IT Printing Needs – Shrink Labels

Printable Shrink Tube Has Never Been Better for Shrink Labels

When working with IT equipment there are many things that you need to keep in mind to ensure everything is done properly, and safely. It is essential to have everything set up properly, or it can cause a wide range of different problems. One of the biggest challenges is making sure all the different wires are kept in working condition, and are organized properly to ensure all the different hardware can communicate correctly.

When adding new hardware and laying new data lines, it is important to not only make sure it is working properly today, but also label the wiring to ensure it can easily be replaced or worked on in the future. (Check out these 10 tips to keep your data center manageable). This is one reason why having the right labeling options available is so important, and nothing works better than printable shrink tubes. These shrink labels (which you can purchase here) can be printed on by using the LabelTac 4 and LabelTac 4 PRO. Once the right labeling is printed, they can be applied to the existing wiring, and shrunk down to fit snugly in place.

Types of Shrink Labels

There are two main types of printable shrink labeling available for use, both of which can be used in our LabelTac 4 printers (which can be found here). The two most common types are:
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  • Standard Shrink Labels – These labels appear just like a normal label, but when heat is applied to them they shrink down. These can be applied to a number of different surfaces where it is important to have an extra snug fit.
  • Printable Shrink Tube Stock – This option is tube shaped, so it can fit around cables, pipes, wires and other similar items in any facility. Once heat is applied, they will shrink down to about half of their original size.

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Both types of label stock can be used to quickly and clearly label a wide range of different items in almost any computer facility. Having them on hand will allow for them to be quickly created and put in place to correct or avoid many problems.

Why Shrink Labels are Superior to Traditional Labels

When labeling any item it is important to make sure that the labels used will be easy to see, and don’t cause any problems. In many cases, people will use tags or other traditional labeling options to identify different wires within a datacenter. The problem with this approach is that depending on the type of label chosen, the tags can get tangled with each other or even come loose over time. When this happens, it can take hours to identify which wire on one end is the same wire on the other.

Many data centers have hundreds or even thousands of individual wires traveling throughout buildings, sometimes great distances away. If the wires are not properly labeled on both ends, it is a time consuming task to make sure you are working on the right ones. In some cases, it can even cause unnecessary down time or other outages when working on these wires.

With shrink labels, there is no risk that the label will fall off or get tangled with other things in the area. The labels are very easy to see, which makes it a simple task to quickly find which wire you’re looking for, and perform the necessary work. It is even possible to apply shrink labels at set intervals along the cabling. This can make it extremely easy to track problems and work on cables without having to worry that you’re going to cause unwanted problems on other wires in the area.
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Benefits of Shrink Labels

In addition to being able to clearly label all types of wiring for any data center or other IT location, shrink labels can be used for a number of other things. The following are some of the great ways people have used these types of labels in the past to benefit their facility:
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  • Splicing Cables – When a cable is cut or damaged, it is often necessary to splice to ends back together. This is much easier and more affordable than attempting to re-run large sections of wire, but it is important to seal the spliced areas properly. Using shrink labels it is possible to apply the labeling, and shrink it down so both ends are tightly secured. This labeling can help to keep out dirt and prevent water from getting into the cut area. Of course, you can print off information about the splice so people investigating it in the future will have it immediately.
  • Preventing Fires – When cords or cables that carry electricity are damaged it can cause an increased risk of fire. Rather than attempting to replace the entire cord, why not just repair the damage using a shrink label. These labels will tightly secure the area, and since they don’t conduct electricity, it will restore the cable back to safe operation.
  • Added Insulation – When terminating a cable or performing other similar activities, it is often necessary to pull back some of the existing cable insulation. Adding on a shrink label will restore the cable to its fully insulated state so it will work properly.

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It seems that there is an endless list of ways shrink labels can be used in any sort of IT environment. Having access to these labels will make it faster and easier for anyone who works in a server room to get the job done right.

How Shrink Labels Work

Shrink labels start out very similar to any other type of label that you can print on. You load it into the label printer, and print off the information you want onto the label. Once completed, the label is applied to the wire, pipe, cable or other surface where it is needed. In order to shrink the label, you simply apply heat to it for a short period of time. This is typically done with a heat gun, or even a simple hair dryer. Making sure to apply the heat evenly so the label shrinks properly all along the surface is important for a smooth finish.

Once the label has been properly shrunk, it will stay in place for years to come. These types of labels don’t peel off, and they are not going to be damaged by exposure to the heat that is commonly found in IT data centers or other similar locations. In most cases, the labels can actually appear to become one with the existing cabling because it fits so smoothly.

Effective and Affordable

One of the best things about using shrink labeling with any type of computer equipment is that it is extremely effective, as well as affordable. Many facilities choose to purchase a printer, like the LabelTac 4 printers, so that they can print these types of labels right on site. It makes it much faster and easier to complete wiring projects than would otherwise be possible. Even just running cable through tight areas is easier when you have a label that shrinks down to the size of the cable, rather than trying to push through a larger label that is somehow attached.

Of course, the LabelTac Industrial label printers can be used for standard labels as well, making these type of printers the obvious choice for anyone who may be labeling or working with computer or electrical wiring. Anyone responsible for this type of work will want to make sure they are planning ahead for simple maintenance of these wires, by using high quality printable shrink tube stock, or other shrink labeling in their facility.

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