Blanco Labels Blog

Online Label Manufacturer - Direct Thermal Labels and Thermal Transfer Labels & Ribbons

  • Growing Barcode Trends

    Growing barcode trends

    Barcodes have been used in business for more than 60 years. Their usefulness and importance to commerce are both undeniable. From scanners at the grocery store to automated inventory systems, businesses continue to find new and innovative ways to utilize these powerhouses of information.

    Now, more than ever, there is a need for them in the workplace. Continue reading

  • What Are Thermal Labels?

    Thermal labels are an integral part of successful businesses. This type of labeling is responsible for a wide variety of labeling requirements throughout each step of a business’s operations, including storage, inventory, and product information. Companies that invest in quality thermal labeling can expect long-lasting, durable labels that stand the test of time and can stay intact regardless of age and exposure. Continue reading

  • Top Labeling Mistakes to Avoid

    Proper labeling is critical to a business’ efficiency. It doesn’t matter how great a product looks or how much advertising you put into your brand name. If your basic labeling isn’t done properly, you’re setting your company up for a potential disaster. Continue reading

  • Thermal Transfer Ribbons Product Offerings

    At Blanco, we continuously are expanding our product offerings online. The newest additions to the Blanco arsenal are a wider variety of ribbon sizes, colors and formulations to our site. We are also now carrying ribbons for Monarch, Printronix, Intermec and CAB printers, in addition to Zebra, Datamax and Sato. Click here to view our selection of printer ribbons!

    We currently offer a TR4085Plus ribbon. This ribbon is great for the food & beverage, health & beauty, inventory & logistics, pharmaceutical and retail industries. It is versatile enough to print on a wide variety of labelstocks, producing crisp, dark, durable images on Blanco’s Thermal Transfer Label products, which will now offer support for a larger range of printers.

    The Half Inch Wax ribbons are formulated to function within the temperature and speed range of 1/2” printers. This ribbon works well on Blanco’s Thermal Transfer Label products. These ribbons are mostly used with the desktop printers such as Zebra’s GC420T, GK420T, GX420T and TLP printer series. We have added new sizes in this product line.

    Here at Blanco, we also currently offer Red General Purpose Wax, TR3022 Blue General Purpose Wax and TR3023 Green General Purpose Wax. Sometimes you just need to add a little color to your label. We now offers new sizes for our current printer models, as well as new printer models. Click below to view the data sheets on the color sheets.

    red-pms-1787cgreen-pms-3405c blue-pms-286c

    Our new formulations now include a Wax/Resin Hybrid ribbon (TRX-55), a General Purpose full resin ribbon (R300) and a Ultra Durable full resin ribbon (R510HF). Click below to view data sheets on these new formulations.

    trx-55 r300 r510hf

    If you are unable to determine which ribbon works best with your application, give us a call at 888-325-2626 or send an email to info@blancolabels.com, we are here to help!

  • Trends in Food Packaging and Fulfillment

    Trends in food packaging and fulfillmentWoman shoppingThe food industry is always going through changes and improvements, in the attempt to keep pace with the everchanging consumers and their behavior. It’s not surprising that consumers have more control over the food and beverage industry than they’ve ever had before, and a large part of this power comes from the latest improvements in technology.

    Social media sites, blogs and apps are all common platforms that give consumers the opportunity to share their experiences with others when it comes to the latest food crazes, trusted brands and new items on shelves. Customers can use these easy sharing tools in an attempt to award or punish food and beverage companies for their efforts. Whether a customer likes the packaging or is impressed with an item’s nutritional value, others will certainly hear about it. This kind of change in the food industry has many companies scrambling, not only to please their current consumers but to also keep up with current trends and intrigue new customers as well.

    In a world where we are more aware than ever about what we are putting into our bodies, food companies everywhere must keep up with the latest trends in order to maintain the consumer’s confidence in their brand and what they have to offer.

    If you’re curious about the latest developments in the food industry, the following are some of the most prominent trends in the food packaging and fulfillment:

     Accurate and Informative Labeling

    Nutrition LabelsNo longer can a food company put something on grocery store shelves without being completely transparent about their products. Where consumers may have been more worried about taste than nutritional value in the past, opinions have changed drastically—and for the better.

    There are a few factors that might have had a hand in swaying consumers to be smarter food shoppers, including online sharing, accessible information, personal experiences or family genetics. Whatever the source for the shoppers’ change of heart, there is no denying that more and more people around the world are becoming increasingly food-conscious.

