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LEV

Airborne contaminants are part and parcel of industrial work. Before the advent of health & safety, illness and death from exposure to these particulates were seen as an unavoidable consequence. In modern times, though, a number of measures have been put in place to stagger the effects of damaging inhalation. While safety equipment like masks helps, the most ideal solution is to remove the hazard at the source – this process is known as local exhaust ventilation.

LEV is now commonplace in most industry controls. Below, we answer the question of “what is local exhaust ventilation”, as well as listing its importance and how our LEV labels can help.

What is Local Exhaust Ventilation?

Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is defined by the Health and Safety Authority as “an engineering system to protect employees from exposure to hazardous substances by containing or capturing them locally, at the emission point”. By removing the hazard at the source, worker protection is maintained with the added advantage of requiring less air and resources as general ventilation systems.

LEV systems tend to differ on a case-by-case basis, but, generally, they possess the following elements:

  • Hood – the place where contaminant air enters the system and is funnelled to the next stage in the system.
  • Ducting – designed to funnel the contaminated air to the air cleaner quickly and safely.
  • Air cleaner – cleans and filters the air.
  • Air mover – a fan which moves the air through the system.
  • Discharge – removes air to a safe place, usually externally.

And, of course, this is labelled with an LEV sticker to show test records for their safe and efficient operation.

All areas of the LEV system are equally important to its success, but the hood needs to be perfect. If the hood is poorly designed or is incompatible with the air, then workers will be put in immediate danger.

The most common errors in an LEV system comes from the hood, so it needs to be designed with the type of contaminated air and a focus on facilitating diffusion in mind. Typically, hoods come in three designs:

  • Enclosing
  • Captor
  • Receiving

Each hood type has its own niche within an LEV system. Using an incorrect or ill-fitting type will render the entire process useless.

As with any other industrial system, LEV must be regularly tested with a clear, legible visual test label.

Importance of an LEV System

Air pollution can be a major problem if you’re exposed to it on a regular basis. For example, asthmagens are common in industrial workplaces. These are substances that can make your airways more sensitive and lead to the development of asthma – this is but one example of the life-changing effects poor air ventilation can have on a workforce.

Other knock-on effects have recently been discovered, including the possibility of poor air quality negatively impacting women’s fertility.

The long list of negative effects means lawsuits against employers regarding the issue are not uncommon. For example, in June, a Dorset-based firefighter received compensation after a successful lawsuit against defence company QinetiQ. The firefighter’s existing lung condition was worsened following exposure to diesel fumes at the company’s fire station.

Trucks would drive in and out of the airfield’s garage which was unventilated. The diesel fumes, then, had no way to escape. QintetiQ later installed an LEV system, but since this wasn’t installed since the garage’s construction, the firefighter was awarded compensation. If this was in place, then the firefighter and his fellow employees based in the garage would have been protected.

Therefore, businesses must make every effort to prevent exposure to poor air quality. Exposure routes are defined by the HSE as:

  • Breathing fumes, dust, gas or mist.
  • Skin contact.
  • Injection into skin.
  • Swallowing

While LEV cannot help against the last three, it is the best method for protecting against inhalation. That’s why it’s a mainstay in schools, laboratories and workshops.

Stay Safe with LEV Labels

Label Source has stocked the best in local exhaust ventilation labels for verification of safety. For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.

assettag

Asset tags are needed as part of asset tag management. An asset tagging system is used to organise and track large amounts of equipment and stock, allowing businesses to log information about products efficiently, simplify cost and product tracking, as well as providing a layer of protection against theft. What is behind the design of asset tags, then, and what are the benefits of asset tracking?

What is an Asset Tag?

An asset tag is a label with a barcode and ID number. Usually, a company name and logo accompanies this information. Asset tags are not all made equal, and fall into two categories depending on the asset they are signposting:

  • Fixed assets – These include road signs, bridges, tunnels, dams and other infrastructure. Fixed asset tags are also used on machinery and equipment.
  • Moveable assets – These refer to physical items, usually property. Under this umbrella includes furniture and equipment which are not part of a building, business items, computers, printers, electrical devices, etc.

