Electromark offers a wide variety of pole marking solutions perfect for your application, but differentiating and ultimately deciding on a solution can be a daunting task.
In this blog, we’ll discuss our most popular pole marking systems, relate them to application use and share insights that will help you choose the right solution for your pole marking and asset ID needs.
Individual characters & one-piece marking systems
Before we dive into the different pole marking solutions Electromark offers, it’s important to differentiate individual character marking systems from one piece marking systems.
When you don’t know the sequence order required for your application or you consistently modify/replace character order, individual character marking systems make the most sense.
Although individual character marking systems can be subject to errors at the time of assembly, the flexibility of time-of-application sequence determination is an attractive feature for some.
One-piece marking systems are exactly what they sound like – a single piece that can be directly installed.
Because one-piece markers require pre-determination of numbering scheme sequence, they don’t allow for the same flexibility that individual character marking systems have. However, compared to individual character markers, they save assembly time in the field and virtually eliminate the potential of field numbering errors.
The majority of the solutions mentioned below are available as individual characters or one-piece marking systems.
Reflective digits & Pocket Panels®
Individual reflective digits are appropriate for direct application to smooth metal cabinet faces such as padmount equipment enclosures or steel and fiberglass poles. They are not suitable for direct application to rough surfaces like concrete or wood poles.
Reflective digits are self-adhesive peel-and-stick type labels that come in industry-standard sizes designated by character height in nominal inches. Smaller sizes up to 1” are supplied in notebook sheet format and larger sizes are bagged in sets of 25.
Pocket Panels are flexible, shatter and crack resistant and provide outdoor durability that surpasses that of the reflective digits used with them. They are available for all reflective digit sizes up to 3”, in both vertical or horizontal configurations, and come in different lengths to accommodate the number of required characters.
For applications that require direct application to wood or concrete, we recommend using our reflective digits in conjunction with our injection molded plastic Pocket Panels. These panels have holes molded along their length for fasteners that can be nailed, banded, or used with various adhesive options (foam tape, tub mastic adhesives, etc.).
PermaGrave is UV resistant, high-density polyethylene sourced as a 2-color (black and yellow) co-extruded sheet. The two-color layers are not laminated but rather extruded in molten to form into one material during manufacturing.
When the yellow surface layer is cut through, the black layer underneath is exposed resulting in the desired characters being a part of the material itself.
Individual number/letter character markers made of PermaGrave are designed to slide into size-compatible panels made of non-conductive extruded plastic (Pocket Panels) or aluminum.
PermaGrave one-piece markers are extremely popular due to the cost-effectiveness to produce as variable data number panels and overall material durability.
PermaGrave has some limitations due to the specific capabilities of the rotary router bits used to engrave the material. However, the incorporation of simple logos, phone numbers, custom sizes and unique hole configurations for fastening is possible.
Aluminum marker systems offer the most variety of forms. A common system incorporates individual aluminum character plates that are designed to slide into size compatible panels. Aluminum characters can be flat or embossed, and can also be non-reflective or engineer-grade reflective material.
Aluminum panels are available for all of our slide-in digit sizes, any length required for the application’s number of characters and in horizontal or vertical orientations. Different hole configuration for nails and banding options are available as well.
While the individual marker with a panel solution is best positioned as a field-assemble option; pre-numbered, factory assembled sequences made from individual aluminum markers and panels is a popular option.
One-piece, aluminum pre-numbered panel markers eliminate the need for a separate panel. The characters are embossed into the material to form a continuous marker.
Electromark also uses aluminum to make individually cut embossed numbers and letters known as EMBs. EMBs are not used with a panel, but instead, have small pre-punched holes for direct attachment to wood poles with nails.
In a previous blog, we discussed Metalphoto and what made it a premium material ideal for pole marking and asset ID.
Currently, Electromark doesn’t offer Metalphoto as a field assemble, individual character/panel system but we do offer it as a pre-numbered, one-piece marker. These one-piece markers are our most durable pole and asset ID solution and can still be cost-competitive when compared to the solutions previously mentioned.
Metalphoto markers are limited to a black character on a matte finish natural aluminum background or as a matte finish aluminum character on a black background.
Although Metalphoto isn’t considered a retroreflective material, it does exhibit a metallic reflectivity that allows for a higher level of nighttime visibility compared to totally non-reflective materials.
The Electromark advantage
As the leading brand of outdoor durable asset identification, we can address the needs of our customers in a way that makes the most sense for their projects.
Whether it’s getting the longest product lifespan out of your purchase or keeping the solution as cost-effective as possible, Electromark has the right solution for you.