    Blue label inforgraphicIn terms of food packaging, this change has meant that companies are now responsible for being completely up front about their food, starting at the labeling. Effective labeling should inform customers about the nutritional value of something, as well as any added information that can give them a leg up over competitors that are offering the same kinds of items.

    Food companies will also want to package their items with labeling that informs shoppers of any requirements they’ve met, which allows them to be considered “healthier options”. For example, President’s Choice incorporated a “Blue Menu” label for their packages, which informs shoppers that food items have less fat, less sodium, more fiber and more omega-3’s, along with other nutritional benefits as well.

    Quality food labeling is very important for this food packaging trend. Consumers rely on this aspect of packaging, in order to tell them everything they need to know before they can make decisions about which items are best for their needs. Labels that are hard to read, damaged or damp won’t be effective, and companies should be just as invested in using labels that are durable as they are about offering simple, nutritional information.

     

    Connecting to customers through packaging

    Companies that are transparent and accessible are the ones that garner trust and respect from their consumers. Unfortunately for most food companies, they don’t have the chance to speak face-to-face with every customer about their items and why they should choose them. It’s not as easy to create that connection between business and customer, but that need for relationships is a growing trend in the food industry.

    Man looking at packagingTo help food brands create a better connection to potential consumers, a recent trend has been accessibility through food packaging. This means that packaging will contain various ways for customers to connect with a brand, to learn more about who they are and what their brand values. This could be in the form of social media usernames, employee photos or even barcodes to scan for more information.

    The idea here is to utilize packaging as a means of opening up the lines of communication between consumers and suppliers. Giving people the chance to learn more about a company, to read employee bios or to educate them on how their product is made is extremely valuable to gaining consumer trust and appreciation.

     Automoation in Fulfilment

    The more accessible food information becomes the more consumers have the ability to develop opinions and preferences in every aspect of the food they’re buying. From the packaging material to the treatment of the animals, consumers now have the opportunity to compare very miniscule differences between products and make decisions based on factors they take very seriously.

    Customers are now much more aware of the differences between name brands, and often prefer items that are of higher quality, more fairly-priced and that are more sustainable. The list of “must-haves” as it were, are growing, and companies now are trying to find ways to meet these needs without jeopardizing the success of their food items.

    This is why automation is one of the major trends in food packaging and fulfillment, as companies tackle ways to increase operational efficiency and distribution while also maintaining quality and food safety. Automation is now a common tool in food production, in order to cut back on line time, to increase worker safety and to decrease contamination.

    Gluten Free Organic

    Food labeled as organic or gluten free receives more interestCurrently, one of the most popular trends in food packaging and fulfillment is the increased demand for products that are organic or gluten-free. As an extension of the health food craze, many people are beginning to learn more about gluten and some of the negative effects it may have on the body. While many people have recognized their intolerance to gluten, others are simply making the personal decision to avoid products with gluten in them.

    Organic IconsSimilarly, products that are organic are also trending at the moment, with consumers looking for food items that are free from harmful chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, GMO’s and radiation. Food packaging that is labeled as “Gluten-Free” or “Organic” are much more likely to receive interest from large groups, so companies now must be mindful of whether their food products have these kinds of options and how they can incorporate that information into their packaging effectively.

     Waste Free

    Not only are consumers becoming more engaged in making smart food choices, but they’re also becoming more aware of the impact that food production has on the environment. As a result, another one of the prominent trends in food packaging and fulfillment is offering waste-free products.

    Going waste-free is beneficial not only to the environment, but it also has the potential to be very advantageous for production companies themselves. This is because waste-free doesn’t just cover the scope of wasting large amounts of food, it also covers the scope of wasting less valuable resources such as water and energy.

    Companies are now going through each of the stops in their supply chains looking for ways to cut back on waste, as a means to turn loss into value. Sustainable packaging is just one of the ways that companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and please the growing demands of their consumers to be more environment-aware.

    Many food products are now stored in smaller, lighter packaging options that can either be recycles or reused. The end result is lower manufacturing costs for companies, less garbage going into the landfills and decreased transportation needs. For those companies who short lifespan items, having re-sealable bags that can be re-used helps to fight food waste and lessens the spending on package waste.

    It has been reported that almost 1/3 of the food produced worldwide ends up in the garbage, which means that this food packaging trend is extremely important to making our food purchases really count.