Asset tags can be found anywhere, including healthcare, education, telecommunications, military defence, manufacturing and everything in between. These small tags are the method by which the world organises products through a process known as asset management.

Asset Tag Materials and Types

Primarily, asset tags consist of three key materials and types:

  • Foil – Perhaps the most flexible and durable of the bunch, foil asset tags are suitable for all surfaces. Their aluminium base makes them well suited to laptops and electrical machinery.
  • Polyester – These asset tags are typically used on furniture, home fixtures, non-electrical equipment and computers.
  • Tamper-Evident – These are used for security purposes, signifying if goods have been handled or tampered with.

What is Asset Tag Management?

Asset tag management refers to the process by which an asset and its information is organised.

Asset tag management all but eliminates the scope of human error as it doesn’t need manual tracking or insertion of data. The process raises business efficiency by cutting down on time spent locating items, checking the status of equipment and security, thereby reducing costs and overheads. 

Asset tag management isn’t a miracle, though; businesses need to follow best practice to prevent common asset tag pitfalls.

Asset Tagging Best Practices

To ensure asset tag management goes smoothly, businesses must avoid the following mistakes:

  • Inaccurate recording of inventory of assets
  • Production of asset tags and descriptions that lack key information such as manufacturer, model and a serial number
  • Not recording when assets have been moved, acquired or disposed of

While asset tagging maintains the information, businesses must still ensure said information is inputted correctly at the start, as well as ensuring company guidelines and notifications are followed when assets are handled. If information is inaccurate, then asset tagging loses its accuracy and reliability.

Labels and tags aren’t solely safety-related; they can provide tangible benefits in efficiency for your business. Label Source has stocked a comprehensive array of asset tags to help businesses streamline stock and start asset tag management.

For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.

Last week, Label Source talked all about the advantages of asset tags on this blog, as well as asset tracking’s definition. This week, we’re listing the most ingenious uses of asset tagging in recent years which encapsulate the benefits of asset management.

From Amazon to drones, find out how asset tagging and tracking is evolving with modern-day demands.

Amazon’s Unorthodox Approach

Amazon’s warehouse organisation is enough to make any neat freak go mad. The company flies in the face of most organisational standards by opting for random stow as opposed to sorting assets by name or type. This is particularly apparent in its one-hour delivery time service Prime Now, which is available in inner-city areas.

The reason for this organised madness? It’s time. In order to deliver on its consistent and high-quality delivery time, Amazon uses asset tagging. Each item is placed randomly with a scanned asset tag. Following that, when an item is ordered, the company’s in-warehouse computer calculates the fastest route to that product or group of products, ensuring it gets out the door as soon as possible.

While it mostly makes sense to group items together, an Amazon factory’s in-built asset tagging and tracking system organises the route with efficiency in mind. The computer calculates the perfect route from among hundreds of routes.

If items were stocked all together, the possible number of routes would be exponentially lower, meaning there is less opportunity to save time. More route options mean there is an improved chance in finding a statistical outlier which is, in reality, the shortest route to export.

If these products were grouped by type, it would actually take longer for Amazon to ship the package out. By combining randomness with organised, diligent asset tracking, the company has cut out a lot of organisation and travel time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=5TL80_8ACPc

Drone Asset Management

Increasingly, drones are employing asset tagging and management for a number of processes. Namely, much like Amazon’s technical solution, drones can cut down significantly on travel time.

Drones can now use tagging technology from the air, including RFID tracking, barcodes and sensors to accurately find and log the geo-location of products or containers. This is incredibly useful when a business has a wide stock over a large geographical area, such as when searching for shipping containers or scanning outdoor power plants.

Without asset tags and management principles, though, exciting technology like the drone would be rendered useless.  

