Posts Tagged ‘Visual inspection labels’

Visual Inspection Labels for Portable Appliance Testing

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

To ensure the safety of people who use electrical appliances in residential, commercial, and industrial settings, there is a test that has been required by health and safety regulators in the United Kingdom. The test itself, which is completely known as in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment, or a PAT test (Portable Appliance Testing), is performed by licensed individuals to test the safety of electrical appliances by observing several factors.

The testing of an electrical appliance, depending on what sort of electrical appliance it is, is divided up into three main parts, and once a decision has been made of how safe it is to use a visual inspection label will be affixed with the necessary information. First, the test consists of an inspection of the inner working of the main electrical components, as this aspect of the appliance’s use can potentially have the most grave consequences of there is a problem in its functioning. The second part is an observation any external power cord that the electrical appliance may have, to ensure there are no exposed wires or hazards that need to be fixed. The third and last part of the Portable Appliance Test is a general observation of the environment in which the appliance is used.

Once the required PAT test has been completed and a decision can be made denoting how safe or hazardous the electrical appliance is for potential users, a visual inspection label is affixed. Depending on what kind of appliance is tested there are different varieties of visual inspection labels that are available to accommodate size and type. There are Portable Appliance testing labels that are simply adhered to the surface of the electrical appliance and typically are the most commonly used testing labels. Another kind of inspection label is a type that wraps around the cable, which is exceedingly useful for smaller appliances that don’t have enough surface area to effectively place a standard sticker. Some PAT test labels fit perfectly on outlet plugs. There are even a newer kind of visual inspection label that utilize bar codes to hold a vast amount of information that otherwise couldn’t be contained on the limited surface of the label. Since its required to keep the history of all PAT tests throughout the life of a given electrical appliance, by storing this information on barcodes a lot of possible errors and hand writing can be avoided.

Visual inspection labels offer a valuable method of harm prevention in the usage of electrical appliances. After a PAT test, a visual inspection label is affixed to an appliance with information regarding the results of the test, when the test was performed, when the next test should be performed, and who performed the test. Sometimes these labels come in different colors, so the PAT test results can be identified from a distance away, thus making interaction with the electrical appliances that much more safe. These labels are a very important source of valuable information regarding PAT tests.

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.