Posts Tagged ‘Portable appliance test labels’

The Various Uses of Visual Inspection Labels

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The maintenance of a regular inspection schedule is vital in so many different areas of industry. Visual inspection labels allow for the immediate assessment of conditions which are necessary to monitor for their current and continued safety.

The more common types of visual inspection labels can be found on electrical devices. These portable appliance test labels, or PAT labels, reveal the status of a device as to its safe usage as well as the identification number and the dates of the current inspection along with the next recommended inspection. PAT labels come in a variety of sizes and materials which allows for a greater freedom of application to the various components of an electrical device, including circuit boards and wire bundles.

Of course, other industries are required to present the safety status of their particular wares and devices. The construction industry, the food manufacture and distribution industry, and the various scientific and medical industries make use of visual inspection labels as well. Safety hazards, health concerns, and biohazards related to science and medicine demand that the products and instruments of manufacture, distribution, and disposal involved in these industries display their safety standing and any potential hazard they may present to the public and the environment.

In the past, visual inspection labels amounted to a primitive label made of paper that would be affixed to the surface of a device or product with wire or adhesive. These labels were most often filled in by hand and tended to be a bit unreliable and susceptible to deterioration.

The advances in scanning technologies have widened the scope of application in reading labels and the attainment of historical data pertaining to devices and products. The introduction of barcodes and the systems that read them has presented the possibility of a much more rapid download and assessment of the nature of a particular device or object, thereby allowing a more reliable and accessible system of inspection and reporting.

The textile industry is just one of many that have integrated the use of visual inspection labels into their manufacturing and quality control operations. Rather than inspecting fabrics for flaws at the point of purchase or as they are used in a manufacturing process, high-speed scanning equipment can instead scan an affixed visual inspection label to ascertain the status and history of the textile as it moves through the various levels of preparation for its eventual sale.

The automobile manufacturers have certainly availed themselves of the advancements in quality control and safety. While the old inspection label would have hand-written signatures and status information as an automobile received its various components on its way down the production line, today’s robotic and
hand-held scanning systems can peruse a visual inspection label that has been barcoded, allowing for a more rapid and precise process of manufacture and quality control.

The innovations and advancements that have been made in the area of safety inspections and manufacturing processes have contributed to not only a less hazardous workplace, but a more efficient and reliable system of providing products and services which promise a productive and competitive work environment for the future.