J&J Athletic Tape Users - this Post is for You
If you're like a great many athletic trainers, you order a large quantity of J&J Coach, Zonas and/or Elastikon in one main order and use that supply from August to May. Knowing how old your tape already is when it arrives with your shipment can be a helpful tool in preparing your athletic training program for football. It should allow you to rotate your stock more effectively by using your oldest tape first - just like a grocery store rotates the oldest jugs of milk to the front of the line.
Why Rotating your Athletic Tape Matters
Due to the adhesive-mass on the back of the cloth, athletic tape can break down and become less effective as it ages and as it's exposed to heat. Since J&J now manufacturers it's athletic tape in the country of Brazil as opposed to New Jersey, you should know that it takes awhile for those container ships to make their way up to the US from South America. Those containers aren't air-conditioned either so your tape is likely going to arrive at your facility already several months old and having been exposed to some heat and humidity.
Spotting Old or Degraded Athletic Tape
So what does old or degraded tape actually look like? Sometimes with white tape you might notice a yellow tinge to the tape. That suggests the adhesive may have broken down in storage or transit. An argument can be made for purchasing your athletic tape earlier in the summer so that it doesn't sit on a hot truck from your supplier to your loading dock. This is also the reason that some suppliers air-condition their warehouses, to insure you get the freshest tape possible. Old athletic tape will also bind up and become difficult to unwind as the adhesive has literally melted it together.
The best way to determine the age of your J&J athletic tape however is by reading the lot number on the side of the box.
Reading a J&J Lot Number
In the photo below you'll see a newer case of Coach 5188 Athletic Tape (as of this printing). Plainly printed on one side of the box is "LOT 0616B16 2119".
Those aren't just random numbers - they actually provide some very valuable information.
You should parse that lot number like this: LOT 061/6/B/16 2119.
- 061 represents the day of the year. In this case, March 2d.
- 6 represents the year. In this case, 2016.
- B represents the place of manufacture. In this case, Brazil.
- 16 again represents the year. In this case, again 2016.
- As of this posting, we believe 2119 represents the employee number that packed the case but haven't confirmed that.
You shouldn't be too suprised if your athletic tape arrives a few months old. That's a necessity of production of transit. If it's over a year old however - you may notice the effects of aging - particularly if your supplier doesn't air-condition their warehouse.
A Couple Suggestions for Storing your Athletic Tape
Having a great deal of experience distributing athletic tape, we suggest you put those oldest boxes on the top or to the front so you pull from them first. Also, we suggest you make every effort to keep your athletic tape in a temperature controlled environment. Air-Conditioning is a must during hot summer months. Keep it away from an air-cooled ice machine as the air cooled units vent humidity into the room and will have a long-term effect on your athletic tape and other supplies.
So now you have some very valuable "born-on" date information about your Coach, Zonas or Elastikon that you can utilize to better manage your inventory. Pretty handy tool if you purchase J&J athletic tape. Other tape manufacturers also have lot numbers on their athletic tape but generally follow a different system that we will elaborate on in a later posting.
Hope this has been helpful information for you. Please see our athletic tape section on www.miotechstore.com
If you found this post helpful, you may want to also see our post, "Athletic Tapes: An Overview of their Strengths and Applications".
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