     Transparency in Packaging

    Noodles in plasticThe reason why online shopping is so difficult, is because people often can’t see or touch the merchandise that they want to buy. Oftentimes, consumers will end up with a product that was nothing like they imagined and they’ll end up sending it back or throwing it out.

    The same thing occurs for many food items that don’t embrace transparency. Customers want to know and even see what they’re going to be purchasing, especially if it’s a new product they’ve never tried before. If they can’t use the packaging design to get an idea of what’s inside, they may be more likely to choose another competitor that is more informative.

    Marketing trends quoteHaving transparency in food packaging is another current trend, and many companies have taken this quite literally by incorporating transparent packaging or detailed imagery to their products. The idea here is that companies have nothing to hide—what you see in this bag is what you get, and often times this kind of advertising can gain the trust of customers who have a hard time trying new items.

    Transparency is all about a company being proud to display their food, incorporating it into the actual packaging and giving customers a chance to ‘take a look under the hood’ before making the purchase. It’s a motion of good will, and customers appreciate this kind of transparency with their food now more than ever.

    ustomization

    No purchase feels quite as special or unique as when it comes decorated with your personalized name across it. Take Coca-Cola for example, who recently began a new marketing campaign that dressed the traditional Coca-Cola drinking bottle in personalized names for everyone to enjoy.

    The latest marketing trend for this dominating beverage company saw Coca Cola sales rise by 2% in the United States alone, increasing revenue tenfold and winning back some of the soft drinkers of the past. This tactic has proven to be an effective one, as many customers value a unique touch such as this, that makes a great personal purchase or fun gift for a friend.

    With the successful marketing, it’s no surprise that customization has become a popular trend in food packaging for other companies as well. However, it’s not necessarily just personal names that will do the trick. The main idea is that companies are reaching out to customers by creating unique packaging and labels, which make the purchase more exciting and interactive than before. It creates an experience from the moment you receive your food, taking advantage of packaging as a further marketing tool as opposed to only being a vessel for something.

    Another great example is from McDonalds, who every year give customers the chance to play Monopoly every time they purchase an item off of their menu. The labels on their merchandise can be peeled off and collected, with the chance for consumers to win different prizes throughout the promotion. The idea is to get more traffic into the stores, to increase conversion and to get customers trying new menu items.

    Other popular interactive or customizable packages have included fortunes, unique quotes and hand-written letters. This is one of the more fun trends that rely heavily on marketing teams to make their products stand out among the rest.

    Conclusion

    Packaging may have been nothing but a vessel for food in the past, but today it holds a lot more responsibility. Food companies need to take their packaging decisions very seriously, as consumers will make very quick decisions about a company based on their first look at a product.

    With this in mind, it’s clear that trends in food packaging are all based around the concept of being see-through; companies shouldn’t hide what they’re feeding us, and putting in a little extra effort will always go a long way when it comes to pleasing the consumer. Businesses should consider their food packaging as an appetizer to the main meal inside; it will set individuals up for the main dish, and have them feeling confident about the choice that they made.

    If you’re just beginning to choose labels and packaging for your products, be sure to consider the advice provided here to make the most of your advertising real estate.

  • How to Use Labeling to Keep the Warehouse Efficient

    There is nothing worse than having a warehouse of inventory in complete disarray. When your inventory rooms are unorganized, there’s a very good chance that items go missing, shipments aren’t dropped off in the right place and customers aren’t getting what they want on time. A well-run warehouse is imperative to the success of any business. Continue reading

  • Customer Spotlight: Nootropics City

    nootropics-labelsThose looking to push educational or workplace performance to the next level depend on Nootropics City.

    The Canton, Ohio, company is one of the largest and most popular on-line distributors of cognitive enhancers.  It sells specialty substances and supplements to improve cognitive functions – including executive, memory and motivation – among healthy individuals.

    Nootropics City earned its market presence by offering a wide range of cognitive enhancement products sold at competitive prices and manufactured under strict cleanliness and hygienic guidelines.

    Nootropics City creates its products with assistance from BLANCO, a leading adhesive label manufacturer and ink supplier for customers striving to print their own labels in-house.  One of BLANCO’s most popular in-house printing systems is Primera brand printer equipment and ink cartridges.  BLANCO also manufactures labels for using in Primera printers in semi-gloss, high-gloss and matte finishes.   BLANCO’s manufacturing facility is located in Salem, Virginia.

