Decide if You Need Custom Asset Tags by Answering These 5 Questions

June 8, 2020
custom asset tags

When you hear the term custom asset tags what does it mean to you? Is it a brand-new product customized to your specific application? Or is it a special option on a standard product? Both of these scenarios require a specific type of asset tag for different reasons, but exactly how do you know if your application requires a custom asset tag?

One way to determine whether an application will require custom asset tags is through the qualification process. This should be the first step in tag selection, and it involves a series of questions about the application, the environment, and all the conditions the tag may be exposed to. Here are 5 important qualification questions you can use to help determine if an application will require custom asset tags.

What is the surface like that the tag will be applied to? 

Is it flat, curved, rough, metal, or plastic? Not all adhesives stick to all surfaces the same. To ensure maximum adhesion, a custom asset tag may be required which matches the adhesive to the surface it is going to be applied to. For example, a rough surface like bare metal requires a high surface energy adhesive whereas a waxy or oily surface requires a low surface energy adhesive to make sure the asset tag stays in place.

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What temperatures will the asset label be exposed to?

Will the tag be exposed to extreme temperatures (over 250°F)? If yes, for how long? Most standard asset tags are not durable enough to withstand extreme temperatures for any length of time and an application where tags are going to be exposed to these temperatures will require a custom asset tag. Most polymer materials will not withstand prolonged exposure to high temperatures; therefore, a specialty polymer or metal may be needed.

Will the tag be outdoors?

Will the asset tag be exposed to sunlight? If yes, for how long? If the asset that the tag is going on will be outside, then the tag will be exposed to outdoor elements including sunlight, which can be damaging over time to standard asset tags. If the asset will be stored outside for years, the need for a custom asset tag is magnified to ensure the tag lasts.

What will the tag be exposed to?

Will the asset tags be subject to harsh abrasion or cleaning with caustics?

Depending on the nature of the application, i.e. what the cleaning process is, a standard asset tag may not be the best fit and a custom asset tag may be required. For example, paper tags or any tag without subsurface printing or an overlaminate will not survive even mild to moderate abrasion. On the other hand, highly caustic chemicals may attack aluminum tags so it is important to understand what the asset tags will be exposed to and adjust the custom asset tag accordingly.

What kind of printing is on the tag?

Customization may be as simple as what is printed on the asset tag.  A company logo, special colors, even variable copy may be enough to warrant a custom asset tag.

These are just a few of the questions that will help you determine whether a custom asset tag is required for your application.  Considering the most expensive component to any asset tracking system is the labor required to attach the asset tags to the asset, it is essential to have the right asset tag the first time. Qualifying the application using the questions listed in this article will help ensure it’s the right custom asset tag and put you on track for success.

Julia Deets, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience  

About the Author: Julia Deets

Julia Deets joined Metalcraft in 1999 as the Marketing/New Product Director. Julia has held numerous roles during her career with Metalcraft, all related to marketing and customer support. Her current position is as the VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. She has both an undergrad and a Master's degree in Organizational Communications from Northwest Missouri State University and the University of Northern Iowa, respectively. 

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