Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Monday, August 26, 2019


Recently, one of our customers inspired us to look into a set of interesting applications:  Color-On-Wheels.


I’d like to describe in this post possible applications and their benefits of moving a color printer to label at the point of activity.

To prepare for this post, I spoke with Kevin Ledversis, Sales Director for Newcastle Systems:   

Newcastle Systems is an innovator of workplace mobility solutions for many of the world’s leading retail and operations companies. As the leading provider of Mobile Workplace© solutions, Newcastle Systems provides the means to dramatically improve employee and facility productivity without major changes to your infrastructure, software or processes.  A Newcastle Systems’ Mobile Workplace© facility requires less equipment and less power to do the same work as a standard workplace configuration.

According to Kevin, moving the printer to the point of activity is a key part of “lean” and “process improvement”.  Kevin says “mobile work stations enable organizations to label at the point of activity. It makes no sense to use handheld computers and cell phones in manufacturing plants and distribution centers; but have printers remaining static and fixed.  It’s time to change this mindset. This process improvement step saves time and reduces or eliminates labeling errors."  This process improvement idea can be used for many applications; let me discuss a few here.

To me, the most obvious color labeling application is Finish Good Labeling, especially with large items such as chemical drums or mini-bulk tanks.  Typically, this type of manufacturing operation would print labels in batches and then take the labels out to the shop floor to apply them to the finished products.    However, it would be easy to apply the labels to the incorrect finished goods, creating a potentially serious issue or at least a return item. By moving printing to the point of application, you eliminate the costly steps/time to and from the printer but also reduces or eliminates labeling errors.  Further this process eliminates the inventory of preprinted labels kept in inventory.
Label Inventory
Label Inventory

Newcastle has produced an interesting case study featuring Grant Industries.  Contact me to get this PDF or download the study here:

And if you are applying paper labels to large items, you might find this earlier post on proper label application of interest: 

Another possible application for Color-On-Wheels is in Receiving.  Most manufacturing facilities will print labels in a central location, and then take them to the dock for application, wasting a significant amount of time and effort.  Newcastle shows this wasted time/labor in this illustration:

By adding color codes to this mix, you can improve the accuracy of both put away and picking.  And with label creation software, you can automate the selection of a color for each area of the warehouse.

In addition to color codes, you can add images to the pick tickets to improve the accuracy of this error prone step.  In one of my first ever posts, I wrote about Marco Specialties use of images to improve picking: 

Further, you can use Color-On-Wheels application to apply replacement brand labels when OEM products are received.  Relabeling while receiving reduces or eliminates potential errors later in the warehouse or during shipping.

In addition to Finish Goods and Receiving, manufacturers should consider using Color-On-Wheels for Work-In-Process Labeling.  At some plants, work-in-process inventory/QA Testing requires labels to be applied to describe the status of the inventory (i.e. quarantined).  Here is an earlier post on this application of color labels.

Typically, these labels are printed or stored in a central location and the operator walks to/from the inventory location to apply.  With Color-On-Wheels, you can move the printer to the point of work to reduce or eliminate errors as well as save time and labor.

Shipping is another popular application for powered carts; printing both the shipping labels and documents.

Mobile Shipping Cart
Mobile Shipping Cart
With mobile carts, you can process orders at the pallet, increase shipping accuracy and remove wasted time and motion.  By adding color to the staging process, you can increase the accuracy of deliveries as well by color coding the shipping labels during staging:

Color Coded Shipping Labels
 And color coded the shipping documents:

Color Coded Shipping Documents
Color Coded Shipping Documents
A very long time ago I worked on a case study of Tubelite and their shipping process:

According to Kevin, “very few companies use color in their shop floor and warehouses.  But it seems to be an easy way to add efficiencies to the processes in these important areas.  Plus, you can use existing wireless networks, software and hardware (may need to add a color label printer) to enable workers and improve process flow.”

And for the cannabis market specifically, I describe how mobile work stations can improve growing operations in this recent post: 

If you can imagine the possibilities of “Color-On-Wheels”, contact us to discuss how combining color label printers and a mobile power cart from Newcastle Systems can improve the operations of your business.

