OKI has just unveiled a new end to end laser solution for short run, Global Harmonisation System (GHS) chemical labelling. Complete with printer and specialist label media, the fully warranted solution is approved to BS5609 standards. Now, any organisation needing small numbers of a wide range of GHS-compliant labels can print them in-house, as and when they are required.
To print fully compliant chemical labels, the media, adhesive and the printed image all have to meet parts 1, 2 and 3 of BS5609. OKI's total package, which includes a range of approved printers (OKI C610, C711, C910, ES6410, ES7411 or ES9410) combined with OKI label media, have been independently tested and certified by PIRA (the Print Industry Research Association).
The new GHS ensures the consistency around the world of chemical labelling. It also presents a challenge in terms of label stock management for industries such as transportation which need an economic way to print bespoke labels according to each load. With current legislation (CHIP), orange labels are overprinted in black using thermal transfer technologies. However, the new GHS requires labels to be printed in colour on a range of sizes from A7 to A4, with anywhere between 1 and 8 pictograms, accompanied by hazard information, which could also need to be in a range of languages dependent on where the chemicals are being shipped.
Dave Willcox, media application manager, OKI explains: "Full compliance with GHS is required by 2015 and this is driving the need for a way to print short runs, in colour and "on the fly". The financial impact on those needing large volumes of one type of label is not so marked because of economies of scale. But, until now, organisations where the demand is flexible and varied - for example, where multiple hazards must be transported in a single cargo - have been left with limited options.
"However, the OKI solution provides an extremely cost effective way to address this issue. Only the exact number and type of labels can be printed when the need arises."
BS5609 is the standard used to ensure that GHS labelling complies with European directives and ensures that the label and information printed on it will survive the harshest of environments including long immersion in the sea or accelerated wear due to sand abrasion.