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Printing Labels For Chemical Drums

Pictograms for GHS labelingOK, you have to print labels for your chemical products that need to be in compliance with the latest GHS regulations.

You might have already read our article on the ChemShield label material that is perfect for GHS labeling since it is designed to meet BS5609, the durability standard for chemical drum labeling.

In addition, you might well have read about creating the labels with the required pictograms in our article on designing GHS compliant labels.

It might be time to look at what exactly what label printer is needed to be able to get down to business and start printing these labels on demand, just before labeling the products.

What is needed?

  • Durable labels – tough enough to meet BS5609
  • Ribbon or ink (again, able to produce a very robust print)
  • Label design and print software – I’d use BarTender personally
  • Label printer – either thermal transfer or inkjet
  • Great support!

So Which Printers?

Thermal Transfer

Since the vast majority of thermal transfer printers can only print a single colour, using a thermal printer will mean that the colour area on the label will need to be pre-printed. This will include the outlines of the pictograms and other areas such as company logos to create a generic label. Once this has been sorted and the labels arrive, it is a case of printing all the black print with the thermal transfer printer.

220 Xi4 or H-8308 printer

220Xi4 and H-8308 Printers

The labels for chemical drum labeling can get to be pretty big – a lot of GHS formats are designed for A4 size – so the printer needs to be able to handle labels over 8 inches wide. Add to that the fact that chemical plants are not always the friendliest environment for equipment and the best choices for printing equipment are as beefy as possible.

For this job, I like the Zebra 220 Xi4 or the equally tough Datamax-O’Neil H-8308. Both of these are the biggest, meanest models in the respective manufacturer’s line up. Both printers come with a bunch of connectivity choices as standard and we can happily supply and support both brands.

Of course, as soon as an additional colour needs to be printed on-demand, the thermal transfer approach has a problem. The vast majority of thermal printers can print in only one colour – about time there more multi-colour choices, eh? Luckily, there is a solution!

VIP Colour Printer

VIP495 for GHS labels

VP495 Printer for GHS Applications

We have worked a little in the past with colour inkjet and laser printers but have never found the print to be as durable as we would like. It looks as though the VP495 printer from VIPColor might well be the solution.

Using pigment based inks, the finished labels can have the durability to meet of even exceed the requirements of BS5609, making this a perfect part of a GHS labeling solution.

High resolution, reasonable speed, large ink supply containers and a Seagull driver to use with BarTender, make this my favorite colour printer at the moment – although they are all somewhat frustrating.

So here at Winco ID, we are your total solution partner for GHS labeling – labels/ribbons, hardware, software and support – we can work with you to get you GHS labeling program off to a great start.

Want to connect? Call me at 603-598-1553 x237 or use the contact form.

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