Due to the complexity of each component, there are many variables to evaluate when designing a label (including nameplates). The following five questions need to be considered:
What type of surface is the label being applied to, and will it be permanent or removable? This is probably the most important question to answer. When submitting a request for a quote, you’ll want to specify the type of surface the labels will be applied to. (e.g., metal, wood, high or low surface energy plastic, powder-coated paint, smooth or textured surface, curved or flat surface, etc.). This information will help to determine the type of substrate and adhesive to be used.
What type of environment will the label be exposed to? Consider whether your labels need to be water-, dirt-, or chemical-resistant and/or durable and scratch-resistant. You’ll also want to specify extreme heat/cold, indoor/outdoor environments that your products may be exposed to.
In what format would you like the labels supplied? You’ll want to look at how you plan on dispensing, applying, and inventorying your labels -- the most common formats include: individual parts (with slit backing or on a carrier), in strip form, roll form, or in sets.
Do your labels need to comply with UL, federal, or state laws and regulations? Depending on the application, you may need to submit your drawing to a regulatory agency for approval before it can be produced.
How can I save money? Consider standardizing the sizes and materials for your labels when at all possible. This will save money on tooling costs and allow different labels of the same color scheme to be run together for combined quantity pricing. You can also take into consideration the number of colors to be printed on the label. Each color adds cost to the label, so you’ll want to limit the design to the fewest number of colors required (e.g., warning labels are typically safety orange and black on a white background. If adding a logo or other information to the design, make it orange or black rather than adding another color.)
With these questions, and your relevant answers, along with the size, shape, and number of colors for each label, you’ll be set to initiate the quoting process.
Karen Dieringer manages Mcloone’s estimating and production administration departments.
Usually when there is an issue with a white paper backing left behind the culprit is a low grade rubber based adhesive. These adhesives are an excellent choice from a price standpoint but quickly set up especially when exposed to UV light. An example we can all relate to would be masking tapes that get applied to a window. If left to sit for a few days, they're just about impossible to remove cleanly.
As far as sticky residue being left behind, that is usually one of two issues. The first would be a low grade (rubber or acrylic) adhesive that has been applied to a plastic surface. The same plasticizers that make plastic flexible begin to migrate out of the binder and into the adhesive. A good example would be a clear transparent tape applied to the cover of a vinyl binder. After a while the adhesive becomes gooey and leaves behind a residue when removed. The second issue usually results from achieving a good bond using an acrylic adhesive which simply doesn't allow the label to separate cleanly from the affixed surface.
At Mcloone we generally hear "I want my label to stick no matter what!" but when a customer needs a removable label we utilize 3M adhesives specially formulated for removability without residual residue. If you have any additional questions we would love to discuss them with you! Call 800-624-6641 to speak with a member of our customer care team. --Karen
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Remember when design decisions for optimizing low-power MCU applications were simple? All you needed to do was select when to put the MCU into the low-power mode and when to wake it up. Once it was awake, you just ran the required code as quickly as possible. Simple, right? Well, these days designing for power efficiency isn’t so simple. Why is that the case?
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