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Thursday, March 12, 2015

5 things you did not know about implementing GHS labeling

As of June 1, 2015 chemical manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and end-users are required to identify hazardous substances according to strict GHS labelling guidelines. The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) were adopted to improve safety information and support international trade through standardization of information. There are several areas that need to be considered for GHS-compliant printing: software, labels, printers and supplies.

Who needs to comply with GHS requirements?

Chemical plants, distributors, labs, veterinary clinics, and anyone using “secondary container” in which a chemical has been placed.

What are the GHS label elements?

The GHS label elements are signal word, hazards and precautions statements, product identifier, chemical name, supplier identification, and pictograms. Each chemical, according to its classification, will need the appropriate pictogram to be printed on the label.

GHS label elments
GHS Label Elements
GHS-Labels Printing Issues:

GHS labels must be printed in black and red for the pictograms diamonds. This is a departure from previous requirements as the symbols were printed in black, and the DOT diamonds could be pre-printed on the labels.

There are several options to print GHS labels:
1.  Pre-printed labels: have all the GHS label elements including the pictograms pre-printed on the label.
    Pros:
      a.       Only the variable information such expiry date or weight needs to be printed.
      b.      The labels can be printed using Thermal Transfer or Laser Black and White printer.

 Cons:
Each chemical would need its own pre-printed label. Imagine, in a small manufacturing plant that produces 30 products in drums and gallons, you will now need at least 60 pre-printed labels. Besides the difficulty of managing so many different stocks, if any information changes, the stock becomes obsolete. This method is only appropriate for facilities with very limited number of products and sizes.

2.  Partial pre-printed labels (Shell-Label): part of the label elements are pre-printed           on the label, such as supplier identification, empty red-diamonds, and possibly                 colored logo.
Pros:
a.       All the variable information such as product name, chemical name, hazard and precautionary statements as well as pictograms can be printed at time of manufacturing.
b.      The labels can be printed using Thermal Transfer or Laser Black and White printer.

Cons:
Since each chemical has its own pictogram or pictograms, this method leads to accumulation of label-stock that has to be maintained. For example, a company that produces ten different chemicals, some requiring one pictogram, other two pictograms, and the rest requiring four pictograms, will have to carry a minimum of three different label stocks.

3.   Blank label:
Pros:
       a.   Keep only one label stock (more if you need several sizes).
       b.   Allows complete flexibility in adding chemicals to product line at any time.

Cons:
         Labels must be printed using color printers.

Steps to Implementing GHS:

In order to implement the new GHS regulations smoothly and correctly, two main steps should take place:

First step: divide all your products according to pictograms needed on the labels- consult the new SDS labeling section.

Second step: determine how many products are in each category, for example:


Number of Products
Number of Pictograms
15
1
10
2
13
3
3
4

Third Step: determine how many label sizes are required for each product.

Number of Products
Number of Pictograms
Size of Labels
Number of products
15
1
2
5
10
2
3
4
13
3
2
7
3
4
1
1


Using this kind of table, will help you determine which printing technology to use. Looking at the table above, we can conclude that if a company choses to have pre-printed labels, they will need a minimum of 51 different label stocks. If they chose to do semi pre-printed, they will need at minimum 8 different stocks. However, if they choose to do blank labels, they will only need 2 to 3 different labels stocks, depending on the sizes (email us if you would like to see how we arrived at these figures!).

Fourth Step: Choosing a printer. Based on the results in the third step, a company should decide whether to go with pre-printed (semi pre-printed) or blank labels. Assuming we decided to go with blank labels, it is now time to choose the printer: two-color Thermal Transfer, laser, or industrial inkjet.


Fifth Step: Labeling software.
There are many options, depending on company’s size, number of locations, and ERP systems. In general, certain software contains the product information, can possibly produce GHS labels. If a company does not have existing software that can produce GHS compliant labels, they must look into software that allows to connect to existing data sources, or that contains a data-base that can hold all products information and has a label design program attached to it.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some resources that can help you out:

A variety of resources are available online which can help you to obtain more information about the subject: Many organizations provide software and useful tips that can help you with the process without any glitch. TPGTEX Software and Label Solution has over 25 years of experience in the Hazardous, Industrial and Commercial Labeling business, and can help you find the right label printing technology that most fits your needs, including specialty labels for harsh environments, GHS labels, weather proof labels, and they can help you with figuring-out your printing needs and requirements.



GHS implementation demands an extensive assessment of the current labelling practices of the product and understanding the labelling requirements and details that need to be updated or added. Undoubtedly, it is much more cost-effective to print GHS labels in-house as part of a company's packaging process.

