Safety Solution Labels Cotntinuous Printer

2022 EC&M Product of the Year: On-Demand Safety Labeling Solution from Brother Mobile Solutions

Aug. 26, 2022
The 2022 Platinum Award-winning product, Brother Mobile Solutions' On-Demand Safety Labeling Solution, prints on-demand signage labels to ensure compliance, help protect workers, and streamline the process of safety labeling.

To alert workers of hazards in industrial facilities, managers searched for a way to print safety labels on site. The labels needed to not only stay in place, but they also had to be compliant and adhere to changing regulations. By launching the On-Demand Safety Labeling Solution in September 2021, Westminster, Colo.-based Brother Mobile Solutions met the needs of its customers. The product also just won the Platinum Award in the 2022 EC&M Product of the Year competition based on reader votes.

“We wanted to provide users with an easy way to design and print compliant safety labels, specific to the needs of their facilities,” says Kelly Swift, senior marketing manager for Brother Mobile Solutions, a provider of mobile, handheld, and industrial printing/labeling solutions. “The labels needed to be durable to the elements and rigors of the industrial environment with a variety of colors and types to meet compliance at an affordable price point.”

The product has been on the company’s radar for the last five years. While the company has had requests from customers to print safety labels with its printers, it didn’t have the right material to print the colors, size, and durability needed for safety signage.

Over the course of 18 to 24 months, the company performed extensive testing on matching substrates with thermal transfer ribbons as well as print driver and internal printer settings. Various adjustments had to be made during the testing process, and printer, media and driver settings all had to be fine-tuned.

“With extensive testing, we made a lot of small adjustments to print speed and darkness so we could maximize the image and print quality for each media type,” Swift says.

The engineering, sales, and marketing departments worked together to create the transportable and easy-to-use solution, which includes printers, software, and supplies. Users can now create and apply safety signage in different formats to follow OSHA, ANSI, NEC, and other safety standards. The Brother TD-4750TNWBCS facility and label printer, which offers lifetime technical support, produces durable, high-resolution (300 dpi) labels. The integrated cutter eliminates the need for scissors.

“The durable labels and ribbons stand up to the harshest environments and when paired with the power of thermal transfer printing, can stay adhered and readable for years,” says Duane Yamashita, senior product manager for Brother Mobile Solutions.

The LabelSuite safety label design software, which is included free with the purchase of the printer, makes it easy to design compliant signs on demand right on site, Swift says. Users can print high-quality, durable, and compliant labels in the desired colors and sizes to meet their needs.

When designing pipe markers and secondary GHS labels, a virtual design wizard guides users through the process. After answering a series of questions, the software designs the appropriate label and directs users to the correct label to use. Customers can also use the software, labels, and printer solution to print other labels around a facility ,including 5S, rack/bin labels, and labels for shipping and pallets with different label types.

“There are hundreds of templates and thousands of symbols to make designing compliant signs for arc flash, general OSHA compliant safety labels, and more easy,” Swift says. “Also, the wide variety of label options in compliant colors and formats supports compliance so you don’t have to be an expert to design and print compliant safety signs.”

Designed for safety managers, EHS managers, and facilities managers, the labeling solution allows customers to print exactly what they need — in the quantity they are looking for — to fit the size of their facility at a lower price point than competitive products.

“Pre-printed safety signs require a minimum purchase, and you usually have to purchase more than you need,” Swift says. “They also have lead times for shipping and aren’t specific to your facility.”

Swift says that users can help keep workers safe and increase efficiency by printing the safety signs they need right when they need them.

“They can identify and communicate a hazard to their workers immediately rather than waiting a week to get the right signage in place,” she says. “At the end of the day, worker safety is the most important. Being able to create clear, compliant safety labels as soon as a hazard is identified that will last and remain readable is critical.”

Gold Award

MOTORS, DRIVES & MOTOR CONTROLS

ABB won the Gold Award for its ReliaGear LV Motor Control Center. With a compact footprint and flexible construction, the UL/cUL 845-listed product is designed for up to 3,200A bus, across-the-line starters through size 6, and variable-speed drives up to 500 hp. The optional Bluetooth control panel provides remote monitoring and control outside the arc flash boundaries.

Silver Award

WORK LIGHTS

Milwaukee Tool won the Silver Award for its M18 Utility Remote Control Search Light Kit w/ Portable Base. The IP56-rated searchlight can be used to illuminate inaccessible areas while mounted to a bucket truck or attached to the M18 portable base. The wireless joystick remote gives linemen complete control over the light’s positioning. The light can switch from spot mode, which produces up to 1,250 yd of beam distance, to flood mode, which provides 4,250 lm of visibility over a larger area. 

The EC&M Tradition Endures

Established in 2001, the EC&M  Product of the Year competition recognizes excellence in new product development for the electrical industry. Honoring inventiveness in product design, as well as improvements in safety and efficiency, the competition’s two-fold judging and voting process determines the most ground-breaking products of the past year that allow electrical design professionals, installers, and maintenance personnel to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Products eligible for this year’s competition were those introduced to the market between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021. A hand-picked panel of judges ranked the 103 products entered into this year’s contest based on a uniform list of scoring criteria, ultimately selecting 31 category winners for the first phase of the competition. These category winners were then narrowed down to just three finalists through an online poll available to our readers on the EC&M website. EC&M subscribers determined the platinum, gold, and silver award-winning products of the year by casting their votes.

About the Author

Amy Fischbach | Amy Fischbach, EUO Contributing Editor

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