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!

Chemical Labeling Compliance: Requirements & Solutions

GHS (Globally Harmonized System) Chemical Labeling Compliance

Until 2003, chemical labels were regulated by standards created by individual nations, usually with advice and commentary from related industry groups. We now find ourselves in an era of globalization, in which a globally interconnected supply chain accomplishes the manufacturing, packaging, transport, sale, and use of chemicals and chemical products.

Costs of GHS labeling are varied.  The European Union, the United States, Canada, and Asian countries have all moved towards GHS chemical labeling compliance at different rates, and with different final standards.
Although all of these packaging guidelines are GHS compliant, they do have subtle differences in language, size, and orientation rules – when a company ships chemicals to each of these countries, distinct packaging is needed for each location. From shipment to shipment, packaging an unpredictable amount of specific chemicals with unique GHS labels is a process that can be difficult to prepare for, without the appropriate packaging solution.

Benefits of the GHS Chemical Labeling Compliance Standards
Increased Safety, Communication, and Trade Facilitation

While the industry is required to bear the costs of re-assessing and re-packaging chemical products, it is important to note that there are benefits of GHS chemical labeling compliance.

  • GHS allows for a simpler export of chemical products to foreign markets, with no more country-specific documentation and testing standards, workplace safety standards, and environmental standards.
  • GHS further protects human health and the environment with consistent international hazard communication to inform all users throughout the chemical supply chain to the presence of a hazard. Compliance also minimizes exposure and risk to those hazardous chemicals through safer transportation, handling, and use.
  • In all participating countries, GHS ensures the safe management of chemicals through identifying hazards and communicating them. This is particularly useful for countries without well-developed regulatory systems.
  • GHS provides increased and simplified international trade, leading to improved communication and growth in international markets for companies seeking to import and export chemical goods.
Mandated GHS Label Requirements

Product Identifier
The ingredient name or number of the pure chemical substance or chemical mixture. The technical name(s) must be harmonized with IUPAC, CAS, and with the technical name(s) listed on the MSDS sheet. It must also be aligned with the UN Proper Shipping Name if the chemical is regulated under the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNRTDG). The Product Identifier is meant to prevent accidental or uninformed exposure. A worker, shipper, or supply chain partner must be able to identify the chemical and recognize its potential hazard accurately.

GHS Pictograms
Each red, black, and white point-set, square-shaped pictogram conveys information about particular hazardous risks associated with a chemical. In combination with the signal word “Danger” or “Warning,” the pictogram communicates the severity of the risk and is meant to prevent accidental or uninformed exposure. More than one pictogram may be used on the same chemical label, if applicable. The size of the pictogram, and other label elements, should be proportionate to the physical dimensions of the label. Examples:

chemical labeling compliance

Signal Words
Either “Danger” or “Warning” used to emphasize hazards and indicate the relative level of severity of the hazard, assigned to a GHS hazard class and category: “Danger” for the more severe hazards, and “Warning” for the less severe hazards. Only one signal word corresponding to the class of the most severe hazard should be used on a label.

Hazard Statements
These phrases describe the nature and degree of the hazard posed by the chemical. All hazard statements should be included on the label for a substance/mixture possessing more than one hazard. Example of a hazard statement: “Heating may cause an explosion.”

Precautionary Statement
These statements must relate to the GHS pictogram and further describe measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent risks associated with the hazard. The number of precautionary statements should be kept to a maximum of six. Example:  “Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces – no smoking” in relation to a pictogram that shows Explosive Danger and a Hazard Statement such as “Heating may cause an explosion.”

Supplier Information
Each chemical container, including secondary packaging such as crates and master cases, must include a GHS label printed with the Supplier Information. This must include the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer or supplier of the product.

Supplementary Information
Additional product information volunteered by the manufacturer, supplier, or other responsible parties. It is acceptable for the manufacturer to make a statement that is not harmonized with the GHS standards. However, the statement must not conflict with GHS standards.

