The Liner-less Label

The liner-less label is a modern marvel that has been around for three decades in various forms. With no backing material or wet glue, the liner-less label is no-peel and pressure sensitive, able to be applied by machine via stacks or rolls onto products from bottles to food, and can be used for security labels or to communicate product information.

The liner-less label is not attached to a release liner; instead, it has a release coating on its facing side. This coating is what protects the label from the adhesive located on the underside of the label located next to it in a stack or roll. The ingenious construction of the liner-less label allows it to be its own liner, essentially.

Benefits of the Liner-less Label

Because of its construction, this label weighs far less than conventional labels. As well, it is far easier to recycle than traditional labels, as there are no layers to separate and no non-recyclable parts. This is good news for the environment, as currently, over 300,000 tonnes of liner waste is produced each year in North America alone.

Because each label acts as its own liner, a stack or roll of labels can be printed at high speeds without the worry of any residue or glue gumming up the machinery, or any leftover scrap to eliminate. This helps to make printing virtually effortless.

Liner-less labels, because of their thickness allow for far more labels to be able to be applied on an individual roll. In fact, approximately 40% more liner-less labels can be placed on a roll when compared with other label types. As a result, less packaging is required which reduces the cost of shipping.

Printing companies love liner-less labels because they require fewer roll changeovers. Fewer changeovers mean less downtime and more jobs being able to be completed within a certain amount of time. Not only that, but the liner-less label is enjoying a lot of innovation in the UK, where the global market is most evolved.

Today’s version of the liner-less label is also penetrating new markets including convenience foods and fresh produce.

Disadvantages of the Liner-less Label

Whilst it’s difficult to imagine that such an innovative product could have any downsides, they do exist. One cannot help to ask why this label technology has not become the industry standard. This is due to the fact that once labels need to be cut, the technology becomes limited. Die-cutting labels when the labels have no liner to hold them in place can be difficult, as the label shape becomes limited. This leaves only square or rectangular shapes as options. Therefore, those looking for more elaborate labels cannot use the liner-less variety, and these individuals represent a large chunk of the market.

The application of these labels to products presents another disadvantage. Unless a company already has it, new machinery with which to apply the labels to products must be purchased. Although they have several advantages as far as speed, time and efficiency are concerned, some businesses will not see them as enough of an advantage to make the investment into the machinery. Of course, businesses not wanting or able to invest in new machinery can always contact a professional printing company for their liner-less labels.

Although this label type does have its drawbacks, the fact remains that it does hold much potential for business whose goal it is to save time and money. However, the technology may require some time to develop further before it can be considered a valuable, efficient and economical addition to businesses, both in the UK and around the world.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

The Printed Electronic Label

There are several kinds of security labels on the market today, and they all have their purpose, but a new type of security label is already making waves. Also known as the printed memory label, this new product was invented to protect the products that governments and businesses distribute.

The printed memory label not only stores information about a product’s condition and authenticity, but it can also collect information about how the labelled product was handled during the distribution process. Then, the information can be collected, viewed and used to increase the quality and security of products.

How the Printed Memory Label works

This high-security label uses rewritable memory. Currently, the label can contain up to 36 bits of memory capable of storing up to 68 billion points of data in as many combinations. This type of label, when placed on a product like a water filtering system, can alert the user when it’s time to change the filter. In the medical industry, the memory label can tell an equipment user whether all of the parts in a medical device are compliant.

The memory label is made by printing micro-circuits on a thin film plastic containing adhesive. The label is applied in the same way any adhesive label would be.

What Product Information Do Memory Labels Contain?

Businesses are using memory labels to protect their brand. This is because the labels contain formation about expiration dates, lot and geographic codes as well as serial numbers. All of this is information that can thwart attempts to counterfeit a business’s products.

Memory Labels vs. RFID and Silicon

Although RFID and Silicon represent two very secure means of label technology, the fact remains that they are also two of the more expensive measures available. As well, these and their hologram and invisible ink counterparts are able to be copied.

