Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Sunday, August 18, 2019

LabelWorks


Color Label Solutions has started recently selling a different type of Color Labels:
LabelWorks Color Label
LabelWorks Color Label

From Epson LabelWorks, https://labelworks.epson.com/for durable, professional labeling that gets the job done safely and professionally with a wide variety of supplies and lifetime warranty of the printers.

I’ve known of the LabelWorks product line for some time.  However, we did not pursue reselling this line of products until one of our large customers requested more information.  Our customer needed a means to add a barcode to every shelf location to improve picking and put away. To perform this operation, they wanted a mobile printer with a way to create labels on the fly.  Originally, they requested Dymo printers; but I suggested LabelWorks.  Warehousing and distribution are key applications for the LabelWorks product line.

Based on the customer’s requirements, I suggested the LW-PX400 label printer.

LW-PX400
LW-PX400
Melisa Coffman, Training Manager for the LabelWorks division of Epson, says, “The LW-PX400 is great for people on the go, its compact and easy to bring with you if you’re traveling or just moving around the facility, store it in your tool bag or laptop case and bring it with you anywhere! Its also great on a desktop because its small footprint takes up very little space, but has a ton of capability. Great for those with strict guidelines for installing software –by allowing the user to use their smart device to create and print the labels –and they don’t have to jump through hoops from their IT personnel to use it!”

Learn more here: https://labelworks.epson.com/epson-lw-px400/.   The LW-PX400 offers up to 1” print width, and works both USB and wirelessly with any iOS or Android device.  Plus it comes with free Label Editor software.  You can request the Label Editor software here: 

Finally, this printer is inexpensive; costing only $169.  Purchase the LW-PX 400 here: 

Based on the customer’s requirements, I got a LW-PX400 myself:

LW-PX400
LW-PX400
To use the printer, I loaded the labels first; a 1” yellow durable vinyl label.

1" Vinyl Yellow Tape
1" Vinyl Yellow Tape
And connected via USB to my computer.  Then I installed the Label Professional Editor Software and designed my first label; my name along with a QR code with our company’s website.

Label Professional Editor Software
Label Professional Editor Software
 And then I printed my first label.


All within probably 15 minutes.

After using the Label Editor Software, I loaded the Epson iLabel app on my phone:


iLabel Android
iLabel Android
And repeated the process of making a label and then printing a label.  But this time, I printed using Bluetooth connectivity from my phone to the LW-PX400.  In a very few minutes, I printed a second label.

iLabel Software Printed Label
iLabel Software Printed Label
And I then learned that Google’s camera reads QR Codes:


Epson’s iLabel for Android/iOS and Label Professional Editor make creating durable labels easy to do; and fun!

For the LW-PX400, Epson offers 129 different types of labels: Materials, Widths and Colors.  You can find and search all the different label options here: 

Given all the different types, I asked Melissa Coffman about the different options.  According to Melissa, “Here are the types of labels we offer to our customers.

    1. Standard Tapes –Available in a wide variety of colors and sizes, used for labeling anything and everything. From files, shelves, products, safety and facility labels to 5S and everything in between. Color coding, etc. Whether you want it to stand out or blend in –there is a perfect tape for the application.  
    2. Heat Shrink Tube – For labeling wires and cables –Think Electrical, Data-Com, panel builders and IT people (just to name a few)
    3. Magnetic Tape- Inventory Management for shelves, bins, mailboxes, lockers. For locations that are constantly changing and/or being moved and reorganized –Magnetic is awesome! No sticky residue left behind.
    4. Fluorescent Tape – For all of those applications that really need to stand out and bring attention to it. Or just for something fun and different. These are my personal favorites!
    5. Vinyl Tape – Ideal for curved surfaces, outdoor applications, wires, cables and any of high traffic labeling jobs, the vinyl tapes will withstand some serious wear and tear. They are also a little more matte finish making them easier to read in bright environments.
    6. Self-Laminating Wire Wraps – Cables and wires that need to be labeled but can’t fit a HST on.  In these situations, a self lam is the way to go. Installers and repair people live for these tapes (now available in more flexible vinyl)


To purchase supplies for your LW-PX400, visit our store:

So far, we have only a small segment of the tapes Epson offers on our store.  If you something different for your LW-PX400, contact us.  We’ll add what you need to our online store; or send it to you directly.

