Effortlessly Design, Manage, and Print Your Labels In-House

…. All with CQL Pro Labeling Software

In the labeling industry, it’s no secret that having in-house labeling software can improve efficiency, saving time and money by effortlessly managing the combination of artwork and data that make up a label file.

With the help of professional labeling software, like CQL Pro, artwork can exist in various image types like png, jpg, pdf, tiff, etc.  Data can come from multiple data sources such as your company’s ERP or another external database.  Additionally, enjoy the ability to add other common label elements, such as barcodes, QR codes, date of manufacture, expiration dates, lot codes, etc.

Label Image Types

If you’re looking to print high-quality labels, it requires a suitable, high-quality printing file.  Here’s a brief outline for anyone who may be newer to the industry:

Vector: vector graphics are mathematically-drawn points, lines, curves, and shapes. When scaling a vector image file, as it’s not low resolution, there’s no loss of quality, so it can be sized to your desired scale.  Vectors are widely used for logos, line art, 3-D renderings,  text, and variable data like barcodes.

Raster: raster graphics consist of individual, colored pixels that compose a single image.  While great for photographic elements and textures, these files can be sized smaller but not larger as it’ll compromise the resolution quality.  A sufficient resolution of at least 300dpi is recommended for these to avoid poor print quality. ( jpg, png, and tiffs are common raster image types)

PDF: As PDFs can use both vector and raster graphics, they’re typically the optimal choice for label designs.

How Can CQL Pro Labeling Software Help?

First, what exactly is CQL Pro? Compatible with any label printer in the market with a Windows® driver, CQL Pro is AstroNova’s advanced labeling software that allows users to easily design and print custom labels for color and monochrome label printers. Complete with Label Designer and Print Manager, users can create and edit label designs, design printer profiles, and easily monitor or create print jobs across any label printer model.

With an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, this software makes creating and accessing your label files simple and allows users to quickly print multiple jobs with differing designs and varying quantities, all without interruption.

Additional features include a label converter for easy conversion, job monitoring for in-process print jobs, and an easy-access launcher with shortcuts to your recent designs, print manager, print jobs, and more.

Learn more about CQL Pro labeling software and how integrating it can help you design, manage, and print your labels in-house.

Special Offer!

Download CQL Pro today for a FREE, full-featured 30-day trial!

Questions? Let us know, we’re here to help!

At AstroNova, we offer a total labeling solution. We provide the tools you need to integrate production efficiencies into your business and keep up with industry demands from a wide variety of label printers, materials, technical support, training, and a library of support videos. Contact us to schedule a free, web-based demonstration and to speak with one of our specialists!

Best Practices for Cleaning Your Printer

At AstroNova, we understand right now with current events, depending on the industry, keeping up with demands may be more critical than ever. As part of AstroNova’s commitment to our customers in maintaining a safe and hygienic workplace, we’ve provided an outline that includes recommended disinfection materials and procedures you may find helpful when cleaning your printer. Studies show that frequently disinfecting commonly used surfaces is essential in preventing the spread of germs and viruses, which may remain viable for days on a variety of surfaces. Whether you own a QuickLabel or TrojanLabel printer or not, we hope you find this information helpful.

Recommended Procedure for Disinfecting and Cleaning Your Printer

The CDC recommends the following disinfecting products:

  1. Diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water)
  2. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
  3. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective
Materials Required
  1. Disposable gloves
  2. Disinfectant solution
  3. Cleaning cloth/towel
Procedure
  1. Wear disposable gloves and ensure disposal of them after completion of this procedure
  2. Turn your printer Off
  3. Clean the exterior of the printer
  4. Apply disinfection solution on the cleaning cloth ( Do not apply the solution directly on the printer)
  5. Thoroughly wipe the exterior of the printer and the most commonly touched surfaces, such as media guides, ink doors, and handles
  6. Wipe the surrounding area where the printer is installed
  7. Wipe the shelves where your label material is stored
  8. After completion dispose of the gloves and cleaning wipe
  9. Wait for the surface of the printer to dry then turn it ON
  10. Repeat this procedure at the start and end of your shift

In conclusion, preventative actions like these are necessary to stop the spread of any type of viruses to protect your health. Ensure taking your time when following this procedure and repeat it as often as needed.

