Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

LX2000 vs C7500

Recently, I’ve been asked, “What are the differences between the C7500 and the LX2000?”  Frankly, this question is coming from people who do not want to spend the $8500 or more on the C7500; but want good print quality.  The LX2000 is a lot less expensive and can print up to 8" wide labels.  In this post, I’ll explain my view of the 10 biggest differences between these two color label printers.




Before I start, you may find my initial post on the LX2000 of interest:

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2015/06/lx2000-full-bleed-color-label-printer.html

On our blog, I found 38 different posts on the C7500.  Here is my first post on this printer:

http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/09/first-review-tm-c7500-at-label-expo.html

Now the 10 biggest differences between the LX2000 and the C7500

Print Quality:
With a max print resolution of 4800 DPI (https://www.primeralabel.com/lx2000_specs.html), 

the LX2000 can print great looking labels.  At the highest settings, you can produce great lookihng labels.  But with 1200 x 600 resolution

(https://epson.com/For-Work/Printers/Label/ColorWorks-C7500-Inkjet-Label-Printer/p/C31CD84011),  

so can the C7500.  Top is C7500 and bottom is LX2000; both are at the standard settings.  See how the blue in the top of the picture (C7500) is darker, richer.

C7500 (Top) vs LX200 (Bottom) Print Quality Comparison
C7500 (Top) vs LX200 (Bottom) Print Quality Comparison
Ink Cost:

The ink cost in the LX2000 is much higher; but not as much as I expected for this artwork at normal settings.  Using this label artwork, the LX2000 ink cost is estimated at $0.069/label versus $0.049/label for the C7500.  $0.02/label more. These estimates are at normal settings.  To get a higher print quality, many companies would be forced to run the LX2000 at a higher print quality setting.  Therefore, I believe in reality the ink cost difference would be much higher.
LX2000 Ink Cost/Label
LX2000 Ink Cost/ 4" x 6" Label
C7500 Ink Cost/Label
C7500 Ink Cost/4" x 6" Label

Yield per cartridge.
LX2000 vs C7500 Ink Cartridge Comparison
LX2000 vs C7500 Ink Cartridge Comparison
The LX2000 ink cartridge is much smaller than the C7500.  Therefore, yields are much lower.  In the above example, you would get 1094 labels/LX2000 Cyan cartridge and 9,085/C7500 cartridge.  Almost 9X more.  Magenta and yellow are about the same difference.  Black is only 2X as the black cartridge is larger in the LX2000.

Printhead:
The LX2000 uses consumable printheads.  You’ll need to spend $250+ for a printhead occasionally when printing large volumes.

Speed:
The LX2000 is very slow compared to the C7500.  Watch how long it takes to print one label.  In the video, the printer just finished cutting one label. Overall it took about 5 minutes to print 10 labels for the ink calculation at the normal setting.  At the high print quality setting, the speed would be much slower.


And here is the C7500 printing 10 copies of the same label artwork:


Relatively, the C7500 prints much faster than the LX2000.

Rewind:
The C7500 offers a built in rewinder; the LX2000 does not.  Watch the C7500 print and rewind 100 4” x 6” labels in 1 minute.


Button Push:
The LX2000 uses a series of button pushes that I still don’t understand.  I believe you can get 20+ different actions based on these three buttons.

LX2000 Buttons to Push
LX2000 Buttons to Push

Design:
The LX2000 is a HP printhead inside of a metal box. I find the design finicky.  In fact, I cut my finger printing the 10 labels required for the ink calculation.

Inside the LX2000
Inside the LX2000

The inside of the C7500 is well designed; especially the media path which prevents side-to-side movement of the label media.

C7500 Media Path
C7500 Media Path
Label Roll: the LX2000 has a max OD of 6”.  The C7500 has a max OD of 8”.   Larger rolls mean fewer changes and lower label costs.

Support:
You’ll get a lot more support from us.  Here is an example of the type of support we provide that I published earlier:



FULL DISCLOSURE: I find Primera difficult to work with.  For sure, Primera does not want resellers like us as partners as they prefer to sell direct to consumers.  For our customers, we’ll provide technical support; and we’ll help you negotiate the repair processes of our vendors.  We work hard for our customers.

