Streamline your laboratory labeling processes

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A leading European research and teaching university hospital contacted us for a durable label and printing solution. They were looking to streamline how they identify their vials that contain radioactive material and needed a durable label for long-term storage to display health and safety warnings and sample information.

We recommended a package that included durable labels, a thermal transfer printer, print ribbon and software to cover all their laboratory labeling requirements.

Background

The institute specialises in nuclear medicine examinations and therapies. They conduct fluoroscopic examinations on patients using wave or particle radiation and have developed a process that transmits radioactive liquid through a material to form a 3D view which is then converted into imagery or video format.

Surgeons use this method to conduct surgical procedures as it helps them trace and identify the presence or absence of tumours.

What the laboratory needed?

The laboratory asked us to provide options for:

  • Labels to display the yellow and black radioactive caution symbol.
  • A label material durable enough to withstand sterilization with alcohol wipes, without smudging or staining, and that could be stored for a number of years.
  • Partially pre-printed labels with the option for the laboratory to easily print variable data in-house.

The laboratory needed us to preprint the labels with regulatory warning information, instructions on how to administer the radioactive solution, storage instructions and temperatures, and disposal information. In addition, the label needed to include space on the label to allow in-house printing of manufacture and calibration data.

The laboratory would then print variable data onto the pre-printed labels, place the labels onto vials, sterilise them with alcohol wipes and then fill the vials with radioactive liquid at 50°C. The vials would be stored at room temperature and have a life span of between 5 and 10 years.

What solution did we recommend?

Labels

CILS-8100X labels were ideal:

CILS-8100X is a white polyester label material that is ideal for permanent, long-term sample identification, which is exactly what the laboratory needed. The label has a solvent acrylic adhesive that bonds to the surface – the longer you leave the label, the stronger the adhesive bonds to the surface it is applied to.

In addition, when the label material is printed with the correct combination of printer and ribbon, it is resistant to abrasion, smudging, heat, moisture, solvents (e.g. xylene, acetone), cleaning agents (IPA), freeze storage, sterilisation, etc. and resists temperatures from -196ºC up to +155ºC. The label has a smooth, gloss surface which makes it easier to wipe clean.

The label material is flexible and ideal for smooth low-energy surfaces, such as polypropylene. It conforms perfectly to curved plastic/glassware of all sizes, including vials, tubes, Petri-dishes, microtubes, microplates, polypropylene vials, etc.

Printing

We proposed a generic solution to partially pre-print the university clinic’s logo, the radioactive warning symbol and generic storage and regulatory warning information, with blank space for the laboratory to print their variable data in-house.

We used the laboratory’s label design to produce the pre-printed label artwork, but it is important to note that our label design service can help produce simple or complex label layouts and designs, depending on customers’ requirements.

Hardware

To print the sample variable data, we recommended the Cab Squix thermal transfer printer.

Print quality for this or any laboratory is crucial, particularly due to the small surface area available to print on vials, tubes, etc. Cab Squix 600dpi has a high-resolution print head ideal for printing small text on labels with limited space such as vials and tubes.

The Cab Squix comes with a network and WIFI connection and a serrated edge to quickly tear-off printed labels, easy loading of ribbons, etc. The CILS-ARA printer ribbon is ideal to use with this printer and label material. It keeps print quality sharp, legible and durable – suitable for long-term storage.

Software

In addition, we proposed a single NiceLabel software licence. It provides a simple and easy to use interface for the laboratory staff to create and print their labels to save time and to ensure labeling consistency.

  Always choose the right label, printer and ribbon combination. This can make the difference between successful and failing labels" - Oliver Stockton.

Contact us to find out more

If you are looking to streamline your laboratory labeling processes, contact us to find out more about the printer, ribbon and label package we recommended here, plus other options that might be more suitable for your requirements or environment.

 

Oliver StocktonWritten by Oliver Stockton, Managing Director, CILS