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Wire and Cable Identification

Identifying wires and cables in the workplace can be a daunting task. Clearly identified wires and cables increase safety and security, whether they be for networking, power, or anything else. SafetyPro labeling systems can help make wire marking easy, fast, and affordable.

Types of Wire Marking

There are two primary types of wire or cable identification: laminated wire wraps, and standard labels. Each has its benefits and particular uses, which are outlined below.

Wire Wraps

A wire wrap is a vinyl label with two-parts. The material itself is a single, solid piece of clear vinyl. The top portion is printed with a resin color bar, which comes in a variety of colors and sizes, where the user can then print their text. Once printed and cut, the wire wrap is placed and wrapped around the wire or cable, so that the clear portion of the vinyl self-laminates the printed portion. The printed text is visible, but protected.

wire wraps explained

Standard Labeling Tape

Many wire and cable identification projects may be completed with standard SafetyPro premium vinyl labeling tape. There are two options for creating non-laminating wire labels with standard tape:

  1. Wrapping: To print an unlaminated wrap, create a portrait orientation label and print your wire ID information at the very top of the label. When applying the label, start with the blank side and wrap the label around the cable or wire until you reach the printed portion, which will be on the top of the wrap so as to remain visible.
  2. Folding: To print a folded wire or cable label, create a standard landscape orientation label. When creating your ID content, duplicate the content on either side of the label, leaving room at the center of the label to account for the thickness of the wire or cable. When applying, place the center of the label one the wire, then fold it around the wire and line up the two ends of the label, then firmly press together. You'll end up with what may be called a flag-style label.

Wire Wrap Sizing

There are two size considerations for wire wraps: 1) the size of the vinyl, from 1" to 4" (which is the "height" of the printed label); and, 2) the size of the printed stripe, which will be dependent on the size of cable or wire, and will determine how much information you may be able to fit on the label.

Single Conductor

For single-conductor wires, shielded or shielded, you will likely work with smaller wire wraps (1"). The size of the wire wrap and printable area is based on the outer diameter of the wire, and for single conductor wires that size will be limited primarily by the wire or cable type, and the insulation type. However, most single conductor wires will not exceed the size limit of the 1" wire wraps.

Multiple Conductor

If you're working with multiple conductor wires, or paired wires, or larger wound cables, then you may need wire wraps that are in the 2" to 4" size range. Make sure that the outer diameter of your wire is greater than the printable header size, so that the printable region is not overlapping itself.

No matter what size or wire or cable you're marking, with SafetyPro wire wraps and Premium Vinyl label stock, you can't go wrong!