I hope these 10 aspects explain our view of the differences between the C7500 and the LX2000.  I understand hardware cost is important; but you sometimes get more value by investing a bit more money.

If you have questions comparing label printers, call us. We’ll be happy to gain an understanding of your requirements and recommend the best label printing solution for your organization.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New CA Prop 65 Requirements

For those of you doing business in California, have you seen this symbol?

New CA Prop 65 Icon
New CA Prop 65 Icon
Beginning August 2018, you will begin seeing this symbol everywhere in California with the implementation of the new Prop 65 warning labels.  Proposition 65 (California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) was implemented as a so-called right-to-know statute that requires everyone in the chain of commerce to ensure that California consumers receive “clear and reasonable” warnings prior to being exposed to a growing list of chemicals—now numbering more than 900.  In 2018, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has defined “clear and reasonable” to include the above warning symbol.  You’ll notice the difference.

New Prop 65 Label Requirements
New Prop 65 Label Requirements
To see the latest 900 cancer or reproductive compounds on the list, visit here:

Having worked in the crop protection industry for many years, I recognize many of the compounds.  However, one of the compounds on the list was surprising to me:

Marijuana smoke: 

With the changes coming to the cannabis business in January, I wonder how this warning will affect labeling prerolls, etc. in California.

Or aspirin:

A list of all the published fact sheets on each compound are here:

Also interesting to me, the new Prop 65 labeling requires specific font size for the warning; no smaller than 6 point font and/or no smaller than the largest font for consumer information on the label.  For more specific answers to questions, see this link:

You may say this new Prop 65 warning does not apply to us as our company does not sell directly to consumers.  In this situation, the manufacturer of a product that contains a compound on the list must notify their customers of the requirement.  Given the notification requirement, I don’t know if they’ll decide to place the warning on their labels as well.  That’s a question for the regulatory experts inside each company.

For our customers already meeting the requirements for GHS labels, printing this new warning symbol on-demand and in color will not be any big deal.  On our blog, www.colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com,  we have 59 different posts covering GHS.  One of my favorite post covering GHS labels involved NIC Industries:

And Engineered Lubricants:

If you need assistance printing labels for products covered by Prop 65 and/or GHS contact us.  We can help you print color labels on-demand.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Color Rebar Tags

Rebar (short for reinforcing bar) is a steel bar or mesh of steel wires used as a tension device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures to strengthen and hold the concrete in tension.



Rebar fabricators supply various grades, sizes and shapes to meet the requirements of construction projects.  Given all the types of rebar, construction sites need a means to quickly identify the correct bundle for each part of a project.  Color is the easiest method to identify rebar.  Let me tell you more about using on-demand color rebar tags.

Brooklyn Rebar (http://www.brooklynrebar.com/)  is a rebar fabrication company committed to serving contractors and warehouses in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.  They provide fabricated rebar to complex, large and small bridges, concrete high rises, tunnels, treatment plants, power plants, ranging in size, from 1 to 10,000 tons of rebar.  Brooklyn Rebar is located on the Brooklyn/Queens line with easy access to all east side tunnels and bridges into Manhattan.

In January 2016, a Project Manager, of Brooklyn Rebar contacted us to discuss how they could print color tags for their rebar.  During our conversation and subsequent work together, I learned that Brooklyn Rebar uses Soule Software, (http://www.soulesoftware.com/),  which offers a complete suite of software for rebar fabricators and placers.  In their software, Soule built the capability to use color in their customer’s operations.  According to Bob Boeving, Vice President of Sales for Soule Software, “Color has become a very valuable tool for rebar fabricators.  Now fabricators can add color bars to their tags to help the job site stage and locate the correct materials for each specific part of a project.  Fabricators can set up unique colors for each section of a project, which print automatically.  This color capability helps contractors reduce errors and increase productivity on the job site.”

Bob continues, “color on-demand tags helps fabricators as well to stage, load and offload rebar correctly.  With color, fabricators can pull off the truck rebar in the correct sequence.  In addition, our software enables the use of images to show unique dimensions or bends in the rebar.  These images help the fab shop understand what’s required to reduce potential errors.  We can also use color to identify foreign or domestic steel; and to identify different grades of steel.  This color identification helps the fab shop pull the correct steel inventory for their job. Overall, color on-demand tags are a powerful tool to help reduce errors in a rebar operation.”