    BLANCO has recently expanded their inventory to include labels and ink cartridges for Primera’s new LX500 and LX2000 printers. Pigment ink cartridges are available for the LX900 printer and the LX2000 printer.

    “We are pleased to help Nootropics City present their products in an attractive and colorful manner,” BLANCO’s President Kurt Webber said.

    “We offer labels for all applications, including product identification.”  In addition to these Primera compatible labels, we manufacture direct thermal and thermal transfer labels, as well as label sheets for laser printers and label sheets and rolls for inkjet printers” Webber said.  “We offer a quality product at a competitive price.  Our staff is knowledgeable and helpful.”

    Nootropics City currently orders BLANCO’s BL-PR-74893 2-1/2-inch x 7” High Gloss Labels and BL-PR-74804 3” by 2-1/2” High Gloss Labels for Primera LX2000, LX900, LX810 and LX800 printers.

    Click here to visit the Nootropics City website.

  • Customer Spotlight: TruColor

    trucolor-1

    Making edible creations pop with brilliant colors found in nature without affecting their nutritional makeup is a passion for TruColor.

    TruColor provides a healthy alternative to food colorings that use synthetic ingredients with artificial preservatives. Its natural colors are free of FD&C dyes, artificial preservatives and “Big 8” allergens, which include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shell fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy. TruColor products are Gluten Free and do not include Genetically Modified Organisms.

    TruColor reaches shelves with assistance from Blanco Labels, a leading adhesive label supplier who helps you print your labels when you need them, instead of carrying inventories or waiting for production schedules. One of Blanco Labels’ most popular offerings is Primera brand printer equipment, including Primera compatible semi-gloss, high-gloss and matte finish labels, as well as ink cartridges for all the Primera printers.

    Helping TruColor reach new customers seeking to embolden their edible creations without artificial ingredients is exciting, BLANCO’s President Kurt Webber said.

    trucolor-2

    “Our labels help them distinguish themselves from competitors in a tight marketplace,” Webber said. “We have good customer service and we ship them exactly what they need in a timely manner.”

    “Our products are reliable and they do what they are supposed to do, whether they are applying them to their product or purchasing shipping labels,” Webber said. “Customers use our labels for the price, selection, quality and customer service. Our experts specialize in helping determine what label would best fit their application.”

    TruColor currently orders BLANCO’s 3" Circle High Gloss Labels for Primera LX 800, LX810 and LX900 printers (Item Number BL-PR-74828). When asked why they chose BLANCO for their labels, William (Bill) Donaldson, General Manager, had the following statement: “There are a lot of choices out there, we choose Blanco because their customer service is excellent, they really care about your projects and work with you to get the right material the first time. They offer the highest quality labels that enable us to print in brilliant hues and shades to represent our brilliant state of the art natural color products and at a very reasonable cost!”

    Click here to visit BLANCO’s PRIMERA category.

    Click here to visit TruColor’s website.

  • Thermal Printer & Printhead Maintenance Tips

    Thermal printers are manufactured to generate crisp, clear images and text in high volume environments. Properly maintaining the printer is critical to ensuring that your printer continues to generate high quality images and text.

    There are two main types of thermal printers.

    • Direct thermal printers generate the desired printed image by heating coated thermal stock. A printhead is used to apply the heat in the desired shape for text or images, turning the paper black where heated.
    • Thermal transfer printers print by melting a coating of thermal ink onto the paper. Here too, a printhead is used to apply heat to a thermal transfer ribbon, melting the ink in the desired pattern and depositing it onto the paper’s surface.

    Maintenance of Thermal Printers

    There are a number of factors that an impact the performance of your printer – humidity, dust, heat, wear on the printhead and printer components, and the quality of the thermal transfer ribbons and paper stock used when printing. It’s important to keep the printer’s environment as clean as possible and to use high quality supplies and materials for the best results.

