When you think rugged, you usually think about the rugged hardware needed to successfully perform a task in challenging environments. This hardware could be a rugged handheld, tablet or mobile printer, but what is often overlooked is the print media used in an application.
Certain industries need reliable and robust media to complete a job to a high standard. Whether users require labels or receipts, the likes of Zebra and Honeywell have created a range of supplies to withstand different environmental factors.
Mobile printers accept a variety of label, tag, ticket and other media for producing durable receipts, invoices, return labels, inspection labels, security marks and more. Top-coated media resists UV light and remains legible for years allowing them to be archived, this eliminates the problem of fading receipts after just a few days. There are also certain types of direct thermal media available that resist substances such as oil, water, alcohol and common industrial solvents which can be found in harsh environments.
Below are a few examples of where print media needs to be durable enough to withstand harsh conditions:
Mobile workforce covers a vast number of industries and applications, including mobile citations for parking enforcement, law enforcement and housing and health inspections. The print media needed for these sectors must endure fluctuating weather conditions.
In parking enforcement it is not uncommon for vehicles to be left unoccupied, requiring the parking enforcement agent to secure the ticket to the vehicle. These tickets are exposed to rain, snow, wind, and sunlight, conditions which can rapidly degrade materials.
Mobile workers often require resilient media for utility inspection labelling, meter reading labels and capital asset tracking. Zebra’s Z-Ultimate 3000T White synthetic label is resistant to chemicals, temperature, freezing conditions, water and tears and can be used outdoors for 1 years+, making it ideal for operations where robust outdoor labelling is needed.
In field service, natural resources and industrial operations employee safety is priority. During installation and maintenance, significant safety risks such as exposed sources of electricity, mechanical force, or pneumatic/hydraulic pressure can be encountered. These risks are lessened by a well-defined set of lockout/tagout policies. Selecting the optimal printers and media to support lockout/tagout policies help ensure success of this process.
Honeywell’s Duratran Synthetic Tag has excellent resistance to water, oil, and chemicals and the strength to ensure it remains attached with typical locks or cable ties. Duratran Pro tag has premium pull strength available for operations where maximum stress on the tagout device is anticipated.
Chemical Container Labelling
Labels are used to mark cosmetic, food, oil and chemicals including dangerous goods for overseas transport, this must comply with the IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) Code in accordance with international treaty (United Nations International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea).
IMDG specifies British Standard 5609 for performance criteria. This testing is designed to ensure labels and print survive the harsh conditions experienced by a container lost at sea. Clear and consistent product labelling is an essential component of a comprehensive hazard communication system.
Honeywell’s range of Duratran labels and Zebra’s Z-Xtreme labels offer excellent chemical and moisture resistance for containers, this ensures the label remains legible for its lifespan.
These are not the only applications where highly resilient and durable media is essential. The healthcare industry requires labels resistant to chemical exposure for use in laboratories, manufacturing in-process labels need to withstand harsh chemicals and in some instances high temperatures, whereas the horticulture industry requires labels and tags to be dirt and water resistant with a high tolerance to varying temperatures.
Print media is an import factor to any business solution that involves a printer. Without the correct media for the task businesses will incur data inaccuracies, reduction in worker efficiency and in extreme cases risk to employee safety.
Understanding Mobile Printing Technology and Capabilities – Zebra Technologies
E-Citation Printing – Intermec by Honeywell
REACH and GHS Chemical Container Labeling – Intermec by Honeywell
Durable Printing for Lockout/Tagout – Intermec by Honeywell
Z-Ultimate 3000T White – Zebra Technologies