While all these steps may seem tough to implement correctly, there is no really need to panic about the new guidelines and their urgent implementation. They may be long and exhaustive, but if you have the right software and system then everything can easily fall in place. So start working on your strategy now and develop a system that ensures that you implement GHS and incorporate it with your product in the most efficient manner, or give us a call- we LOVE brain storming!

Monday, November 3, 2014

QuickBooks Users Print Easy Barcode Labels to Manage Product Inventory


QuickBooks Users Print Easy Barcode Labels to Manage Product Inventory

TPGTEX Label Solutions developers today announced the rollout of Labels for QuickBooks version 3.0, an instant barcode, shipping and warehouse labeling system for QuickBooks users.

HOUSTON, Texas, November 3, 2014 – Data entry independence: QuickBooks users can now enjoy instant, one-step label printing for every item with TPGTEX Label Solutions software, Labels for QuickBooks. The time-saving software is now available in version 3.0 with add-ons on to print barcode labels from invoice, sales or purchase order that are easily customizable. Now through July 4, new customers receive a free one-hour training session with a TPGTEX label designer for every qualifying purchase.

For over two decades, millions of business owners have used Intuit’s QuickBooks software for accounting and inventory management purposes. But with all its advancements and bells and whistles, users of the accounting behemoth continued to face a challenging hurdle. Quickly and accurately printing shipping, bin and warehouse barcode labels straight from the program was near impossible. 

Labels for QuickBooks solves this problem, say TPGTEX barcode experts. Through direct connection to real-time data in QuickBooks, TPGTEX software intuitively captures a users QuickBooks data to simplify label-printing tasks, thus eliminating hours of data entry and human error. 

Version 3.0 connects directly to QuickBooks to print labels from invoices, sales orders, and purchase orders, with enhanced options to include item pricing along with barcodes. Users can scan resulting barcode labels directly into QuickBooks or into a spreadsheet when doing inventory counts, or utilize the system to customize existing labels.

“Inventory management is a complex task, even for QuickBooks users,” says TPGTEX CEO Robert Pennington. “Labels for QuickBooks helps QuickBooks users leverage and expand the software’s capabilities.”

Basic and Advance versions of Labels for QuickBooks are available. TPGTEX labeling solutions Software also include the popular Labels2Print software, a one-click labeling program easily integrated with most inventory systems; DrumWizard, a GHS Compliant chemical label-printing software;  a picture inventory and mini catalogue program; a Food Labeling System, printing nutritional information labels for small food manufacturers and more. http://www.tpgtex.com/software.html

QuickBooks users, developers and interested parties can learn more about Labels for QuickBooks  or by connecting with TPGTEX barcode experts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tpgtex   or simply by calling them: 713.726.9636 the friendly folks at TPGTEX love talking barcodes and labels.

About TPGTEX Label Solutions:
TPGTEX is an experienced labeling and solutions provider of all aspects of Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC). Providing customers with labeling software solutions as well as Printers (both thermal and laser), Ribbons, and Labels. With over 25 years’ experience in the Hazardous, Industrial and Commercial Labeling business, their customers list includes both large corporations and small companies

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Dad didn't just teach me how to walk; he also taught me how to succeed in business

I grew up around people who were all self-made business owners.  I always knew that I also wanted to have my own business but was not sure what I was good at. I went to school and worked for a while in Education, first teaching and then becoming a principal of a small private school.  Later, I switched fields, and started working for a private ISP (Internet Service Provider). It was time to make a change when I discovered that I was earning three times less than the men I was supervising.

My Dad - Danny Doron
I looked to my Dad who started his own business working alone, slowly building it up. His first shop was in an old metal building that he rented. His paper work was inside a shoe box and he had one employee. As he made money he invested it back in his business. The one small metal building, turned into another until he was able to buy his land and build his own buildings employing over 60 workers.  My Dad was not afraid to work hard. As the business owner, he was the Secretary, Bookkeeper, Sales Manager, Marketing Director, Chief Engineer, Foreman and Welder. 


Inspired by what I knew could be done, my husband and I set to start our own business. The requirements were laid before me:

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Work hard (very hard)
  3. Be persistent
  4. Do not be afraid to take on challenges
  5. No Job is too small


A business does not build itself alone. You need customers and customers need good quality product with excellent service. My Dad would go to work every weekends and work through the night many times so that he could deliver to his customers a high quality product as promised when promised. If a piece of equipment broke, he would fix it, getting his clothe dirty and his hands black from machine grease.

