Sealing for Health, Safety and Security

Posted: Wednesday, 23 September 2020 @ 13:12

As the pandemic ebbs and flows around us and we are being encouraged to wear face masks and keep our distance, the world is looking unfamiliar and people isolated through not having friends and colleagues around them. We have to get used to a new normal but how that is going be is to a great extent up to us all.

For example if we need to stay in a hotel, we want to know that the room we booked has been cleaned thoroughly between guests. Now it is not enough to presume cleanliness it needs to be demonstrable. The same goes for meeting rooms, kitchens even shared working space or vehicles.

To this end tamper evident labels, security stickers - whatever you call them can play a very handy role in your sanitisation regime, providing visual assurance that the space you are about to occupy has been thoroughly sanitised between users. 

Conventional security seals require a latch or eyelet to seal through and in normal circumstances the meeting room door, kitchen or cab of a van may have a lock but any seal will need to be surface mounted, peelable and leaving no unsightly residue. 

Non-residue void labels were developed for the use of airlines on aircraft doors and hatches. Aircraft are streamlined and anything creating turbulence or drag is anathema but reuse must be prevented. Unisto’s tamper evident labels securely void, preventing reuse and leaving no residue behind when removed. The seals are serial numbered so providing an audit trail enabling users and management to record their activities and demonstrate they have taken care. As we know these days it is not sufficient to have done a great job, you have to record your activity and be able to prove it. The seal can be colour coded for reassurance, green for GO for example and some reassuring wording.

In the transport arena there are several traditional areas where tamper evident labels can be effective. Van doors normally have no latches to seal, they may well have locks but as we know locks are unreliable security devices, they can be picked or just opened with a duplicate key, goods removed and relocked leaving no trace of evidence. Using a security non resi voiding label like Entriseal provides the evidence of opening. Now the cab between drivers will need to be cleaned and sanitised from a health and safety perspective and a tamper evident label can be used to reassure the next driver.

These days fully integrated label production equipment allows full colour print, Unisto can provide images such as logos and photographs reproduced either in batches or as individual images within a production run. This individualisation combined with sequential numbering, barcode and a strong void message when removed gives a level of security and assurance that was previously impossible.

Other items that require sealing are driver’s boxes, first aid and ADR kits to ensure that a fully compliant and complete kit is handed over to the driver by the transport office team.

Many logistics firms now require visitors to distribution centres undertaking sensitive work for clients to disable photographic equipment on mobile phones and laptop computers, a tamper evident non residue leaving void label is a very effective method to cover smartphone cameras. The number on the label can be linked to the visitor badge ensuring traceability. Residue leaving labels such as De-Lam, Destruct-A-Seal, and MultiSeal are ideal for transit packaging such as cardboard cartons and consumer packaging.

Each type of label has specific properties that make it suitable for particular applications to provide a range of benefits. 

All self-adhesive materials are only as effective as the surface they are applied to. The surface condition needs be considered, roughness, smoothness, porosity, coated, uncoated, cleanliness, flexibility, temperature conditions, wet or dry, and finally, surface energy. Unisto appreciate this and produce a range of security label and tape solutions using a broad range of adhesives, inks and films to ensure the best possible solution for the application in hand.

All surfaces have energy associated with them, because work is needed to form them. These are the forces that are required to hold the molecules together to form the surface, whether it’s a desk top or a cardboard box. These surfaces are referred to as either low energy or high energy.

Low energy surfaces for example acrylic, plastics, rubber and composites. These surfaces are harder for labels and tapes to stick to.

High energy surfaces for example glass and car paint are easier for labels and tapes to adhere to.To understand the surface energy of a product it is easy to perform a simple experiment usinga drop of water. Surfaces can be Hydrophobic (hate water) or Hydrophilic (love water).

Low surface energy hydrophobic surfaces repel the water so the droplets sit proud on the surface in a high dome, whereas on high surface energy hydrophilic surfaces the droplet sits lower and flatter. 

Low surface energy = poor adhesion properties

High surface energy = good adhesion properties  

 Label Type Feature  Benefit  Most suitable application
Unisto De-Lam Peeling delaminates the label, removing the printed surface Low cost tamper evident label solution Non-reusable outer packaging. i.e. cardboard carton, retail shopping bags.
Unisto Destruct-A-Seal Frangible material breaks-up into small fragments during removal leaving tamper evidence and preventing re-use. Highly tamper evident label destroyed during removal. Non-reusable outer packaging. i.e. cardboard carton 
Unisto MultiSeal 2 part and 2 part Colour Changevariant Peeling leaves behind tough to remove message residue, normally reading VOID or OPEN Label removal leaves behind clear evidence of opening Consumer packaging, industrial component packaging, envelopes.
Unisto Non-Resi and Non-Resi + Seal On peeling the label shows strong VOID message through the surface. Comes away cleanly from the sealed item leaving no residue. Non-Resi Plus provides additional “grab” on items with challenging surface finishes. Avoids build-up of residue and allows sealing of re-usable kit that needs to remain clean and unmarked.  Painted metal surfaces such as aircraft doors / hatches, car, van or trailer doors, filing cabinets, first aid and other reusable kits.  
Unisto Stretch Seal
Non-residue label with stretchable qualities. Removal leaves strong VOID/OPEN message visible on the label surface and no residue on the container or vehicle
Enables the sealing of awkward shaped containers and items. Avoids build-up of residue on re-usable kit that needs to remain clean and unmarked.
Awkward shaped containers that need to allow some flex, such as tote boxes. IBC and sample flask lids, filing cabinets, drawers, first aid and other reusable kits.
 All the above tamper evident labels can be sequentially numbered, barcoded and digitally printed in 1 to 4 colours. Labels are supplied on reels of normally between 250 and 1,000 pieces.

Whilst security labels are sometimes considered to be secondary to thermo-plastic and metal security seals, advances in adhesive technology have made them an excellent all-round solution that provides quick, neat and convenient tamper evident security to the otherwise unsecureable.


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