Three Important Barcodes in an Equipment Tracking System

July 21, 2016

Three Important Barcodes in an Equipment Tracking System

Barcodes are the fastest and most accurate way to enter information into a system. Whenever data can be converted into a barcode in equipment tracking software, it is always best to do so. Any company implementing barcode equipment tracking software, like Tool Hawk™ from General Data Company Inc., there are three important barcode categories that should be considered. These barcodes should uniquely identify equipment, users and locations. For each of these categories it is necessary to give some thought as to how these barcode will be used and the best way to produce them. The following are the three important barcodes in an equipment tracking system.

Tool Barcode Labels

Every piece of equipment should have a unique barcode. This durable barcode label serves as the license plate for that equipment. The label must be able to stand up to the kind of environmental stresses that equipment is subjected to each day. Because of this great care should be given to choose the right material for this label. Materials can range from a printed synthetic material such as polyester to a metal barcode that is riveted to the equipment. At General Data, we have a wide range of durable materials to choose from that can work with Tool Hawk™. This includes labels produced with a premium polyester material, anodized aluminum, metal barcodes and high temperature material.

When choosing the right barcode label for your equipment, a few conditions must be considered to match the correct material to the application.

The temperature range when the label is applied to the equipment

  • This will assist in picking the right adhesive.

The temperature range after the label is applied to the equipment

  • In other words, the temperature range for the lifetime of the equipment.

UV exposure

  • Is the equipment is used outdoors in high UV conditions? If so the material must be designed to work in these conditions. The best choice is usually an anodized aluminum material with an enhanced barcode image.

Chemical exposure 

  • Is the equipment is in contact with chemicals or solvents? This must be identified up front to match the right label material and adhesive for this application.

Surface material of the equipment 

  • The adhesive must be matched to the kind of surface on the equipment where the label is applied.


  • All equipment will be subject to abrasion but care must be given for those environments where the equipment is in an acute abrasive exposure.

Shape of the surface where the label is applied 

  • Ideally the surface of the equipment is flat and smooth. This is often not the case and the barcode equipment label must be able to conform to different type of curved surfaces.

User ID Barcodes

In well-designed barcode equipment tracking software, each user or worker should have a unique barcode assigned to him/her. In Tool Hawk™ this number serves as a log-in ID for the system as well. As equipment is checked in and out of the warehouse, this ID barcode is scanned at the same time. This quickly and accurately assigns the equipment to that user.

Larger companies usually issue an ID card to each worker. At General Data, this user ID could be a key card attached to each workers keychain.

Location Barcodes

In order to answer the “where” questions in tracking equipment, it is important that each location be uniquely identified. Assigning barcode locations assist in tracking the movement of equipment and the storage location of each. Because of this, locations such as remote job sites and storage facilities are represented by barcodes. As equipment moves out to these locations each barcode is scanned making tracking faster and more accurate.

Another kind of location barcodes could be in the warehouse. Each shelf location or bin is identified with a unique barcode. As equipment is put away, the warehouse location is scanned making finding that equipment much easier in the future.

These critical barcode labels are vital in automating equipment tracking software solution. If you would like to speak with a professional about barcodes and equipment tracking systems like Tool Hawk™, feel free to contact us at 844-643-1129, email us at or send us a message through the link below.