Guy Mikel

Sunday, August 18, 2019


Color Label Solutions has started recently selling a different type of Color Labels:
LabelWorks Color Label
LabelWorks Color Label

From Epson LabelWorks, durable, professional labeling that gets the job done safely and professionally with a wide variety of supplies and lifetime warranty of the printers.

I’ve known of the LabelWorks product line for some time.  However, we did not pursue reselling this line of products until one of our large customers requested more information.  Our customer needed a means to add a barcode to every shelf location to improve picking and put away. To perform this operation, they wanted a mobile printer with a way to create labels on the fly.  Originally, they requested Dymo printers; but I suggested LabelWorks.  Warehousing and distribution are key applications for the LabelWorks product line.

Based on the customer’s requirements, I suggested the LW-PX400 label printer.

Melisa Coffman, Training Manager for the LabelWorks division of Epson, says, “The LW-PX400 is great for people on the go, its compact and easy to bring with you if you’re traveling or just moving around the facility, store it in your tool bag or laptop case and bring it with you anywhere! Its also great on a desktop because its small footprint takes up very little space, but has a ton of capability. Great for those with strict guidelines for installing software –by allowing the user to use their smart device to create and print the labels –and they don’t have to jump through hoops from their IT personnel to use it!”

Learn more here:   The LW-PX400 offers up to 1” print width, and works both USB and wirelessly with any iOS or Android device.  Plus it comes with free Label Editor software.  You can request the Label Editor software here: 

Finally, this printer is inexpensive; costing only $169.  Purchase the LW-PX 400 here: 

Based on the customer’s requirements, I got a LW-PX400 myself:

To use the printer, I loaded the labels first; a 1” yellow durable vinyl label.

1" Vinyl Yellow Tape
1" Vinyl Yellow Tape
And connected via USB to my computer.  Then I installed the Label Professional Editor Software and designed my first label; my name along with a QR code with our company’s website.

Label Professional Editor Software
Label Professional Editor Software
 And then I printed my first label.

All within probably 15 minutes.

After using the Label Editor Software, I loaded the Epson iLabel app on my phone:

iLabel Android
iLabel Android
And repeated the process of making a label and then printing a label.  But this time, I printed using Bluetooth connectivity from my phone to the LW-PX400.  In a very few minutes, I printed a second label.

iLabel Software Printed Label
iLabel Software Printed Label
And I then learned that Google’s camera reads QR Codes:

Epson’s iLabel for Android/iOS and Label Professional Editor make creating durable labels easy to do; and fun!

For the LW-PX400, Epson offers 129 different types of labels: Materials, Widths and Colors.  You can find and search all the different label options here: 

Given all the different types, I asked Melissa Coffman about the different options.  According to Melissa, “Here are the types of labels we offer to our customers.

    1. Standard Tapes –Available in a wide variety of colors and sizes, used for labeling anything and everything. From files, shelves, products, safety and facility labels to 5S and everything in between. Color coding, etc. Whether you want it to stand out or blend in –there is a perfect tape for the application.  
    2. Heat Shrink Tube – For labeling wires and cables –Think Electrical, Data-Com, panel builders and IT people (just to name a few)
    3. Magnetic Tape- Inventory Management for shelves, bins, mailboxes, lockers. For locations that are constantly changing and/or being moved and reorganized –Magnetic is awesome! No sticky residue left behind.
    4. Fluorescent Tape – For all of those applications that really need to stand out and bring attention to it. Or just for something fun and different. These are my personal favorites!
    5. Vinyl Tape – Ideal for curved surfaces, outdoor applications, wires, cables and any of high traffic labeling jobs, the vinyl tapes will withstand some serious wear and tear. They are also a little more matte finish making them easier to read in bright environments.
    6. Self-Laminating Wire Wraps – Cables and wires that need to be labeled but can’t fit a HST on.  In these situations, a self lam is the way to go. Installers and repair people live for these tapes (now available in more flexible vinyl)

To purchase supplies for your LW-PX400, visit our store:

So far, we have only a small segment of the tapes Epson offers on our store.  If you something different for your LW-PX400, contact us.  We’ll add what you need to our online store; or send it to you directly.

In addition, we’ve listed so far only the LX-PX400 in our online store.  Learn more about the 7 other Epson LabelWorks printers here: 

Depending on your requirements, we’ll find the best printer for you.