RFID Tracking in the Medical Industry

RFID tracking is essentially a more sophisticated, secure version of common barcode asset tagging. Pharmaceutical companies are now using RFID asset tagging best practices to revolutionise the industry.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals is one such company that is now building RFID tracking into labels for pre-filled syringes. That way, healthcare businesses just need to use a device known as a RFID reader to quickly find the syringes they need, thus removing the need for manual checks when restocking or dispensing.

Once again, by matching the fundamental principles of asset tags and asset management best practice with technology, efficiencies are found.

Stanley Black & Decker: Asset Tagging Improving Worker Productivity

Asset tagging has even been used to benefit worker productivity. For example, at a Stanley Black & Decker factory in Mexico, management has utilised RFID asset tags to track the speed of production, as well as allowing them to be used if an employee runs into trouble on the line. The result is that management can solve problems immediately after they become apparent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qec9L_uMqH0

What asset tags show is that labels aren’t solely used for health and safety; they can have effective benefits for businesses all over the world. Label Source has stocked a comprehensive array of asset tags to help businesses streamline stock and start asset tag management.

QR codes, an abbreviation for quick response codes, have become integral to modern communications, customer services and even marketing since its inception in 1994.  

Originally, the QR code was created by the Japanese automotive industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process.

Soon after, the code’s ability for high-speed component tracking allowed it to catch on in broader industries, before becoming a symbol of modern communications. Nowadays, QR codes can be purchased and even printed at home.

However, figuring out how to print QR codes on labels can be difficult, so check out our process below.

What Is A QR Code And How Does It Work?

A QR code can look a little random at first, but its intuitive design allows for machines to read code quickly. In real terms, it allows for quick communication of sensitive and detailed information. The code can be read by any smartphone or specific electronic devices, allowing for communication links to texts, emails, websites, phone numbers and everything in between.

Marketing companies can use the code on posters and websites for access to specific, secret websites or a concert ticket could be scanned by security to ensure its viability. Wherever there’s communications or a need to verify information, QR codes can be used. 

How does it work, though? In layman’s terms, the QR design is essentially an image hyperlink that can be used offline. A URL, phone number or ticket number can be encoded, plus information relating to which format the information should be opened in.

QR codes began as a niche commodity in the West but took off in a big way in Japan and the East near its inception. Nowadays, Western businesses are catching on making the code a common sight on billboards, posters, tickets, magazines, websites, etc. If you want to link people to something while in the offline world, a QR code is the way to go.

How To Print QR Codes On Labels

Given the information above, it’s easy to think printing QR codes would be a difficult, technical process. However, figuring out how to print QR codes on paper is as easy as printing barcodes – it’s a simple process, but getting the steps right is essential.

First, you’ll need to generate your QR code. This can be achieved through a number of QR code generators online. Simply place your link or information in the appropriate section, then the website will produce a QR code like magic.

When downloading a QR code, there’s usually scope for some form of customisation. You can edit the QR code to your desired brand colours or design, ensuring it seamlessly embeds itself into your label’s design.

Then, simply paste the QR code onto a printable document via Word or other software. There are a few best practices to follow here, namely ensuring your QR code is placed in an area that is easy to read and scan.

Making sure it’s scannable is the most important point; not everybody has a good quality camera on their smartphone, so make sure even the oldest brick can take a clear picture of it. If your label has a tendency to curve too, then factor this into placement – you don’t want to effectively cut the QR code in half!

If you’re unsure whether the consumer base you’re producing labels for knows what a QR code is, then include some short instructions that answers “what is a QR code” and how to scan it. You may want to test the QR code before printing too to make sure there’s no technical niggles or miscommunication.

Finally, print the design on some good quality, applicable label or sticker paper.

Get Your Hands on High-Quality Labels

If that all sounds like too much work, Label Source has stocked the best in asset management barcode labels for a variety of uses. For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.