Based on the capability of the Soule Software, Brooklyn Rebar purchased a C7500 and 4” x 6” matte poly tags. 

Print On-Demand Color Rebar Tag
Print On-Demand Color Rebar Tag
 Initially, we had issues with the tags.  First, we learned the C7500 can’t use standard shaped tags; tags with a notch for thermal transfer printers to detect top of form.  When the printer pulls the tags back into the printer to start printing, the notches catch causing the printer to error out.  Second, we tried new material with a shinier back.  Although the tags would work in a C3500, they would not function in a C7500.  It seems the C7500 has a substantially different blackmark sensor.  The reflection on the back of the tag caused the printer to misread the blackmark.  Third, we tried a thinner, 5 mil poly tag.  Although durable, the 5 mil tag could tear at the notch, potentially losing the tags during shipping or moving in the yard.  Because of these problems, we had supply issues, getting the tags to our customer.  One aspect of the 5 mil tag; they print great!

5 Mil On-Demand Color Tag
(FYI:  We featured this same tag material in our post on mattress tags)  http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/06/on-demand-color-mattress-tags-labels.html

Through all these start up issues, Brooklyn Rebar stayed with us.  And we appreciated their support.  Ultimately, we settled on an 8 mil, matte poly tag with the design in the image above.  And these thicker 8 mil tags seem to be working well.

Print On-Demand Color Rebar Tag
During a recent visit, a Project Manager for Brooklyn Rebar, showed me how they use color in their operation.  According to the Project Manager, “we assign colors to specific areas of the project, using the Soule Software.”

Rebar Staging Document
Color Rebar Staging Document
“And in the software, it’s easy to pick the color for each section of the project”, said the Project Manager.

Soule Software Color Selection
Soule Software Color Selection
 “We use both solid colors and different color hash marks for each of the locations on a project.  For most projects, the solid colors are sufficient.  When we need more locations, we use different color hash marks.  We find the color coding helps our customers and us internally to reduce errors and increase our productivity”, said the Project Manager.

After working with Brooklyn Rebar and learning more about Soule Software, I do believe automating color codes on tags will help fabricators significantly.  Plus I like the fact that Soule built in the capability in advance of available technology; specifically the C7500.  Even today, I know of software applications that have been built using printing languages from the 1980’s.

And more importantly, I appreciate companies like Brooklyn Rebar who search and use practical technology that improves their productivity and reduces the potential for errors.

If you need a color-coded label or tag solution for rebar or any other item, be sure to contact us.  We would enjoy working with you to build a color-based solution that fits your business.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer PR Tour

Recently, Andy Scherz, Product Manager for Epson America approached us with a request. Andy asked:

“Do you any customers who might like a little PR?  We are focusing on the boutique product labeling market.  Cheese, juice, lotion…  The idea is that we would like to get some quantity of actual product with labels.  We will show these labels and highlight how they were printed by Epson solutions.  If you have any willing customers, please let us know.”


It seems Epson America was planning for the annual Epson Summer Press Tour. 

ColorWorks Label Press Tour
ColorWorks Label Press Tour
The Epson Summer Press Tour is an annual event that Epson PR conducts for press and analysts to showcase new solutions and corporate initiatives.  This event is not open to the public and is by invitation only to industry analysts and members of the press. And this year, over 100 press and analysts attended in New York City. 

Originally, this event was created and remains primarily for media to see Epson’s latest consumer products for Holiday Gift Guide inclusion.  In the last several years, Epson has shifted its company focus toward business solutions and leverages the event to generate larger brand awareness for Epson solutions that may not be as well known.  For this reason, Epson incorporated displays from more industrial business lines at the event such as robotics, point-of-sale printing and commercial label solutions.

How could we say no to Andy?  Based on this request, we suggested to Darek Connole, Public Relations for Epson a handful of customers who produce their product labels using Epson printers.  Based on this list, the Public Relations firm for Epson, Walt & Company, www.walt.com,  purchased on-line a selection of products from these companies. 