And you can use these printers all across your organization.  For manufacturers like many of our customers, the LabelWorks team recommends these possible applications:

1. Pipe Markers
2. Machine Controls
3. Production Tracking
4. Equipment Labels
5. Operating Instructions
6. Quality Control Tags
7. Assembly line Classification
8. Process Control Instructions
9. Tooling Information
10. Tool/Part Cribs
11. Raw Materials
12. Inspection Certificates
13. Assembly Instructions
14. Gear Labels
15. Gauge ID
16. Hoist Operating Instructions
17. Cable Flagging
18. Job Tracking
19. Operating Guidelines
20. Production Charts
21. Scrap Bins
22. Parts-in-Progress Tags
23. Time Card Slots
24. Production Control Boards
25. Capacity Planning Boards
26. Locker Labels
27. Hard Hats
28. PPE/Safety Clothing
29. Lean/5S Visual Workplace
30. Safety (OSHA/ANSI)
31. Calibration Labels
32. Secondary Container ID

And for Warehouses like our first customer, the LabelWorks team recommends these possible applications:

1. Vertical/Horizontal Racks & Shelves
2. Asset ID/Management
3. Parts Bins
4. Modular Drawer Bins
5. Drawer Pulls
6. Cabinets & Carts
7. Containers
8. Lot Numbers
9. Aisle Markers
10. Storage Requirements
11. Handling Procedures
12. Pallet Labels
13. Equipment Labels
14. Drawer Dividers
15. Flow Racks
16. Color-Coded Control Systems
17. Bar Codes
18. Shipping Labels
19. Directional/Wayfinding Signs
20. Dated Material
21. Informational Charts
22. Shipping/Receiving Dock Signs
23. Loading Dock
24. Office Hours
25. File Cabinets
26. Parking Slip Lots
27. Floor Labeling
28. Lean/5S Visual Workplace

In addition to Manufacturing and Warehousing, the LabelWorks team recommends possible applications in Education, Office, Building Management, Engineering, Labs/Healthcare, Maintenance, Quality Assurance, Energy, Utilities, IT/Datacom, Electrical and Construction.  Lots of possible uses in most every company.   And all for only $169 a printer.

Color Label Solutions is all about print on-demand color.  And now you can get durable color labels to use all across your organization.  Contact us to learn more or purchase one of these LabelWorks printers.

Guy Mikel

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

C7500 Preventive Maintenance

After launching in 2014, Epson provided recently direction on how to conduct Preventive Maintenance on the C7500 and C7500G printers.

C7500 and C7500 Preventive Maintenance
Although we sold our first C7500 in February 2015, these preventive maintenance recommendations are new to me.  Here is a post converting our first customer using the C7500 label printer from February 2015:

And a video covering their experiences.

According to Epson, the basic concept of the preventive maintenance on the C7500 printer is to remove accumulated paper dust; as paper dust is the largest cause of printhead clogs.  Printhead clogs may cause streaks/lines in your print output; and are designed to be eliminated by the automated maintenance of the printer.  I wrote about preventing plugged nozzles in 2015:

To check if you have printhead clogs, conduct an inkjet nozzle pattern test (in the Printer Setting Utility; Printhead Maintenance Section).

C7500 Nozzle Check Pattern
C7500 Nozzle Check Pattern

If you find a plugged nozzle, then conduct a manual cleaning from the menu on the front panel.

But according to Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Epson recommends cleaning both the “Paper Loading Area” and the “Platen Area” using a damp cloth and a “neutral” detergent.  A neutral detergent is a mild soap with no alkalies or bleach; generally, with a PH of 7.  Do not us alcohol on these parts of the printer.

In the Paper Loading Area, Epson recommends to clean the media guide primarily.

C7500 Media Guide
C7500 Media Guide
 In the platen area, you should clean the area that is exposed when the front door is opened.

C7500 Platen Area
C7500 Platen Area
Specifically, be sure to clean up the gap sensor in the back of the platen area.

C7500 Gap Sensor
C7500 Gap Sensor
You want to clean up the paper dust, ink stains and glue residue from any of these areas.