    The most critical element to ensure clear, high quality printing is the performance of the printhead. If it is dirty, clogged, worn or abraded, the quality of the printed product will degrade. Cleaning and maintaining the printhead will extend the useful life of the printhead, and your printer. And, as printheads are expensive, maintaining it and extending its useful life will result in cost savings for your operation. Some maintenance tips are:

    • Clean the printer frequently to remove dust and residue from paper, foils, and the environment. It is recommended that the printer be cleaned two to three times a week in moderate use operations.
    • Clean the printhead to remove ink residue, paper dust, or coating residue to prevent streaking and incomplete printing. Cleaning will also help prevent clogs which can permanently damage the printhead. Printheads should be cleaned when the thermal transfer ribbon or thermal transfer label roll is changed. As the printheads (and rollers) are fragile, you should avoid touching them anywhere expect on the edges and use only approved cleaners. The most common methods for cleaning printheads are using isopropyl alcohol wipes or swabs or cleaning cards.
      • Isopropyl alcohol cleans the printhead, dissolving any residue without leaving residue from the cleaner. It’s important to make sure that the alcohol fully evaporates (dries) before using the printer.
      • Cleaning cards clean the printhead and remove any build-up on the rollers. They should be used for periodic cleaning, as they can abrade the printheads and rollers, damaging them.
      • Some thermal transfer ribbons have built-in printhead cleaners, providing continuous cleaning and maintenance for the printhead.
    • Replace printheads that have become worn or abraded.

    Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations for your printer, including regular preventative maintenance. Periodic inspections of the equipment can identify potential issues before they become problems and can minimize downtime while reducing the cost of repairs and service and, most importantly, extending the life of your thermal printer.

    Blanco Labels carries a supply of printheads, thermal transfer ribbons, and labels for a wide range of thermal transfer and direct thermal printers. We are known for the quality of the printer supplies we carry and our stock and custom labels for thermal printers. Our customer service representatives are available to help you with your labels and printer needs – and to ensure that we meet or exceed your expectations.

  • Label Removal Process, Tools & Applications

    Today’s labels are manufactured using a range of adhesives to provide the level of adhesion required by the application – whether it is to keep the label attached permanently, such as a safety label or product label for a bottle or jar, or a label designed to be removed after purchase, such as a label for kitchen and bath products. Removing these labels and the underlying adhesive completely requires care to ensure that you do not damage the surface material or, if needed, the label itself.

    The key elements to consider when removing a label are:

    • Label material
    • Surface material
    • Type and strength of the adhesive used to apply the label
    • Whether you are interested in preserving the label

    Industrial Label Removal

    Label Strippers

    Laboratories, bottling plants, and processing plants need to remove labels from reusable glass, plastic, and metal containers. High volume label strippers remove the label and adhesive in one process using air-cushioned blades. These machines are custom-designed for the surface material and the level of adhesion of the labels, removing the label and adhesive completely while protecting the surface material.

    Friction Removers

    Label removers designed for recycling processes use friction to remove labels. These machines can handle a range of labels, from wraparound labels with spot adhesive to single labels with full adhesion. These machines are engineered to fully remove the label and adhesive without the need to protect the surface material.

    Small Volume and Personal-Use Label Removal

    Soaking the label

    The easiest way to remove a label is to soak the bottle, jar, or product in hot water. This will loosen the adhesive and the label can be removed. Adding ammonia or other solvent to help dissolve the adhesive can speed the process. This method can be used for most surface materials. Soaking may damage the label, so if you are interested in preserving the label, this is not the best method of removal.

    Label Remover Applications

    If you are interested in protecting the label during removal, the best solution is to use a label remover application. These applications are easy to use and provide maximum protection for the label itself. A label remover application kit contains clear plastic sheets coated with an adhesive remover on one side. The plastic sheet is applied to the label, allowing the remover to dissolve the adhesive. The plastic adheres to the label, protecting it during removal and allowing you to peel the label off intact.

    • The plastic can be left on the label for a period of time if the adhesive is strong

    This method is used mainly for glass surfaces.

    Many label collectors use this method to remove labels, as it not only keeps the label intact, but also helps to preserve the colors and patterns of the label.

    Solvent-based label removers

    Solvent-based removers break down the adhesive so the label can be removed completely. Available in liquid or aerosol form, solvents provide fast removal and are useful for removal of older adhesives. Special formulations are designed to protect metal and plastic surface materials, allowing the container to be reused. Solvent-based removers generally do not protect the label.

    Steam label removal

    Steam can be used to remove labels from glass, metal, and plastic surfaces. The steam dissolves the adhesive, making the label easy to remove. If the steam is applied carefully, the label can be preserved. Alcohol or a solvent can be added to the steam to help dissolve the adhesive.

    Blanco Labels

    Blanco Labels offers both stock and custom labels to meet the needs of customers from small specialty orders to full production runs for manufacturers. Our modern printing facility has the capabilities to manufacture full-color labels that meet your exact specifications. Blanco is known for the quality of our labels and our superior customer service – ensuring that every project meets or exceeds your expectations.

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