When my husband and I started our business, I was prepared to work hard, and give it all I had. Every penny we made went right back into the business. We were not afraid to try new things. Our software company is doing well. We developed our own framework on which we build our various software applications. Although we work with large corporations, we also created a host of applications to work for small business utilizing common software – such as QuickBooks or Inventory systems.

The development of the software is directly tied to our customers. We encourage our customers to give us feedback and listen very carefully to their needs. As a result, we created software that is very powerful yet extremely easy to use. We solved problems we never knew existed! 

My Dad never taught me how to weld (although I wanted to learn).  Instead, he taught me to how to succeed in business by applying myself, working hard and being persistent.  Knowing what he achieved is inspiring me every day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Printing Product Labels out of QuickBooks

Did you ever want to print labels for the products in your items list and couldn't ? 


QuickBooks is a great accounting software, but when it comes to printing labels for products it has very little to offer. Many companies are using QuickBooks to manage their inventory and warehouses. The biggest problem they have is the need to print labels for their products, either coming in or going out. In addition, there is a need to print bin labels or shelf labels for the warehouse.

Print labels out of QuickBooksWe were first made aware of this issue about 8 years ago when a small Diamond Jeweler wanted to print "rat-tail" labels for his rings but couldn't. (Rat-tail labels are the small tags that are used to wrap around the band of a ring or another piece of jewelry.) 
He came to us, asking for our help. He explained how many hours it takes his wife to sit at the computer and to retype the jewels information. When we asked around we found out that it was almost impossible to produce product labels from QuickBooks.

The program that we created was very simple at first - and could only print product labels from the item list. As time passed, our customers asked for more features. Today the software is able to connect directly to QuickBooks to print labels out of invoices, sales orders, purchase orders and even pick lists.

There are many benefits to printing your own labels. One of these is printing Bin labels with Product picture.

When warehouse employees have to pick an order - it is much easier for them to pick an item while looking at the picture of the item. This in-turn reduces pick time, but also reduces customer returns.
The flip side of it, is when new items are received in the warehouse. Employees have less chance of putting the item in the wrong bin if it has a picture of the item on the bin.

Inventory management is a complex task. By having barcode labels, you can scan the labels directly into your QuickBooks or into a spreadsheet when doing inventory counts.

Another way of using labels is to offer your customers additional benefits, such as printing labels with their barcode and their prices on the items they purchase from you.

Labels for QuickBooks offer all of these benefits and many more. We would love talking to you about how it could benefit your company.


Monday, April 25, 2011

TPGTEX Announces DrumWizard © V. 9 GHS Ready Labeling Software

OSHA is requiring all chemical manufacturers to be GHS complaint by August 2011. Is your company ready? DrumWizard © V.9 is GHS compliant software designed to address the needs of chemical manufacturers.
 DrumWizard GHS Compliant Labeling Software

GHS – Global Hazard Symbols is being adopted by many countries around the world.  In the United States several agencies have requirements for classification and labeling of chemicals. OSHA’s HCS – Hazard Communication Standard requires chemical manufacturers and importers to prepare labels and material safety data sheets to convey the hazards and protective measures to users of chemicals,  employees working in facilities that manufacture, handle and store the chemicals.  OSHA is expecting all manufacturers to be GHS compliant by August 2011.

DrumWizard ©  V.9 is GHS compliant software designed to address the needs of chemical manufacturers. It has the ability to store chemical information and print on demand labels for chemical products.  DrumWizard ©   was first installed almost 16 years ago in one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the United States who could not find, at the time, a suitable solution for print on demand. Since then, DrumWizard ©   has been updated and upgraded to comply with many requirements, including the need to print in multiple languages.

“DrumWizard ©  V. 9 is experiencing unprecedented deployment success,” said Robert Pennington, Founder and CEO of TPGTEX. “It has already surpassed  any previous version deployment rate. With the availability of full color printing of all GHS symbols, multiple languages including simple Chinese and Creole on one label and multiple graphic formats, we expect more customers to make the move to DrumWizard © V. 9.”

Many customers have already benefited from deploying DrumWizard © V. 9  “We were not sure how we were going to be in compliant with the GHS requirements, in addition we also had to ship our product to Europe and had to use the European phrases. It looked as if we were going to be in a big mess.” Said  Mr. Cox of Dixie Chemical “ We had a very short time to deploy the new software.” DrumWizard ©   Solved our problems. It came with all European phrases in 26 languages, all GHS symbols and best of all it can print on demand any label we needed to any printer we wanted.”  .

