Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

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

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