Author Topic: Best way to quickly label component bags?  (Read 7706 times)

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Offline JGAN

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Best way to quickly label component bags?
« on: September 28, 2016, 06:56:30 am »
I sell electronic components online. Up until now I have been just writing the labels on the bags with sharpie, but it keeps rubbing off and people are complaining (understandably). I need a way to quickly label ziplocs, and bonus points if you can make the labels fit on 2x3" bags. Any ideas?
 

Online sleemanj

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 07:02:00 am »
Use a better pen.

Look for DVD marking pens, they dry near instantly and adhere well to most plastics, and will take quite a lot of rubbing to remove them (unless you use a solvent of course).

Or just buy a pack of little blank labels from your local cheap-chinese-stuff-shop and write on them.
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Online tautech

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 07:07:04 am »
I sell electronic components online. Up until now I have been just writing the labels on the bags with sharpie, but it keeps rubbing off and people are complaining (understandably). I need a way to quickly label ziplocs, and bonus points if you can make the labels fit on 2x3" bags. Any ideas?
Where?
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Offline JGAN

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2016, 07:18:13 am »
I have to label somewhere between 50-100 bags daily. I was hoping someone had an electronic solution with some sort of special label printer as so far nothing I have found will do labels small enough.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 07:30:27 am »
I have to label somewhere between 50-100 bags daily. I was hoping someone had an electronic solution with some sort of special label printer as so far nothing I have found will do labels small enough.
I'd think someone like Avery could help you:
http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Products/Labels

Depending on what software you have and your printers capabilities as you need a flat paper path printer for adhesive labels.
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Offline JGAN

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2016, 07:33:28 am »
Thanks, are there any thermal/inkless solutions?
 

Offline StuUK

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 07:38:26 am »
Thanks, are there any thermal/inkless solutions?

Look at Zebra printers... they do small thermal label printers amongst other things
 

Offline setq

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 11:41:47 am »
I use a label the size of the side of the bag vertically. Gives it rigidity so you can index file them and you can just write on the thing.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 01:18:45 pm »
Brother P-Touch. But the quality, and therefore cost, may be higher than you would like.
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 01:44:22 pm »
Brother P-Touch. But the quality, and therefore cost, may be higher than you would like.

There's also a series that prints on paper roll if you don't need the fancy labels:

http://www.brother-usa.com/PTouch/Label_Printer/
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Online Brumby

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2016, 02:10:34 pm »
An online seller I know has one of these:


Brother QL500 label printer.  Thermal printing - no ink.  There are several models, some with automatic cutters.

They printed a test label and then went over the print with two types of highlighter, sticky tape and a couple of other things - to see how robust the print was.  A Year after, one of the sticky tapes had reduced the image density by an observable amount - but it was a long way from becoming unreadable.  The other sample points were as good as the day they were printed.

You can get labels from half inch and one inch circles, 27mm square, 17mm x 54mm and so on up to continuous tape 100' long in varying widths up to 65mm.

There are also some generic brands of labels - but my friend hasn't tried them yet.
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2016, 02:17:59 pm »
There is a different type of ziplock that has a white painted box that can be written on.
 
Personally as a buyer I prefer the seller to print on the biggest non-tearable paper in the biggest font and insert the paper in the bag.  That is how I am labelling my component bags now.  And it is nicer if your bag can be a size that nicely fit into the slot of a game-card folder
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 02:20:08 pm »
I normally just laser print on white letter paper and stick the paper into the ziplock bag.
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Online Brumby

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 02:25:01 pm »
I, personally, use paper inside a ziplock bag as well.

Sometimes if I'm impatient, it will be hand-written on a torn piece of paper - but it will be labelled.  (To be honest, sometimes the shape and size of a torn piece of paper makes it easier to identify a particular pack, without having to read the writing.)  I also use colour coding in some instances, too.
 

