Why use security labels?

Labels are used for a variety of purposes in the commercial and retail trade. The labels might contain information about a product, may contain safety information or may even be used for another purpose. The benefit of using adhesive labels however is that they can be stuck onto a product at any point in the product’s lifecycle.

We’ve all heard of barcodes and understand their importance in the retail trade, but if a barcode is not added to an item at the point of manufacture it is up to a retailer to apply an adhesive barcode label to an item to give its unique identification mark. But adhesive labels don’t just have to be used if the item needs a barcode.

Security labels

Security labels are becoming increasingly common in business. A security label is basically a tamper-evident label which can be applied to an item and if the label is tampered with, definite evidence of the tampering remains.

The two main types of security labels are void labels and destructible labels.

Void labels

Void labels can be affixed to just about any flat surface. They adhere to the substrate material very well and offer excellent durability characteristics. If anyone tries to remove the void label from the product to which it is attached the word ‘VOID’ remains on the product. The peeled part of the label cannot be reused or reattached.

Destructible labels

Destructible labels are usually made from self-destructive vinyl. If anyone tampers with this type of label the label will split apart in sections leaving it instantly recognisable that tampering has taken place. The broken sections of the label cannot be reaffixed.

Void labels and destructible labels can be customised to a user’s exacting requirements. Some of the things which can appear on a security label include:

  • A barcode – which can be scanned at ease by a barcode scanning device. Barcodes can also be printed onto a range of different types of label
  • Sequential numbering – to aid product identification. Whilst barcodes are the common method of item identification nowadays it’s also a good idea to use a sequence of numerals so that item identification is easy if it is done manually
  • Logos – for marketing purposes or brand recognition. If a logo or brand name features on a label it’s easy to see who the item belongs to and the brand name gains recognition

Most security labels are used on equipment which is of an expensive or sensitive nature. So it’s common to find void labels or destructible labels featuring on computer equipment or equipment which may be costly to replace.

Void labels are usually used on computer equipment over a manufacturing seam. This is so that it’s easy to see when an item has been taken apart. This is especially useful for desktop and laptop computers which contain expensive items within the case. Void labels are also a useful accessory on items which may be hired to the trade or the public. If an item returns and the seal is broken it’s easy to see that the item has been tampered with.

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