Examples of the many custom-design, durable labels available from Drake.

Custom Label Tips

Welcome to the Drake Industries blog, Custom Label Tips, your source for information and insight on getting the best custom-designed, durable labels for your needs.

Oil & Gas Equipment Overlays

February 28th, 2013 by
Polycarbonate equipment overlay can handle the harsh environments of oil & gas exploration

Polycarbonate equipment overlay can handle the harsh environments of oil & gas exploration

Overlays used for equipment in the oil & gas exploration arena need to be durable and stand up to chemicals and challenging elements. Polycarbonate is an excellent material choice for oil & gas equipment overlays. Chemicals, dirt, grime, and oil can destroy overlays and labels not made to withstand heavy weather and harsh conditions.

The overlay shown above has rivet holes for attaching the overlay to the control panel. It is also backed with a pressure sensitive adhesive for additional “hold”. Underneath the circular “Tool Docking Port” opening is a rectangular window that allows a display to be seen. The other rectangles shown above are cut-outs.

The difference between a cut-out and a window is that a cut-out is an opening that goes entirely through an overlay. A window is an opening that is covered – usually by clear polyester or polycarbonate. A window protects the display that it covers. A cut-out doesn’t have a protective layer.

Radius, or rounded, corners are shown above.

Overlays and equipment panels are shipped in sheets.  Custom sizes and shapes are available.


Serial Data and Barcode Labels

February 14th, 2013 by
Polyester 2D Matrix Barcode Drake Labels  (138 x 101) barcode (169 x 70) 2D Barcode Polyester Label (160 x 98)

Serial data and barcode labels provide warranty, identification, and regulatory information for manufacturers of consumer and industrial products and equipment.

Typical materials include aluminum, paper, polyester (Mylar®), and polycarbonate (Lexan®). Aluminum, polycarbonate, and polyester labels are particularly useful in harsh environments where items are exposed to chemicals, heavy use, and harsh weather conditions.

Serial data and barcode labels are available on sheets or rolls. Choose from many types of barcode labels based on your needs: Two dimensional (or “2D”); “Linear” barcode (“1D”); Plessy; Codabar; etc.

Data and barcode labels can be provided in small quantities and in rolls or sheets.


Polyester Label Sets

February 11th, 2013 by

Pictured below is a 3 piece polyester label set.  The total thickness of each label is 3 mil. Worded in English and French, the product it labels is sold in the US and in French speaking countries.

Set of 3 polyester labels.  Thin polyester is an extremely durable label substrate that can can withstand extended use.

Set of 3 polyester labels. Thin polyester is an extremely durable label substrate that can can withstand extended use.

The symbols that are used on the 2nd polyester label of the set have 2 warning symbols: a triangle with an exclamation point and another triangle with a crooked arrow pointing down. Both are internationally recognized symbols (or pictorials). The triangle with an exclamation point signals “Danger!” and the triangle with a crooked arrow pointing down represents an electrical hazard.

These polyester labels were produced on 3 separate rolls using the Thermal Transfer process (also known as Hot Stamp). The customer had the option of 3 different methods of final packaging: 3 separate rolls; 1 small bag containing each label (the customer ordered 25 of each label, making 25 sets of 3 labels), or 1 bag of each label. This particular customer chose to take 3 bags of 25 labels.

Polyester product labels are an excellent method of branding an item and providing instructions or information about a product. The adhesive used may be permanent or a special adhesive may be used that would allow the polyester label to be removed without damaging the surface of an item.

Extend the Life of Your Labels

February 7th, 2013 by

Label storage is a simple and extremely cost-effective way to extend the life of your labels.  All it takes is a temperature-controlled room (60 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) and a plastic bag.

Labels should be stored out of direct sunlight in airtight bags or containers.

Labels should be stored out of direct sunlight in airtight bags or containers.

Simply place the sheets or rolls of labels inside the plastic bag. Sealing the bag isn’t necessary. Folding the bag under the label sheets or pushing the bag into the roll are acceptable, as long as air doesn’t circulate around the labels.  Keep the labels out of the sun, and there you have it.

Why a plastic bag?  Keeping the labels in a clean environment prevents tiny dust particles from collecting around the edges of a label.  These particles can give the edges a dirty appearance. A temperature-controlled area is necessary because heat affects the viscosity of the adhesive.  Labels exposed to heat will stick to one another, making a sticky mess of a roll of labels.

Take these simple steps to store your labels properly, and they will last for years.

Product Spotlight: Picture Tags

February 7th, 2013 by
Custom Pictoral/Instructional Tag

Custom Pictoral/Instructional Tag

As a smaller company, Drake Labels can offer flexibility and availability to our customers. Case in point: Recently a customer came to us needing a fool-proof way to show workers how to reposition a part once a machine was removed from a shipping crate.

Rather than limiting their options, we made ourselves available to speak with the customer about their needs and goals.  We came up with a solution many other durable print shops could never produce. The solution was to print a picture tag showing in two images how to assemble the machine.  After assembly is complete, the worker can discard the tag.

Drake Labels manufactures small quantities and the customer was free to order a small number at first. Once they started using the tag, they determined it was not only an effective solution, but also simple and cost-effective.

Quick Fix for Sticking to Smooth Surfaces

February 7th, 2013 by

Flame Corona (200 x 150)

You’ve applied your label to a smooth, plastic surface, and for whatever reason, it just won’t stay put. This scenario is not uncommon. An interesting phenomenon sometimes occurs when applying labels to low surface energy (LSE) surfaces like plastic: labels just won’t stick.

If you could look through a microscope, you would see oils from the plastic substrate left over from the manufacturing process. These oils interfere with the label adhesive’s ability to grab to the surface of the plastic. That’s why cleaning the surface with alcohol won’t do the trick.

Instead, treat the surface with a corona or open flame. The flame will evaporate any surface oils. It will also microscopically roughen the surface, allowing the label to stick.

Of course, there are also particular LSE adhesives that work well on plastic surfaces. Request an LSE adhesive the next time you place an order for labels intended for plastic surfaces.