Company Profile: When did you last review your labelling requirements?
01 December 2008
Is labelling a bit of a 'Cinderella' activity in your organisation? Are you cutting corners or spending large sums getting others to create your labels for you? There is another way to approach this essential element of machine and system building, and that is to do it yourself using state-of-the art equipment. Murrelectronik's Peter Rogers reports
Labelling in industry creates a basic but important interface between man and machine. It affects not only the usability of the product, but also the end-user's image of their supplier. However, many companies are not fully equipped to produce labels cost effectively and within a reasonable time-scale; those who are prepared to cut corners in this area could see their production and delivery schedules compromised, and face quality issues into the bargain.
Professional cable marking can bring great benefits. Even at the domestic level, being able to distinguish your printer power plug from that of your PC, or your game console HDMI cable from that of your DVD player can be a bonus when connecting them all up in a confined space! In industry, however, accurate and detailed labelling is a must. Be it a wire, a conduit, a service, pushbuttons, rating plates or whatever, accurate and clear labelling is absolutely essential.
For most companies, 'labelling' means an ad-hoc collection of services - conducted in-house or farmed out to external suppliers - that has evolved organically over time, rather than being structured to meet specific needs. For example, a company that develops, installs and commissions a system may not be set up to generate labels in the necessary variety of forms, styles and materials. Instead, pressure is placed on third party suppliers to deliver engraved labels while highly skilled personnel are forced to spend time analysing drawings in order to manually mark wiring looms. Mistakes creep in and precious time and money is lost.
Meeting the requirements of customers who specify clear and accurate labelling from their suppliers becomes a costly and onerous task, often performed in the closing phases of the build and consequently placing delivery schedules in jeopardy. How many times has a company delayed delivery due to an outsourced label arriving late or mispelt?
Concentrating on core skills and outsourcing is regularly touted as the route to success. However, the wiring diagrams are done, the layouts drawn and the schematics developed - the data exists already, so why pass this on to a third party to start again, re-create and add to your costs? Professional, in-house labelling can be shown to be quicker, simpler and much more cost effective, especially when linked to existing CAD and IT systems.
Users of in-house systems enjoy a substantial return on their investments. Engraved labels and rating plates, which can be very expensive when produced by external suppliers, cost mere pennies when taken in-house. Such systems are now widely used in industries such as automotive, process, utilities, rail and machine builders.
Murrelektronik, along with its sister company, Murrplastik, offers systems that can generate labels from numerous sources such as Excel, CAD, ASCii or direct manual input, producing them in a variety of materials to meet specific job requirements and schedules. The latest systems, such as Murrplastik's MPVS-G3, offer all the required functions in a single system, including plotting, engraving and laser marking. Moreover, past jobs can be stored in memory and quickly accessed the next time they are needed, thus saving huge amounts of time and effort.
The MPVS-G3 labelling system is available in three sizes: transportable, standard and 'XXL', and can be converted between the various output methods in seconds. The system offers a very comprehensive range of wire, component and panel markers, as well as materials for ratings plates, company logos and the like.
As an independent supplier with 20 years experience of the market, Murrplastik can also make labels to meet all your requirements, regardless of brand.
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