Developing, manufacturing and marketing high-throughput, fully-automated nucleic acid and genetic analysis systems, AATI’s products have both commercial and research applications. The company’s product portfolio includes instruments for the parallel analysis of biomolecules, DNA, RNA, genomic DNA, double-stranded DNA, pharmaceutical compounds and proteins using capillary electrophoresis (CE) with fluorescence detection or UV absorbance.
Recently, AATI decided to look for a better way to produce color labels on demand. According to Sherry Goodwin, Scientist at AATI, “we need an easy way to differentiate our Gel products. We have found having different colors on the labels was a very easy method to help our customers identify the correct gels to use.”
Given the need for color labels, AATI began using a Primera label printer and Nicelabel. After 2 years of using this solution, they decided to look for an alternative method to print color labels on demand. Sherry says, “we were not very satisfied with their labels. After printing, we had to let the labels cure; as the ink would smear. In addition, the labels would fade and not adhere well to our products once we put them in the freezer. Given their nature, we store our products at temperatures down to -80 degrees. Overall the labels were just not very crisp and clear looking.”
After deciding to look for alternatives, AATI begin discussions with Color Label Solutions on options to print better looking and more cold resistant labels. For those of you interested in cold storage of labels, you may want to review an earlier post from my blog: http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2012/04/very-cold-so-cold.html.
Based on the requirements, I recommended the TM-C3500 along with durable poly labels made with Kimdura: http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2013/03/kimdura-better-results.html. In addition, I showed AATI BarTender and the ease of adding color logo’s, images and text; including the way to download a free version of BarTender to test: http://www.seagullscientific.com/label-software/barcode-label-printing-software-download.aspx.
After sharing this information, Sherry requested print samples to test in the freezer as well as the prices of the labels and ink. I sent AATI samples to place on their products and test in freezer conditions. AATI confirmed the labels worked.
To show the approximate ink costs, I sent AATI images of other labels and their estimated cost of ink. For example, here is an image of a 2.625” x 1” label I sent with the estimated ink costs:
C = $17.50/17707 =$0.0010
M = $17.50/15133 = $0.0011
Y= $17.50/17910 = $0.0010
K = $17.50/25050 =$0.0007
Total = $0.004
Based on the test results and estimated costs, AATI purchased a TM-C3500, ink, Spare-in-the-Air (SITA) Extended warranty, and 4” x 2” poly labels to start printing new labels. After selling the printer and labels, I gave AATI online training to insure they start printing quickly and easily.
Although AATI is printing, we still have two follow up issues to address to meet all of their requirements. First, they need small labels; 1” x .5”. The smallest labels you can print with the TM-C3500 is 1.2” wide and .6” long. According to Sherry, “it’s possible; we need to make our labels larger, given the new GHS requirements. We hope to put these new labels not only on the product, but on the packaging as well.”
Second, AATI needs clear film labels in addition to the standard white poly. To date, Epson has not qualified any clear film labels to use with their label printers. However, I have found a film material that appears water fast and freezer resistant. With further testing, this label material may work for AATI.
If you work in a laboratory or need labels like AATI, you might find another recent post on one of our lab customers of interest as well: http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/02/durable-laboratory-samples.html.
AATI is a great new customer for Color Label Solutions; especially given their commitment to using print on-demand color labels. I admire the due diligence Sherry and AATI took to gather information and test the options presented. If you need labels for your biotechnology or laboratory products; or just need to comply with the GHS requirements, contact us. We’ll make sure you get printing great looking labels quickly and easily.