As well, because memory labels are printed, their cost to produce is significantly lower than it is to manufacture RFID tags, silicon labels or holographic images.

Finally, systems like RFID require the installation and implementation of a company-wide system so that products can be tracked as they move through various departments. Memory labels are self-contained and require no system to be implemented before a company can begin using them.

Additional Security

Memory labels are also available with a cryptographic feature. This feature enhances security by combining the printed memory with other security label forms like QR or bar codes. These codes, unique to each label are encrypted, readable only by a special reader. Authorised personnel use a secure smartphone application to read the information stored in the label.

Where Memory Labels can be used

The applications for which memory labels can be used are numerous. They can be used for the tracking of products across long distances. The pharmaceutical industry can use memory labels to ensure the safety and integrity of the products they manufacture and ship. Government agencies can use these labels to secure tax and duty stamps.

Basically, the memory labels allows for the integrity of most any product to be assured from the moment it leaves the factory or warehouse until the moment it reaches the customer. Even after a product reaches the customer, the label can collect information about how that product is being used.

Although this kind of security label has just recently gone into production – toward the end of 2015, to be exact – it is poised to create several changes in the way in which information is collected, stored and communicated to users. In the meantime, there are several types of security labelling available to businesses which offer various levels of security for virtually any product.

Successful Sheet Label Printing

Although the premise of printing A4 sheet labels may seem simple, there are a few potential areas where doing so involves much more than simply inserting your label sheets into your printer. The following tips can help you ensure that your sheet label printing is successful, regardless of when or how often you print.

Printer Ability

Whilst it may seem like a strange question, it’s important to know whether or not your printer is actually capable of printing your labels for you. You will find that every type of label is different. Not only that, but sometimes, only one or two types of label materials will work with a specific printer.

Label Temperature

Believe it or not, the temperature of your label sheets will make a difference to the print quality you get. Most inkjet labels are packaged in plastic bags before being boxed. Once you remove the bag with your labels, we recommend that they be left to sit for between 4 and 6 hours before being used for printing.

In allowing labels to reach room temperature, you can actually improve the print quality of your labels. When your labels are at room temperature, they will be much more likely to properly absorb the ink from printing. Non-paper labels, such as those made from polyester will only require one hour of sitting in their plastic bag.

Alignment and Feeding

Any time you plan to print a stack of labels at home, you’ll want to make sure they’re aligned properly. This can easily be achieved by simply knocking the stack’s edges on a flat surface.

When it’s time to actually feed the sheets into your printer, the trick is not to over-feed them. Doing so can cause sheets to jam, resulting in ink, time and money being wasted. Instead, test your printer’s capacity for numbers of sheets by using scrap paper of similar thickness to your label sheets.

You will find that the travel time of your labels from feed to finish tray can be drastically reduced by opting for the manual feed or bypass tray if your printer, if it has one of these. Doing this will also increase the accuracy of printing, another benefit.

Templates and Adjustments

Each type of label has its own printing template, which can make printing your labels effortless. However, you should be aware that the tolerance of your printer can affect the alignment of your labels, despite having a template. Where this is the case, the manual that came with your printer can give you some clues about printer tolerance.

If you find that printer tolerance is a problem, you can correct this by looking at the positioning of documents in your printer software. You will need to adjust the margins on all sides to fix this issue.

Don’t Commit Right Away

The most important thing to do before committing to printing all of the labels you need is to do a trial print. Printing only one or two sheets at the outset will help you to ensure that all of the elements of your labels are where they should be, and that everything prints within the margins of each individual label. And the other benefit is that it will give you the chance to proofread your labels and ensure that everything is spelled correctly.

After you print

Once your print run has finished, remember not to leave your blank labels out. In order to ensure the same quality of adhesion the next time you need them, any unused labels should be placed back into their plastic bag and stored at room temperature if possible.

