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