Questions?

If you have any printer or printer supply-related questions, feel free to contact us. From medical device to chemical, sanitation, nutraceutical, food and beverage, and everything in between, AstroNova has all your hardware, software, and material needs for labeling.

Shorten Your Time to Market with Process Validations for Label Printing

AstroNova has a long history of working closely with the medical device and medical supply community for over 30 years, including experience in achieving ISO 13485 certification and producing a variety of medical devices and supplies of our own.

Due to recent events, we are receiving requests for expedited orders to help our customers who are actively involved in the fight against COVID-19. One customer specifically, a major American manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare products, is working diligently to produce swab collection kits, among other products to provide to labs and the government. To meet this demand, they are exponentially ramping up production to meet the needs. In short, every piece produced needs a label.

How are AstroNova Printers and Materials Qualified for the Medical Community?

Over the years AstroNova has worked with leading medical device manufacturers to ensure AstroNova label printers and label materials  pass mandated, stringent regulatory requirements and independent laboratory testing to support their global packaging initiatives on these key points:

  • Establish AstroNova printers that can effectively, accurately, and repeatedly produce labels with adequate color matching
  • Substantiate that the inkjet ink, thermal transfer ribbons, and/or toners used by AstroNova label printers provide adequate abrasion resistance, moisture & chemical resistance, ensuring high-quality readability, free of excessive scuffing that might prevent legibility or barcode scanning.
  • To show label stock sufficiently adheres to a variety of packing materials and substrates used in many packaging configurations including pouches, trays, bags and tubes, both sterile and non-sterile materials such as foil, Tyvek® (some corrugate and some with SBS – sterile barrier system), film, bubble bag, polybag, and tube and furthermore, remained adhered to their package component

In conclusion, our samples passed both the initial and post-conditioning review with a 100% pass rate with 0% failures, validating AstroNova label printers and AstroNova label stock successfully meeting the required protocol and passing all validation requirements. Thereby, the validation team was able to confirm that the AstroNova label printer, and AstroNova label stock combination is a proven system to support the sterile and non-sterile box and label operations and the Global Label initiative.

 

Free Online Demos of Label Printers

How Does it Differ from Verification?

Process validation is a term used in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries to indicate that a process has been subject to such scrutiny that the result of the process (a product, service, or other outcomes) can be practically guaranteed. The general public may use terms like “verification” or “validation” loosely or interchangeably in conversations, but the FDA assigns specific definitions to terms like these.

For example:

Validation means confirmation by examination and provision of objective evidence that the requirements for specific intended use can be consistently fulfilled. [Definitions 21 CFR 820.3 (z)]

Verification means confirmation by examination and provision of objective evidence that specified requirements have been fulfilled. [Definitions 21 CFR 820.3 (aa)]

While the completion of process validation is a regulatory requirement, a manufacturer may decide to validate a process to improve overall quality, eliminate scrap, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, or several other reasons. Coupled with adequately controlled design and development activities, a validated process may result in a reduced time to market for new products. The pharmaceuticals and Medical Device industries are facing an unprecedented situation right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted communities all across the world. Time to market, while always deemed necessary by the industry, is even more critical now as millions of lives can be potentially impacted.

Phases of Process Validation

In general, the validation of a process is the mechanism or system used by the manufacturer to plan, obtain, record, and interpret data. These activities may be considered to fall into three phases:

  1. An initial qualification of the equipment used and provision of necessary services – also known as installation qualification (IQ)
  2. A demonstration that the process will produce acceptable results and establishment of limits of the process parameters – also known as an operational qualification (OQ)
  3. Establishment of long-term process stability – also known as performance qualification (PQ).

Since our label printer solutions are used widely in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries, AstroNova understands these challenges and can support our customers with these process validations on our printer products and supplies, ensuring they can be completed smoothly and quickly.

We just released procedures and templates to help perform IQ, OQ, and PQ on our QL-120/120X range of printers. Our trained technical support staff can help your teams complete these procedures remotely as well as ensure that process validations can be done in a safe manner, and quality products can be produced and shipped out of your facilities in record time.

