Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Printing Thin Media

Have you had this experience using the C6000 printers?

C6000 Crinkled Media
C6000 Crinkled Media

That leads to this?

C6000 Paper Jam Error
C6000 Paper Jam Error

And this?

C6000 Crinkled Media
C6000 Crinkled Media

Printing thin, non-label media in one of the C6000 series printers can be difficult.  In this work, I attempted to print 2 types of thin media; a 3” wide, direct thermal receipt paper and a 1.25” wide non-woven apparel tag.  Let me give you a few ideas on how to print these types of difficult media.

First, you need to insure you have the latest firmware.  Epson made changes to the firmware to help print this type of media.  For example, get the latest firmware for the C6000A printer here:



With this change, you can now use the “Feed” button to load the media into the printer.  Prior to this firmware update, the printer would not accept this type of thin media.

Second, you need to change the printer’s actions upon feeding the material.  The default setting is to feed the material into the printer and out the exit.  At this point, this thin media creates the paper jam when automatic feeding. 

From the LED screen on the printer, select MENU, GENERAL SETTINGS, PRINTER SETTINGS, PRINT OPTIONS and then ACTIONS WHEN REPLACING MEDIA:

Actions When Replacing Media
Actions When Replacing Media

Once the choice “Actions When Replacing Media” is chosen, select “NOT FEED”.


C6000 NOT FEED
C6000 NOT FEED

This selection stops the feeding process once the media is loaded.

C6000 Media Feed
C6000 Media Feed

Third, then use the feed button to move the thin media through the printer.  It may take a few button pushes to get the media out of the printer.

C6000 Thin Media
C6000 Fed Thin Media

Once fed through the printer, you can go ahead and print.  For example, I printed this direct thermal paper using the least amount of ink setting (plain paper, max speed).

C6000 Printed DT Receipt Paper
C6000 Printed DT Receipt Paper

Even though this material is not designed for inkjet prints, I thought it printed really great.  Perfect for printing the back of receipt paper.

Or this non-woven apparel tag material:

C6000 Printed Apparel Tag
C6000 Printed Apparel Tag

On this material, I could use a higher quality print setting; and thought the print quality was great.

(FYI: I find the "NOT FEED" setting saves labels by not feeding until the media is printed).

Printing thin, non-label materials with the C6000 printer series can be a pain.  But with the correct settings and process, you can print these items on-demand and in color.  Contact us if you want to print these materials or the C6000 series printers.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Monday, February 15, 2021

Unique Party Patch; Common Packaging Requirement

Party Patch is a topical hangover patch containing a proprietary blend of vitamins and nutrients. The makers say when it is applied to the skin during drinking, Party Patch can dramatically help reduce the physical side effects of alcohol and restores your bodys natural defense system.

Party Patch
Party Smarter with Party Patch. 

Portable, painless, and effective, the Party Patch is essential for your next night out. Its a great addition to vacations, weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties, and your everyday hangover kit! Party Patch is available in packs of 5, 12, 24, and 50.

Party Patch
Patch Life

According to Mike Sandrin of Party Patch, We wanted to produce Party Patch packages in smaller quantities; customize for individual occasions such as bachelorette parties.  However, minimum order quantities from our manufacturing partner prevented us from pursuing this market.  We needed to find a way to print and package in smaller volumes; to customize individual orders.”

For those of you keeping track of my posts, you may remember reading about Mike and his work on Fireball Cannabis:

In order to help Party Patch produce customized packaging, we put together a solution including the printing and filling of inkjet coated packaging film using the FP-230 Flexible Packaging Press from Afinia and the GP-3000 Form, Fill and Seal Packaging Machine from Phoenix Engineering.  Let me tell you more about the hardware portion of this packaging solution.

FP-230
FP-230

The FP-230 Flexible Packaging Press is perfect for small to medium runs or varying print designs. Print small-format flexible packaging on demand with inkjet-printable film.  Ive written about this press in a post covering Label Expo 2019.

According to Mike Atkins, National Sales Manager for Afinia Label, The FP-230 Flex Pack Press is an innovation that many private label manufacturers and brand owners have been waiting for. This printer prints to specially coated films for specific flexible packaging applications such as nuts, coffees, confections and supplements. The most common customers for the FP-230 are in the chocolate, candy, THC edibles, and drink powders/supplements.” Continuing, Mike says, “It can be challenging to put together a flexible packaging solution because the film requires a specific makeup, the artwork will need to be compatible, and the flex packaging fill-form-and-seal machine has to be matched to the particular product. This is where it helps to have a team of knowledgeable advisors to help manufacturers navigate the project. The end result is a very unique, convenient and valuable solution for short run flexible packaging on demand. We worked together with Color Label Solutions to solve this for Party Patch.” 

