Choosing The Best Barcode Labels

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This graphic showcases the main factors to consider in deciding which barcode labels to choose.

Choosing the best barcode labels can dramatically improve your business processes.

How Barcode Labels Affect Your Business

Accurate Item Identification and data acquisition is crucial in all industries. A simple labeling error can lead to extreme consequences. It affects your entire company; including customers, care givers, patients, and regulators. It’s important to ensure your company is utilizing the correct barcode label material, ribbon, and adhesive to prevent misreads. Appropriate barcode labels minimize identification errors, replacement costs, and even reduce risks involving consumer safety.

The wrong label type lowers accuracy rates. This is due to barcode label deterioration and misreads. Some airlines are reported to have read accuracy issues on over 15% of their labels³. In a $700 billion per year industry, that’s a lot! Costs of re-testing, re-drawing, and performing additional treatment is prevented by improved label accuracy.

Six Key Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Barcode Label

The six key factors to consider while choosing a barcode label include: surface type, temperature, abrasion resistance, chemical exposure, environment, and lifespan. Knowing which category requirements your processes fall into will help avoid the downfalls of choosing the wrong label. This in turn keeps your operational efficiency strong.

  1. Surface – Different Surfaces affect adhesion. Whether the surface is smooth or curved, it is an important factor to consider when deciding which type of label adhesive and material is the most beneficial for your applications.
  2. Temperature – Both application temperature and service temperature are important to consider when choosing a label. Temperatures outside the range of -65°F to 200°F require thermal transfer labels. See our high temperature labels.
  3. Abrasion Resistance – Contact and rubbing affects label readability over time. A thermal transfer label with higher resin content provides higher resistance levels.
  4. Chemical – When a label is exposed to moderate to extreme chemicals such as acetone or oil, a thermal transfer label with high durability resin will prevent label deterioration.
  5. Indoor/Outdoor – Products exposed to outdoor elements such as rain and sun should use a thermal transfer synthetic material. This material provides the durability needed to survive tough environmental factors.
  6. Lifespan – A label with a longer lifespan is more likely to be exposed to chemicals, moisture, and abrasion, whereas a shorter lifespan will not require a highly durable label.

    These six key factors need to be considered when deciding which barcode labels to use.

    6 Key Factors To Consider When Choosing Labels


    1, 3
    McCathie, L. and Michael, K.: Is it the End of Barcodes in Supply Chain Management? 2005.
    2Zebra Technologies: Benefiting From Bedside Specimen Labeling. 1st ed. Lincolnshire, IL. 2016

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