Products that encounter rain, snow, high humidity, heat, cold, or fluctuating temperatures need durable labels that can hold up to whatever is thrown at them. Products in many industries, including automotive, electronics, outdoor UL, and tools, regularly face harsh environmental conditions or continual handling that can create wear and tear on their labels. Having labels that stay put and are legible is critical for durable products.
What Are Durable Goods?
Although you want any label to stay in place and be legible, the life span of durable goods requires a more robust label. A durable good is a product typically made from a hard material (plastic, metal, composite, etc.) that isn’t consumed and doesn’t wear out quickly. Sometimes these products are referred to as hard goods. They can be consumer or industrial goods. Contrast this to consumables (e.g., food or chemicals) and soft goods (i.e., goods made from fabrics), which have different label requirements.
What is a Durable Label?
The label on a vacuum cleaner or used in your car must last much longer than the label on your ketchup bottle. Often these labels deliver critical information about product safety and must continue to perform under harsh conditions. A durable label is custom-made for your product to withstand whatever conditions it may encounter and must remain legible throughout its expected life span. Compared to regular labels, durable labels are much more robust.
Several components work together to create a suitable label for your product. Not all products face the same environments, so not all labels are made from the same materials. The components of a label are adhesive, facestock, print, laminate or top coatings, and liner.
The adhesive must be suitable for the material and environmental conditions. Some adhesives are general-purpose, but for more extreme conditions or chemical resistance, you may need a specialty adhesive.
Facestocks come in various materials, such as foil, polyester, vinyl, polypropylene, and more, and will be chosen according to your product’s needs.
Multiple print technologies are available for creating your label information or artwork. These include screen, letterpress, flexographic, and digital printing. The type of printing will depend on the level of detail, the order size, and your budget. For example, digital printing provides beautiful graphics but is not recommended for large runs because other methods are faster and more economical.
Laminate or Top Coats
Clear laminate or top coatings can be applied to the printed label for additional protection or to enhance the product branding. Custom polyurethane dome labels are one way to convey the high value of your brand while allowing your artwork to shine. Polyurethane is poured over the printed label to create these labels and leaves behind a crystal-clear domed protective coating once cured.
The liner is the paper of film backing that protects the adhesive until it is ready to be applied. The type of liner may depend on whether it is applied by hand or machine. Hand-applied labels require easy manual release. Machine-dispensed labels require a strong liner that can feed through a machine without misfeeding, jamming, or tearing.
Uses For Durable Labels
With so many different types of durable products, from consumer goods to industrial, there are endless uses for durable labels. Below are some of the common uses.
Branding and Product Identification
Durable labels allow you to showcase your brand with consistently vibrant colors and artwork. Using an appropriate durable label application will ensure your colors don’t fade over time or when exposed to UV light.
Durable labels resist abrasion, so safety information and warning labels are readily available and legible. Tools and equipment that get heavy use rely on durable labels to relay critical information to users. Another type of durable safety label is a UL label. These labels have been tested to a standard and have met the permanence of marking criteria.
Durable labels can provide information about the product to protect it from damage. This could be a preventative maintenance schedule or a warning about which type of lubricant or oil to use.
Labels are used on durable products to convey a lot of different information — anything from energy efficiency to instructions for use. Any information a product user needs to be aware of throughout the product’s lifespan can be printed on a durable label.
DRG Backs Your Labels With Three Decades of Expertise
Durable labels are our forte. We are ready to supply all of your durable label needs. If you need UL or CSA labels, we have one of the industry’s most expansive UL/CSA component labeling portfolios.
Spend some time with us to see for yourself why we are the go-to label supplier for many companies. We are not just a label provider; we are a true partner and look to lower the total costs of ownership for all of our customers. We work with our customers to understand their goals, quality and compliance requirements, and inventory management needs to create a total solution that will reduce costs, improve quality, and ensure lead times are met.