Offline JGAN

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 03:34:48 pm »
My only issue with laser printing labels is that it will be very slow. Will look into the Brother and Zebra though.
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2016, 06:06:08 pm »
Not sure about thermal printers, Farnell used something really bad for few years, some labels faded completely if left in the sunlight for a few months. Had to take the parts out of the bag and reverse engineer them.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2016, 07:24:33 pm »
You can get thermal printers which can use either a thermal paper or a plain paper label with a wax ribbon. The ribbons will be sunlight survivable for decades, as it is a wax applied to the paper. Others use a dye sublimation technique to apply the dark mark to the paper, and are just as durable.

The Zebra printers are cheap, and pretty rugged, only had one power supply fail on them so far, and just replaced it with a generic laptop power brick ( set to 16V) and away it went again. The included software is capable enough to print most labels, and even can be integrated into some software to do numbered labels and other info direct from the database, though I do not use this, just have lots of templates for them. The thermal labels for the cheap ones are very cheap as well, you can get a large roll and feed it through from the rear, or just put the roll of 1000 inside the printer itself.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2016, 09:12:11 pm »
I prefer the label on the outside since most of the bags I have from Farnell are anti-static and thus too dark to read a paper which is inside.
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2016, 09:35:22 pm »
I've got one of the small Brother P-Touch label thermal printers that uses self-laminating tapes that come in cartridges, but will print on non-laminated tapes too. This particular type is not probably of much interest for your particular purpose but I thought some experience with Brother label printers might nevertheless be illuminating. I've had this particular printer for over 10 years (and used similar models before) and it's performed faultlessly. The self-laminated labels stand up to a lot of physical and chemical abuse - the label on my daily use trigger spray bottle of isopropanol looks like new after about 8-10 years.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2016, 10:55:46 pm »
+ they use normal windows printer drivers so you simply set up a custom paper size to match your labels and can drive it directly from whatever parts database you use without having to go through the Brother label utility
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2016, 11:39:50 pm »
I have to label somewhere between 50-100 bags daily. I was hoping someone had an electronic solution with some sort of special label printer as so far nothing I have found will do labels small enough.

I use the Dymo LabelWriter 450 for creating address and wine bottle labels.

There are all sorts of label sizes for this printer, including 0.5" x 1" and 1" x 1".

The Dymo software is also pretty good for free software. It does everything from simple text labels to bar codes and sequential numbering so you can tell it "give me 200 labels numbered A00001 to A00200" and it will automatically print them all for you. The other great thing is, you can share the Dymo printer on the network and the Dymo software will still print to it from client computers.

To give you an idea of the cost of labels, a box of 1000 13mm x 25mm labels is AUD$24.48 from a major retailer. So you're looking at about 2 cents per label, depending on the size. The printer itself costs AUD$129.00.

It's a cheap, quick and effective way to label things. The downside of course (as others have mentioned) is that it uses paper thermal labels which will fade when exposed to sunlight or high temperatures. But if you're storing them in a dark environment or in a box, you shouldn't have a drama.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 11:54:07 pm by Halcyon »
 

Offline jh15

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 12:58:39 am »
I have: Epson mobile phone operated thermal: https://www.amazon.com/Epson-LabelWorks-LW-600P-App-enabled-Cartridge/dp/B00IL7BJMM/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1475110208&sr=1-3&keywords=epson+labelworks

It is terrible. Lousy GUI, and I bought cable labels pack, which took forever to get, needs an app not mentioned by Epson support,  and looks like only template is for server farms.

In addition, it pre cuts off 1/2 inch of label stock before EACH lable, and litters the table with them. Must of gotten the idea from wasting ink-jet ink.

Has a PSU, but alkaline batts die very quickly.

Also, thermal is risky. I remember Radio Shack receipts faded to nothing by time tax time came up. They were in folders in a file cabinet away from light.

