State of the U.S. Automotive Industry

One of our specialties at Tailored Label Products is industrial labels for the automotive industry. As a business that serves this industry, we’re happy to see that the current state of the automotive industry is quite healthy considering the economic downturn of recent years past. In fact, reports regarding the state of the industry have painted an optimistic future for automobiles well into the next two years.

The outlook for the automotive industry has remained positive since the start of the year. In January of 2013, sales numbers for 2012 indicated that automakers sold 13% more cars than in the previous year. That percentage translates to more than 14 million vehicles. Individual car makers such as GM and Ford were especially successful, reporting numbers up to 43% higher than 2011.

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s clear now that sales in the auto industry have maintained an upward trend.  According to a number of news outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Quartz, U.S. car sales are soaring.  In September, sales reached its best annualized rate in six years, at 16.1 million. Polk, an automotive information and marketing company, previously predicted that U.S. light vehicle registrations would not hit 16 million until 2015.

Experts attribute the renewed success of the auto industry to an improving economy and housing market, as well as increased construction. That success is expected to extend into the near future.


Outdoor Power Equipment Labels Are a Summer Must-Have

MowerIt’s summertime, which means the sounds of mowers, hedge trimmers, and other lawn-upkeep equipment serve as a constant reminder that you’re in the middle of relaxing in perfect weather. While we appreciate the sentiment of all that sunshine, we are also reminded of the correlation to our products and your happiness—outdoor power equipment labels.

These labels aren’t just for decoration; they display important safety information to meet the American National Standards Institute’s qualifications. Due to the harsh outdoor elements, the model, series, and other product information must be resistant to abrasion, chemicals, weather, heat, water, and solvents. This creates an interesting challenge for us at Tailored Label Products, which is why we have more than 350 different material constructions and adhesives along with an on-site testing lab to ensure our labels can withstand harsh environments.

To meet ANSI’s standards, we ensure the labels have clarity (including lighting, letter type, background, and letter size) and are clearly visible in all light and viewing conditions. We work with each of our clients to create custom labels to suit their needs and display the essential information necessary to operate their products. Each label is designed to bond to any type of surface, whether it is smooth, rough, or textured, and we guarantee high standards without sacrificing quality or time.

Keep us in mind as you enjoy this season’s hottest weather, and don’t forget to check out more of what Tailored Label Products can do for you on our website.

Deciphering the Product Safety Markings on Our Labels

We produce our one-of-a-kind labels for OEM, electrical, automotive, outdoor power, point-of-purchase, and biomedical applications. Depending on what industry we’re fitting, a number of certification marks will appear on our labels.

The four most frequent markings that appear on our labels are C-UL (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada), CSA (Canadian Standards Association), CE (Conformité Européenne), ETL (Intertek and ETL Semko), and UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Although these letters seem like gibberish printed on a label, we cannot stress enough how important these standards are to ensure the quality and safety of products.

Below, we’ve laid out each mark’s meaning and what it guarantees.

C-UL (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada)
Gas appliances, lighting, medical devices, and fire alarms are a few examples of products tested by the C-UL for safety. The overall goal of the evaluation is to prevent accidents and ensure public health, public safety, and environmental protections.

CSA (Canadian Standards Association)
The Canadian Standards Association tests electrical, construction, communications, gas, mechanical, and plumbing products. Although the group is based in Canada, it sets the standard for alternative energy and gas products across North America, Europe, and Asia, serving as a universally recognized safety certification.

CE (Conformité Européenne)
Products purchased in the European Economic Area (consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and 27 European Union states) are required to get CE certified before launching on the market. The European Commission assesses medical devices, machinery, lifts, and other equipment and will mark it CE certified if they adhere to European Union health, safety, and environmental requirements.

ETL (Intertek)
Originally named for Electrical Testing Labs in 1896, the North American safety mark more than 100 years later still validates electrical, gas, and other safety standards. Chemicals, textiles, IT products, medical appliances, and household objects that bear the ETL marking have been rigorously tested.

UL (Underwriters Laboratories)
The UL certifies product safety for knowledge services, verification services, environment, product safety, and life and health businesses. Since 1894, this mark has served as a platform to earn marks in more than 46 countries, and it is one of the few companies approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company evaluates products in a number of industries from electrical and fire safety to water quality, food safety, and environmental sustainability.