In addition, we’ve listed so far only the LX-PX400 in our online store.  Learn more about the 7 other Epson LabelWorks printers here: 

Depending on your requirements, we’ll find the best printer for you.

And you can use these printers all across your organization.  For manufacturers like many of our customers, the LabelWorks team recommends these possible applications:

1. Pipe Markers
2. Machine Controls
3. Production Tracking
4. Equipment Labels
5. Operating Instructions
6. Quality Control Tags
7. Assembly line Classification
8. Process Control Instructions
9. Tooling Information
10. Tool/Part Cribs
11. Raw Materials
12. Inspection Certificates
13. Assembly Instructions
14. Gear Labels
15. Gauge ID
16. Hoist Operating Instructions
17. Cable Flagging
18. Job Tracking
19. Operating Guidelines
20. Production Charts
21. Scrap Bins
22. Parts-in-Progress Tags
23. Time Card Slots
24. Production Control Boards
25. Capacity Planning Boards
26. Locker Labels
27. Hard Hats
28. PPE/Safety Clothing
29. Lean/5S Visual Workplace
30. Safety (OSHA/ANSI)
31. Calibration Labels
32. Secondary Container ID

And for Warehouses like our first customer, the LabelWorks team recommends these possible applications:

1. Vertical/Horizontal Racks & Shelves
2. Asset ID/Management
3. Parts Bins
4. Modular Drawer Bins
5. Drawer Pulls
6. Cabinets & Carts
7. Containers
8. Lot Numbers
9. Aisle Markers
10. Storage Requirements
11. Handling Procedures
12. Pallet Labels
13. Equipment Labels
14. Drawer Dividers
15. Flow Racks
16. Color-Coded Control Systems
17. Bar Codes
18. Shipping Labels
19. Directional/Wayfinding Signs
20. Dated Material
21. Informational Charts
22. Shipping/Receiving Dock Signs
23. Loading Dock
24. Office Hours
25. File Cabinets
26. Parking Slip Lots
27. Floor Labeling
28. Lean/5S Visual Workplace

In addition to Manufacturing and Warehousing, the LabelWorks team recommends possible applications in Education, Office, Building Management, Engineering, Labs/Healthcare, Maintenance, Quality Assurance, Energy, Utilities, IT/Datacom, Electrical and Construction.  Lots of possible uses in most every company.   And all for only $169 a printer.

Color Label Solutions is all about print on-demand color.  And now you can get durable color labels to use all across your organization.  Contact us to learn more or purchase one of these LabelWorks printers.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

C7500 Preventive Maintenance


After launching in 2014, Epson provided recently direction on how to conduct Preventive Maintenance on the C7500 and C7500G printers.

C7500 and C7500 Preventive Maintenance
Although we sold our first C7500 in February 2015, these preventive maintenance recommendations are new to me.  Here is a post converting our first customer using the C7500 label printer from February 2015:


https://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2015/02/first-of-many-ii.html


And a video covering their experiences.




According to Epson, the basic concept of the preventive maintenance on the C7500 printer is to remove accumulated paper dust; as paper dust is the largest cause of printhead clogs.  Printhead clogs may cause streaks/lines in your print output; and are designed to be eliminated by the automated maintenance of the printer.  I wrote about preventing plugged nozzles in 2015:


https://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2015/06/dust-label-printers.html


To check if you have printhead clogs, conduct an inkjet nozzle pattern test (in the Printer Setting Utility; Printhead Maintenance Section).

C7500 Nozzle Check Pattern
C7500 Nozzle Check Pattern

If you find a plugged nozzle, then conduct a manual cleaning from the menu on the front panel.

But according to Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Epson recommends cleaning both the “Paper Loading Area” and the “Platen Area” using a damp cloth and a “neutral” detergent.  A neutral detergent is a mild soap with no alkalies or bleach; generally, with a PH of 7.  Do not us alcohol on these parts of the printer.

In the Paper Loading Area, Epson recommends to clean the media guide primarily.