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How Iron-On Or Carpet Labels Can Enhance Your Products

If you are a textiles or clothing business, simple iron-on labels are a fast way of getting important information across to your customers. Here are some of the ways you can use iron-on inkjet labels:

Personal and Permanent

An iron-on label allows you to add a personal touch to every handmade item you sell. You have spent a lot of time to create something special, and so the best thing about the iron-on label can be that you don’t have to do any additional knitting or sewing; you need only grab an iron, place your label, and follow the instructions.

The iron-on label is made with permanency in mind; there is no worry that it will fall off of what you may attach it to, because these labels are made with permanent adhesive. These kinds of adhesives can handle hot washer and drying temperatures, fluctuations in humidity, and pulls and tugs from attempts to remove them.

Iron-on inkjet labels offer far more versatility than stickers, hang tags or other labelling solutions. You can design them to contain any number of elements, from your company name to the size of the garment (if applicable), to a place for a short and heartfelt message. There really is no limit beyond your imagination when it comes to iron-on labels.

Professional and Informative

Carpet labels provide your products with a professional touch that your customers will appreciate. Unlike other carpet tagging methods, the carpet label cannot be removed. This makes it an ideal way to give your customers the information they need about your products at a glance. For example, your carpet labels can contain information about your product’s physical properties like the pile and colour, and even contain the name of the range of carpeting so that customers can more easily locate the product they want.

For your shop staff, carpet labels can allow for a much easier time when inventory needs to be done. Instead of endless searching, employees can simply look in the designated spot on the product to find the information they need to enter into your system.

The easiest product to apply to carpet backing is the carpet pressure-sensitive label. These labels include a special adhesive which attaches immediately to the carpet backing when pressed on. No ironing is necessary for these particular labels, which means that staff can reduce the number of steps needed to secure these labels to your products.

Lots of Variety

Both iron-on and carpet labels are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and finishes so that there is something for every preference. Satin-look labels can provide your gifts and products with that perfect elegant touch. Some labels like Matt Thick allow you to adhere them to your items, and then write on them. This adds a wonderful personal touch to your items. However, if you are doing this, you want to take care to use permanent fabric markers, as this will ensure that your label doesn’t fade, bleed or get washed away when water or other liquid is applied to it.

These labels are also available in many types of packaging. You can get iron-on and carpet labels by the roll as well as by the sheet. For a truly unique look and feel, these inkjet labels can also be had in fancy shapes that have been die-cut.

If you are having trouble choosing the right labels for your products, it can help greatly to speak to a professional printer such as Jenacre. We will be able to help you choose the perfect label for all of your personal and business requirements.

How Labels are Used to Promote Health & Safety

Labels are instrumental in ensuring the safety of millions of people in many different ways. When you think of security labels, you may think about protecting items like factory machinery, or office equipment like computers and other devices. But security labels are also used to protect human health and our environment.

Labels Provide Clarity

In terms of text labels, individuals can know what ingredients are contained in food and pharmaceuticals. However they can also help to facilitate understanding when information is presented on labels using simple images in addition to or instead of text. In countries with low or poor literacy, products labelled with simple images can save lives, allowing for readability regardless of literacy level.

Help for the Environment

In addition to helping secure human health, labels also help to secure the health of the environment. With landfills quickly filling in the UK, and aggressive targets in place to reduce the amount of waste that goes to them, labels are absolutely crucial.

Labels alert consumers about the ability of certain products to be recycled. They also keep consumers informed about the amount of recycled content in the products they use, which can inspire more recycling activity.

The confusion surrounding which bins to use for which products can also be avoided by clearly labelling each recycling bin for its respective product so that consumers can recycle more efficiently.

Possible Allergens and Toxicity

Allergies are on the rise, it seems; it is estimated that as many as one in fifty infants now suffer from a nut allergy. These kinds of allergies can cause anaphylaxis to occur, which can lead to a far more serious condition if not addressed immediately. Some nut allergy sufferers are so sensitive to these triggers that they cannot even be in the same room with peanuts without having an allergic reaction.