For more information about Process Validations and IQ, OQ, PQ, please visit:

How to Comply with DQSA Requirements for Serialization & Traceability

What is the Drug Quality Security Act?

The Drug Quality Security Act (DQSA) is an important US law that aims to create and establish an electronic traceability system for pharmaceutical drugs. As of January 2015, the new serialization system began.

What is a DQSA-Compliant Label?

DQSA RequirementsWith this new policy, prescription drugs will now be tracked by the FDA. They’ll be tracked down to the individual dose by a serial number that will be printed right on the label of your prescription drugs. The serial number will be stored in an FDA database.  If you’re wondering what the label needs to look like, it’ll be something like this:

But what truly are the benefits of traceability? Well, first and foremost, it’s important to comply with federal regulations. But, besides that, you can actually enhance the reputation of your brand, and draw attention to your safe practices.

Along with those benefits, traceability also:

  • Promises consumer safety
  • Protects your product from fraud and counterfeiting
  • Improves your product’s efficiency

Prescription Medication in Orange Pill BottlesWhat are the DQSA Compliance Dates?

    • As of January 2015, the lot-level traceability system begins.
    • As of late November of 2017, manufacturers will be required to serialize pharmaceutical products.
    • By November 27, 2023, the law will require the complete transition to an electronic, interoperable traceability system at the package level. (source)

Why do we need the DQSA?

The DQSA keeps consumers safer. You may recall the incident in 2013 in which a strain of fungal meningitis was spread via a small compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts. The DQSA was strengthened as a direct result of that event.

The new DQSA serialization requirement will allow the FDA to view a product’s history, much like a browsing history on an Internet application. By allowing the FDA to view history, it will enable suspect products and illegitimate products to be sniffed out and taken care of before a consumer gets to them.

Who Does the DQSA affect?

The DQSA will affect:

  • Wholesale distributors
  • Repackagers
  • Third-party logistics
  • Pharmacies

All of these groups will have different rules to follow when it comes to complying with the Drug Quality and Security Act.

DQSA Definitions

  • Manufacturer:  When the DQSA defines a manufacturer, it means a company that:

“(A) Holds an application approved under section 505 or such a license issued under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act for such a [pharmaceutical] product, or if such a product is not the subject of an approved application or license, the person who manufactured the product.

(B) a co-licensed partner of that company

(C) an affiliate of that company that receives the product directly from the producer or a co-licensed partner (Section 581)

  • Re-Packager: A re-packager is considered “a person who owns or operates an establishment that repacks and re-labels a product or package for further resale or distribution without a further transaction.” (Section 581)
  • Third-Party Logistics: Third-Party Logistics is the activity of outsourcing activities related to Logistics and Distribution. (Logistics List)
  • Wholesale Distributor: A Certified Wholesale Distributor is a company who handles wholesale shipments for the manufacturer of a product (or in some cases is the product manufacturer). They have a warehouse, distribution center, and ship products directly to the retailer. (World Wide Brands)

How Can Your Pharma Labels Communicate Safety?

DQSA Requirements

Your product labels can do more than just comply with the DQSA serialization requirement. They can show your commitment to safety by using photos, graphics, and color codes to assists patients and caregivers. Printing a color label with a photo of a pill that matches the correct dosage, printing a label with a photograph of a patient, and printing labels with color-coded areas will all increase patient safety. We recommend that you investigate the benefits of using a QL-120X color label printer to print your pharmaceutical labels.

If You Want to Know More…

New Labeling Regulations for Canadian Natural Health Products

Our friends at Health Canada have just updated their labeling regulations for natural products. If you’re a Canadian maker of nutritional products, then there are some new regulations that you must keep in mind when selling your products there.

What is the Natural Product Number?

natural product labelingThe Natural Product Number is a new labeling tool that is being required by Health Canada. The NPN is an eight-digit number that indicates the natural health product has been approved by Health Canada and is safe, works, and is of the high-quality. All products with a Natural Product Number are licensed for retail in Canada.

The red circled area of the label is the Natural Product Number. This 8 digit number verifies that the product has been approved by Health Canada.