Labeling for Small Business and Boutique Manufacturing Facilities

As anyone knows from reading up on today’s American economy, small businesses – in particular small- to mid-sized manufacturers – constitute a whopping 50% of all private sector workers, comprise 97% of all American exporters, and contribute a staggering number, trillions, of dollars to the overall GDP of the United States. Among the foremost of these small-business job incubators and profit generators are manufacturing facilities, located the width and breadth of America’s territory. In honor of the hard-working men and women in the manufacturing sector who are spearheading America’s (eventual but inevitable) comeback from out of worldwide recession, we at Tailored Label Products wanted to salute the greatest workforce on the planet by demonstrating what we can contribute – in terms of labeling – to their continued success.

So… what exactly can we bring to your small business in terms of labeling? For starters, we are longstanding experts in the fine art of digital prototyping. Being a mid-sized, successful business ourselves, our engineers, press operators, and company staff understand that the process of researching, designing, and testing out the “right” labeling can be a time-consuming, even frustrating process. We, 100%, “get” the struggle for detail-oriented perfectionism and precision that is the hallmark of successful small businesses – and we’re more than willing to produce short-order runs of both prototypes and products, which allows for a company to “test-drive” their label and see if it meets the “right fit, form, and function” for their specific purposes before they invest too heavily in production.

Though others might neglect or not take seriously the needs of small businesses, don’t count us among their number! Our ISO 9001:2008 certified designers, engineers, and press operators are on perpetual standby to ensure your company gets the label performance it needs – howsoever sophisticated the requirements – and in the timeframe that’s required. Take a look at our website or call us today to see how we can support your small business or manufacturing facility.

Harsh Environment Labels from TLP: You Name It, We Resist It

It’s become the de facto slogan of the United States Postal Service: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night can keep these carriers from their appointed rounds.” Of course that slogan doesn’t take into account all the stray neighborhood dogs that have been the bane of the post office’s existence since time immemorial. But even so, the slogan’s a good starting point in describing what our harsh environment labels at TLP are capable of doing: withstanding pretty much everything – German shepherd included. Whether it might be dirt, oil, UV rays, chemicals, or temperatures you’re aiming for your labels to withstand, TLP can – and will – engineer them for you.

Our handiwork has an almost endless variety of applications. For high-tech industries like cryogenic or biomedical labs, where heat, cold, and chemical-resistance are oftentimes the capabilities sought after, we can fabricate labels for storage units and compartments that would otherwise melt, crack, or corrode beneath the pressure. Likewise, for more middle-of-the-road industries such as automotive or machine manufacturing, we have labels that can resist and overcome all the gas splashes, oil drippings, bumps, dings, and scratches that accrue on any piece of industrial hardware overtime. When there’s the issue of long-term legibility to consider, we make smudge- and smear-resistant labels that will stand all tribulation. Finally, we can engineer labels according to sizing both large and small (for example, we produce labels for the biomed industry that conform around an exceptionally tiny diameter and are then stored within an extremely cold environment as well as exceptionally large thermal die cut parts placed on the sides of global mining crushing equipment).

We are the Postal Service and Pony Express of the label-making world. No oil, hydrochloric acid, forklift accident, or cryogenic freeze will keep our labels from performing their appointed applications.

Our Company’s Awards and Certifications

There’s talk in the wind these days about an upswing in American manufacturing. While the economy has been slip-sliding back and forth between recovery and recession for many months now, a solid piece of good news has been in American factory output and employment figures. Orders are, by and large, picking up in most industries. Part of this trend can be attributed to American companies “in-sourcing” manufacturing jobs back to the States from abroad, on account of supply chains becoming too lengthy, and – to be sure – the overall superior quality and craftsmanship that are still available only in a place like North America.

Here in Wisconsin, where our export economy is fueled primarily by agriculture and manufactured goods, we can safely state that we at TLP are at the forefront and helm of this manufacturing resurgence, and that is has everything to do with the quality we bring to the table, whatever the assignment requested. Our list of awards is extensive, to say the least: we’ve been listed as one of the “Best Places to Work in Southeastern Wisconsin” by both Milwaukee Magazine and the Management Resource Association. We’ve been awarded the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year. To cap it all off, we were designated no less than “The Best Workplace in the Americas” from the Printing Industries of America / Graphic Arts Technical Foundation.

But beyond our ribbons and medals, there comes the sheer extensiveness of our certifications. We proudly carry ISO-9001 and TS16949 certifications that reflect our ability to engineer and manufacture any form of custom-made UL label, CSA label, warning label, digital label, or die-cut adhesive application you might care to name. As the century progresses, we look forward to continuing our work in cutting-edge arenas such as automotive, aerospace, appliances, and power plants; as well as introducing ourselves and our high standards to other industries. Even as the overall American and global economy totters towards an eventual recovery, our company is roaring ahead into a promising future.