C7500 Media Guide
C7500 Media Guide
 In the platen area, you should clean the area that is exposed when the front door is opened.


C7500 Platen Area
C7500 Platen Area
Specifically, be sure to clean up the gap sensor in the back of the platen area.

C7500 Gap Sensor
C7500 Gap Sensor
You want to clean up the paper dust, ink stains and glue residue from any of these areas.

In addition, Epson recommends using a small vacuum to remove any additional paper dust; especially underneath the spindle in the Paper Loading area.  Although Epson mentioned this recommendation secondarily, you may want to vacuum first before cleaning with damp cloth.  DO NOT use pressurized area anywhere inside the printer; and this may spread dust particles to more sensitive areas such as the printhead. 

After cleaning the platen and paper holding areas, Epson recommends cleaning the cutter as well.  The cutter has two parts; a stationary bottom blade and a movable top blade.  To clean/remove the adhesive on the fixed bottom blade, use a cotton swap and alcohol.

C7500 Bottom Cutter Blade
C7500 Bottom Cutter Blade
Users do not have access to the movable top blade.  If the cutter stops functioning, contact Epson Advance Tech Support or us.

Although not considered “preventive maintenance”, it may be possible to get a label jammed inside the printer.  If have a label jammed inside the printer, remove it immediately.

C7500 Jammed Labels
C7500 Jammed Labels


In this picture, these stuck labels are obvious.  However, I’ve had labels get jammed up inside the printer in the area of the printhead.  And these were impossible to see; and caused printing errors similar to a plugged nozzle.  Be certain to check up inside the printer with a flashlight to look for labels that may be stuck above the platen area. If labels are stuck above the platen, contact Epson or us to arrange repair.

A C7500 is a big investment for most companies.  If you own a C7500, please follow these preventive maintenance procedures.  Conducting this preventative maintenance will help the performance of the printer; and the return on this investment.  

To purchase a C7500, C7500G, or any other color label printer, be sure to visit our store:

Or contact us if we can help with the purchase or preventative maintenance of a C7500 and C7500G printer.


Guy Mikel
855-962-7670
info@colorlabelsolutions.com 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Purpl Pro Potency Test

At the recent Cannabis Business Summit, Delta 9 Systems, https://www.delta9systems.com/the cannabis division of our parent company General Data, https://general-data.com/, launched Purpl Scientific’s Purpl Pro Instant Potency Measurement System.

https://purplscientific.com

Purpl Pro Potency Kit
Purpl Pro Potency Kit

Purle Pro is a hand-held solution that turns the user’s smartphone into a robust potency measurement system.  Using your smartphone and a hand-sized device, you get an immediate analysis of the potency of a cannabis sample. Purpl PRO provides a complete picture of both THC and CBD. And Purpl makes it really simple to get the precise information that is most important to you.

Based on near-infrared spectroscopy, a technology originally developed for agricultural measurements 70 years ago, the Purpl PRO is aimed at bringing this well-proven approach to the cannabis industry.  And the Purpl Pro is accurate; the target accuracy bounds of ± 2% up to 20% THC and ± 1% of the measured value above 20% THC.  To obtain a white paper on the technology, contact us.

Purpl Pro Potency Kit Components
Purpl Pro Potency Kit Components
To operate Purpl Pro:

  • Open the app on your smartphone
  • Click “Calibrate” on your smartphone
  • Prepare the sample and load into the chamber; using the chamber to grind up the sample.

Purpl Pro Flower Grinder
  • And then select "Measure" to get the results

Purpl Pro App
Purpl Pro App
And you get the results in seconds.  Chris Guthrie, General Manager of Delta 9 Systems measured a sample from an attendee at the Cannabis Business Summit:

Purpl Pro Test Results
Purpl Pro Test Results
According to Chris, “everyone we showed the Purpl Pro was excited by the results.  It works great and is easy to use. And doesn’t even destroy the samples.”