In order to meet Health Canada’s new regulations, here’s some information you will need to have on your label, along with the Natural Product Number:

  • product brand name
  • product license holder
  • product’s medicinal ingredients
  • product’s non-medicinal ingredients
  • product’s dosage form
  • product’s recommended use or purpose (ie its health claim or indication)
  • risk information associated with the product’s use (ie cautions, warnings, contraindications, and known adverse reactions)

If you have all of the above information on your natural health product, along with a Natural Product Number, then you’re good to go!

My Label is Good to Go… Now What?

Now that your label meets the new Health Canada regulations, you need a printer that will make your new label in the highest quality and resolution – and the QL-120X color label printer is just the tool for the job.

QuickLabel Systems has plenty of experience making labels with the natural products industry and takes great pride in working with you to assist you in all of your labeling needs. Contact us for a virtual demonstration of the QL-120X color label printer, or call our Canadian headquarters at 800-565-2216 with any questions regarding your labeling needs.

Best regards on all of your health product labeling, Canada!

How to Comply with FDA Requirements for Dietary Supplement Labeling

Are you Compliant with the Most Up-to-Date FDA Regulations for Nutritional Labeling?

We’re often asked to provide an overview of dietary supplement labeling requirements for products such as vitamins, herbal supplements, and other functional foods.  To ensure your current labels are compliant, here are the requirements for marketing and labeling dietary supplements:

First, What is a Dietary Supplement?

According to the FDA website, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines a dietary ingredient as a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; or dietary substance used to supplement a diet.  Unlike drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases.

It is required that most foods, including dietary supplements, bear nutrition labeling.  It’s important to note that although dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA as foods, they’re regulated differently from other food and drugs.

The label of a dietary supplement product is required to be truthful, but also requires the below:

Dietary Supplement Labeling Must Include: 

  • Name of product
  • Net quantity of contents
  • Name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor
  • Directions for use

Supplement Facts Panel
A nutrition label for dietary supplements is referred to as a Supplement Facts Panel.  The required information includes:

  • Serving size
  • List of dietary ingredients
  • Amount per serving size (by weight)
  • Percent of the daily value (%DV)

How to Format a Supplement Facts Panel

The formatting of the Supplement Facts panel is strictly proscribed. For example, the panel must be enclosed in a box. The title must be more significant than all other print, and it, along with headings, must be bolded. So, the type must be easy to read with black lettering and letters that are upper and lower case. If the package is less than 12 square inches in total area, all letters can be uppercased.

While it’s essential to ensure all labeling requirements are met, easy readability and a professional-looking label, are also important and should be top-of-mind.  Not only should you clearly communicate to consumers, but you want to attract them to your product as well, which is where AstroNova can help.

Dietary Supplement Labeling Solution 

QuickLabel printers provide high-quality, distinctive labels in-house with quick turnaround time, making it effortless to print and update your labels and help your business grow.

Keeping up with the changing regulations can be tiresome and costly. Continually changing regulatory compliance requires supplement manufacturers to adapt their packaging continuously. Therefore, having an in-house printer, where you can print exactly what you need when you need it, not only provides a competitive edge but also provides peace of mind, not to mention substantial cost savings.

By digitally printing labels in-house, manufacturers can simplify the packaging process and experience greater production flexibility. It’s a wasteful and inefficient practice to buy pre-printed labels in large quantities or find yourself sitting on pre-printed inventory that’s deemed unusable due to a change in label requirements.

With a QuickLabel QL-120X inkjet label printer, the cost per label is affordably low, with no excess label inventory – no wasted labels, no overstocking, and no more outside printing expenses.

Relabeling Supplements 

In a global economy, bulk ingredients and finished products are regularly imported and repackaged into individual bottles, jars, rounds, and packs.  So, with a QuickLabel in-house label printer, it’s simple to make new supplement labels that comply with domestic labeling regulations.

Enhance product labels with logos, photos, brand images, supplement facts label panels, lot and batch numbers, best-before and expiration dates, color codes, country of origin, manufacturer’s address, and other label content.

How to Submit Your Supplement Label for FDA Review

To submit your dietary supplement labeling to the FDA for a safety review, you must send the information to the Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, Center for Food Safety, and Applied Nutrition and Food and Drug Administration. The address is 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. An original and two copies of the notification must be submitted.

