Global demand for manufactured products is growing. Although output is expected to increase by around 3.4 percent in 2017, there are already signs that some markets, such as the UK and US, are seeing bigger upturns in orders and investment. UK order books are widely reported to be at a two year high. Car exports are at their highest level for 17 years. And some manufacturing sectors, such as aerospace, are also on track for record global sales.
Away from the relative calm of modern, robotic production lines, heavy industry is still key to the success of many industries such as automotive, construction and many more. This part of the manufacturing process is extreme with steel products exposed to extraordinarily high temperatures, dusty conditions and to aggressive acids and abrasives for cleaning purposes.
Tracking metals throughout the various production stages is key to the efficiency of modern-day steel mills, foundries and manufacturing plants. It’s important that labels or tags used to identify the metals and components produced are robust and durable. Add to that variable outdoor weather conditions in storage or transit and there’s lots for your labels to withstand – and lots to think about.
We offer specialist products and tracking solutions designed and tested for the most demanding and harsh environments; from temperatures up to 200ºC down to minus 40ºC.
The hot-rolling process used in the casting or converting of semicast products to sheet metals requires traceability of these valuable materials at every stage of the process. Our strong, temperature resistant labels and tags are proven on hot extruded/hot rolled wire, rods, coils, sheets and reinforcing bars for example.
Before rolling and/or shaping, steel products must again be labelled for traceability. Likewise, second-stage products require item-level visibility, whether it’s for quality control or stock-checking. Here the exposure of materials to low temperatures and also dust and dirt is very significant and we provide a wide range of tear-resistant and durable labels or tags (including RFID) that are proven to adhere well and give excellent print quality. So you can be 100% certain that they’ll withstand the conditions of manufacture and remain legible in storage.
We have over 30 years’ experience of finding solutions for applying labels in the most unusual and extreme conditions. Our extensive range of label and tag products covers a variety of applications, including high-tack adhesives or custom pre-prints. Bespoke labels or tags can also be created for a specific application. For example, the cleaning or “pickling” process in steel and metals manufacturing requires surface impurities or oxidisation to be removed. This descaling process is achieved by using acid baths or coarse engineering abrasives and sometimes this requires the onward use of an oil film to protect against future oxidisation. All of these elements create a hostile environment for location-and tracking tags and labels. Our solutions are guaranteed to withstand the extreme conditions and prolonged exposure to aggressive chemicals and stay legible, resist wear and tear and stay in place.
Non-ferrous and high grade metals such as aluminium and copper have a very high commercial value and are critical raw materials in the automotive, aerospace and high-tech-manufacturing industries. Given the level of demand and market value of these metals, traceability through manufacture and the onward supply chain is key and we offer a range of all-temperature premium paper labels that provide a reliable, legible, low cost solution that can withstand exposure to dust, dirt and extremes in temperatures. Choosing the right label supplier is even more important when metals such as aluminium have been cast into bespoke component parts for mission-critical production requirements.
We’re already providing successful tracking and tracing solutions for a wide range of manufacturers including client names Boeing Defence UK, BMW and TATA Steel UK. As well as providing tags and labels we ensure that the printers you need to create them are rugged and keep on performing on-demand to keep your production lines running continuously. We stock a wide choice of printer ribbons, tested to the same rigorous standards as our label materials and matched with our labels and tags for optimum print performance. Finally, we can supply barcode scanners that read labels in low light, or even when the information on the label isn’t presented 100% face on.