Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pinball Wizard: Two Applications For Companies With Lots Of SKU's

Most people don't know that I spent a great deal of time in my early youth in the local tavern with my father.  To keep me occupied, he gave me nickels to play pinball.  From the age of about 5 to 8, I loved to play pinball.  Although not a "Pinball Wizard", I have fond memories of these games, making my next story special. 

Marco Specialties, Inc. was founded in 1985 with one mission: provide pinball machine owners one source for Everything Pinball.

Online since 1999, Marco has since grown to offer over 30,000 individual parts for thousands of games to customers around the world. With thousands of rare parts, large inventories of common parts, next-day fulfillment, and unmatched customer service, Marco continues to raise the bar for the pinball industry. Customers return to Marco again and again thanks to the industry’s largest database of pinball parts carefully matched to individual games.

With so many parts and SKU’s, Marco Specialties required a solution to print labels on-demand for two different applications.  First and most importantly, Marco wanted to produce color labels with images of their products.  What made this project interesting was the initial products were coils that required labels which can withstand temperatures of up to 170 degrees F.

Second, Marco wanted a system to improve their picking and reduce the probably of errors.  With so many parts, it was easy to pull the incorrect part number.  For an example of this issue, look at the label for one size of pinball and screw below.



The first label shows a variety of pinballs, pointing out the specific one to pick.   The second identifies the specific screw to pick out of potentially hundreds of similar parts.

With this application in mind, Paul Mandeltort of Marco Specialties decided to purchase a TM-C3400, ink and media; both poly labels for the coil project and plain labels for the picking process.  As a side, I met Paul last November at the International Attractions and Amusement Parks show in Orlando .  This show is huge; and very important to the amusement industry; and to companies such as Marco Specialties.

According to Paul, “The poly labels for the coils project are working well.  They look great and are very durable. While a bit more expensive, the poly labels seem worth the added cost.”

For the picking solution, Paul is still looking for less expensive media that provides good barcode quality.  Since speaking to Paul, I have suggested some other media to test.

Companies such as Marco Specialties are really perfect customers for on-demand color labels.  With so many part numbers, it is very difficult to use preprinted labels without maintaining an inventory of a large number of labels.  Further, images on labels help employees and distribution use, manage and sell the products.  And it helps end users select the correct products to meet their requirements.  Color on-demand labels are a win-win-win for everyone involved in the supply chain.

If you have customers with a large number of SKU’s, speak to them about moving to on-demand color labels.  Although you may not become a "Pinball Wizard", but you could become a "Wizard" for valuable, new solutions.

Guy Mikel

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Very Cold, So Cold

One of the largest providers of antibodies in the world had 3 problems. 

As they add approximately 600 to 800 new produces every month, they could not use preprinted labels.  The inventory of labels would grow significantly if they had to purchase the minimum quantity for every single SKU.

Also, this antibody company had to comply to the Global Harmonized System of labeling (GHS) initiative: 

You may remember, I wrote about Octochem- and Oakwood This new initiative requires this antibody company and chemical companies in general to print color icons, hazards and warnings to insure consistent communication internationally.  Currently, North American companies are moving to make all international shipments comply to these standards.  In the future, all shipments of chemicals may need to comply to these standards.

In addition to the GHS requirements, this company required labels that would withstand very cold temperatures; from -20F to -80F.  According to the Engineer involved with the project, “we are launching a new line of Cryogenic products packaged in canisters.  Finding labels for the TM-C3400 to meet this requirement was difficult for us initially.”

After an introduction from Rick O’Brien of Bar Code Direct, learned of this company’s media requirement.  With such cold temperatures, I knew immediately this company needed a very durable label with freezer grade adhesive.   Therefore, I contacted Aaron Heller of General Data who has available a poly label with a freezer grade adhesive, M-633.  With a service temperature spec of -40F, Aaron felt this label should meet most of their requirements.