Moreover, a manufacturer is required to submit a notification to the FDA at least 75 days before delivering the supplement for interstate commerce.  If a new ingredient is added to a supplement, the manufacturer is required to notify the FDA before it enters the market for consumer use.
Note: If a supplement was developed before October 15, 1994, the FDA does not require that it be reviewed before entering the marketplace.

Looking to Bring Your Labeling In-House?

See for yourself how a QuickLabel printer can make your supplement labeling more efficient and profitable.  Contact us or schedule a free, no-obligation virtual demonstration to speak with one of our specialists.

For more detailed information about labeling dietary supplements, please visit:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/DietarySupplements/ucm2006823.htm

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/DietarySupplements-HealthProfessional/

How Progressive Labs Prints their Own Supplement Labels

AstroNova visited Progressive Labs in Irving, Texas. It was so fascinating to visit another of our Kiaro! customers and to see the process of manufacturing high-quality dietary supplements, from the mixing to the encapsulating and tableting to the supplement bottle labeling.

Progressive Labs is a family-owned and operated company located in Irving, Texas that manufactures professional-grade dietary supplements. The company is GMP compliant, registered with the FDA, and licensed by the Texas Department of Health.

When we spoke, Progressive Labs’ employees surprised us by highlighting the simplicity of using the Kiaro! label printer (now the QL-120X), and its consistency and reliability. “With the Kiaro!, you hit the print button and it prints – first time, every time. And, you have a roll of finished labels that you don’t have to worry about,” said Ronald Labelle, Creative Director of Progressive Labs.

We were thrilled to see how excited they were about being able to make their own labels for dietary supplements and being able to offer special private label supplements for doctors and chiropractors.

Labelle told us how, along with some amazing mixing and encapsulating equipment they have for manufacturing supplements, they are very thankful to have the high-speed Kiaro! as their in-house labeling tool.

“The Kiaro! color label system really is a phenomenal system. It produces labels at a rate that I’ve never seen before,” said Labelle.

About Progressive Labs

Progressive Labs subjects all incoming raw materials to quality testing so they can ensure customers of the high quality of all of their ingredients. I was so impressed with how thorough they are in testing all of their raw ingredients to ensure the highest quality products going out to customers.

It was SO clean there too! I noticed employees in the manufacturing areas changing gloves after touching anything and not even touching doors with their hands as they walk through. It definitely topped my OCD housekeeping skills, and I don’t let people wear shoes in the house!

That is why you get to see this lovely picture of us getting ready to tour their facility. I especially like the beard covers that the guys had to wear! Do you think they look a bit like Santa or surgeons?

The people at Progressive Labs really care about helping others to be as healthy as possible. Larry Thompson, Progressive Labs President, said, “Our products are manufactured to help the body heal itself. We make sure we are always sourcing the highest quality, the highest grade of raw material possible, so we know that the finished product is of the highest quality we can possibly get.”

“We want our customers to understand that our products have been formulated by – and for – healthcare practitioners and they are designed to help their bodies without the side effects associated with pharmaceuticals.”

Why Progressive Labs Chose the Kiaro! to Print Supplement Labels

supplement labels

Progressive Labs has been a loyal QuickLabel customer, and has found success in owning a Zeo! color label printer and QLS-4100 Xe thermal label printer. This is why they were so excited to get the Kiaro! when it became available.

Greg Dragna, Director of Label Production at Progressive Labs, emphasized the productivity of the Kiaro!. “In the five months that we’ve had the Kiaro!, we’ve printed around 250,000 labels. When I first saw the Kiaro! running, I was pretty amazed by the speed of it,” he said.

The Kiaro! label printer is fantastic for printing a variety of labels quickly, making things much easier for companies with many different products that need to be labeled.

“We have 270 products we manufacture under our own label, and we print those labels in-house. The Kiaro! label printer allows us the flexibility to manufacture our products on the schedule we need,” said Thompson.

Now is your chance to see for yourself a tour of their fascinating vitamin manufacturing facility and their label printers and applicators hard at work getting labeled products ready to ship!

Are you interested in printing your own supplement labels? Schedule a virtual demonstration