Wire Labels Tips

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What does a label dispenser do?

Dispensers Make Labeling Wires Easier

When labeling wire, the goal is to achieve wire markers that are durable and legible. A nightmare would be wire markers that unwind, tangle up and fall off. Label dispensers can help you achieve your wire marking goals and avoid nightmare situations. Here's how two dispensers work, courtesy of cableorganizer.com:

  • Wire Marker Dispenser: a portable wire marker system that is small enough to be hooked on a tool pouch or carried in a shirt pocket. Each dispenser contains 10 rolls of marker tape, labeled zero through nine. Each roll contains 76 individual markers with a pre-determined length to accommodate most common wire sizes. Each individual marker is mounted on a silicone release liner and has an acrylic adhesive.
  • Rite & Wrap Dispenser: pocket-sized disposable dispenser contains a roll of pre-cut self-laminating wire markers. Each marker has a white area available for legend inscription using a pen or pencil. After marking, simply pull back on the marker liner and the marker is dispensed. On application, the transparent portion of the clear vinyl marker wraps around itself to protect the white write-on area.

What types of cable label printers are on the market?

Cable Label Printers

Cable label printers and wire marker printers make labeling cables and wires fast and easy. There are many products on the market by several different companies such as K-Sun, Dymo and Brother. Do research to figure out which machine is right for you and which fits your budget. Here is a sampling of products to give you an idea of what's on the market to help you label your wires.

  • K-Sun Labelshop is a line of portable and PC compatible industrial heat shrink tube and general custom labeling systems. K-Sun Labelshop printers will allow you to label wires, cords, cables, hoses, tubes, conduit, mechanical equipment, panels, appliances and hardware. Create your own custom adhesive-backed labels on the job. These cost between $250 and $500, depending on how many features you want your printer to have.
  • If you are looking to spend a little less money, there are Brother label printers you can buy for around $100 that will do the job. For example, the Brother PT 1600 Label Maker is a portable machine capable of labeling your wires, cables, face plates, racks and outlets. It offers rotated text, memory functions and built-in library of symbols and the ability to print laminated labels with standard adhesive, extra strength, or flexible ID adhesive used for wrapping and flagging. This machine's labels can survive tough and harsh environments and can print multiple copies, serialized labels, vertical, horizontal, rotated and "mirror" text.
  • Or check out Dymo's line of label printers. You can also buy some of these for around $100. For example, Dymo's RhinoPRO 5000 Portable Label Printer is a one-touch system that has save and recall buttons which allow you to create and store your labels. And the use of thermal transfer print technology on this machine means you can produce labels that are durable, smear proof and resists chemicals, solvents, grease, heat and moisture.

What are some different types of wire markers?

Types of Wire Markers

There are different types of wire markers; the one you choose depends on where you use them and what print technology you want to use them with. Here is a breakdown, courtesy of cableorganizer.com:

  • For bench/desktop wire or cable markers, it's best to use blank labels, sleeves and tags that can be printed using a higher volume printer
  • For preprinted wire and cable markers, it's best to use blank or preprinted labels you can write or print on. Label marker sleeves are an economical and durable solution when you only need two or three digits for identification
  • For portable printer wire and cable markers, use blank labels, sleeves and tags that can be printed using lower volume printers

What do wire and cable markers do?

What Wire and Cable Markers Do

Wire markers and cable markers are attached to wires making it easy to identify each one. You can get wire and cable markers in the form of labels, sleeves and tags. Wire and cable markers contribute to a system's security, traceability and future ability for maintenance upgrades.

Here are some examples of different wire and cable markers and what they are used for, courtesy of cableorganizer.com:

  • Flex-tag wire markers are designed for bendable wires and cables
  • Rip tags are installed with cable ties instead of with adhesives. These are a good choice for wire marking or cable marking in areas that are subject to spills of fuels, lubricants or solvents
  • A hot stamp wire marker allows operators to use one wire guide for a range of harness wires
  • A bench top laser wire maker processes both single core wires and multiple-core cables
  • PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) or FEP (fluorinated ethylene-propylene) sleeves are a great choice when you need high resistance to chemicals, solvents or ultraviolet (UV) light

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Home Enterntainment Center Wire Labeling

How can you organize the cables behind your home entertainment center or home theater? There are a lot of great labeling tools out there that can help you keep things simple. Home theater cable organization can get out of control quickly so you should look at cable markers before you even start to set up your components! With well labeled wiring, you eliminate the stress of potentially unplugging the wrong wire or connector and you make it easy to swap out your obsolete components for the latest and greatest!

Should I label and document my cable organization?

Don't Just Configure - Label Too!

Advice on eliminating cable clutter:
Don't forget to label! Home office wiring is a bear to deal with and in most cases, you will learn what you have to when you have to and then try to forget the experience. Not only should you NOT forget, but please document, document, document! Don't have the system fail and get on the phone with Dell or HP and not know which cable is going to which part of your cable modem, dsl line or wireless configuration.

Pick up an inexpensive label maker and open a quick word document once you have your system set up. Then document what you did and what goes where and use your label maker liberally.

Getting into these habits will make your life so much easier in the long run. If you are using cord covers, label them as to which cords are in each so you don't have to pull everything apart to get to the right wire. Document the types of cables and wires you are using to if you need to answer a question, you know what you are talking about. Be prepared!