GP-3000
GP-3000

Brian Dykema of Phoenix Engineering, who makes the GP-3000 says, “the most difficult part of running the GP-3000 is “over- thinking” the machine.  It’s really quite simple to operate; and we’ve built these types of devices for 35 years.  It's perfect for companies in the Medical, Biomedical, Dental and Vitamin markets.”

Here is a short video of Party Patch making customized, flexible packaging for Christmas.


Mike Sandrin of Party Patch learned how to run the hardware quickly.  According to Mike, the most difficult part of the flexible packaging solution has been sourcing the film as it ships from Germany.  As its expensive to ship, weve ordered very large quantities of material.  But the growth of the product is reducing our risk on the material.”

The issue of stock is changing as we gain more customers in North America. The film is now stocked here in the US.

Customized Party Patch Packaging
Customized Party Patch Packaging

Continuing, Mike says, the customer response out of control.  Were not even advertised the product, but we are getting tremendous interest from Wedding Planners, Bachelorette and Bachelor parties, Birthday Parties, Celebrity events and even from Country Music.”  You can find Party Patch on Amazon, Etsy, Pinterest and other websites. Use Discount Code CLS20 to save 20% on your order.”

Customized Party Patch Packaging
Customized Party Patch Packaging

Adding, Mike says, It is especially great that we can now make customize patches down to 5 to 25 units.  Typically, we run batches together once or twice per week to minimize waste of the material.  This approach is working well for us.”

An On-Demand, Color Flexible Packaging System could be a means to increase your business by customizing products for your customers.  For products like Party Patch, its been a very big success.  Contact us if you see customized flexible packaging increasing your sales and profits.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

Thursday, February 4, 2021

GHS Refresh

Time To Upgrade Your GHS Label Printing?  Here’s Your Best Options.

Beginning in 2012 when the OHSA announced the final rules, Chemical Manufactures started to implement their plans to comply with the Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals; commonly referred to as GHS. 


In July of 2015, chemical manufacturers were required to comply to the GHS labeling requirements codified in these rules.

In addition to complying to the GHS initiative, many chemical companies were required to comply with BS5609, for the marine shipment of chemicals.  British Standard BS 5609 is a specification for printed pressure-sensitive, adhesive coated labels for marine use which includes requirements for the label base material.  BS 5609 testing is a requirement for self-adhesive drum labels needing International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) certification. Testing includes a 3-month exposure of labeled test plates in salt water.

C831 Printer
C831 Label Printer for GHS Drum Labels

After 8 years of complying to both the GHS initiative and to BS5609 requirements, many chemical companies have found it’s time to upgrade their label printers.  At the end of 2012, Epson released the C831 color label printer; perfect for printing drum labels.  See my initial post of this printer release here:

C3500 Label Printer
C3500 Label Printer

Then on September 1st, 2013, Epson launched the C3500; for durable and chemical resistant labels less than 4.25” wide.  The combination of these two printers fit the requirements for many chemical companies.  For example, Engineered Lubricants


C7500 Label Printer
C7500 Label Printer

And before the official GHS rules took effect, Epson launched the C7500; high resolution, fast and durable label printer.  Smark Chemical was our first chemical company customer using the C7500 printer.

Watch Epson’s video on the C7500 deployment at Smark here:

Or NIC using the C7500G printer for gloss and matte finished labels:


But after more than 5 to 8 years, companies who deployed GHS label printers years ago need to consider updating and replacing this equipment for the following three key reasons.

  • Stoppage Prevention: All mechanical devices wear out over time; and label printers are no different.  When printing labels becomes the critical path to shipping product, then companies should update and upgrade this important equipment.
  • Technology Improvement: Technology has advanced in the last several years; including label printers.  New printers will not only reduce the risk of a shipping problem, but may improve the workflow and ease of use for operators.
  • Cost Reduction: New technology offers ways to reduce costs; especially for drum label printers.

To help update and replace this older equipment, Epson has launched the new C6000 label printer series.  These new printers offer the same durable ink/labels as well as new technology that improves print quality and workflow at a very affordable price.  For example, the C6000 printers are plug and play with Zebra print streams.  Learn more here:


In addition, the C6000 offers the first-ever peel and present option for color label printers.

Also, the C6000 printers have a movable gap sensor making circles easier to print.

With the launch of the new C6000 series printers, many of our customers have upgraded from their C831 and C3500 printers to these new models.  For example, Marabu Inkshas moved from C3500 printers to the C6500A, primarily for print quality reasons.  According to Patrick Forney, Product Manager for Digital Inks, “our C3500 printer was well-ridden for years.  We’re getting much better print quality from the C6500A.  Plus, we like the capability to print the larger label sizes.”  And Charles Kaufman, Purchasing from Marabu Inks says, “the C6500A is printing great!”

