Using Asset Tags and Labels to Track and Manage Your Equipment and
If you operate a business that uses, owns or rents out a lot of physical assets, then you have probably wondered about asset tags. Also known as asset management labels, these help companies to keep track of their indoor/outdoor assets. They ensure that every item is monitored and maintained properly. To help you decide if this system is right for you, here’s what you need to know about using labels for equipment asset management and safety in some applications.
The Main Types of Labels
Asset tags or labels may be classified based on their use, the information they contain or their format. They can be used for inventory, for maintenance, for safety, for instructions, for digital systems and more. For the purpose of this article, the type of labels will be decided by their format.
QR Code Labels
Organizations often use custom quick response code labels, or QR code tags , to track assets as they move in and out of a warehouse, or may store information about the product itself. They may even be used to meet some government regulations. In some instances, they are used for price setting. Some companies have also incorporated QR codes into interactive systems for a specific application. Some software relies on QR codes placed on machines or products to improve workflows and processes.
Barcode labels are commonly found on everything from books to bags of oranges. When it comes to asset management, they may be used to set prices, organize inventory for storage and track the inflow and outflow of equipment. To achieve this, companies use custom labels that include various types of barcodes, such as the following:
- MSI barcode labels
- UPC barcode labels
- ITF-14 barcode labels
- Code 128 barcode labels
- Pharmacode barcode labels
- EAN-13 (GTIN) barcode labels
Serial Number Labels
Serial numbers tend to be an important tool for companies that make electronics and appliances, as companies use them to keep track of repairs and warranty. Serial number labels are so unique that they are often helpful in solving crime, such as when law enforcement investigates the serial number on weapons.
Perhaps most commonly used for identifying chemicals and other hazardous materials, identification labels help companies to meet OSHA regulations and international requirements. More importantly, custom chemical identification labels allow companies to provide all the basic information needed to keep both employees and consumers safe.
Most Common Materials Used
Because asset tags are used on various types of products and packaging, they are made from different types of materials to suit these purposes. Here are the three main material choices used by custom label manufacturers.
For equipment that is prone to wear and tear or occasional element exposure, aluminum provides a durable option. Usually included on these labels are the barcode information, the name of the company and the asset or model number. The labels are usually attached to the equipment with either screws, rivets or pressure-sensitive adhesives.
This is similar to aluminum labels, even down to the use of pressure-sensitive adhesives. Similarly, it is also ideal for indoor and outdoor use, though this may be even more durable. Foil labels generally last for the full lifetime of the asset and remain readable. They also hold up well against chemicals and harsh weather conditions, making them virtually indestructible.
As the name suggests, these labels are made from vinyl material that self-destructs. Why would manufactures create such a label? It discourages consumers from removing it, or rather, makes it impossible for them to do so while leaving the label intact. As such, it cannot be transferred to another device without authorization. Tamper evident security labels are typically made from this material. Once stripped away, “VOID” is often left on the asset.
Additional Benefits of Asset Tags
The most well-known advantages of using asset labels have already been mentioned. However, there are some additional benefits to keep in mind, such as reducing theft (in some cases, we hear the term “property labels”). Many businesses put up large structures at the entrance and exits to their warehouses or stores to discourage pilfering and to catch offenders. When workers or consumers pass through the detectors at these entry points to the building, an alarm usually sounds to alert security. In many industries, an asset management system can be implemented for maintenance or inventory tracking, and it is usually digitalized using a scanner and software to maintain the movement of items. It allows personnel with automated solutions to ensure administrative control and proper accountability.
Perhaps piggybacking off this initial idea, county libraries across America have also been using asset tag technology to allow members to check books out on their own. Just like the grocery stores and shopping malls, these libraries tend to have large detectors at all entry points that sound an alarm if a book passes through the checkpoint that was not properly checked out.
Finally, one unexpected asset companies have begun to use tags to track is their labor force. Many employees now have QR codes in work apps on their phone or printed on the back of ID cards. They may use these to verify checkpoints during security or inspection work, clock in or out or gain access to specific locations in a building.
Needless to say, asset management tags have come a long way from their original intended purpose. As more companies, such as Clarion Safety, provide customized label options , it is only reasonable to expect that even more creative uses will surface over time.