Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Durable Laboratory Samples

After selling a label printer to a new customer in a new market, I thought others might find the application of interest; even though I could not use the end customer’s name. 

The market:  metallurgy testing services.  These labs provide analysis of samples in the mineral, chemical, energy and environment fields; including providing expertise for the extraction of toxic compounds from waste streams.

According to an IBIS World report (,  the metal testing services market is valued at $931 million in the US.    In addition, IBIS World reports the global market for chemical laboratory services at $18 billion:  These labs require durable labels for their samples.  Let me tell you more about my experience.

In the uranium laboratory, my customer required a chemically resistant, durable label for tracking their samples.  According to laboratory manager, “we found the thermal labels would turn black after storage in our inventory or exposed to the acid we use in our lab.  We needed labels that were sufficiently durable for our conditions.  We can’t afford to misplace, loose or mislabel radioactive samples in our lab.”

To meet this requirement, my customer purchased a TM-C3500 printer, Spare-in-the-Air Warranty, additional ink/maintenance kit and both paper and poly labels.  You may find my earlier posts on durable ink and media of interest:

Once he received the printer and labels, I helped the manager start printing by helping him configure the printer.  In addition, I showed him the 3 key requirements to print using the TM-C3500 from BarTender (  You can learn these key requirements by reviewing this earlier post:  

After designing the label, the manager contacted me again, saying “the barcode is not scanning properly.  I used an Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode.  Any recommendations?”

With the TM-C3500 and BarTender, I recommend slightly larger barcodes; maybe larger than .75” depending on the type of barcode and media used.  Also, Epson provides a set of recommendations for settings in BarTender to optimize barcode scanning.   Please see the page 6 in this document you can download here:

In this document, you would find settings for the X dimension and ratio for ladder and picket fence barcodes.  These settings are very important for good barcode quality.

After making these settings, the barcodes on the labels printed by the TM-C3500 scanned well.  Also, the labels worked perfectly in the conditions of the lab.  Finally, my customer moved the printer, adding the printer to their network, easily and with no issues.

If you need durable, colorful labels with barcodes to label your laboratory samples, contact Color Label Solutions.  We’ll help you get started printing durable labels for your lab, quickly and easily.

Guy Mikel

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