What are Barcode Tags?
Looking for the best way to monitor your inventory? What about asset tracking? Barcode tags are an excellent solution. Barcodes give you valuable insight and information about your organization. Barcode tags increase efficiency as well as prevent issues before they occur. Code symbols are specified and graded based on industry standards.
What is a Barcode?
A barcode is a type of design which holds data. The standard barcode (UPC) design involves a series of parallel vertical lines of varied thicknesses, accompanied by a number at the bottom. Data is stored, updated, and modified using computer software, and a scanning device (reader) allows for it to be accessed. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcode)
What are Barcode Tags Used for?
One of the best uses for barcode tags is asset tracking. Organizations across the globe rely on asset tracking to keep their business in ship-shape. Asset tracking is used to keep information on location, usage of assets, and also prevent theft. From monitoring assets to locating tools, asset tags are a huge advantage for your business.
Coinciding with asset tracking is inventory management. Not only can codes be scanned to manage assets, but they can be used to track inventory as well. They are used to manage warehouse stock levels, help with reordering, and also provide quality information that will help your business become more efficient. With new supply chain advances such as blockchain, these tags are increasingly useful.
Additionally, barcodes are commonly used for product coding. While metal tags may not be necessary for your product, affixing a label or decal with a UPC code ensures your product will be ready to scan to ship or price for sale.
Barcode tags also find their place in safety applications such as the Leak Detection and Repair program (LDAR).
The biggest difference when it comes to any type of tag is the process. In short, there are three main processes that can be used to apply codes on the material.
One of the most popular processes is MetalPhoto. It is a special photo anodizing process where an image is physically embedded in an aluminum material. This means it is highly durable, won’t fade, and is rated for 20+ years. The best part about MetalPhoto is that it is also highly customizable. No matter what kind of barcode or design you need, it’s doable. Holding up in tough environments allows MetalPhoto to be a great solution for industrial asset tracking and management.
The other process involving metal is screen printing. As you’d imagine, this process prints an ink design on top of the metal itself. While this is great for intricate designs such as barcodes, it is not the most durable solution. For instance, in rough environments the code and design will wear away. It is best suited for indoor environments.
For using one specific bar code repeated on many tags, screen printing is a good choice. However, if you use variable barcode data (i.e different code on every tag) screen printing is not very cost effective as a new screen has to be created each time.
As an alternative to metal, decals are a great solution. They are fully customizable and printed on vinyl, Lexan, poly, or other material. Their peel and stick application means they are also incredibly easy to apply. Similarly to screen printing, keep in mind that these are decals, and will not hold up to rigorous environments. This allows decals to excel in conditions where they are not exposed to wear and tear. For example, product UPC codes or inventory management in an office setting.
Unlike screen printing, decals are perfect for variable codes. Compared to some other processes, they are also cost effective.
- Logistics (Warehouse Tags)
Don’t let your organization run inefficiently. With options for tracking your assets, modernizing your inventory, or even putting a UPC code on a product, barcode tags are an excellent solution.