In these cases, it is vital to know what is contained in the foods you either buy for your allergic child or for the sake of your child’s allergic school mates. Many schools have now banned peanut products altogether, and manufacturers of products like snack bars are now ensuring the safety of their products and communicating their creation in a nut-free facility via their product labels.

Potentially poisonous products are also communicated using warning labels. For example, the chemicals in lice treatments require a certain degree of caution when using and applying. Certain restrictions also apply to the disposal of the containers these treatments are sold in.

Standardisation

Whilst the increased use of warning labels is a very good thing, there are some cases where work is still needed. Many are of the opinion that certain types of labels should be standardised for easy reading and interpretation, regardless of where the reader is located.

Standardisation of the information on labels is a good idea. However, it does require participation on a global scale, as well as a consensus on the most effective labels. This has already been accomplished in some industries, but takes time and resources to implement correctly.

Healthy Labels

With labels being used on so many products, and considering the increasing urgency to lower our carbon footprint, it only makes sense that the labels themselves are made to be biodegradable wherever possible. These eco-labels are already in place on many products, and are made either from materials which have previously been recycled, or made of biodegradable materials. They can also contain both. Eco-labels can also contain natural adhesives to ensure their complete breakdown, and can be manufactured without the use of wood-sourced paper, such as is the case with plant fibre labels. Even the coatings on these labels can be eco-friendly, as is the case when corn is used to make the coating film instead of petroleum.

With the world seeming to move at a faster pace than ever before, there is no doubt that our reliance on the information communicated by labels is increasing.

Template Accuracy Isn’t The Only Factor For Better Inkjet Labels

Printing your own labels means taking template accuracy into account. However, it also means using your printer as efficiently as possible. The printer you use may have features that can do much to improve the quality of your labels if you know they are there and know how to use them. Please use the following as a guide. However, for large batch or regular printing it is often more cost effective to use a professional print supplier. Get in touch and chat to us about your requirements for a bespoke quote.

Print Properties

The majority of printers will give you the option to view and modify your print settings before you decide to print. These properties can allow you to improve the quality of your printed labels when the best possible combination of settings is used. The print properties settings to focus on include those relating to media weight and media type. Simply put, these two settings will change the way your printer prints your labels on particular media. If your printer has a specific ‘labels’ setting, all the better. If not, likely the best setting to choose will be ‘heavy paper.’

While you’re in the Print Properties dialogue box, you might want to check that a few more items are in place. You should ensure that no scaling options like ‘fit to page’ have been selected. You’ll also want to ensure that you haven’t chosen to ignore printer settings. Finally, no scaling options like “Fit to Page” or any percentages have been selected.

Choosing the correct Tray

Check your printer for a secondary tray, located above or below the main paper tray. Known as the media bypass tray, it is there to use when printing thicker materials like inkjet labels. Another reason the bypass tray is so handy for label printing is that when placed into it, your labels will travel on a different path through your printer that bypasses one or more rollers. In bypassing the rollers, the paper won’t rotate slightly as it travels through each set of rollers.

Print for your Printer

Regardless of the printer you have, it will have its own level of print accuracy, as well as its own starting point for printing on any sheet of paper. That being said, your template can be adjusted to suit the way your printer does its job. When you bear your printer’s unique accuracy and starting point properties in mind, you can actually design your labels around them and get the best results each time you print.

The unprintable area of your printer is the border of a page where your printer is unable to print. Being aware of this area is another important thing to keep in mind when designing your labels.

Print Specifications

Just as every printer has its own level of accuracy and print starting point, so too does every printer have its unique print specifications. If you have a more basic printer, it will likely have its limits in terms of weights and types of materials it can print onto. Fancier and more expensive models have a higher number of customisable features.

