Best method of labeling photo equipment?

Discussion in 'Education' started by chauncey_huffman, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. I am an Assistant Professor at a University and we have just placed a large order to replace our stock of cameras and other photo equipment. With the new inventory coming in, I want to be able to manage and keep track of the items efficiently. I would like to be able to use a labeling or marking system on the cameras and some other equipment that is hopefully semi-permanent or maybe permanent. Any solutions that are tried and true?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. The State University of New York Research Foundation uses a typical control system which requires decals on equipment
    and an inventory database for tracking the decals. However, they have an alternative for lenses and other property that
    cannot be physically tagged.

    Problem Tagging
    Some property can be difficult or impossible to tag. Software is an example. Other examples are: 1) a diffusion pump
    becomes very hot during operation and a decal would burn if affixed to its housing, 2) certain optical lenses are too
    narrow to accept a decal, 3) some antiques and works of art could be defaced by tagging, and 4) some property is so
    delicate that tagging would be inadvisable. An asset number must be assigned and a record created on the PCS even
    when property cannot be tagged.

    "A solution for a number of the examples listed above (for example, software, lenses, and fragile equipment) is to keep
    the items in a drawer or container to which the decals are affixed. This should be a secure location. A description of
    important features of the property should be noted in the PCS Description field. A notation should also made in the PCS
    Additional Description fields that the property has not been tagged.

    "In these problem cases, careful documentation must be made and kept by the office in charge of the property control
    fonction and by the appropriate project director. The documentation should include the location, responsible person(s),
    and where possible, manufacturer, serial, and model numbers. This documentation must provide a clear trail for inventory
    and audit."
  3. there are tagging markers that use ink that will etch plastic. For a limited number of items a burr bit on a dremel like tool will let you "write" your tagging code, thats so old id say its quite tried and true... one place i worked used one of those handheld Dymo that embosses a metal ribbon and could be affixed with a band or adhesive and it was though stuff. There also are punches that will receive a few metal characters (like a 3 numbers code) and you can emboss the tape with that... some can use really small characters, less handy but cheaper than the handheld
    Personally serial number is much easier, its already there and for tracking you can use just the last 3 or 4 characters, chances that those will be the same on two pieces are pretty slim.
    Benoit Evans wrote:
    a diffusion pump becomes very hot during operation and a decal would burn if affixed to its housing​
    Some good muffler cement would keep a metal tag in place. :p
  4. Engraving a control or other ID number on photographic equipment has several functions
    • It allows the object to be identified and tracked
    • It makes the equipment unattractive to thieves and collectors

    I often have picked up working, really classic cameras for a song simply because of such markings, and I can put up with the ugliness when I have the joy of shooting with them.
  5. Don't lenses have serial numbers you can track?
  6. Electro-pencil (vibratory engraver) is 100% permanent. Unfortunately its always 100% permanent.

    High tech adhesive inventory tabs are semi-permanent, but can be removed if the equipment is to be legitimately sold later. Unfortunately the ungodly are aware of this & some know how to do it even though the average person isn't.

    Serial numbers from the manufacturer are not as secure as many think. I worked for a major camera manufacturers import agent & we offered a "100% rebuild to like new" service to our professional customers.
    What did we do?
    We dissolved the glue holding the separate serial number plate form the beat to heck old cameras, removed the serial number plate from a brand new piece of equipment & glued it back in place on the new body. The cost for this service was the low dealer net for a new camera.

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