Chris continues, “I see 5 different use cases for the Purpl Pro:

  •     Plant Breeders; to establish potency of new offspring
  •     Phenotype Hunters; to select the plant with the most desirable traits in large seed hunts.
  •     Cultivators: to optimize growing operations and gain insight on ways changes made to programs and methods affect potency
  •     Brokers/Distributors; to verify consistency
  •     Manufacturers: to dial in precise dosages
  •     Home growers/consumers; to know what you are ingesting and how different methods affect crop to crop performance.



And in all of these cases, the Purpl Pro pays for itself if you save just a few potency tests; as the price of the unit is $1,495. Plus, Purpl Scientific plans updates soon to add other features to the firmware/software that will add even more value.”

To purchase, visit our store: 

If you see an opportunity to use the Purpl Pro in your operation, contact us. Lots of people will want this device!



Guy Mikel

855-962-7670

Sunday, July 21, 2019

New QL-120 Offers


I’m pleased to announce a new product that we’re now selling; along with a price decrease.

QL-120 Price Decrease Announcement
QL-120 Price Decrease Announcement 




AstroNova just announced a price decrease on the QL-120; now $6,995.  This price change makes the QL-120 a very competitive label printer.  Let me tell you when I believe this printer may fit your operation.

First, I would recommend the QL-120 for printing all black artwork; especially on matte finished labels.

QL-120 Prints All Black
QL-120 Prints All Black
This printer uses a new dye-based ink, that typically produces more vibrant colors.  As black is the most difficult color to print well, the dye-based inks print black better. Therefore, if you have artwork that is mostly black, the QL-120 should work well for you.


In the past, I’ve recommended gloss poly labels for all black: 


Second, the QL-120 can print labels down to .5” wide; versus alternatives that have an official minimum print width of 2”.  Typically, we produce “Multiple Up” labels, 2 or 3 in a row to enable the production of narrow labels: such as discussed here: 


https://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/10/printing-narrow-color-labels.html


Or hear for printing 1” labels:


https://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2017/07/1-solution.html


The “multiple up” works well except when you use a label applicator.  In this situation, you need to print only a single column of labels.  With the QL-120, you can print and rewind very narrow labels to place on your label applicator. 

Third, the QL-120 can cut individual labels; or can be configured to cut at any interval of labels.  This cutting feature will help when you need to cut every individual label.  This cutting slows down the printer, but is still relatively fast compared to other label printers.  You can watch the QL-120 printer cut labels at the end of this video:




In the past, I’ve worried about the Kiaro printers given they have replaceable printheads.  The process and cost to replace printheads seemed onerous.  With the new QL-120, the process seems more straight-forward; watch this video to learn about replacing the printhead on the QL-120:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TB28OqYjA8&t=7s

QL-120 One Color Printhead
QL-120 One Color Printhead
As for the cost to replace a QL-120 printhead, it’s still not inexpensive at $699.00 for one color.  However, AstroNova now guarantees the printhead for one year.  This guarantee combined with the seemingly easier process to replace the printhead makes the QL-120, a good option; especially when you need true black color, narrow labels and a cutter for every label as well as a label printer for less than $7,000.

To purchase the QL-120, visit our store:

https://colorlabelsolutions.com/product/kiaro-ql-120-professional-tabletop-digital-label-printer/

To purchase ink for the QL-120, visit our store here:

https://colorlabelsolutions.com/product-category/ink-cartridges/quicklabel-ql-120/

To purchase the QL-120 3-year Customer Support Package (includes up to one site visit (as needed).  Quickswap parts replacement Service, and unlimited telephone and email support) visit our store here:

https://colorlabelsolutions.com/product/kiaro-ql-120-customer-support-package-for-3-years/

QL-120 Color Label Printer
QL-120 Color Label Printer

Contact us if we can help with you with QL-120. 

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Cannabis Branding Battle Ahead

In the Forbes article titled, Cannabis Branding Battle Ahead, 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultalbot/2018/07/13/the-cannabis-branding-battle-ahead/#2eae30ac7857

The author opines, “where is the source of the Brand Value” as the main question around cannabis branding?  Newly introduced Fireball Cannabis Gummies, https://www.fireballcannabis.com/, has developed an outstanding marketing strategy, that includes packaging and labeling from Color Label Solutions.

