Like any other physical asset, using QR code stickers on your buildings and equipment can have its challenges when it comes to durability:

  • Building occupants can tamper with the QR codes
  • When outdoors, harsh sunlight or moisture in the air can cause fading or damage

These are the two most common questions that we run across from FMX customers about QR codes, and we have some tips on how to solve these problems.

Is there a vendor you recommend that prints heavy-duty QR codes? The students in my district are tearing them off of our equipment.

Tamper Evident Labels has an extensive list of different QR codes to purchase that are all tamper-proof. There’s a pricing calculator on the upper left-hand corner of their site (look for “Quick Price Lookup”) so you can see how much X number of labels will cost.

The company will also send you samples of their labels upon request.

How do you suggest placing a QR code on an asset that is exposed to harsh sun and ocean air to ensure the code is legible far into the future?

FMX barcode export menu

When attaching FMX QR code labels to exterior equipment, we typically see customers follow these tips:

1. If possible, place the QR code on the inside of an access panel or filter door. There are many types of HVAC equipment (rooftop units or air handling units) and other equipment (chillers or backup generators) that have access doors that can be opened to allow the QR code to be scanned. For consistency, place the QR code in the same place on each type of equipment. For example, for a rooftop air handler, always place the QR code on the inside of the supply air filter access door.

2. If #1 is not possible, place the QR code on the side of the equipment that faces north. This should minimize the amount of direct sunlight and fading on the tag.

3. If the QR code is placed on the north side of the equipment, it is also possible to cover the tag with some type of material such as scrap rubber or wood. The material can be screwed or bolted over top of the QR code, just make sure to leave the fastener a little loose to allow it to be pivoted out of the way for scanning the code.

4. When printing the QR codes, always select “labels” in printing preferences on your laser printer. This allows the ink to be heated a little longer for better adhesion to the label as it is printed.

5. There are several labels that you can use, but we have seen the most success with Avery 94106 1-½” x 1-½” blank square labels purchased with the WEATHERPROOF WHITE FILM material. (This label template is also listed when you export your equipment from FMX.)

Put these QR code best practices to use with equipment maintenance software

Asset and equipment management software can help streamline the lookup of important information when your technicians are out in the field:

  • Adhere a QR code label generated by equipment maintenance software like FMX to the building or equipment
  • Technicians can point their smart device’s camera at the QR code and pull up crucial information about the asset like warranty information, service manuals, and maintenance history

Learn more about how equipment maintenance software can help you optimize your facilities operations.