After receiving a sample from General Data, the company completed tests on the M-633 label material.  According to the Engineer, “the labels worked very well withstanding temperatures down to -80F.  We have already ordered some labels from General Data to begin our initial production.  With the correct labels, we are pretty impressed with the printer, including the setup and print quality.”


From the experience of this antibody and other companies using print-on-demand color labels, media selection is a big part of the solution.  If you have specific media requirements, contact me to help connect you with the provider of media to meet your or your customer’s requirements.

And if you have customers adding SKU’s frequently, be sure to discuss print on-demand color labels.

Guy Mikel

Monday, April 9, 2012

Turn Visitors Into Customers

Weber Packaging Solutions, Inc. ( an innovator in the design, manufacture, and supply of high-performance labels and labeling products. They provide the latest in systems, software, and media; then back them with a nationwide network of service, and technical support.

Since the founding in 1932, Weber Packaging Solutions has grown into an international labeling leader. From the world headquarters and manufacturing facility in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and other plants worldwide, they provide products and solutions to over 50,000 companies.

Recently, Ron Matz, Inside Sales Specialist for Weber, sold two printers, ink and media from their website, ( into a brand new segment for Weber:  Visitor Management.  According to Ron, “we sold this visitor management solution when a sales representative of a vendor to Weber visited our facility, and received a visitor badge printed using the TM-C3400.”


Weber uses a new visitor management solution using visitor management software from Easy Card Creator (, an inexpensive IP web-camera, the TM-C3400 and label stock that Weber produces.  “When the sales representative returned to his company wearing the badge, the owner of the company was impressed with the quality of the badge and picture.  Immediately, he had his staff vist to order the visitor management solution”, says Ron.

In addition to the application that Weber uses, Easy Lobby (, LobbyTrack ( from Jolly Technologies, and PassagePoint ( Stopware are visitor management applications that work out-of-the-box with the TM-C3400.  In fact, any visitor management application that prints to a Windows driver should work with this printer.

For companies in the AIDC market, make sure you have a visitor management solution using the TM-C3400 in your lobby.  It could become a great selling tool to reach new customers with a new solution. 

Be sure to contact me if I can help you with your visitor management applications.

Guy Mikel

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chemical Solutions, Solutions For Chemicals

Hank Solutions ( provides a "SDS online" product to produce safety data sheets and labels, compliant to the Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) guidelines and regulations.  This web-based software makes GHS compliance easy to do and affordable.

Hank Solutions was formed by two entrepreneurs from Fluorochem (

Fluorochem has been supplying intermediates for research and development to Pharmaceutical companies, Universities, Biotechnology companies and Contract Research Organizations for over 40 years. With a product portfolio of nearly 45,000 items, Fluorochem required a solution to produce GHS compliant labels on-demand. 

According to Lee Jones, one of the founders of Hank Solutions, Fluorochem started printing GHS compliant labels using 4 color, thermal transfer printers from Toshiba Tec.  According to Lee, “we had several printers, each with a different die-cut label size.  To switch to a different printer, we installed a manual switch to select the printer with the correct label.  Even with this setup, the thermal transfer printers produced very poor labels as the print quality was awful.  After spending 12 months looking to replace the thermal transfer printers, I found the TM-C3400.  This printer is a perfect accompaniment to the software, allowing a total print-on-demand solution.”  


I met Lee and Darren Mitchinson, cofounder of Hank Solutions at the recent American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego (  

 Exhibiting at the tradeshow, Lee found the event successful.  “We received many solid leads who need to print GHS compliant labels” according to Lee.  “In our booth, we met chemical manufacturers, chemical distributors and University laboratory operators.  During our discussions with the universities, we found they need a means to label their waste solvent streams.  With our web-based system, a university lab would make 1 product including all the substances, enter a batch number and quantity, and then produce a label.  It’s easy to do” states Lee.

Companies like Hank Solutions have a great opportunity helping chemical companies comply to GHS.  Be sure you are taking advantage of this opportunity by providing solutions for chemicals to your customers.

Guy Mikel