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 Post subject: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:31 am
Posts: 238
Location: Port Huron, Michigan
I finally have convinced my current employer to purchase me a copy of SKM Power*Tools. One of the first things I'm going to want to do is to print labels for locations that are currently missing them.

At my last place of employment I had purchased a Brady BP33 printer to print arc flash labels with. Do people have other label printers they prefer?

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:21 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:39 pm
Posts: 3
I work at a consulting firm. We do three or four arc flash studies per year, some of which have a couple hundred labels. I found for us that there's nothing cheaper than sending them to a print house. The refill label cartridges themselves are more expensive than having a print shop do the work for us. Of course, the turnaround time may be an issue for you, or you might have to cover shipping, so your mileage may vary.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 146
We do a lot of these and there are two sources for both labeling equipment and stock I can recommend. Cascade Labels and Graphic Products. Both companies are located in Oregon (and I think they make the equipment there). Both machines produce good quality labels.

Regarding software: we use Easy Power and the interface between label makers and the software is solid, plus the tech support is first class. I've not used SKM so I don't know how good the editing process is - what I mean is how well the label maker software and the arc flash software work together. Maybe something to consider before deciding. Here's my concern. 70E has and is changing, you may end up wanting to edit how or what your label says based on those changes or other unique circumstances. Easy Power's label editing is easy and I like the results.

Finally, the stock from both of the companies I mentioned is good quality vinyl. The only issues we've had is that sun bleaches the labels. I don't know how any label stock can stand up to direct sun for more than a few years so the color fades pretty fast.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:43 am
Posts: 177
Location: Colorado
I have used the Graphic Products for about ten years. The other mentioned company is a spin off and both machines are from China. I have not used the Brady because of cost. GP will work with you on cost (buy enough supply and the machine is free). I have never bought a printer - just lots of supplies (love M&Ms)


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:43 am 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 831
Location: Rutland, VT
We used to use a Graphics Products printer but have found it is more efficient to have the printing done by a 3rd party. We use a spreadsheet with the information for the labels and the printer sends back proofs of the labels in pdf for review prior to printing. What is an added benefit is I have a pdf file of the actual labels for future reference or if a label gets damaged, it is easier to have a new one printed.

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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:31 am
Posts: 238
Location: Port Huron, Michigan
I need the ability to print labels on demand, so a print shop wouldn't work. I think I'm just going to go with a Brady printer, assuming I get it approved. Thank you for suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:15 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:32 pm
Posts: 1
The MEP firm I work at uses a Toshiba or HP all-in-one to printer to print arc flash labels onto weatherproof polyester 4-label sheet. The labels work well for indoor applications and smooth surface. There are some electrical equipment enclosures that have a popcorn like texture that does not adhere very well to. Also, in the Phoenix area the labels fade in the sun light quickly. I have not found a solution for the texture surface or sunlight fading. Maybe someone on this forum could make a suggestion?


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:31 am
Posts: 238
Location: Port Huron, Michigan
I have ended up ordering the Graphics Products Toro printer. Labels and ribbons are priced in the same ballpark as Brady's, but they are selling me the printer for about a third of the price of the Brady printer.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
Posts: 2174
Location: North Carolina
First when you have a printer you get to maintain it, too. If you use it every day it's no big deal. But if it only gets run once a week or something like that it seems like I spend more time getting it going again than I do with actually printing labels. So for "one off" labels it is far more trouble than it is worth.

The evil part about Graphic Products printers is that they've taken a standard thermal transfer printer that is readily available on the market, changed the plastic body color from grey to orange, and hidden a little RFID reader in the body of the printer. Inside the cardboard rolls of material you will find a small RFID tag. This allows them to charge around 300% to 400% markup for materials and prevents you from using anyone else's materials. This wouldn't be so bad except that the RFID reader itself is flaky and occasionally you'll get a roll where the tag has fallen out of the tube. The end result is that about the only extra "feature" you get is their software, but I tend to drive it from other software (e.g. SKM, ETAP, Inkscape, etc.) directly and hardly use their software.

I'd suggest buying the original manufacturer's printer if you like the one Graphic Products sells when you buy another one.

As to labels in general none of them seem to hold up to coastal Southern environments outdoors for more than about 6 months no matter what the material is. The only way to prevent the sticker from fading is to use a UV resistant overlay on top of it. Once you go that route the thermal transfer vinyl stickers are pretty much a waste because you can ink jet print with standard printers in the office and just apply the UV resistant overlay on top of that. For larger batches you can get a local print shop to make labels faster and cheaper than you can do it in house on any material you want. The only thing I haven't tried yet is to use a vinyl cutter to make vinyl transfer labels which wouldn't have a fading problem since the material itself is the label rather than any kind of transferred vinyl ribbon, toner, or ink.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:01 am
Posts: 227
Location: Indiana
NateZ wrote:
The MEP firm I work at uses a Toshiba or HP all-in-one to printer to print arc flash labels onto weatherproof polyester 4-label sheet. The labels work well for indoor applications and smooth surface. There are some electrical equipment enclosures that have a popcorn like texture that does not adhere very well to. Also, in the Phoenix area the labels fade in the sun light quickly. I have not found a solution for the texture surface or sunlight fading. Maybe someone on this forum could make a suggestion?


This is what I do. Just print them on the office laser printer using OL475LP labels from onlinelabels.com .

If and when they fade or get damaged I just print new ones. I use SKM to print to PDF and save the PDF to my project folder so I can go back and print new labels from the PDF whenever without having to get back into SKM.

Oh, and regarding the fading issue specifically someone told me you can spray them with some UV filter clear coat but I have not tried that.

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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:55 pm 

Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 12:39 pm
Posts: 7
We tried them in house.

When running a large batch, the labels started separating inside the printer.

I wasn't very popular for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash Label Printer Suggestions Wanted
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:40 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:38 am
Posts: 3
I find creative Safety Supply to be cheaper and better than Graphic Products.


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