Pre-printed thermal paper roll

Labels can be seen on nearly every type of product

by:Sycda     2020-09-13

Manufacturing labels may seem like an extremely straightforward activity but the chances are you're failing to see the sheer economic scale of the operation. Practically every product you can think of has its own specific label; not just the type of product but the company who produces that particular item will have their own specified design and even outside of products, blank labels and packaging products need to come in a variety of forms to be of any use.

For a start, how will the label be attached? Most types of labels might be attached by adhesives but even this comes in several different types. Do you want heat activated adhesives - useful in 'in-mold labelling' for factory produced items - or do you want pressure sensitive adhesives? How strong do you want the adhesive? Do you want a 'wet glue', water moist-enable gummed adhesive like you see on most packaging labels or envelopes? Maybe you want the labels riveted on, sewed in to the product or shrink wrapped.

Then there's the question of the type of label - what kind of 'stock' does the client want for their labelling. Plastics? Foil? Thermal transfer? plastics? paper? wax? Even then, how do you want the label to be delivered for use - individually, on a roll or on a mass-produced sheets?

Finally there's the question of more specialist labels, which serve functions beyond simply delivering a brand or product identity. Some of the more exotic include:

Radioactive labels: These contain weak radioactive isotopes of chemical elements like Carbon-14. As the isotope approaches its half-life, the appearance of the label changes - allowing any view to judge with some accuracy how long the product has been out by the decomposition of the compound. Despite the fearsome name, these aren't harmful (unless you swallowed one).

Antimicrobial Labels: Introduced by hospitals to combat infections from bacteria such as MSRA and E-Coli, this type of label is coated with sterilising agents and are generally seen in infection sensitive areas (intensive care, chemotherapy, etc) and can help combat the spread of these harmful microbes.

Smart/Security Labels: As well as the anti-counterfeiting measures such as holography or embedded barcodes, security labels can also be 'smart' labels - contain RFID chips within the label. These tiny Radio Frequency Identification chips are an extremely tiny transponder that are often attached to packages, pallets or other types of freight. They can be tracked and identified via radio waves, out of the line of the sight of the reader and are effective time-saving devices and an extremely useful form of security - if you step outside of a certain zone with an active RFID tag for example, the alarm system might engage and the security team would know your exact position.

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