In addition, Epson recommends using a small vacuum to remove any additional paper dust; especially underneath the spindle in the Paper Loading area.  Although Epson mentioned this recommendation secondarily, you may want to vacuum first before cleaning with damp cloth.  DO NOT use pressurized area anywhere inside the printer; and this may spread dust particles to more sensitive areas such as the printhead. 

After cleaning the platen and paper holding areas, Epson recommends cleaning the cutter as well.  The cutter has two parts; a stationary bottom blade and a movable top blade.  To clean/remove the adhesive on the fixed bottom blade, use a cotton swap and alcohol.

C7500 Bottom Cutter Blade
C7500 Bottom Cutter Blade
Users do not have access to the movable top blade.  If the cutter stops functioning, contact Epson Advance Tech Support or us.

Although not considered “preventive maintenance”, it may be possible to get a label jammed inside the printer.  If have a label jammed inside the printer, remove it immediately.

C7500 Jammed Labels
C7500 Jammed Labels

In this picture, these stuck labels are obvious.  However, I’ve had labels get jammed up inside the printer in the area of the printhead.  And these were impossible to see; and caused printing errors similar to a plugged nozzle.  Be certain to check up inside the printer with a flashlight to look for labels that may be stuck above the platen area. If labels are stuck above the platen, contact Epson or us to arrange repair.

A C7500 is a big investment for most companies.  If you own a C7500, please follow these preventive maintenance procedures.  Conducting this preventative maintenance will help the performance of the printer; and the return on this investment.  

To purchase a C7500, C7500G, or any other color label printer, be sure to visit our store:

Or contact us if we can help with the purchase or preventative maintenance of a C7500 and C7500G printer.

Guy Mikel

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Purpl Pro Potency Test

At the recent Cannabis Business Summit, Delta 9 Systems, cannabis division of our parent company General Data,, launched Purpl Scientific’s Purpl Pro Instant Potency Measurement System.

Purpl Pro Potency Kit
Purpl Pro Potency Kit

Purle Pro is a hand-held solution that turns the user’s smartphone into a robust potency measurement system.  Using your smartphone and a hand-sized device, you get an immediate analysis of the potency of a cannabis sample. Purpl PRO provides a complete picture of both THC and CBD. And Purpl makes it really simple to get the precise information that is most important to you.

Based on near-infrared spectroscopy, a technology originally developed for agricultural measurements 70 years ago, the Purpl PRO is aimed at bringing this well-proven approach to the cannabis industry.  And the Purpl Pro is accurate; the target accuracy bounds of ± 2% up to 20% THC and ± 1% of the measured value above 20% THC.  To obtain a white paper on the technology, contact us.

Purpl Pro Potency Kit Components
Purpl Pro Potency Kit Components
To operate Purpl Pro:

  • Open the app on your smartphone
  • Click “Calibrate” on your smartphone
  • Prepare the sample and load into the chamber; using the chamber to grind up the sample.

Purpl Pro Flower Grinder
  • And then select "Measure" to get the results

Purpl Pro App
Purpl Pro App
And you get the results in seconds.  Chris Guthrie, General Manager of Delta 9 Systems measured a sample from an attendee at the Cannabis Business Summit:

Purpl Pro Test Results
Purpl Pro Test Results
According to Chris, “everyone we showed the Purpl Pro was excited by the results.  It works great and is easy to use. And doesn’t even destroy the samples.”

Chris continues, “I see 5 different use cases for the Purpl Pro:

  •     Plant Breeders; to establish potency of new offspring
  •     Phenotype Hunters; to select the plant with the most desirable traits in large seed hunts.
  •     Cultivators: to optimize growing operations and gain insight on ways changes made to programs and methods affect potency
  •     Brokers/Distributors; to verify consistency
  •     Manufacturers: to dial in precise dosages
  •     Home growers/consumers; to know what you are ingesting and how different methods affect crop to crop performance.

And in all of these cases, the Purpl Pro pays for itself if you save just a few potency tests; as the price of the unit is $1,495. Plus, Purpl Scientific plans updates soon to add other features to the firmware/software that will add even more value.”

To purchase, visit our store: 

If you see an opportunity to use the Purpl Pro in your operation, contact us. Lots of people will want this device!

Guy Mikel