ColorWorks Booth-Summer Press Tour
One the products/labels of company featured was Hummingbird Nectar.  Douglas Everett produces beautiful labels for his product; using his great graphic artist skills.

Hummingbird Nectar Products

Many years ago, I wrote about Hummingbird Nectar, http://www.hummingbirdmarket.com/on one of my first posts:


Since day one, Hummingbird Nectar has invested resources and energy into producing innovative hummingbird nectar and offering quality hummingbird products.  Over the past years their nectar has evolved; and will continue to change as this company introduce best-in-class products for your hummingbirds.

As Douglas says, ““The team a Color Label Solutions and Epson keeps us humming along”.

In addition to Hummingbird Nectar, Epson showed a product from Burn Hotsauce, https://www.burnhotsauce.com/,  in their display:

Burn Hot Sauce
Burn Hot Sauce

Burn Hot Sauce is an original, small batch, farmer and chef owned business in Santa Cruz California.  All of their produce is grown on sustainable organic farms in California; and all of the fermented hot sauces highlight the farm on the label.  Burn Hot Sauce is raw, alive and full of probiotics. 

​And I featured this company with some great products in a post earlier this year:


Next, we got one of our long-time customers, Tongue River Winery, http://www.tongueriverwinery.com/, involved.

Tongue River Winery
Tongue River Winery
 Their slogan, “Quality Made Wines with fruit exclusively from the Northern Plains!” sums up not only their wines, but also the quality of the owner of Tongue River Winery:  Bob Thaden and family.  You’ll find the letter Bob included with the box of wine to Epson of interest: 

Letter from Tongue River Winery
Letter from Tongue River Winery

As Bob didn’t have to include this letter, it shows what a wonderful and kind man he is.

Also, Epson had products from Rejunvenation Therapeutics, https://rejuvenation-therapeutics.com/,   in their display.

Rejuvenation Therapeutics Label
Rejuvenation Therapeutics Label
Rejuvenation Therapeutics is a health-centered, science-driven company that strives to extend lifespan and improve overall wellbeing. Within a burgeoning field of dietary supplements and nutritional ingredients, Rejuvenation Therapeutics stands out with their dedication to scientific evidence and regulatory compliance to ensure that their products are safe, effective, and beneficial.

Rejuvenation Therapeutics is using a C7500G to produce their gloss poly labels.  I think they look great!

Lastly, Epson showed products from Miracle Botanicals, https://miraclebotanicals.com/one of our customers from Hawaii.

Miracle Botanicals Labels

Essential oil is the passion of Miracle Botanicals! Ever since Hope Johnson was introduced to essential oil after the birth of her third child, these precious plant spirits have become part of their family’s daily life and over time every aspect of their lives has been transformed.

Rev. Hope Johnson is an Essential Oil Alchemist and Reiki Master.  I love that she signs all of her emails to us, “With Fragrant Blessings”.

We’re fortunate to have such great customers like the one featured above.  Please visit their website and try some of their products.  Or if you have requirements for other food and beverage companies, contact us and we’ll connect you to some of our other customers.

I’d like to thank Epson and the Walt Company for the pictures from the event; and for including us and a few or our customers.  Contact us if you want to produce beautiful and functional labels yourself.


Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Doob Tube Labels & More

Peter Howell from Great Engineering in Australia came to Color Label Solutions this week to provide additional training on their line of label applicators; especially covering small container labeling.


Color Label Solutions Team
Color Label Solutions Team
If you don’t know this company, Great Engineering (https://greatengineering.com/) makes world class label application equipment.  Ideal for cylindrical containers for many industries: food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. And don’t forget the boutique beverage and cannabis markets.  Here is my previous post on the BenchMax applicator:


During our session, a few key points came out that I decided to share with you.  First, the economical BenchMate (https://greatengineering.com/benchmates/) offers the capability to integrate with a C3500 label printer.

BenchMate Integrated with the C3500
BenchMate Integrated with the C3500

Although using a hand crank, this manual applicator can apply a lot of labels, quickly and affordably.  In addition, this manual applicator has the capability to apply 2 labels on one container, with very precise positioning. With the addition of the interface unit and foot press, you can print directly into the BenchMate, eliminating any requirement for rewinding.  I find this capability very intriguing; especially given the price of the unit.

