Industries that work with wires, hoses, and terminals can benefit greatly from high-quality labeling systems. Labels not only help technicians distinguish between components in electrical systems, but they are also an excellent branding opportunity to showcase company logos and contact information. Heat shrink printing is becoming one of the fastest growing markets when it comes to custom labeling, with an added benefit of protection.
While traditional labels are still used every day by electricians, mechanics, plumbers, and technicians, understanding the difference between traditional labeling and custom-printed heat shrink labeling may help to take your business to the next level.
Here’s what you need to know about these two types of labeling and how to choose the best option for your needs.
What Is Heat Shrink Label Printing?
Heat shrink is typically made of a thermoplastic (polyolefin) that is designed to shrink in size when placed around wires or cables and then heated. A custom heat shrink label is a label that is custom printed on the heat shrink tubing using a specialized machine. With custom heat shrink printing, you can choose the diameter, length, tube color, and shrink ratio in either dual or single wall options.
What Is Traditional Label Printing?
Traditional labels are labeled by hand or with a handheld machine such as a label maker and placed on the outside portion of the heat shrink tubing. These labels are wound around or lengthwise across the heat shrink tubing, much like a stamp on an envelope. These adhesive labels can be used in most situations where heat shrink labels are used.
Differences between Heat Shrink Label Printing and Traditional Labeling
Both products offer similar benefits with the ultimate goal being to help distinguish between cables and mechanical components. That said, there are a few reasons why custom-printed heat shrink labels have been gaining in popularity and appear to be the better option when it comes to labeling.
Flexibility and Strength
Not only can heat shrink labels adapt to the shape of the wires or cables (after all, heat shrink establishes a tight, professional finish), heat shrink labels are produced to be durable for long-lasting use. The label is designed to be both abrasion and solvent resistant and can be printed on either one side or both sides of the tubing. The specific tubing material used allows the text and any images to be maintained during application, transportation, and exposure to the elements.
Traditional labels are not as flexible or durable. They are typically made with materials that can easily tear and/or fade with exposure to external elements like water or abrasion. Without a legible label, a technician may not be able to read the details, which can be fatal if the unknown wire is not properly tagged as hazardous.
Design and Branding
Heat shrink labels are pre-printed directly on the heat shrink and are therefore more flexible by providing a 360-degree coverage, if desired. With an adaptable label, the marketing design team has open-ended options to promote the business. Your business name or logo can be printed on both sides of the tubing, so it is always seen regardless of how the tubing is placed on the object. Custom heat shrink labeling is visibly appealing and can give the impression that the company being advertised is professional and pays attention to detail.
Traditional labels can be just as eye-catching as heat shrink labels, but they can only be applied if there is room to maneuver your hands around the wiring. In addition, traditional labels do not always represent the professional image a business hopes to portray as these labels are often flimsy and made of cheap paper or plastic.
Sustainability and the Environment
For companies who take a firm stance on environment issues, the choice is clear as heat shrink labels are more eco-friendly. Not only is heat shrink made of polyolefin, which is recyclable, it’s also a permanent solution. You won’t need to replace your labels every few months, which therefore, lowers your overall waste. Heat shrink is more sustainable than traditional labels.
Unfortunately, traditional labels are made with chemical adhesive on a paper or plastic backing that, once removed, usually ends up in the landfill. When the traditional label is removed from the tubing, it often leaves behind part of the adhesive and label itself.
Cost of Printing
While heat shrink labels can cost more to produce than traditional labels, they can save your business money in the long run. This is because heat shrink lasts longer, meaning you won’t have to replace your labels as often as you would if you used traditional labels. In addition, custom-printed heat shrink labels can require less effort and time during production since they are mass printed using a specialized machine.
A traditional label takes more time to produce the design and text. Whether it is created by hand or by a label maker, traditional label messaging needs precise application. Traditional labels may not last as long as they tear easily and would need to be replaced frequently. Making traditional labels can also take twice as much time to produce and applying these labels to the heat shrink tubing also requires more time and effort.
Choose ShrinkShop for Custom-Printed Heat Shrink Sleeves
For custom-printed heat shrink labels, let the knowledgeable experts at ShrinkShop help you create the heat shrink tubing that meets your needs. We have a wide assortment of colors and sizes of shrinkable tubing that can accommodate your business logo, name, contact information, or other marking text. Using only the highest quality heat shrink materials, the ShrinkShop team can provide guaranteed durability, longevity, and safety. Contact us today to see how our innovative technology can help your business.