Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Monday, October 21, 2013

Have You Seen This Symbol?

NFPA 704 is a standard system for the Identification of the "Hazards of Materials for Emergency Response" maintained by the U.S.-based National Fire Protection Association.   This standard defines the colloquial "fire diamond" used by emergency personnel to quickly and easily identify the risks posed by hazardous materials. By identifying the risks, first responders can determine what, if any, special equipment should be used, procedures followed, or precautions taken during the initial stages of an emergency response.

The four divisions are typically color-coded, with blue indicating level of health hazard, red indicating flammability, yellow (chemical) reactivity, and white containing special codes for unique hazards. Each of health, flammability and reactivity is rated on a scale from 0 (no hazard) to 4 (severe risk).  For more information on the NFPA standard, check out this Wikepedia article:

While responding to a RFP for GHS printers and labels, I learned that some companies may be adding both the NFPA and GHS symbols/icons to their labels.  Given this situation, companies would have to use more than just two colors to produce the GHS labels.



You may find my earlier summary of the GHS mandate of interest:

After reading about this requirement, I wondered “how many other companies plan to add both types of icons to their new labels?”  To answer this question, I decided to ask this question to the GHS group on Linked In.  Here are the responses I received:

 Most of the people responding said they had no plans to add both symbols.  In fact, one person stated that less than 5% of the companies will add both.    Another person pointed out that, in fact, the NFPA symbols are not sufficient workplace labels.  However, companies can continue to use both symbols as long as they are consistent with the requirements with the Workplace Communication standard.  For more information on this standard, check out this page:

If you are beginning to implement your plans to produce GHS labels, contact Color Label Solutions to help find the optimized printing solution to meet your requirements. 

Guy Mikel

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

GHS Label Comparison

The Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (referred to as GHS) requires companies to start producing labels with color icons.  Based on my understanding, most chemical companies will need to produce products with these labels by the end of 2014; with all products labeled in the distribution system by July 2015.


For more information, you may consider reading my earlier post:

At the same time, chemical companies who ship material via marine, need to use labels that meet the British Marine Standard BS5609 requirements.  If interested, you may want to read this earlier post:

In the BS5609 tests, however, they do not consider the impact of the chemicals.  For my own curiosity, I decided to test two types of labels that meet the BS5609 requirements with four household chemicals:  Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Chlorine Beach and Acetone (Nail Polish Remover).  In this video, you’ll see the results.

Please remember; these tests were not scientific studies.  As stated in the video, these tests show only the need for each chemical company to test how their compounds effect their new GHS labels.

If you need assistance in setting up a solution to print GHS labels, contact Color Label Solutions.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, October 13, 2013

In-Plant Prime Labels

Afinia Label (www.afinialabel.comis the label printer division of Microboards Technology (, which serves various industries with all kinds of optical media technology.    Originally founded in 1989 as the international division of a Japanese CD-engineering firm, Microboards Technology has been growing rapidly along with CD-R technology for the past 21 years.

With the L-801 label printer, (, Afinia has launched the fastest benchtop label printer available.  With print speeds up to 12” per second at a resolution of 1,600 x 1,600 dpi, the L-801 is a great choice for in-plant prime label printing.  

If you are not familiar with the term, prime label, here is the definition:  A Prime Label acts as the main identification of a product. Often designed to attract attention, prime labels contain information designed to appeal to a buyer and are usually applied at the time of manufacture. Prime Label acts as the main identification of a product. 
Scan of L-801 printed label

Craig Greenwood, National Account Manager for Afinia Label, says the L-801 offers several key features that make this printer a great choice for companies wanting to print their own prime labels.  According to Craig, “the L-801 produces high quality label images at an affordable price.  In addition, the L-801 comes standard with a dust-free, integrated unwinder making large runs easy to do.  Also the L-801 has a cut and present feature making hand apply application easier.  Finally, the L-801 is easy to setup and run; making the printer a great choice for manufacturers wanting to produce their own labels.” If your organization has inventory of labels similar to the pictures on my in-plant prime label page (, you should consider moving to printing color labels on demand.

In addition to the features Craig mentions, the L-801 offers one other key advantage:  the lowest cost prime label printer available in its class.  At $8,995, you will not find a faster, higher resolution printer available; especially considering the included unwinder which costs as much as $1,500 from other companies.  Check out the pricing of the L-801 from my store:

Ink cartridges for the l-801 printer cost $190; you can purchase them here:

If you send me an image of your labels, I can provide an estimated yield per cartridge and thus ink costs for your labels.  As the printer holds 1.25 liters of ink, companies like yours can produce thousands of labels per cartridge using the L-801.

For more on this printer, check out this short video: 

If you are already producing your own prime labels; or considering moving to print on-demand prime labels, contact Color Label Solutions.  We’ll help you start quickly and easy producing your own beautiful labels.

Guy Mikel