Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unique Customer; With Common Label Requirements

InkCycle,, a cartridge remanufacturer in Lenexa, Kansas, was struggling with the question; how to produce high quality, print-on-demand color labels without increasing their inventory or waste labels.  With a customer base ranging from small office and computer product resellers to national chains and office product superstores, they required a solution that could work for their entire customer base.

The labeling system InkCycle was using involved producing individual product labels for a large number of SKU’s on a color HP laser, sheet-fed printer.  These labels included static data (template identifiers), variable data (part numbers, product descriptions, cross references), and each customer’s custom black and white logo.  “The laser printers handled only sheet fed label stock making printing and applying labels difficult for the operators and creating lots of waste.  Depending on the production run, we would need only a few of certain labels, causing us to waste the remainder of the sheet,” said InkCycle Product Manager, Bob Ehlers.

In effort to reduce the wasted labels on the sheets, as well improve the look of the label, InkCycle tested an on-demand color label printer from Primera that used labels on a roll.  The initial test prints looked good, but proved problematic, as the printer expanded the data files significantly; from 200 kb to over 15 MB’s.  Bob went on to observe that “the printer did not have an Ethernet option and did not work well with our label design package from Loftware.”  InkCycle knew Primera was not the color label printer for them, and continued to search for an alternative. 

InkCycle turned to long-time vendor Crown Packaging,, for assistance.  Founded in 1969,  Crown Packaging has emerged as one of the nation's leading and most innovative single-source providers of industrial packaging products and equipment. Today, Crown is one of the country's largest privately-held packaging companies.  Terry Jackson, National Sales Manager at Crown, contacted me to see if the TM-C3400 would fit the requirements.  “We wanted to find a good on-demand color label printing solution that would meet InkCycle’s requirement, as well as perform on the network.”

After providing a demo TM-C3400 to InkCycle, Terry contacted me to discuss how the testing was going.  He said the demo performed well, and that he had both good and bad news for me.  “The good news is,” he began, “InkCycle tested the Epson printer across their network using the same file format they had trouble with before, and they absolutely loved the printer.”  He went on to tell me the bad news: “Someone is going to have to wrestle them to get the demo printer out of their possession.”  InkCycle’s customers loved that the new labels produced their logo in color, as opposed to the monochrome logos of the past.  

Example Label
Do you have customers like InkCycle who need great-looking, print-on-demand color labels from a printer compatible with their current network and label program?  Consider the TM-C3400.  Thanks to Crown Packaging for recommending the right alternative.

Guy Mikel

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