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How To Buy UL Labels

Apr 8, 2008
UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories, which is an organization that is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products for consumer safety for many years. Many of these products require a label to designate that the product has passed the UL inspection and is safe for the consumer.

UL labels can be complicated to understand because different label material is specified for different surfaces they are adhered to. If your product is aluminum, galvanized steel, stainless steel, and has acrylic paint, epoxy paint and porcelain, there is a material that will work and help keep your costs down as long as your temperature range is no higher than 150 C or 302 F and no lower than -40 C or -40 F.

Buying this UL label material will not cover your application if your surface is an acrylic powder coat paint, polyester powder coat paint, epoxy powder coat paint or urethane powder coat paints in the same temperature range. This application requires a much different pressure sensitive label to meet the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standards.

Labels developed for use as UL marking require a printer and ink match if the customer is printing the label in house. Zebra, IIMAK, Sony and ITW all have UL approved ink that works in the most popular thermal transfer printers in the market. IMMAK designates their ribbon as the SP-330 and SH-36 series. ITW just announced they have a B324 Broad Spectrum resin ribbon that is now approved for about eleven 3M label stocks.

Saving money on UL/CSA labels is the opportunity here. Without expert help, a customer can pay way too much for a very high end ribbon and label combination that may be approved for any surface, when all you need is the correct combination to fit your specific product material.

The first think you need to know on how to buy UL labels is the surface material the label is going to adhere to. Once this surface material is identified, then the temperature range is needed. Pressure sensitive label materials for UL use come in silver, white and clear. The white can be flood coated with other colors to match any customer need. Chose the material color, size and quantity and you are ready to order your UL labels and get the correct match for your application.

Documentation is the key if a customer ever gets inspected. All UL approved label stock will have the proper documentation to support the use in your facility. If you are printing on a thermal transfer printer, the same documentation is available for the ribbon you are to use.
About the Author
John Barth founded Adazon Barcode Labels and Barcode Equipment www.adazonusa.com in 2003 and has a wealth of information in the barcode arena from over 20 years of experience in distribution. John's experience allows companies to cut costs on UL labels, custom labels and total barcode solutions. For more information call 847-235-2700.
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