When time is of the essence, the best practice is to plan ahead. This might seem obvious, but the best and first tip we offer when planning a machinery build or redesign, is to factor industrial product labels into the design phase, whether needed for brand identification, safety warnings, or product ratings. The last situation any company needs is to have a $250,000 machine complete and ready to ship—except for a rating plate, tag or safety label that may be required by industry regulators. This situation occurs more commonly than most clients might realize. And while a nameplate supplier like Nutron USA makes every effort to fulfill rush requests and satisfy customers, there are still procedures that must be followed to ensure a satisfactory end product and corresponding time constraints.
On the plus side, when clients factor labels into the design phase, it opens up a wealth of possibilities and options to select from different materials and colors for optimal functionality, aesthetic value and affordability.
The typical turnaround time from work approval for creating industrial nameplates is approximately three weeks. The clock begins once artwork is approved and materials are selected.
Range of Materials
The most common material selected for an industrial nameplate is metal; either aluminum or steel. A rigid plastic tag of varying thickness can fill in for metal depending on price considerations, required product lifespan and the environment the industrial product label must withstand, whether this involves extreme temperatures, harsh chemicals or similar factors.
Functionality and Price
Industrial nameplates most often fulfill a practical purpose; to identify a company or brand, supply safety warnings, help adjust calibration and more. It’s universal from consumer to purchasing agent, that people associate selected label material with product quality, leading some OEMs to select metal over plastic. The final selection however is determined as a function of the anticipated lifespan of the product and the purpose it is intended to fulfill.
Industrial users also need to consider where the label will be affixed to the product and how it will be applied. Options include adhesives, rivets, or sliding the label into a bezel.
The end use and environment labels must endure as well as the material selected, will dictate the available printing processes and range of colors. A digital process printed on most plastics will mean an endless color selection, with clients able to match based on Pantone swatches. For certain environments a finish applied on top of the printing can help extend the product label lifespan, but the finish and material substrate can alter colors.
Screen printed color options are a bit more limited, but still have the availability for Pantone matching on both metal and plastic. Sometimes the nature of the label dictates the color range such as a safety warning or hazard strip.
Etch and fill offers a narrower range of color options, but the process also guarantees a long lifespan for the finished sign or label. The process relies on enamel inks, designed to withstand harsh conditions without breaking down. Examples might include logo plates, rating plates, serial tags or equipment used in chemical processing plants.