As you can probably tell by the name, vulcanized tire barcode labels are the barcode labels applied to the bead of the tire prior to vulcanization during tire manufacturing. Tire barcode labels can be applied at almost any stage in the manufacturing process, from pre molded rubber, to formed green tires, however they are most often applied at the point of tire building. Each barcode acts as a license plate for tracking the tire throughout the manufacturing process. While tire barcode labels don’t serve nearly as valuable of a purpose once a tire leaves the manufacturing plant, their presence is absolutely critical for WIP tracking.
So we know how important they are, but how much do vulcanized tire barcode labels cost? For the amount of value they can give to your process, they must be pretty expensive right?
You might be surprised. In this article we'll answer questions such as:
What variables affect the price of vulcanized tire barcode labels?
How much do vulcanized tire barcode labels typically cost?
Variables to Determine Price
Vulcanized tire barcode labels themselves are a pretty standard product; however, there are certain process-driven components of the barcode label that cause variability in the price. Sources of variability will likely include the following:
- Whether your process dictates receiving labels pre-printed or printing them yourself on-demand
- Ordering at higher volume and frequency will reduce per-unit cost
- Customizations like color or roll size
- Guaranteed unique barcodes without the risk of duplicates
The method of printing is a determining factor in the final price of your tire barcode labels as you have a couple options: receiving pre-printed barcodes from your label supplier, or printing yourself on demand. With pre-printed, you are guaranteed unique barcodes and there is no need to invest in printers or other equipment; on the other hand, with print on demand, you have complete control of the process and more flexibility in modifying the label on the fly.
Receiving Labels Pre-Printed vs. Printing On Demand
With tire barcode labels, the most commonly utilized method is to receive the labels pre-printed; however, whether this is the right method for you depends on your specific process needs.
The cost aspect of this decision is two-fold—if you decide to receive your labels pre-printed, you will pay a higher upfront cost to your supplier due to the labor and customization of suiting them for your company. That being said, if you decide to print these labels in-house, you need the equipment, space, and operators to do so.
Outsourcing the label printing to a label supplier has proven to be a high-speed process that is good if you are a company that needs labels printed in bulk or large batches. Label suppliers are experts in this space, allowing for the insurance that your labels will be high quality and perform up to standards. However, with this option comes a lack of control.
Order Volume and Frequency
The volume of vulcanized tire barcode labels you will need will also play a role in determining the final price. In addition to that, the volume may affect the method of printing used which will in turn affect the final cost as well.
Tire manufacturing facilities typically have consistent throughput rates, and can predictably order in batches ahead of time. This proves helpful for creating a relationship with your label supplier where they can have the flexibility to plan your orders ahead. Typically, the higher the order volume and frequency, the lower your per-unit price will end up.
In the case of tire barcode labels, digital printing will usually come at a higher cost due to the fact that it has the capability to add color. Color is not necessary across all tire barcode labels, however it can be beneficial if you want to classify different tires or if you simply want a visual way to distinguish different types of tires.
At Computype, we can apply color across the web and apply to the labels as part of your standard order. Additionally, it is not a requirement that you purchase a full set of each color, you have the ability to mix and match to your specific needs.
In addition to color, another printing customization that some tire manufacturers request are a curved barcode label. When a barcode label is die-cut to a curve, it is easier to conform to the natural curve of the tire.
Guaranteed Unique Barcodes Without the Risk of Duplicates
Finally, whether you choose to manage your sequences in house or through a label supplier is a decision that will affect the price of your tire barcode labels.
Sequence integrity is incredibly important in your tire barcode labels. If you have duplicates, a lot of scrap, or rework, unplanned expenses can occur in your plant. Additionally, if a duplicate label is not detected until late in the manufacturing process and something goes wrong with the tire, this can cause serious discrepancies and liability issues for your plant if the accurate tire information is readily traceable.
Oftentimes, tire manufacturing plants will choose to outsource their tire barcode printing needs and associated sequence management services to their label supplier. Computype, for example, manages tire barcode label sequences across multiple parts, and by specific plants to ensure duplicates or inaccurate label sequences do not occur.
This is a process you could also choose to do in house, although it will likely require proprietary software to be created for your business specifically, which could come at a high cost.
How Much Do Vulcanized Tire Barcode Labels Typically Cost?
Keep in mind that different suppliers will offer different prices, but from our experience in the industry, vulcanized tire barcode labels typically run from about $10-$15 per 1,000 labels. This price is derived from the factors mentioned above to meet your specifications.
If you are looking to reevaluate spending as it relates to manufacturing of tire barcode labels in your facility, the cost of the labels themselves are just one factor, and you also need to consider the cost of your application method.
Applying tire barcode labels by hand is still a popular method, but when it comes to spending this type of strategy involves constant overhead and the potential for scanning accuracy.