Scan efficiently with proper barcode labels and other media

A barcoding system is a step toward greater efficiency and higher margins. When you’re making that kind of investment, don't overlook a fundamental element of your barcoding system: your barcode media. That includes the labels, ribbons, tags, forms and other supplies used to generate barcodes. Your choice of media is as important as your choice of barcode scanners and printers. Substandard supplies can be frustrating for your employees due to poor scans and lost productivity.

Four factors affect media choice

  • Application
  • Environment
  • Durability
  • Exposure

Application refers to what the label will be used for and applied to, whether it will be used outdoors or indoors, and the temperature range the item will be exposed to.  Environment also impacts your choice. Do you deal with perishable goods stored in a cold environment? Will the item be exposed to grease, high humidity, direct sunlight? Are you applying the barcode to a company asset or using it to ship a product?  

Once those questions are answered, you’ll need to consider the stock, printing method, adhesive and core and roll size that fits your operation.

Face stock—Choices include paper, vinyl, synthetic or plastic. The four factors listed above will help determine what stock will work best for you.   

Direct thermal or thermal transfer—This comes down to whether you’ll be printing with a ribbon or without. Direct thermal eliminates the need for a ribbon, which is convenient, but can only be used in controlled environments. Thermal transfer uses a ribbon to print a barcode that is durable and resistant to extremes in temperatures.

Adhesive—Adhesives are either high tack, permanent or removable. You choose the adhesive based on how long you need the label to stay on.

Core and roll size—You’ll choose the core dimension and size of roll based on the barcode printer you’ll be using.

In addition to the above considerations, you’ll need to make other choices as well, such as whether to use pre-printed labels, color-tinted labels, asset tags, hang tags, etc.

Your Supply Chain Services Media Specialist is familiar with all types of media and can assist you in finding a workable solution. Call 1-866-205-4310 to consult with an expert today!

Yes! I want to track and move materials more efficiently

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