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Definition of Printed Asset Labels - Asset Tags and Security Labels

Aug 17, 2007
This article is designed to help people understand the different types of asset labels and tags and to define how they are used.

I will start by defining assets and divide them into two categories;

1) Non-fixed Assets
2) Fixed Assets

1) Non-fixed Assets would comprise any item that is not physically attached or part of a building. For example this would include assets such as furniture and equipment that you would find in office, school and home environments such as PC's, Laptops, IT Equipment, Cameras, Telephones, Printers, Desks, Oscilloscopes, etc.

2) Fixed Assets would comprise the opposite - meaning that we are talking about buildings, signs and machinery that is attached to buildings and any other items that might be classed under this heading. These fixed assets are also called "infrastructure items" as they are part of the infrastructure.

Asset labels, asset tags, property labels or security labels are used to uniquely visually identify non-fixed and fixed assets by means of attaching a unique identifier to each asset. This may be in the form of a label or tag.

There are lots of standards for barcodes however when it comes to asset labels and tags the symbology used is code 128 which is an industry standard.

This symbology can talk with many of the latest barcode scanners that will allow you to quickly mark up and identify your assets.

Asset Label Types

We have split asset labels into different categories and will explain their strengths and suitability and their applications.

1) Permanent frangible vinyl asset tags
2) Silver voiding tamper evident asset labels

1) Permanent frangible vinyl asset tags
These tags are suitable for most applications. These labels are much higher quality asset tags than the paper version and are more common in the field. The label material will conform to the majority of surfaces and forms a high-strength bond. This material has excellent initial grab and quite often (after initial application) will provide a good adhesion to many surfaces (when clean). The maximum strength of this label is attained within a 4 hour + period where the glue on the label hardens and makes the label impossible to remove in one piece

This is good for marking workstations, casings, monitors and smaller items. The grain on the computer plastics can be tricky to adhere to with certain asset labels, but the vinyl labels are very effective for this application. The material is also suited to varnished and smooth surfaces. These labels can be personalized with Code 39 barcodes, serial numbers and often with the logo printed too.

Some companies offer further protection with a security hologram to prevent copying or counterfeiting. The vinyl tags are usually supplied on reels and most companies offer a turnaround within 33 to 5 days however some companies offer 24hr / next day service.

These are great for hospitals, schools, IT departments & offices as when the adhesive sets it becomes very strong which prevents people or children removing the labels in one piece.

This vinyl asset label material is suitable in many different applications such as:-

PC & IT equipment, monitors and LCD displays, laptop computers, keyboards, mice, mobile equipment including PDA's, mobile phones, networking equipment, fileservers, hard drives, printed circuit boards, painted metal surfaces, wood, plastics, glass, metals and paper surfaces

2) Silver voiding tamper evident asset labels

This substrate is used primarily in situations where tampering needs to be revealed. The construction of the material utilises a two stage adhesive.

The label will grab very well and on any attempt of removal, will leave the words VOID on the label and on the material it is stuck to. Even if you try to replace the label by sticking it down in the same position it is still apparent that tampering has taken effect.

This material is used in many different applications such as:-

Covering memory & expansion covers on IT equipment, sealing paper enclosures, card & plastic surfaces, calibration seals, sealing postage sags, medicine bottle and containers, boxes and cartons, electronic enclosure boxes, HiFi & stereo units, computer cases, mobile telephones, PDA's, sealing doors, NHS & medical equipment and oscilloscopes.
About the Author
Brought to you by Mark Stephens of Seareach, based in the UK. His company provides Asset Labels and Asset Tags
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