Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Moving To On-Demand

Korry HMI Solutions ( been a trusted name in human-machine interface (HMI) solutions for 75 years, after the company created the first lighted cockpit controls.  Providing state-of-the-art switches, cockpit controls, high-performance displays, and night-vision filters, Korry is a division of Esterline (  Esterline Corporation is a specialized manufacturing company serving principally aerospace and defense markets.

To move inventory to specific cells inside their plant, Korry uses card system with colors.  Korry uses colors to signify which specific cell should get the replacement inventory.


According to Sarah Stout of Korry HMI, “the process was print, cut, tape, laminate, repeat” which seems to be an onerous and time-consuming process.  Given the complexity of the process, Sarah contacted Denny Agen of DPE Systems (  about color label printers.  Based on this discussion, Denny sold a TM-C3400 ColorWorks printer to Korry.

After purchasing the color label printer, I contacted Sarah to help her configure the printer; and to start printing quickly and easily.  Although we had some difficulty installing the printer on the network, we did get the printer up and running.  As Sarah was a quick learner, she was printing new cards quickly (see the bottom two cards) using Codesoft software from Teklynx ( 


According to Sarah, “on the first production, I printed 50 cards; which took a fraction of the time over the previous process.” 

“We needed a printer that could produce tags that could withstand daily handling for several months.   Initially, we were concerned about the durability of inkjet printing.  After reading in the Tubelite success story (, “the labels were tested to ensure the ink wouldn’t smear or fade under wet conditions”, we decided that the TM-3400 would meet our requirements”, says Sarah.

By moving to on-demand printing, companies like Korry can improve many different manufacturing processes.  Talk to you customers about how on-demand printing could help.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Colors Convey Classification

Tyson Tool Company Limited (  supplies high quality cutting tools to the metal removal industry. Late in 1979, Tyson was appointed as the Canadian representative for the Widia line of carbide tooling.  Since then, Tyson has added many new lines helping them to grow their business.

Tyson Tool is committed to meeting or exceeding the needs and expectations of their customers for cutting tools, by striving for excellence in all they do, specifically in order accuracy and on time delivery.

With over 6,000 SKU’s and several brands, Tyson needed a different process to produce labels.  In their industry, metal removal, colors convey important meanings.  For example, Blue means steel; Red means cast iron; Yellow means stainless steel; and Grey means aluminum.  Given these industry standards, Tyson required a means to apply different colors to each of their thousands of SKU labels.


Based on this requirement, Tyson decided to look for a color label printer.  According to the President of Tyson Tool, Horst von Richter, “we were unable to find what we required; it seemed no one would help us.  After weeks of looking, we decided to ask our computer technology provider, Ronneberger Computing, Inc. ( to look into alternative methods for producing color labels on-demand.” 

With the request from Tyson, Scott Trafford, B. Math of RCI contacted Epson.  “We wanted to see samples from the TM-C3400 before we recommended any printer.”

After I contacted RCI, Scott sent me a PDF label sample to print and send to Horst.


After seeing the sample, Horst and Tyson Tool decided to purchase the TM-C3400; and wanted glossy media to begin printing the labels.  To get Tyson label media, I connected Scott to first one, than a second media provider after the first one did not respond.  After some time, Scott and I got Horst initial labels to print.  In addition to the labels, Horst begin using Bartender from Seagull Scientific ( to design and print the color labels.  When using Bartender with the Epson TM-C3400, be sure to remember these three key tricks (that you will not find anywhere):

  • Set up the media layout (i.e. 4” x 2”) first in the Epson driver
  • Select the media size from the drop down list in Bartender
  • Use “0.0” margins in Bartender; and don’t check “Set Manually”

After a somewhat of a steep learning curve, Horst is now printing a large variety of labels printing Bartender.

Tyson Tool Label

“With so many SKU’s, printing color labels as we need them makes total sense for our business”, states Horst.  “We will save money and time by using this type of label printing solution."

In industries like Metal Removal where colors mean something, you can add value to your manufacturing customers by recommending color labels on-demand.  Talk to your customers about what color means to their industry; and contact me to discuss how we can work together to offer your customers a better solution for their labels.

Guy Mikel

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baking "Medicinal" Brownies & Printing Labels

Green Ticket Bakery ( was created to satisfy the love of baking and the desire to help others in a holistic natural way.  For the past 15 years, the Green Ticket Bakery has mastered the art of Cold Water Hash Infusion and has patented a process providing the patient community with medicated edibles unlike any other tasted in the world. Green Ticket Bakery’s edibles are consistent, tested, safe, and delicious to satisfy any patient’s need. They specialize in matching strains to medical conditions and work with patients to find the best medicinal combinations and foods, delivered fresh.

Although producing great products, Green Ticket needed a better process to produce their labels.  According to Paul of Green Ticket, “we were using Avery labels from Staples and a desktop laser printer to print labels for our dozens of SKU’s.  We would print up to 6 labels per page; 18 labels at a time.  This process was very time consuming and a big pain!”

Finally deciding to try something different, Baker Michael of Green Ticket Bakery decided to purchase a TM-C3400 and labels. “We wanted to continue to produce labels for all of our bakery products as we needed them.  Printing on-demand enable us to make changes up to the moment we printed the labels.  Plus, developing new products all the time, we wanted the ability to produce the new labels all the time.”

Check out the Branding:  LA Confidential

Love the Branding:  Space Queen
After purchasing their printer, ink and labels, Paul contacted me to help them to learn how to best configure the printer.  Paul uses Adobe Photoshop to create and then print the labels.  After a 30 minute webinar, Paul was producing great looking labels.

Although not a patient, I believe bakeries similar to Green Ticket (and the related medical marijuana dispensaries) are great targets to use on-demand color label printing.  From research on-line, I understand 17 states and the District of Columbia allow the use of medical marijuana.  In California, it is estimated that over 1,000 dispensaries sell billions of dollars of medical marijuana.  Each of these retailers produces and/or packages products under various brand names; including using their own house brands.  With so many brands in such a large business, medical marijuana bakeries and dispensaries could be a great target for designing and printing their own labels.

In addition, bakeries in general are great targets for on-demand labels.  Check out my earlier post, Bake Sweet Success:

Be sure to ask your bakery or dispensary customers about using the TM-C3400 to print labels for their products.

Guy Mikel