The all-in-one office printer is a popular choice. These machines are capable of scanning and copying in addition to printing. These particular machines are designed to complete the tasks above reasonably well. However, a printer that’s dedicated to printing alone will be able to complete this task to a much higher standard and print on a far wider range of materials, therefore requiring less adjustment to your printer settings.

If you plan to print inkjet labels on a regular basis and are searching for a printer, try and find one with two trays that has a specific setting for the printing of labels. It should also be able to print on a large selection of weights and materials. Above all, ensure that your label template has been set up correctly and then test it by printing on a regular sheet of paper before printing on your actual label sheet.

Security And Branding With Holographic Labels

Where the goal is to brand your products as well as increase security, the holographic label continues to be unsurpassed. Hologram labels are not only attractive, but offer protection from counterfeiting as well.

What is a Hologram and how is it Applied?

A hologram consists of two or more images. These images are arranged in such a way that one image is visible over the others when it is viewed from a particular angle by an individual. When used as security labels, the thick holographic image is transferred onto security paper.

Holographic labels have a backing of permanent adhesive. When applied to paper, this adhesive sets very quickly.

How Holograms Keep Products Secure

Once the adhesive on a holographic label sets, it becomes nearly impossible to remove. As well, any tampering can be easily detected by visible damage to the image. Many types of holographic labels are impossible to remove in a single piece, which also makes tampering evident.

The holographic labels you may have seen on the tags of official sportswear and similar items are a symbol of authenticity. There are various ways to tell if a holographic label is authentic, depending on the product you are considering purchasing. All holographic labels have the same characteristics.

Not only can these label types not be forged or reproduced, but they are also able to be validated quickly and easily.

Business Benefits of using Holographic Labels

Not only are these types of labels secure, but they also offer business benefits. Holograms can offer an advantage to the appearance of a product’s packaging or tags. These eye-catching labels with their rainbow colours and unique 3D construction invite the customer to take a closer look. Not only that, but a customer will tend to look at a holographic label for longer than they might a regular label.

These labels can also contain a company’s logo. Placing a business logo on a holographic label can mean that the customer interacts with a brand as well as the label itself for a longer period of time, which translates into plenty of brand exposure.

Added Security Features

In addition to the hologram itself, these labels can also include a number of other security features.

A label can be altered with something called white code marking. This allows a code, a series of numbers or even a signature to be incorporated into the label. These items remain visible regardless of the perspective from which they are viewed.

Inkjet numbering is another feature. This is the addition of a number series or separate dates or years. Inkjet numbering is best for products with some sort of expiry date, or those which need to have a visible date of manufacture.

Another feature is called laser etching, which can be in the form of a code, signature or year, among other items. The etching is permanent, and when completed, takes on the colour of the bottommost part of the label.

UV features are only visible under UV light, making them another viable means to secure items. This feature can appear on a holographic label in just about any way including code and numerical form.

Many businesses are adopting the use of holographic technology to secure their assets. The increasing number of counterfeit goods on the market is a worry to all businesses. And whilst not all counterfeiting can be completely eliminated, holographic images are helping prevent it.

Of all of the security labels in existence today, the holographic label combines the simplicity of authenticity identification with a formidable tool to prevent it from being copied, forged or replicated.

Should You Laminate Or Varnish Your Labels?

In the world of print finishing, two popular methods are laminate and varnish. Both of these enhance the look of everything from brochures to inkjet labels, adding shine and professionalism. They also work to protect the ink to ensure that printed information remains legible for long periods of time. But which is the better choice? Where a decision is elusive, it can help to understand the differences between lamination and varnish, as well as the benefits of each.

Lamination and Varnish

Lamination is the process by which a very thin layer of film is applied to labels. This process occurs after printing has been completed. Varnish, also known as coating, is also applied after printing has been completed. Lamination is available in high gloss, which gives contrast and sharpness to images and photos. Matte laminate is more subtle, but is an elegant option.

