The market for automation is increasing at a considerable rate due its adoption in industrial and urban use. Automation uses a large number of components such as relays, switchgear, HVAC systems, human machine interface (HMI) screens and IT systems which are connected through wires or cables. These cables may be small in size ranging from 0.5 sq. mm to 35 sq. mm. Tracking the exact wire connection in an automation system is difficult task for any engineering person. Thus, the use of a cable tag becomes important here. A cable tag is a label indicating the serial number or information on a particular wire regarding to which component it is connected. A cable tag can be pasted or inserted as a ferrule on the cable.
Cable tags comes in various types such as ferrule tags, sleeve-based tag, sleeveless-based tag, tie-based tag, wrap-around label tag and heat shrinkable tag. A ferrule tag is a small plastic bracelet which is inserted at the end of cable. Ferrules are available in the form of numbers and alphabets separately. This enables customer to customize the tag by choosing a ferrule and making tag out of them. Ferrules are also used to label a bunch of cables by simply inserting with the plastic or aluminum tie. A sleeve-based tag is a plastic sleeve tag which can be inserted on cable.
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The consumer can paste the paper label on plastic sleeve tag as per the requirement. A sleeveless tag is a one piece tag which can be mounted on cables via a locking mechanism. Tie-based tag contains a plastic coated paper which has tie on both sides. The tag can be attached on the cable by tightening both ties. A wrap-around label tag is a plastic coated paper label which can be pasted on a wire or cable. The customer uses a printing machine to print on plastic coated paper. A heat shrinkable cable tag is a ribbon which shrinks upon removal of the supporting core and is quickly inserted around the cable. The printing on the ribbon is done by the manufacturer upon request from the customer.
Cable tags should be able to withstand high temperature and harsh weather condition, so that the printing on tag does not fade way. Cable tag companies are now finding innovative ways to resolve this problem. Cable tag companies are printing label on aluminum or stainless steel tag by punching letters on tag. The aluminum or stainless steel tag has long life compared to plastic or paper which is its main advantage. However, plastic ferrules and plastic coated paper wrap-around label tag are most commonly used in market due to its low cost. Cable tags find application in industrial and home automation. Industrial automation covers sectors such as petrochemical & refineries, pharmaceutical industries, automotive, shipbuilding, IT companies and railways.
The market for cable tags is characterized by the presence of a significant number of local players. The demand for cable tags is going to increase in regions such as North America and Europe due to growing adoption of automation technologies. Emerging economies such as India and China are also experiencing growth in industrial automation and this is expected to aid the growth in demand for cable tags.
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Some of the key cable tag manufacturers are TE Connectivity Ltd, Brady Worldwide Inc, ZipTape Label ID Systems, Legrand Electric Limited, Panduit, 3M Company, Cable Label Co Ltd, HellermannTyton Co. Ltd, Industrial Labelling Solutions and Marking Services Inc.