Label Size Requirements

Most countries do not require minimum label sizes for GHS labels; however, they stipulate that GHS labels are easily readable. In the European Union, label minimums are outlined, depending on the capacity of the container. Within the European Union, the proper minimum label dimensions based on container size are depicted on the chart below:

Printing GHS Labels In-House

The variety of GHS label formats and size configurations has made the prospect of printing labels in-house, tailored for each chemical product, attractive to many chemical manufacturers. There are a couple of options for printing GHS labels as part of an in-house packaging process:

Option One: Printing Labels with a Barcode Printer
In this scenario, a barcode label printer is used to print pictograms, signal words, manufacturer address, and other text in one-color: black. Secondary and additional colors, red for the GHS pictograms and other colors for logos and branding, are pre-printed onto a roll of labels.
This pre-printed roll is inserted on a thermal transfer barcode printer, which prints the black-colored portion of the label, including the black section of the GHS pictograms, signal words, hazard warning, and other text with a black-colored thermal transfer ribbon.
This solution requires a large inventory of pre-printed labels, and a separate pre-printed roll for each variation in chemical label: different countries, languages, pictograms each get their own pre-printed roll. This presents a logistical challenge in a production setting, where packaging staff is required to identify and select the correct pre-printed label roll from among the many rolls on warehouse shelves for each batch.

Option Two: Printing Labels with a Full-Color Label Printer
A full-color digital label printer grants the capability of printing variable GHS labels with maximum flexibility to comply with GHS labeling regulations, along with customer and retailer demand.
Chemical manufacturers are finding that a full-color label printer provides them the most flexibility for printing GHS labels for international and domestic markets, wholesalers, and private label retailers.
A four-color or five-color printer can satisfy BS5609, GHS, private, and custom labeling requirements at the same time. However, an in-house, full-color digital label printer gives chemical manufacturers the capacity to print labels that integrate all GHS required elements and create graphic-rich primary display panels that include logos and branding the same label printing process.

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!

Why is it Important for Printers to be BS5609 Certified?

Did you know not all labels meet the requirements to be considered BS5609 certified?

If your business generates products that require this certification, such as chemical jugs, hardware, and industrial product labels, and more, it is important to know what BS5609 is and the standards that need to be met.

What is BS5609?

BS5609 certifiedBS5609 is the internationally recognized British Standard for pressure-sensitive adhesive labels used for overseas shipping. Also known as the Marine Immersion Label Testing Standard, chemical manufacturers refer to this standard when their labels are used on hazardous chemical containers transported by sea.

BS5609 certification establishes whether or not labels remain adhesive and readable on containers and barrels, after prolonged exposure to the ocean environment including both seawater and sand abrasion.

Elements, including those required by GHS, such as red and black ink of GHS pictograms, hazard statements and health warnings all must remain identifiable on the label with slight or no color change or print removal in order to pass BS5609 testing.

Where Can You Get BS5609 Certified Labels?

Surprisingly enough, you can print them yourself. With some help, of course.

QuickLabel now has a line of BS5609 certified label printers for GHS labels. These label printers are available in three models for various label sizes, all of which are able to produce BS5609-compliant labels.

Not only will you remain compliant, but you can print all of your labels in short-runs, in-house.

Eric Pizzuti, Vice President of QuickLabel states, “We are confident that our QL-120D label printer and our BS5609 certified labels and inks comprise the most durable, reliable, and easy-to-use GHS label printing solution on the market.”

Pizzuti continues, “Chemical producers who need to print black and red GHS labels for bottles and cartons will be pleased to know that they can also print their front-panel primary display labels in full-color using the QL-120D, which boasts excellent print quality and 1200 dpi resolution.”

QuickLabel BS5609 Label Printer

The QL-120D label printer allows you to print durable labels that can get dirty, wet, scuffed, and exposed to sunlight and chemicals – all while maintaining legibility and colorfastness.

Thanks to cutting-edge pigment ink formulation and GetLabels qualified label stocks, labels printed by the QL-120D comply with GHS hazard warning labeling regulations and BS5609 certification, one of the most stringent physical label standards in the world.

The QL-120D Label Printer

QL-120DVariable color shoebox labels, hardware labels, electrical labels, industrial product labels, and color warehouse labels are ideal uses for the QL-120D. Its reliable operation, 12 ips print speed and 1200 dpi print quality make the QL-120D a high performer for your production facility.

Similar to the QL-120/QL-120X commercial label printers, the QL-120D prints labels from 0.5”- 4.2” wide and up to more than 15” in length. The QL-120D is also compatible with matte polypropylene and paper label materials and doesn’t require lamination to make durable labels.

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