Another one of our customers, says they’re planning to replace all of the C3500 printers.  According to the operations manager, “The C6000 printers not only produces better print quality, but also are much easier to use than the C3500. Also, the peel and present option should help us prevent potential labeling errors.  We’re planning to convert all of our 15 to 20 C3500 printers to C6000.”

In addition, C831 users have found other interesting benefits.  According to Rick Rawla, IT with Ungerer and Company  says, “I like it a lot.  We’ve found the C6500 is a lot faster as well as providing much better print quality than either the C3500 or C831.”

Besides switching away from Epson printers, we’ve found companies have switch away printers from other label vendors.  For example, our customer NARCO Chemicals is printing many of their drum and pail labels now on the C6500A instead of the Memjet-based Trojan One.  According to Kevin Larimer, Graphics Manager, says “So far, the C6500 has been absolutely stellar.  We’ve placed labels outdoors along with our Trojan-produced labels.  We’ve found the C6500-based labels are very durable; where the ink comes off from the Trojan-produced ones. Overall, the C6500 is really good.”

For those companies producing GHS labels for several years, now is the time to consider upgrading their label printers.  These new printers are easier to use, offer new technology solutions and save money on both ink and labels.

Contact us if your organization is ready to update and upgrade their GHS Label printing systems.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670




Monday, January 11, 2021

Workgroup Printers

I’m pleased to announce that Chris Miller has joined the Color Label Solutions team.

Chris Miller


Chris joins our team from General Data, our parent where he is a Vice President responsible for the Laser and Multi-Function Sales and Service division.  Chris brings to our team a deep understanding of the workgroup printer business.  And now we offer this capability known as General Data’s Managed Print Choices.

Managed Print Services


Learn more about General Data’s Office Printing Solutions here.

According to Chris, “Regular A4 laser jet printers and multi-function devices make up the most of our printer hardware sales out of our new office here in Signal Hill California.   HP is our largest workgroup printer vendor, and we’re a premier partner with this company.  We do business with companies such as Xerox and Brother as well.  We sell printers obviously; but the consumables, especially toner and ink, makes up most of our business.”

HP LaserJet
HP LaserJet


When asked what markets make up most of their A4 printer business, Chris says, “we sell school districts, colleges, universities, financial firms, and food/beverage companies.  Any organization with offices.  For example, we have a customer with 160 locations; we have a Laserjet and Multi-Function printer in each facility.  And about 60% of our hardware sales is monochrome; with the other 40% color printers.”

Black Rhino Toner Supplies
Black Rhino Toner Supplies

In my discussions with Chris, I learned that most of what Managed Print Choices does is focused around saving companies money; especially with supplies.  To save money, Chris says, “we offer several suggestions to help save customers money.  First, set color laser printers to the greyscale default;  Second, purchase our Remanufactured Toner; and Third, purchase HP supplies from us under contract as we’re a Premier Partner.  We can save customers money with printers under our service contact.

When asked about Annual Service Contracts, Chris says, “We simplify the process of maintenance and repair. For a low annual fee, all maintenance and repair costs are covered, and you can schedule calls through our service web portal.


GDC Service and Repair
GDC Service and Repair

Chris says “We include 2 preventative maintenance calls in the Annual Service Contract price. 

GDC Depot Repair
GDC Depot Repair

Here in Signal Hill, we offer Return to Depot Service; where you send your equipment to our depot service facility for service, repair and maintenance. 

GDC On-Site Service
GDC On-Site Service

Or an On-Site Service option, where our technicians repair and maintain equipment right at your location.


GDC Annual Service Contract
GDC Annual Service Contract

In addition to Annual Service, we sell Cost Per Page as well as Level Pay Contracts.  Our goal is to keep your A4 and Multi-Function printers running for the least cost possible.”

Continuing, Chris says, “Another great option is our “Bull Pen” service.  This option is an economical solution when a customer has a large number of printers in a single facility. You simply place all equipment in need of maintenance in a central location, and we fix them all at once.

GDC Manufacturer Warranty Service
GDC Manufacturer Warranty Service

And finally, we offer Factory Authorized Warranty Services.  For many manufacturers, we are certified to provide factory-authorized warranty service. This service covers most thermal transfer and direct thermal in addition to our workgroup printers.”



We’re lucky to have Chris now on our team, bringing a wealth of knowledge on printers and service that we didn’t have prior.  You can contact Chris in our Signal Hill office not only about label printers but also about hardware, consumables and service for workgroup printers as well.

We’re here to help.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670