Why would I want to print my own color labels?
The world has changed quite a bit in the last few years. People demand more of their brands. They want small, customized products and they want them quickly. They want more variety which means more SKUs and more labels. Manufacturers have to be more flexible in their production and more cost-efficient.
One of the ways they can meet these requirements is by bringing their color label printing in-house. On-demand color label printers from manufacturers like Epson and Neuralabel have built high-resolution color ink jet label printers that can help small to medium sized companies improve their labeling process.
So here are five top reasons why it would be smart to look into using a color ink jet label printer for your small run custom labeling instead of using preprinted custom labels.
1. Reduced Label Costs
Sometimes you only need a few hundred labels (or less) for a custom product or small product run. If you try to buy these from a label printer, you would probably have to buy their minimum (500-1000) amount at a premium price.
With an inexpensive on-demand color ink jet label printer like the Epson C3500, you can print as many or as few labels as you need. The labels look great and are available when you need them. The cost per label is a lot less than preprinted labels and the ROI on the printer happens after only a few product runs. This printer can print up to 4 inches per second so it is perfect for a company labeling a couple hundred products a day.
Consumables are readily available and the C3500 uses durable pigmented inks that are water resistant.
2. Fast Label Turnaround
It hurts when you have to shut down a production line because you run out of labels. There are times when you need labels, and you need them fast.
If you have a high-speed color ink jet label printer like the Epson C7500, you can print high-resolution color labels at up to 11.7 inches per second. That’s fast. And they look stunning.
Again you can print as many or few labels as you need. If you require a larger run of labels for a project, you can use the optional label rewinder (shown) and collect the printed labels for use on an automatic label applicator.
This printer is perfect for small bakeries, craft brewers or other companies that might need to change label content often. Just upload a new file and print more.
3. Last Minute Design Changes
One of your recipes for cupcakes just changed flavors on you at the last minute. If you are using preprinted labels, you have to toss all those obsolete labels in the trash. Those labels cost a lot of money and now they are landfill. Ask anyone in the food industry and they will tell you this happens too often.
But by using a on-demand color ink jet printer, you can make changes to the label design file, save it as a pdf, and upload it to the printer. You are printing new labels in no time and production continues. No label waste.
4. Design Flexibility
Another important feature for small to medium companies is to be able to test label designs and work on brand changes. It gets expensive to keep getting proofs of new labels from a printer only to discard them when you see they aren’t what you like.
For example, small breweries often create seasonal offerings in small batches with limited distribution. By using a color on-demand label printer, they can work on their label designs, print them out and A-B test them to see which ones work best. And they can print out the exact number of labels that they need in a variety of sizes for each of their production runs.
5. Meet Labeling Requirements
If you are one of the many companies affected by the new GHS hazardous labeling mandates, you know that you now need GHS labels that include color. Using preprinted labels for this can get expensive especially if you have multiple SKUs that each need a different label design. And using a color laser printer won’t work since those labels are not durable enough.
With a color ink jet label printer like the Epson C831 or the Neuralabel 300X, you can design your label formats and print them out as needed. The printers use a durable pigmented ink that is solvent and water resistant. Great for labels that might come in contact with the chemicals in the container or that are stored in harsh environments.
The Epson C831 uses pin-feed labels to accurately print large format drum labels. The Neuralabel printer is a high-speed, high-resolution printer that can print a variety of label sizes and rewind them onto a roll for later use.
These printers can also use GHS labeling software to automatically populate necessary variable chemical and regulatory information onto the labels.
On-demand label printing isn’t for every company. If you use thousands to millions of the same labels or need labels on special label materials with special inks, preprinted labels are the way to go.
But if you need small amounts of labels that occassionally change in appearance or context, look into color ink jet label printers. They might just save you time, money and a whole lot of frustration.