In the case of varnish, there are several types available. Gloss varnish tends to have a high shine, which can be beneficial where an increase in image depth is desired. Spot coating covers only certain places of a label or document. Matte varnish is non-reflective, and best used where the softening and flattening of a printed product is desired. Satin varnish combines matte and gloss for a shiny yet durable finish. Opaque varnish is often used to improve the appearance of dark colours, where an aqueous coating will render printed materials resistant to certain liquids when applied.

Where additional sturdiness is required for printed products like business cards, lamination can provide it. However, where a product needs added impact – for example a contrast between gloss and matte on a business card, varnish can be the best choice.

Reasons for Laminating Your Labels

Labels are one of many ways that a product interacts with the customer. But when a label passes through so many hands, it can become worn and faded. Lamination not only keeps your labels readable, but it also enhances their look and feel, thereby enhancing their quality.

Again, lamination is ideal in situations where added strength is required. For example, if a label will travel through many hands before reaching its destination, it must be able to stand up to wear and tear as well as any potential damage. Using lamination on your labels will also ensure they look newer for a longer period of time.

The promotion of a product can also have more impact with laminated labels. This is especially important for new products needing to make that successful first impression.

Lamination will also prevent ink from cracking. And so if your labels become bent, their printed information will not be compromised. As well, laminate provides inkjet labels with a degree of protection against damage due to grease or water.

Those looking to laminate lightweight paper of 135gsm and under may benefit more from varnish. Where budgetary constraints exists, varnish may be the less costly option. As well, laminate should only be considered where an entire surface needs to be covered. Finally, marking of the laminate can occur where it has been applied over dark areas.

Reasons for Varnishing your Labels

The wide range of finishes available with varnish offer lots of choice. As well, this option is less expensive than laminate, but offers virtually the same appearance as laminate. There are no limits to the weights of paper that varnish can be applied to; even the thinnest and lightest weight paper can be finished with varnish. Another benefit of varnish is that it can be placed in particular areas.

Although varnish does look similar to laminate, it does not afford the same durability. Therefore, any labels that are varnished can be torn easily. As well, varnish cannot protect against ink cracking when a label is bent or folded. Finally, varnish does not offer the same resistance to liquid as laminate does.

Both laminate and varnish have many benefits. And in understanding the differences between them, you can make an informed decision.

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The Label Converter

When attached to items, labels can provide information about an item or allow an item to be identified in some way. And in a few cases, an existing label type can be changed by converting it to another label type. This is known as conversion and is done with a label converter.

A label converter modifies labels in many ways. This machine can change the shape and colour of a label, as well as cut and produce ready-to-use labels. Converter machines of a small size can produce labels of simpler design and construction in low volumes. The labels that this kind of converter produces can be used for pricing, coding and addressing as well as for other purposes. The larger version of label converter machinery can produce labels in many different shapes and sizes, and is able to die-cut labels as well as perforate them.

How Label Converters are Categorised

Label converters are usually categorised according to the types of labels they produce. For example, a label converter can be categorised according to how its labels will be used. So it might be a mail label, caution label, pricing, container or pricing label machine.

It can also be categorised according to the characteristics of the labels it produces. So for example, a label machine may be called a blank, permanent, self-adhesive or warehouse label converter.

Label converters are also named according to the technology they use. For instance, if you want a converter that creates security labels, one type is the RFID label converter.

Technology and Caveats

Label converting machines continue their technological evolution. Today’s machines can print labels accurately and efficiently, and can reach production levels of millions of labels in any given month. However, machines with older technology are just as able to do the job, albeit for simpler labels.

One major technological advancement in label converting machinery has been in the reduction of noise. These sometimes-gargantuan machines used to produce noise at high decibels just a decade ago. Today however, they are practically noiseless.

Thermal Converters

Thermal label converting machines make use of heat to create labels, producing them on special thermal paper. Although this process is efficient and accurate, it may only be a short time before these labels may need to be replaced due to the susceptibility of the thermal paper to sunlight and heat and the fading that this can cause.