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Offline BradC

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2016, 01:24:20 am »
I use the Avery label Windows software pulling from a Postgres database into a Laserjet 2200. I've even figured out how to print partial sheets and then print the rest later so there's no wastage if I only need 10 labels.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2016, 02:58:18 am »
I sell electronic components online. Up until now I have been just writing the labels on the bags with sharpie, but it keeps rubbing off and people are complaining (understandably). I need a way to quickly label ziplocs, and bonus points if you can make the labels fit on 2x3" bags. Any ideas?

To prevent rub off, I put clear scotch tape over the writing.  For larger writings, I use clear packaging tape.

This is also useful when printing address label with ink jet.  It prevents rain water causing the address label ink to run-off and hard-to-read.

 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2016, 08:20:24 am »
I've even figured out how to print partial sheets and then print the rest later so there's no wastage if I only need 10 labels.
Be very careful doing this with laser printers. The heat from the fuser and the shape of the paper path can cause corners of labels to lift. You get one of those stuck around your fuser or imaging drum, you're up for some fairly expensive repairs. All reputable label sheets will have a warning stating not to re-use partially used sheets. This is entirely the reason why I use dedicated label printers which supply and print labels from a roll. I'd rather pay slightly more per label than risk rendering my printer useless or wasting partially printed sheets.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2016, 09:51:19 am »
Problem with the thermal label printers ala P touch for large batches of the same label is the handling of the tape. You print out a bunch of labels, then the tape curls up when you remove the backing and it is a gawd awful mess. You either fiddle with removing the backing on each individual piece. Or you deal with this curling mess... You eventually learn to cut each label partway so you can peel the backing off in one piece, ripping each label off as you go and sticking in on the edge of your bench. Then you got a big row of labels, ready. And then eventually you learn to just stop using this expensive and cumbersome device for anything so temporary/disposable.

I got addicted for awhile.... but it is just more trouble than it's worth.

Honestly, laser printer for large batches of the same label. Can't be beat for price or convenience, once you get the template setup.

Most of my labels are hand written on white paper tape, now that my P touch kick is over. It doesn't stick so good to the bag, so I cover it with packing tape. Basically, what Rick Law suggested.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 10:00:14 am by KL27x »
 

Offline BradC

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2016, 09:54:54 am »
I've even figured out how to print partial sheets and then print the rest later so there's no wastage if I only need 10 labels.
Be very careful doing this with laser printers. The heat from the fuser and the shape of the paper path can cause corners of labels to lift. You get one of those stuck around your fuser or imaging drum, you're up for some fairly expensive repairs. All reputable label sheets will have a warning stating not to re-use partially used sheets. This is entirely the reason why I use dedicated label printers which supply and print labels from a roll. I'd rather pay slightly more per label than risk rendering my printer useless or wasting partially printed sheets.

Yeah, I should have stated the reason I use the LJ2200 is a straight paper path and temperature selectable user, so I just use the low temp setting and use the straight path.
 

Offline Cubdriver

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2016, 11:29:41 pm »
We have a Brother QL 550 at work for printing small thermal labels.

https://www.amazon.com/Brother-P-Touch-QL-550-Quick-Printer/dp/B0002M6M6M/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1475191596&sr=8-4&keywords=brother+ql-550

Not cheap, but it does a good job.

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Online Brumby

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2016, 01:18:30 am »
We have a Brother QL 550 at work for printing small thermal labels.

That's the model which is the same as the one I mentioned, but with the automatic cutter.

Yes, they do a great job.
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: Best way to quickly label component bags?
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2016, 03:03:01 am »
We have a Brother QL 550 at work for printing small thermal labels.

That's the model which is the same as the one I mentioned, but with the automatic cutter.

Yes, they do a great job.

Off-topic:  I am using this to "label" my cabinet of tools/devices.  I print out the picture of the item, paste it on index card.  Ring up the cards, then stick the cards to a magnet outside drawer/cabinet.  Save me quite a bit of time, and the best part is this enables a new person (non-me) to know where is where easier.  Color shall be even better.  So far the best candidate I found for color is Canon Selphy Printer, but the print cost is too high for me now.

 


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