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Types of labels

There are many types of labels on the market that meet different needs. Labels can be divided according to various criteria. Their classification can be made, among others, based on the materials used for the production of layers, printing techniques, the information carrier technology used, and their intended use.

The purpose of the labels is extremely wide – from electronic products where labels cannot interfere with the electronic product  through labels used to mark fixed assets (so-called inventory labels), warehouse, logistics or transport labels, labels used in cosmetics, chemistry and pharmacy, food industry, up to security labels – these are successfully used in various industries performing numerous functions.

Paper labels and synthetic labels

Współczesny rynek etykiet zdominowany jest przez etykiety The contemporary label market is dominated by self-adhesive labels. Self-adhesive labels are divided into paper labels and synthetic labels. Wherever sticker resistance to external factors is not required, we can successfully use paper labels. A paper label, however, will not be very durable. In turn, synthetic labels have a much longer life. They are not only flexible – they are not damaged as a result of high and low temperatures, humidity, chemicals, oils, dirt or abrasion. There are as many as several thousand types and combinations of materials (material type, top layer, adhesive)! Outdoor life cycle of synthetic labels varies between 6 months to 12 years. They can be used at -200°C, -40°C / 150°C and even up to 800°C. They can be resistant to all chemicals, abrasion or only to water.

Direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels

Due to the printing technique criterion, we can distinguish two main groups of labels: direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels. Thermal transfer technique uses a ribbon which is heated during printing to transfer the print onto the label material. During the printing process, which proceeds at a rapid pace, dyeis released from the polyester base filmand absorbed by the label material.

Thanks to this, thermal transfer labels arequite resistant, at a relatively low price. Thermal transfer labels can be printed on matte, semi-glossy and glossy paper. Direct thermal labels are made of thin paper that reacts to temperature. As a result of the head working, which heats the thermally sensitive paper, the labels turn black. Direct thermal labels are characterized by low durability. They are highly susceptible to external factors – light, temperature changes and mechanical damage.

Barcode labels and RFID

Based on the identification technology used, we can distinguish RFID and barcode labels. Traditional barcodes are a technology that requires the label to contact the reading device. Labels of this type are printed on self-adhesive material that has a limited life due to external factors. In turn, labels using RFID technology are based on wireless communication with the reader. Direct contact with the scanning device is not required to read data from the label. The information is encoded on a microchip and access to it can be additionally password protected. This guarantees not only high label durability, but also increased security and allows additional information to be saved. By using RFID labels it becomes possible to identify many objects at the same time, which leads to the automation of many processes.

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