Thermal labels are ideal for situations where temporary tags are necessary, such as for bi-annual inventory or short-term product shipments, where tags will remain out of sunlight and away from variable temperatures for that period of time. However, they are less than ideal for situations requiring labels to last a year or longer.

Thermal Transfer

The thermal transfer process utilised by some label converters does allow for more durable labels to be printed. This process allows printed items like ID numbers or bar codes to retain their clarity and ease-of-reading for far longer than their thermal counterparts.

The Market

The furthest advancements in label creation technology, whether for security labels or otherwise is currently occurring in several countries around the world. India continues to innovate and is considered to be one of the most important developers of label conversion technology. China, on the other hand, possesses its own skill set as far as technological innovation ability and advanced communications infrastructure.

In choosing the right label converter, you can get the ideal solution in terms of the labelling system you need, as well as the ability to have professional labels when you need them. However, label converters are just one kind of solution; where there is doubt as to which system may work better, it can help to speak with a professional who understand each type of machinery and the labels it is capable of producing.

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Considerations For RFID Label Selection & Management

When thinking about implementing an RFID system, it’s important that the one you choose is right for your application. But even if the system you choose is the ideal one for your needs, there are still some considerations which, if not made can compromise your system’s success.

For any RFID system to work properly, it must be able to transfer data reliably, and in such a way as to be predictable and dependable. And this means ensuring that the right conditions exist for this to occur. Of course, when considering the right conditions for an RFID system, these must exist for both the receiver and the security labels themselves.

Testing

Before purchase of any system which allows you to print your own labels, it should be tested to ensure that the media being used is right for the encoder you plan to utilise. Some RFID printing systems may require additional signal shielding or mechanical changes in order to ensure their efficiency over the long term.

Similarly, the printer should be matched to the position on the label where the chip will be located. All too often, the media is ordered before it’s been confirmed that it will suit the printer. Matching the RFID protocol between printer and label is crucial. Otherwise, calibration may be necessary to ensure the correct encoding and alignment.

Temperature

Fortunately, in most cases, temperature does not represent a concern for RFID systems. But it can still help to know which temperatures ensure optimal performance. Typically, as long as a storage area’s temperature is kept between -51 and +95°C, a system should be able to perform reliably, properly and consistently.

Metals

Smart labels do not perform properly when they are metal or foil-based. This is because metal is an RF signal reflector. As well, metal continues to be a top source of interference for RFID tags. Should an RFID inlay be embedded in some kind of foil or metal label, range can be severely limited. As well, it would not allow for easy or successful reading or encoding. Finally, RFID labels do not rely on optical technology as do their bar code counterparts. Therefore, they will not benefit from the inclusion of metals for the purpose of enhancing light reflection and performance as is so often done with bar codes.

ESD

ESD, or electrostatic discharge can cause the complete failure of RFID tags. Therefore, the dangers of ESD should be a definite consideration, especially in areas of high altitude and low humidity. One way to control for the amount of ESD which occurs near RFID tags is to store media in materials which are non-conductive, such as cardboard containers. This will protect the tags from existing ESD.  Where electrostatic discharge is significant, other measures may need to be taken, such as outfitting equipment and workers with grounding straps and anti-static clothing.

Liquids

Besides metal, liquids are another enemy of the RFID system. This is because they actually absorb the RFID signal. This can render a tag completely unreadable and unable to be encoded or severely limit its range. When placing RFID tags on liquid items, it’s important to do so in such a way that allows for the longest range and most reliable readings possible.

In addition to ensuring the right temperature levels, amounts of ESD and presence of liquids and metals, the successful operation of any RFID system will also depend on having the right training and procedures in place, as well as ensuring that the tags are placed in the most readable locations. With all of these considerations made, your RFID system can not only increase the efficiency of your operations, but may also mean that less operator intervention is required should something go amiss.

www.labelmakers.co.uk