The BenchMate plus the Interface, Cable, Footpress and Freight to the US from Australia as seen in the above picture costs $1990.  No other applicator at this price enables the printing of color labels directly into the applicator.

In you have containers less than 55 mm in diameter, the BenchMate+ offers the ability to apply labels to containers down to 17 mm (11/16”) in diameter. Be sure to watch this video of applying labels to very small bottles from the BenchMate’s webpage.  



The BenchMate+ with the small container adapter and overhead roller costs $510 more than the BenchMate; totaling $2,500 with the components to apply labels directly printing from the C3500.

Second, Peter worked with us to apply labels to tapered bottles.  Tapered containers, such as joint or “Doob” tubes, make label application very difficult; given the difference in diameter/speed of the container as it turns on the applicator.  For example, we are currently working on a label that is .6875” on the tapered end; and 1.125” on the larger end.  This .4375” difference is what makes label application tough.

Watch us apply a 2” x 1” label on a tapered joint tube with lip/lid.


As you can see in the video, the blue rollers of the small container adapter are moved to allow for the lip connecting the lid on top of the container.  These type of design considerations make the BenchMax a very flexible machine.

And here is another video of the same application providing more detail on how the system works for applying labels to tapered containers.


And in this video, we applied several labels on the same tube; to show how the BenchMax applies labels in the same position each time.


In this last video, you can see how we cut the rollers to better apply the labels.  Based on your containers, the BenchMax makes it easy to adapt the applicator for the type of container you have.  No other label applicator makes adapting to the container easier.  In this video, Peter from Great Engineering shows how to remove and cut the rollers to better fit your containers.


Third, the BenchMax offers an orientation capability.  With this feature, you can apply labels on a round container in precisely the same position on every bottle.  In our training, we used a Mason jar, and applied labels relative to the position of the embossed letters on the jar.  Wish I had pictures; bummer.

Based on our meeting, I’ve found the BenchMax a very interesting choice for applying labels to a variety of round containers; especially small container vials.  With the ability to integrate with the Epson printers, the ease of adapting to a variety of containers sizes and shapes, and the minimum sizes down to 8 mm in diameter make the BenchMax and BenchMate label applicators good choices for many companies.  Contact us to learn more how these devices will fit your operation.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Complete Print Shop

Postmark (http://postmark-usa.com/) showed their new CMYK printer at the Franchise Services Expo July 27 and 28 in Long Beach.  Combined with their fixed feeder, Postmark calls their solution the Complete Print Shop.

CMYK Printer With Fixed Thickness Feeder
CMYK Printer With Fixed Thickness Feeder

With the fixed thickness feeder, you can print a wide variety of items that are difficult to impossible to print with normal printers.


Watch the new CYMK printer and Fixed Thickness Platform run here:



And print Coasters:

On-Demand Color Coasters
On-Demand Color Coasters

Coffee Sleeves:

On-Demand Color Coffee Sleeves
On-Demand Color Coffee Sleeves

Paper Bags:

On-Demand Color Bags
On-Demand Color Bags
Thick Menu Cards or Shelf Talkers:

On-Demand Color Cards/Shelf Talkers
And other items such as envelopes, bubble envelopes, napkins, small boxes, etc.  Pretty much anything paper you can now print with the fixed thickness feeder and the CYMK printhead.

You may remember we showed an earlier version of this device at WestPack 2017:


and a slightly different version at WestPack 2016:


From my perspective, the biggest difference with the latest iteration is the software.  Now, Postmark has integrated the Navigator RIP from Xitron:


With this software, now you can print PDF’s easily; and get better print quality.  Plus the workflow seems much easier to use.  The Navigator RIP is a big step forward in ease of use of the CMYK print engine.

In addition to the new RIP, Postmark has reconfigured the printer; eliminating the need for hoses, wires and connectors.  This new configuration makes it much easier to set up and run.

The 4” CYMK printer, Fixed Thickness Feeder and RIP costs approximately $20,000.  The 8” version costs approximately $25,000.

If you need to print a wide variety of “thick” items; or you want to add a new source of income for your printing business, contact us to discuss how the CYMK print engine and Fixed Thickness Platform would work for you.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670