensitivities, but the most common temperatures are 45, 31 and 15 degrees Celsius. When considering this ink, it’s important to determine the conditions that the ink will be exposed to, as ambient temperature can affect visibility.

Optically Variable

This type of ink is also called OVI. Optically variable ink has tiny flakes of metallic film which changes the colour set as the viewing angle is altered. This very expensive option needs to be printed in heavy weight for optimal effectiveness and usually appears on currency, passports and the like. Most commonly, the colour of optically variable ink will change from brown to green and vice versa, or red to purple and vice versa.

Invisible

In the UK, invisible ink is used for the purposes of document protection as well as cheque printing. Invisible ink’s most common form is the invisible ultraviolet type, which is only visible when the print is placed under a black light source. The only way to make this ink visible under a black or UV light source is to apply it to a UV dull substrate such as paper or card stock.

Water-Based Fugitive

Fugitive ink reveals tampering much in the way that reactive ink does. When an attempt is made to alter some aspect of a document using water or another liquid, fugitive ink will run, effectively smudging any area or printed pattern. Fugitive ink is found on cheques, and all that’s needed to test for this type of ink is to wet your finger with saliva and run it across the cheque’s printed background.

Magnetic

Where security for serial numbers and other numerical sequences is desired, magnetic ink is the typical solution employed. This type of ink contains tiny magnetic flakes which communicate with an electronic reader to verify a document, such as a cheque. Magnetic ink is in use on the MICR numbering portion of cheques manufactured in the UK. The MICR number contains sensitive information including account number, sort code and cheque number.

Secondary Fluorescing

Where fluorescing ink glows or becomes visible under UV light, secondary fluorescing ink does not do so unless some sort of alteration attempt has been made. This ink is used to protect against alteration and tampering. Usually, secondary fluorescing ink will appear green when exposed to UV light, but will include a red secondary shade which will show if any tampering has been attempted.

Biometric

As its name suggests, biometric ink contains DNA tags. A machine can read these tags, or they can be manufactured to react when they come into contact with a particular solvent. Biometric ink works best in situations where verification of a genuine product is needed. Biometric ink can also contain a different set of biometric properties for each batch of documents that is printed. Validating the authenticity of a product marked with biometric ink requires specialist methods to be used.

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Five Reasons You Should Use an Established Printing Company

For businesses in many different industries, using security labels these days is essential for protection as well as for peace of mind. These labels are now commonly used in a wide variety of sectors, from industrial and commercial through to retail. The right security labels can provide you with a simple, effective and affordable way of keeping track of assets and equipment, making identification and tracking quick and convenient.

The first thing to do is find a suitable provider for your labels. This will enable you to look at exactly what your options are. You can then make an informed decision with regards to which is most likely to suit your needs. Look for a reputable and established company that offers high quality labels to cater for your needs.

There are many ways in which you can benefit by making sure the provider you use is an established and reputable one. Some of the key benefits include:

1) Peace of mind: No matter what sort of service or product you are investing in, you always benefit from increased peace of mind when you choose a reputable provider. When you get your labels from a company with a solid background in this field you can boost the chances of being able to get the perfect product.

2) Excellent quality labels for your business: Using a company with a lot of experience in this field can increase the chances of getting excellent quality when it comes to your business security labels. An established provider will offer a choice of materials for your labels, so you can look forward to durability as well as suitability.

3) Exemplary customer service: The longevity and reputation of a provider is partly based on the provision of excellent customer service. This means that by going through a reputable provider that has been in this business for some time, you can look forward to exemplary service levels. This in turn will ensure you benefit from a stress-free purchasing experience when it comes to your security labels.

4) Reliability: If you want to ensure the service you get is reliable, you will find that using an established label company is the ideal solution. Without providing a reliable service, companies such as these don’t tend to be around for long. Those that have been in the industry for some time are likely to be known for the high level of reliability offered.

5) Expertise: With an experienced label company, you also benefit from the expertise of those who have been in this field for some time. This means that you can easily get advice and assistance from professionals who know these products inside out. You can therefore reduce the risk of ending up with the wrong product for your needs.

Another thing to look at is the range of additional labelling and printing products and services that the company offers. By finding a provider that is able to offer a range of products and services, you can ensure that the same company is able to cater for your needs in the future as well as catering for your immediate labelling requirements. This can help to save you time and inconvenience in the long run.

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Understanding Thermal Ribbons

The security of your products can be increased by using different measures such as security labels. One type of security label is the thermal ribbon. Available in several types, the thermal wax ribbon is used in a thermal printer and can handle the printing of very fine images.

Thermal ribbons are usually black in colour, but can also be blue or red, and are best used in situations where long-term labelling is required.

Choosing the right kind of thermal ribbon is crucial, as this will ensure that your labels are printed with the level of durability required for your application. The wrong label can result in the entire job being unable to be used. For the printer, the wrong type can force print operators to reduce printer speed, increasing the overall time for completion of the printing job.

Thermal Wax Ribbon

The thermal wax ribbon allows printing to be done at lower temperatures due to its lower melting point. It has a high percentage of wax-based substances in its colorant portion. Because thermal wax ribbons are softer, they are best used in situations where very little abrasion or physical contact will occur, or where printing isn’t needed for a long period of time.

This type of ribbon is coated with wax-based ink. During printing, the heat from the printer head will melt the ink and transfer it to the label’s surface.

Most often, the thermal wax ribbon is used to label shelves and bins, appears on garment tags and price tickets, and in various warehouse applications as well as compliance labelling.

Resin Ribbons

Resin ribbons are used for situations where printing on plastic labels is required. The ink of a resin ribbon will either dissolve into or adhere to a plastic surface of a blank thermal label. This allows it to become very durable.

A plastic resin ribbon can withstand both sunlight and exposure to all kinds of weather. It can also withstand full immersion in water. Sometimes of resin ribbons are chemical-resistant and oil-resistant. These labels are most often employed in the manufacture of aircraft and automotive parts, being visible on items stored outside as well as on vessels containing hazardous chemicals that need to remain identifiable in changing conditions.

Other typical applications using resin ribbons include circuit board labels and agency-recognised labels.

Wax/Resin

This type of ribbon is a combination of wax and resin, with a higher percentage of resin. Consisting of two or more layers, the wax/resin ribbon has a high melting point. They also offer more resistance to abrasions, scratches and smudges.

The printing process for wax/resin labels is very similar to the thermal wax ribbon, where wax and resin-based ink is melted to transfer to the surface. This type of printing results in a clear and sharp image with higher durability than its wax counterpart.

This type of ribbon, like its thermal wax counterpart, can be used for shelves, bins, garments, warehouses and price tickets. They are also seen on horticulture tags and healthcare labels.

Before You Order

Before ordering any type of thermal ribbon, it can be a good idea to first request a sample of each from the printer. This is because the print quality between ribbon types can vary widely, and if you’re having your labels professionally printed, you will want to ensure that you only pay for a single job.

On the other hand, it is possible to improve the print quality if you do choose the wrong labels for your application. For example, the printer will be able to change the settings for speed and temperature. While this may not always be the solution, it can’t hurt to ask your printer if they can do this in the event that the wrong ribbon is chosen.