How can I easily identify each cable's source?

Dig Out That Old Label Maker

It may have been one of those gifts you received and thought you'd never use, but a label maker can really assist you in wire management. If you look behind your office's computers and fax machines and see a big mess, you are not alone. This can become a nuissance when it is time to disconnect or reconnect a specific wire. With a label maker, you can print out neat, accurate labels for each wire and cable. You will be glad you took the time when you are rearranging the office or installing a new machine.

What should I look for in labeling software?

Label Making Software

Looking for label making software to make cable labels? The Heatex Label Software is designed specifically for the wire marking industry and allows you to print on Heatex markers, self-laminating or custom polyester labels and is easy to use with a series of simple screen menus that allow you to create, modify, print and delete markers. Do your research and find a software program that's right for your needs. To help you with your research, here is a list of what to look for in general when it comes to label making software, according to toptenreviews.com, which followed this criteria when creating its 2007 Label Making Software Report:

  • Product features and design tools: the software should offer substantial features that help you navigate the world of label making, which can include design templates and photo editing tools.
  • Labels: the software should include some labels to get you going.
  • Ease of use: label making software should offer user–friendly instructions.
  • Help/support: the developer should offer sufficient customer support, including a FAQ page, email and phone support to address any questions you have along the way.

How can I organize the wires behind my entertainment system?

Color Coding

A great way to organize your home's wires for later reference is by color coding. Braided sleeves, colored electrical tape, and other accessories are available for this task. With so many wires being routed around the computer and the entertainment system, it is hard to figure out what goes where. With color coding, it is simple to unplug the right machine and to reconnect everything after a move. In addition to matching colors to specific equipment, tape can be labeled for added efficiency.

How can I properly manage my office's network connection?

Label Printers Aid in Network Cable Management:

Proper network cable management is acheived by thoroughly checking one's equipment. Connecting a network of office computers is serious business and if not done correctly, could end in disaster.
Before setting up your cable wires and computer system, check to make sure your wires are in order. Using a label printer will assist you in placing your wires in the correct ports for specific networks. Print labels with the names of the network ports and attach them to the wires. After all computers are configured for one another and wires placed in the proper ports, a test should be conducted on the network's connection. A tool known as a qualification tester can analyze the system's connection speed, letting you know how much your network can handle.
Also, a digital cable analyzer can assist you with any troubleshooting. The tool is designed to locate where any faults in the network lines are so they can be quickly repaired. Most network cable management tools are handheld and act as lifesavers for your office's computer equipment.

What types of cable lable makers are there?

Types of Cable Label Makers and Choosing One

If you are looking for a cable label maker or cable label printer, there are great products on the market by companies such as Thomas & Betts, K-Sun, Brother and Dymo. Check out the company websites for a breakdown of products and their features as well as cost. These products will let you create your own custom adhesive-backed labels for wires, cords, cables, hoses, tubes, conduit, mechanical equipment, panels, appliances and hardware. There are manual label makers as well as desktop, industrial and handheld ones.

According to graphicproducts.com, a supplier of label printers and products, using the wrong labeling equipment is a common mistake people make. Too often a consumer purchases a cable label printer at an office supply store, uses the label tape that comes with the machine and wonders why the labels don't stick. It's possible your project may have demanded a different label maker and different labels. Before selecting the label printer and labeling tapes, you should ask yourself:

  • How will the labels be used? Do they need to be temporary, permanent, low temperature or colored? Are they for curved or rough surfaces?
  • Where will the labels be applied? Will they be used inside or outside? Will they be exposed to water, high or low temperatures or chemicals?
  • What kinds of label printer do I need? What size labels will you need and do you want them in color? Will you be doing thermal printing?
If you are labeling many wires and cables in your home, a handheld label printer may make more sense. If you need large multicolor labels or labels cut into custom shapes, then a desktop printer would be better.

The answers to all of these questions will determine what type of cable label printer you should buy. Therefore, it is a good idea to have the answers to these questions ready for the expert you consult.

What kinds of cable label tape is on the market?

Types of Label Printer Tape

If you are using a cable label maker or cable label printer often, chances are you are also using a lot of cable labeling tape. Therefore, you should know that all labeling tape is not created equal. When shopping for label tape, first determine what elements it must endure. To get a feel for what types of tapes are on the market, here is a sampling from the company Dymo:

  • Heat resistant tape: so labels won't shrink, fade, or drop to the floor from the heat, solvents, chemicals and moisture you can encounter at the job site.
  • Water resistant tape: for wet and moist conditions. This way, the labels you print and affix will resist moisture long after your job there is done.
  • Solvent resistant tape: labels that are engineered for resilience and durability in challenging environments.
  • Permanent marking tape: unique thermal transfer printing technology

Why would I need a wire marker printer at the office?

Reasons to Label Your Wires at the Office

Wondering if it's necessary to use a wire marker printer at the office? Here are some good reasons why you should print out wire markers:

  • To keep order among your wires and make it easy to troubleshoot
  • To warn the cleaning crew of areas it should not disturb
  • To identify easily an on/off switch or special plug
  • To write a clear and visible safety warning on wires that could be dangerous

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