Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fun With Labels

After selling, installing and supporting thousands of label printers, I say 95+% of them are utilized in manufacturing/producing a product label. So this post is different; it’s about using label printers to produce a handmade, unique commemorative item - Or what I call, “Fun with Labels!”



Recently, our neighbor, Carrie, asked if I would produce labels for her project.  And of course I said yes; but wanted to know more about her plans.

It seems she wanted to produce something special for her book club.  According to Carrie, “our book club has been together for more than 8 years.  And this year, I just happened to be hosting our December meeting.  Given it was the end of the year, I wanted to make something special for our club that commemorated the books we’d read.  I checked Pinterest; and found only different bookmark ideas.  Given that many of our club members use e-readers, bookmarks seemed out-of-date.   So, I decided to make an ornament with book cover images of the books we read January thru December.”

To start the project, Carrie cut a block of wood into cubes using her miter saw.  “For about $15, I got a nice 3’ x 2.5” piece of wood that enabled me to cut out 12 cubes.    After cutting the wood, she sanded the wood using sandpaper to smooth out the edges.

Once the blocks were finished, Carrie went online to get the images of the books.  Initially, she tried to print the images on her desktop printer; but was unhappy with the results.  Given she knew I was in the label business, she asked me to print labels for her.

After listening to her requirements, I suggested she create a 4” x 8” PDF containing the highest resolution book cover page images she could find.  I suggested 4” x 8” size as I had this size available in a glossy paper label making it easy to print. 

4" x 8" PDF With Images
4" x 8" PDF With Images
It would have been easier if we would have created individual smaller labels printing one at a time; but you would need to have the correct sized images and labels to make this work correctly.

I printed 12 labels, each containing the set of images representing each of the books read during the year.

4" x 8" Gloss Paper Label
4" x 8" Gloss Paper Label

Carrie then cut the individual image labels and applied them to the blocks including a special message on the bottom.


Then, she coated the block with an acrylic sealer to protect and give it a shine.


Finally, she drilled a small hole in the top, added gorilla glue in the hole, and forced the knot on the string holding the loop/bow into the hole. And Voila, Carrie has produced a beautiful holiday ornament for her club!

Hand Made Commemorative Using Labels
Hand Made Commemorative Using Labels
According to Carrie, “I got great feedback from our book club members.  In fact, my girlfriend said she wanted one every year!  I think the size of the block and book images were just perfect; not too big or small.”

Hand Made Commemorative Using Labels
Hand Made Commemorative Using Labels
After completing the project, Carrie says, “Pictures would be a good idea as well; your kids, grandchildren, etc. to commemorate any event.  The labels with the images made it easy to do!”

Carrie is crafty and creative; and a great neighbor.  And using Carrie’s idea, you can turn the labels printers in your plant or office into your own personal handy-craft tool; a “Fun with Labels” opportunity.

Contact us if we can help you with any of your label needs.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fool-Proof GHS Label Solution

Clayton Corporation (http://www.claytoncorp.com/is a full-service manufacturer specializing in the design and development of aerosol valves and plastic components for companies around the world.  Beginning with the valve created for the first aerosol whipped cream, Clayton Corporation grew as it continued to design and manufacture parts for products in the OEM food, dairy, personal care, hardware and industrial building materials industries. Global manufacturers have come to rely on Clayton as the source for innovative product dispensing solutions. Today, Clayton continues to be at the forefront of component design as new materials and products are developed, applying the spirit of quality and innovation that has been its hallmark for more than 50 years.

Clayton’s Mechanical Design Engineer first contacted me in 2015 when working on their GHS label printing solution for the Industrial Building Materials division. A variety of their products required unique but very similar formatted labels to supplement hazard and precautionary information pre-printed on their products. Each label was unique due to the variable data required including part number, product description, weight, EHS #, batch number, sequence number, and a dynamically calculated expiration date that needed to be placed on the labels at print-time on the production line. Additionally, this label would include up to three different languages – dependent on the product market. Another of Clayton’s applications, not included in this blog, was creating GHS labels for some lab chemicals and raw materials.

To help start our discussion, they sent me a draft GHS label:

Clayton Example Label
Clayton Example Label
In addition to the variable data on the label, Clayton needed to create a two-part label; a Part A (Above) and Part B (Below), at the same time.  The labels were to be printed one pair at a time on their production line and applied by an operator wearing gloves.

Based on our discussion, I first created a Form-Fillable PDF for Clayton using Adobe Acrobat.

Printed Example Label
Printed Example Label
This type of label artwork works well when you have limited number of products and limited number of variable data fields. Although easy to do, it opens up the opportunity for operators to enter incorrect data. For these situations, we recommend a label design and printing software application. For Clayton, we recommended BarTender® from Seagull Scientific (www.seagullscientific.com).

Clayton operation managers wanted an easy, nearly fool-proof, method of selecting and initiating the correct product label print operation with minimal operator intervention. To this end, Clayton’s Systems Analyst/Programmer incorporated a bar code on the work order and developed a BarTender data entry form to accept a scanned barcode. From this scan, an Excel database is accessed to retrieve the static product data to fill in the variable label data and to drive the template selection in regard to languages, colors, and whether label parts A or B, or both should be printed. Lastly, they needed to print the labels on demand as the product passes thru the work center. As they did not want any additional operator intervention with the keyboard or desk mouse, Clayton incorporated a foot-controlled switch or foot mouse.  The operator simply presses the foot mouse when a new label is needed and it’s delivered in a few seconds.

Clayton GHS Label Print Station
Data Entry Form displayed. See barcode scanner (right of monitor).
GHS Label Print Station
GHS Label Print Station with Foot Mouse
Additionally, Clayton is using BarTender Print Station to manage and print their GHS labels.

BarTender Print Station
BarTender Print Station
One other key part of the solution was label design. To make it easier to recognize the two different part labels, Clayton color-coded the description and part number on each label. Part A in red, and Part B in blue proved to be a simple, but highly effective means to facilitate accurate label application.

2-Part Clayton GHS Label
2-Part Clayton GHS Label
To make this solution even better, Clayton decided to use 1000-piece stacks of fanfold labels with easy release backing.

Fanfold Matte Poly Labels For GHS
Fanfold Matte Poly Labels For GHS
Clayton wanted a way to print and apply by hand the two part label that would be easy for an operator wearing gloves. The issues with using rolls of labels were both the lower quantity of labels per roll, and the curl made them more difficult to remove the backing, especially while wearing gloves. With two 4” x 4” labels per fold, the two-part label prints and dispenses just as needed. Currently each of their Epson C3500 machines prints in excess of 500 labels per day.

“One of Color Label Solutions’ areas of expertise is GHS — they understand how the technology pieces fit together to build easy-to-use and reliable labeling compliance systems for companies like Clayton,” said Elizabeth Sinclair, Verticals Marketing Manager at Seagull Scientific.

“A GHS label can be complicated — there are many variable data points, and information has to be displayed in a particular way,” Sinclair continued.  “The print-on-demand deployment at Clayton capitalizes on the advanced capabilities of our BarTender label software: using BarTender’s templates to simplify label data management, and BarTender’s interactive data entry forms to limit access to sensitive data, which minimizes the chance of operator error at print time.”

Clayton has built a great GHS label printing solution for their company using color label printers, environment resistant labels, chemical resistant ink, and software components supplied by our company. I’m glad we were able to be of assistance in the creation of this elegant and simple way to print complex GHS labels. Be sure to contact us if you need to make a complex label system simpler.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670