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Justification for TrackAbout Barcode Labels

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Many customers want to print their own barcode labels. In the long term, TrackAbout has experienced much lost time combined with frustration from customers, eventually switching to TrackAbout labels.
This page covers the main reasons for adopting and using TrackAbout labels.


Gas cylinders must be tested regularly and maintained properly. Automatic data collection using barcodes to uniquely identify each cylinder is the surest and most cost-effective method to track testing and maintenance of cylinders. The barcode label is the foundation of this system and must be as tough as the environment in which the cylinders live.

Inventory control of gas cylinders takes on a special significance due to the safety issues involved with maintenance and testing. Whether they are to be used in a sterile, medical environment or on a welder's mobile service truck, they must be able to withstand tremendous pressures and rough handling. This product has been designed for and tested in numerous gas cylinder applications. Because of this label's ability to resist fading in UV light and be unaffected by moisture, it is an ideal method to permanently code gas cylinders.

Initial application of the label is crucial to its long-term survival as wrinkles and gaps can cause failure.

Best Practices for Applying Barcodes

For detailed instructions outlining best practices for correctly applying barcodes, please visit the Best Practices for Applying Barcodes page.

Choosing the Right Barcode Label

Recommended reading before ordering barcode labels


Considering the real cost of a customer printing their own labels, it is very difficult to produce barcode labels that are competitive with TrackAbout labels. Below are a few aspect of the barcode productions to consider:

  • Labor
  • Potential errors in printing sequences (duplicate barcodes, incorrect number, no validation pattern,...)
  • Small batch printing can affect production when labels are needed
  • Supplies (labels, ink)
  • TrackAbout labels are printed in large batches which is more economical.


Local printing of barcode labels is rarely as durable as TrackAbout labels.

TrackAbout Barcode Advantages

TrackAbout assigned barcode numbers have the following advantages:

  • Only include numbers
  • Include human readable identifier
  • Include a validation checksum (MOD10) which prevents miss-keying barcodes
  • Use Code 128 which includes a check digit within the barcode MOD103
  • Are unique within all TrackAbout labels, very important when sharing cylinders
  • Typical service life of 7+ years in rugged environments

Check Digits Explanation

The Code 128 check digit is calculated by the scanning engine before it gives the resulting number to the application. This helps TrackAbout ensure good scans, but it doesn't do anything to help us avoid miss-keyed numbers by the operator. That is why we also insert a readable check digit (MOD10) in the numbers that we use for the barcodes.

Features of the Standard TrackAbout Label

This label features a film laminate that resists yellowing and cracking for years. It offers protection from physical abrasion and scuffing. Cleaning solvents and harsh chemicals do not affect it, ensuring a clean scannable image for years of accurate reads.

The polyester facestock is impervious to ultraviolet light and temperature extremes. Oil, grease, solvents, caustic cleaners and acids have no effect on it. This high contrast white opaque polyester film facestock is specifically designed for use where high-density labels are required for harsh temperature and humidity environments.

The bond strength of the hi-holding acrylic adhesive increases as a function of time and temperature. Humidity has minimal effect on the label performance. When properly applied, labels are not adversely affected by exposure to UV light. Immersion in water has no appreciable effect on the bond strength. After 100 hours at room temperature, the bond actually shows an increase in strength.


  • 1.187 inches x 0.50 inches - 2 across supplied on rolls (2500 labels/1250 numbers per roll)
  • Lamination: 1 mil matte polyester
  • Facestock: 3 mil white polyester
  • Adhesive: 5 mil permanent acrylic
  • Environment: Indoor/Outdoor/Harsh
  • Colors Black on white
  • Symbology: code 128 Ver A/C
  • Check Digit: Mod 10 + MOD103

Number and Identification

  • Current labels have a total of 9 digits; the last digit is the check digit
  • Labels whole number are unique (includes checksum)
  • Readable is the same as the barcode

Other related topics

Best Practices for Applying Barcodes

Why you should never use barcode equal to serial numbers

Barcode related TrackAbout blogs