DrumWizard © V. 9 is available for shipping right now. It is compatible with windows 7, 64 bit, (However, the folks at TPGTEX understand that many companies still use older operating systems and made sure their software can be installed on older versions going all the way back to windows 2000.) It comes in several versions, from stand alone to enterprise solution. It has the ability to connect directly to existing data or can be used by itself.  Demo versions of the software are available upon request: http://www.tpgtex.com/demo.html or by calling the company directly 713.726.9636

TPGTEX is an experienced labeling and solutions provider of all aspects of Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC). They provide customers with labeling software solutions as well as Printers (both thermal and laser), Ribbons, and Labels. With over 25 years experience in the Hazardous, industrial and commercial Labeling business, their customers’ list includes both large corporations and small companies alike.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Will Food labels become obsolete with smartphone and barcodes?


As consumer want to become more educated about the food they buy and consume, many turn to apps for the iPhone and other smart phones that can read the barcodes on the food labels. Once the barcodes are read, the application displays information about the food product that may not be on the label.  In Japan QR Codes have been used to tag fresh produce to show where it comes from including information such as soil composition.

Without a doubt consumers deserve to know as much as they want about the products they consume. Food Labels are limited in space and the amount of information they can display. The demand for more information that can be accessed instantly is answered by companies that created databases with nutritional information about hundreds of thousands of food products.

Although this technology is great and allows easy access to relevant information, many consumers still do not have access to it or do not know how to use it.
There is also a practical aspect – I loaded one of these applications on my iPhone and went to the grocery store. I used my regular shopping list and checked the products I normally buy. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that almost all the products I buy were available, however most of the information was a repeat of what was already printed on the label.  One side  benefit I found is the ability to enlarge text using the iPhone that was normally too small to read on the label. However, scanning the products was a time consuming task and I could not imagine taking my any children on this shopping trip…
Will Food Label Become Obsolete? Absolutely not!

Food labels are here to stay. I expect to see companies adding QR codes to their own labels to control the source of additional information. I am also convinced that as we are using more pictographs to communicate quick ideas – those too will become permanent feature on our food labels. A heart – for good for your heart foods, Green for organic  and so on.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

How to Choose Labeling Software?

There are several good label software packages available. Whether you are considering upgrading your current label design software or in the market for a brand new software you need to consider Several factors.
Shipping label software using multiple barcodes


1. Make a list of everything you would want on your label - What information will you need on the labels?
Typical product labels have Product Name, Short Description and UPC Bar Code. You may want to have price or even an image of your product. Answering this question will help you determine what type of ELEMENTS the label software must allow.
Label Elements are: Images (jpg, png, bmp etc.), types of barcodes (Linear, 2d, 3d,) and variety of barcodes (UPCA, EAN 13, Code 39, PDF 14), variety of text (Sizes, fonts, colors), Shapes. There are more labels elements, but this is for another blog.

2. Find Out where the information on the label is coming from. Is your product information stored in your inventory software, QuickBooks, Excel Spreadsheet? 

The answer to this will determine what type of Data Connection the label software must have. You may be surprised to find that although many software packages claim to have an ODBC connection capabilities, not all can connect to Inventory software or even QuickBooks.

Thermal Transfer Printer
3. How would the printing of labels be done? Would you have a printing station at your warehouse? Would you like your employees to print labels using mobile devices? 

Most advance label software packages start with a lite version and go all the way to enterprise level to allow for multiple users, printing from multiple devices. If you do not wish to install the software at all, you may choose a labeling software package that allows printing from a secure web portal. 

4. Do you plan on using your existing printer/s?  Are you planning on buying a new printer?

make sure the software you are getting has the correct printer drivers for your printers and operating system.

5. Are you exporting any of your products? Are you selling your products in a bi-lingual market?


Chemical Drum label with SIX languages

If so you need to be sure that your labeling software can accommodate the languages you need. In addition, you would want your software to be capable of printing in two languages or more on one label.

6. What is your budget? 

Labeling software can be found for free or shareware on the Internet - but it may not meet all your needs. On the other hand, Enterprise level packages can cost several thousand dollars.


Use this short check list when shopping around:
  • Data Base connectivity- Can it connect easily to the company's database?
  • Barcodes - does it have all the types of barcodes you will need?
  • Graphics - what kind of graphic files can be used?
  • Fit Text to Box - can the text be fitted inside a box automatically?
  • Versions - What versions are available? Server (enterprise Edition),
  • Printer Drivers - Can it use standard printer drivers? Does it have a printer driver for your current printer?
  • Compatibility - Is it compatible with your current operation system?
  • Languages - Does it support multiple languages? (using Unicode)
  • Support - What type of support is available for it and how much it costs?
  • Cost - How much does it cost? Does that fit your budget?