Keeping tape cartridges fresh�and secure

Kevin Komiega

If you're tired of battling shrink-wrap to get to your tape cartridges the Computer Products Division of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc., may have just given you a reprieve. The Elmsford, N.Y.-based company is now shipping all of its Fujifilm-branded DLTtape IV data cartridges with a new Security Seal, a no-cost, add-on feature to the product's protective case designed to prevent product contamination and increase tamper resistance.

Fujifilm said that it developed the Security Seal out of concern and recognition that there is a potential for tapes to be reused and resold without end-user knowledge, as well as environmental concerns and protection against data center contamination.

"The security seal helps the IT manager distinguish used tapes from unused tapes," said Fujifilm spokesperson Andy LaGuardia. "There's a question of contamination and potential problems with static with other types of packaging." Discarded shrink-wrap, one of the most common packaging materials, introduces a potentially harmful contaminant in to computing environments. Bits of packaging scrap could damage delicate drive heads if they were to find their way into the equipment.

The seal is affixed to the tapes case with a permanent adhesive so it will not become detached and contaminate the storage environment.

Fara Yale, chief analyst for Gartner Group's Dataquest said the key importance of the Fujifilm security seal is that it is simple, yet innovative, and

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the end user is always assured that the cartridge is new. "Most other tape cartridges come from the factory completely enclosed with some type of shrink-wrapping that is not only difficult to open, but also creates environmental waste. This may not seem like a big thing for a user buying a single cartridge, but when users buys hundreds or thousands of cartridges a year for their tape libraries, it can mount up," said Yale. "It is more environmentally friendly than traditional packaging "seals" and it should also contribute to time saved, not only for the user, but also in the manufacturing process of the cartridges," she said.

Fujifilm said that it is considering implementing the new seal on its other tape cartridges in the future. "We're currently researching other formats. We don't just want to come out across the board with this. We want to make sure that it's right for the different users," said LaGuardia.

For more information:

Fuji Film

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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