Sheet labeling has been used for over 30 years to identify cable and wire. As the prices of inkjet printers and ink went down, the sales of inkjet labels exploded for home and business use. As inkjet printers became more affordable and accessible, the whole idea of “self-laminating” labels were born. Labels from an inkjet printer had a small printable area followed by a clear laminate tail to wrap around the printable are to protect it from smudging or scratching. Since it’s been more than 30 years, let’s break down the pros and cons of sheet labeling:
- Software and database driven
- Can mass produce labels for larger jobs
- Easy to peel and stick
- Widely used for cable wraps
- Software can be expensive and proprietary usually requiring training.
- Unless there is an onsite printer, labels need to be printed in the office then transported to the job-site.
- Human error (mistakes) are usually discovered on the job-site, away from the office and printer. When errors are discovered in the middle of a job, a trip back to the office to get updated labels is required, resulting in lost time waiting for replacements.
- The actual printable area is small limiting the amount of information that can be put on the label.
- Installation can be labor intensive. Unless that printable area is meticulously placed on the top side of the cable, it will not be visible the next time the cable needs to be identified. In some cases, the technician will reach in and twist the cable to see the identifier, potentially harming the integrity of the termination in the process.
- If there isn’t enough data to fill the final sheet, the remaining blank labels are rendered useless. The cost of unused labels can add up at the end of the year.
- The cost of the actual sheets of labels, time spent on the software, ink or toner used, mistakes and amount of extra labor it takes to attach the label correctly, can prove costly in expense and lost time and efficiency.
Luckily, there is a more modern, cost effective alternative for any size job. A handheld printer can offer the pros of sheet labeling plus more including a laminated labeling system. Help save time and money; see what the Brother P-Touch EDGE PT-E550W label printer can do for you and your organization.
- A durable, handheld design makes it easy to take on the job site.
- Import databases or spreadsheets into the printer and print labels, as needed. If an error is discovered in the database, you can edit the label from the printer and print a correct label on site.
- Use commonly used templates in the free Cable Label Tool to edit, save and print labels on demand.
- Label application keys on the printer make printing for cable wrap/flag, patch panel, punch block, face-plate, serialized, and other labels simple.
- The proprietary Brother tape technology laminates the labels simultaneously—in a single step—during printing and are chemical, UV, and abrasion resistant.