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P-touch White Paper
"P-touch systems are a flexible tool that makes my job easier and keeps the inspectors and my customers happy. Everybody wins."
Owner and operator Carey Electric Company, Inc.

Fast Facts
Client: Carey Electric Company
Industry:   Electrical Contractor
Situation:   Labeling for Electrical Requirements
Solution:   PT-2300 P-touch® electronic labeling systems
The Company
Carey Electric Company

Carey Electric, located just outside the Chicago area in Mundelein, Illinois, provides electrical contracting services exclusively for printing companies - whether they're roll-paper printers, commercial offset shops, insta-print businesses, or companies that specialize in printing on plastic. In the high-tech printing industry, large and often complex computerized systems have, for the most part, replaced outmoded camera work and cut-and-paste techniques. In today's global market, these modern machines primarily come from overseas. Electrical requirements vary from country to country, so printing systems can have a wide range of power requirements anywhere from 200 to 575 volts. That's where Carey Electric comes in - they specialize in getting foreign and U.S. electrical systems to play nice together so that everything works safely and can pass on the first inspection.
The Story

Ask any industrial contractor, and he'll tell you that the job's just not done until it passes final inspection. Bill Fialkowski, owner and operator of Carey Electric Company, Inc., sums it up succinctly: "I work for my customers, but I answer to the building inspectors. What they want, they get." Just about every job that Fialkowski and his crew of electricians handle requires a building permit, and the work must meet and pass the municipal building codes, from both electrical and fire inspectors.
Electrical, fire, and federal codes (NEC, NFPA, and OSHA) clearly state that electrical equipment - from basic outlets and switches to junction boxes, power poles, and those behemoth printing presses - must be marked and labeled with voltage, amperage, each element's feeder circuit, and any other pertinent electrical information, including safety notices. Anyone from a print shop employee to a firefighter in a crisis should be able to glance at a label and quickly determine the power feeder source for any particular component and which breaker or switch will shut it down. "Bottom line," says Fialkowski, "it's the contractor's job to meet code. If we don't mark equipment properly, we leave ourselves open for a big problem down the line if something goes wrong." For years, electricians at Carey Electric simply wrote directly onto panel boards or switches with magic markers or used pre-made electrical
labels. However, most methods have proven inadequate. Fialkowski says, "Today’s professional inspectors will no longer tolerate pencil or
magic marker writing when it comes to such important information on electrical equipment. Additionally, I couldn’t get any labels that let me
properly identify the European or Asian voltages. And it’s just too easy for a roll of labels to get lost or trashed on a job site.” He wanted a
better solution.
P-touch Solution
Using P-touch labelers not only saves Fialkowski time, it helps him minimize power disruptions for his customers which keeps everyone happy. Many of his customers upgrade to new equipment and call the Carey Electric crew to install it. If the new machine's power requirements call for a 200-volt feeder, and the building's power source is 240 volts, the job requires installing a step-down transformer to accommodate the lower voltage. If the disconnect switch (which is mechanically locked when in the "ON" position) isn't properly labeled with the incoming voltage and the amperage, the electrician won't know exactly what size feeders are inside and will have to shut down the power to open up the box. Shutting down the box disrupts the power and the customer loses the use of any equipment running off that circuit.

Fialkowski acknowledges that in his industry, as in others, time is money. "Poorly marked jobs cause stress and cost me more in time spent tracing and re-labeling circuits than if it's done up front. When I bid a job, I can't charge a customer after the job is completed for a two-or three-hour call-back just to make up labels when we should have labeled the work up front. I want it done right the first time."
Bill Fialkowski appreciates the P-touch labeler's ability to facilitate the inspection process. He says that both the building and fire inspectors like the labels because they increase safety by eliminating confusion - the information is clear and easy-to-read. "The fire guys need to know where the equipment's being fed from and how to shut it off. When it comes right down to it, good labeling speaks to the quality of a contractor's work," he says. "P-touch systems are a flexible tool that makes my job easier and keeps the inspectors and my customers happy. Everybody wins."

Note: None of the information in this document may be relied upon by anybody for purposes of complying with legal requirements or improving safety. All electrical requirements must be evaluated independently.