Highly visible, colour coded network infrastructure labelling

02/10/2020

Executive summary

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) is the leading open-access fibre optic company in South Africa, enabling their customers, such as ISPs, with fibre optic infrastructure to provide ICT related services to end customers.

Well-identified network infrastructure is of great importance in Dark Fibre Africa’s network. Thanks to smart, standardised colour coding on reliable labels, service provisioning and network maintenance becomes faster, and customer downtime risks are reduced with easy identification.

Challenge: Differentiate 3 fibre infrastructures with colour coding

Dark Fibre Africa had the need to differentiate between the fibre infrastructure of three of their major service offerings by using colour codes available on the portable BMP51 Label Maker systems from Brady.

  • Black on white: GPON services
  • Black on yellow: Dark fibre and all managed services
  • White on red: DFA core network infrastructure

Black print on white or yellow are available as standard labels for the BMP51 Label Maker and were supplied by Brady. The white on red label was not a standard Brady product available on the BMP51.

BMP51 Label Maker

Some challenges faced with competitor labelling products included:

  • Print faded over time
  • Adhesion proved not sufficient
  • Additional maintenance was required to re-apply labels

Because of this, Dark Fibre Africa contacted Brady to present a solution in keeping with the established network infrastructure colour coding.

Solution: Legible white on red labels that can be printed on-site

Brady fast tracked the request and within a few months developed a reliable cable label in red that could receive a white print with optimal legibility on a curved surface.

Before presenting a sample to our customer, R&D specialists tested the label extensively in Brady’s in-house facilities. The new label construction and selected adhesive stayed attached to cables, equipment cabinets and distribution boards. Labels remained legible in heavily air-cooled environments indoors as well as in UV exposure outdoors.

On top of this, the label material was successfully adapted to fit a BMP51 Label Maker cartridge. Because of this, Dark Fibre Africa would be able to print the new label anywhere in their network infrastructure with the portable printers already in use.

After successful sample testing in Dark Fibre’s network infrastructure, Brady agreed to also offer stock availability for the new white on red label. A large stock of the complete colour code is always immediately available, as well as logistical and technical support.

Result: Reduce downtime risks

Reliable labels that stay attached to cables, equipment cabinets , distribution boards and remain legible, are important for network maintenance, improvements and troubleshooting. Clear identification enables technicians to quickly identify the infrastructure for fault finding and troubleshooting during network failures. This increases service provisioning and maintenance speed and further reduces downtime risks and enhances speed of deployment.


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Brady Corporation is an international manufacturer and marketer of complete solutions that identify and protect people, products and places. Brady’s products help customers increase safety, security, productivity and performance and include high-performance labels, signs, safety devices, printing systems and software. Founded in 1914, the company has a diverse customer base in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, medical, aerospace and a variety of other industries.


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