Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Solution: On-Demand, Color Wristbands

Save the Bay ( protects, restores and improves the ecological health of the Narragansett Bay region of Rhode Island, including its watershed and adjacent coastal waters, through an ecosystem-based approach to environmental action; defends the right of the public to use and enjoy the Bay and its surrounding waters; and fosters an ethic of environmental stewardship among people who live in or visit the Narragansett Bay region.

This year, Save the Bay wanted to utilize new technology in one of their largest fund raising events; the 1.7 mile swim across Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  For this event, 466 swimmers collected over $300,000 for the Save the Bay organization.  Prior to this year, Save the Bay utilized “popsicle sticks” to track swimmers.  However, the organizers wanted a more efficient data collection solution to account for all swimmers as well as track times.

To meet their requirements, Save the Bay selected ValuTrack Technology Solutions (  ValuTrack provides unbiased recommendations, delivers top-notch implementations and services in Auto Identification and Data Collection (AIDC), Networking, and Security.  Although Save the Bay had no budget for a solution, ValuTrack felt this organization would enable them to give back to the community and provide goodwill/positive public relations for the geography they serve.

For the event, Dave Janelle of ValuTrack created a template wristband with a barcode to identify swimmers and a Wave Number (in color) to help organize the start.  In addition, Dave added the ValuTrack logo (in color) to increase the awareness of their company’s contribution to the event. 


Using the Epson TM-C3400 printer along with wristbands from General Data (, ValuTrack printed serialized, 11” x 1.25” color, on-demand wristband for each swimmer.  Prior to the swim, organizers scanned then placed the wristband on each swimmer; and started swimmers based on the wave color.  As the swimmers finished their trek across the bay, organizers scanned the bands again to insure every swimmer reached shore.  According to Dave, “Even after some swimmers were in the water for more than 2 hours, there were no scanning issues and no smudges with the bar coded wristbands.  They performed flawlessly!”.   According to Gretchen Heath, Events Manager for Save the Bay, “The wristbands were well received.  People like the idea that next year we will use it for more accurate timing as well.  The staff is all on the barcode bandwagon now”.

Using the TM-C3400, value added resellers and independent software vendors like you can create color-based solutions easily; providing your customers new processes, saving them time and reducing their costs.  If you have recently installed a solution that includes the TM-C3400, please let me know.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Using Color Labels to Improve Application Processes

Boyd Coatings Research Co. manufactures, applies, and distributes custom-developed, high-performance coatings, specializing in the medical, industrial and aerospace markets. 

For Boyd’s three-part products to work properly, their customers must mix the correct component in order to produce the final coating.  For example, component A must be mixed first with component B and then with component C to produce the final coating.  Since most customers purchase multiple sets of different 3-part products, Boyd needs an error-proof process to insure the components are mixed correctly.  Mixing mistakes are costly and could result in “critical failures”.

To error-proof their coating application process, Boyd uses color labels and letters to signify a series of coatings, insuring the different components are mixed properly.    


To generate these labels, Boyd was using a color laser printer and store-purchased labels, which required cutting the labels to the desired size.  Although the labels worked, the work process was labor intensive.  Given the requirements of this process, Boyd searched and found a more efficient solution, the Epson TM-C3400 SecurColor printer.

Using the Epson TM-C3400, Boyd produces either 4”x 3” or 4”x 4” labels using the printer to cut to the required size from a continuous roll of media.  These labels are printed on-demand in the factory and then affixed to the products.

This new process was designed and implemented by the Information Technology manager.  After getting the appropriate media, the IT Manager says the process “works like a champ!”  In addition, the IT Manager says the purchase of a new solution did not require “justification” as the savings were obvious. 

With the solution implemented by Boyd, three key lessons emerge.  First, color labels can be used to convey important information instantly and easily.  Second, the TM-C3400 makes color labels easy to implement, especially with the built-in cutter.  Third, a solution using the TM-C3400 saves labor, time and money for manufacturers.

Feel free to contact me to learn more about manufacturing solutions using color labels and the TM-C3400 SecurColor printer.

Guy Mikel