Fireball Cannabis Gummies
Fireball Cannabis Gummies
Let me tell you about the work Fireball Cannabis did to bring this exciting new brand to market; and our work with them.

Some time ago, Kevin Forde and Mike Sandrin of Fireball Cannabis, contacted us about our containers, MPACKS.  MPACKS are the first new pharmacy vial since the 50’s.  This package is child resistant and tamper evident as well as offers 5X more label real estate than the traditional vial.  According to Mike Sandrin, “we needed a tested and approved child resistant package for our gummies.  We found the MPACK was a good choice for our brand.”  In addition, Kevin Forde added, “the MPACKS travel well; and do not crush in pant pockets.  Plus the MPACK is almost water and air tight.”

MPACK Colors
MPACK Colors
In the past, I’ve written about our MPACK package for cannabis.  You may remember this post covering District Edibles and their use of the MPACK.



Based on the benefits, Mike, Kevin and the team at Fireball Brand selected the Silver MPACK for their package.  The silver color worked well with the Fireball brand.  

Once the MPACK was selected, we then turned our attention to labels.  To label the MPACK, we suggested two options: 1, 8” label that wrapped the entire package and included the test data.  Or 2 labels, one 6.38” brand label and a 1.5” secondary white label for the test data.  Both options include a perforation to act as a “tamper evident” seal.

Fireball Gummies Label Artwork
Fireball Gummies Label Artwork
To create the label artwork, Mike and his graphic artist created several iterations to create the best possible look and feel.  As the brand label had only 1 version, Fireball Cannabis decided to purchase preprinted labels. To make sure the colors and text were correct, we produced “press proofs for Fireball Cannabis to approve.

And I just happened to be in the plant when we were slitting and rewinding the labels after production.




For the secondary, lab test data, we recommended a traditional thermal transfer printer to produce the black only text.

When asked, what was the most difficult part of bringing the Fireball brand to market, Mike said, “the blister packs.  We purchased a custom machine and had to tune the viscosity of the materials in order to fill the blister packs correctly.  This process took time and a lot of work.”

Fireball Blister Packs
As I’m not from the packaging world, I can only imagine the work this process took; and the risk involved to get the packaging correct.


After getting the blister packs and MPACKS, Fireball Cannabis had to apply labels; correctly.  With the requirement to place the label perforation correctly over the seam between the top and bottom of the MPACK, they elect to use a Take-A-Label applicator with a custom-made jig to hold the package in place. The affordable label applicator insures the labels are placed in the correct position every time.  Watch the operator use this applicator to apply the labels:



With the product ready, Fireball launched their gummies, to great success.  At a recent Fireball Pop-Up event (find an event near you here):


Fireball Gummies Pop Up Event
Fireball Gummies Pop Up Event

I asked Kevin about the success of the launch. “We’ve had great success with our gummies, both in terms of sales and market share. Instead of large-scale advertising, we’re spending our time in dispensaries like this pop-up event today, demonstrating to Budtenders, how to sale our product.  Our brand ambassadors work with budtenders to recommend and sell the gummies.  So far, this training strategy has worked well”.

Fireball Gummies Marketing Efforts
Fireball Gummies Marketing Efforts


In the article “Cannabis Branding Battle Ahead”, the author states, “Many of the branding tenets and practices that have served marketing savvy brewers, distillers, and vintners so well will take root in the cannabis industry.”  The success of Fireball Cannabis demonstrates this statement as very true.

As for next steps, Mike says, “we’re currently working to launch our product into several new states.  California, Michigan and several other states are in our plans”.

I believe that Fireball Cannabis has done an outstanding job not only with the branding, but also with getting this complex product to market.  I admire their work; and their efforts to make this brand a success.  Given the success of their brand, as well as their product and marketing strategies, I had hoped to nominate them for the MJBIZDAILY’s Cannabis Industry awards:   


But alas, I can’t as I don’t have the confidential data to submit the application. So please visit the Fireball Cannabis website or purchase their gummies the next time you visit a Nevada Dispensary to show your support for their branding and marketing efforts.

If you need labeling and branding support, contact Color Label Solutions.  We’ll help you build your brands as well.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670
info@colorlabelsolutions.com