Why a Label Should NOT Be Your Last Decision

01 Dec Why a Label Should NOT Be Your Last Decision

“It’s only a sticker”

This is a phrase often heard within the label printing industry but one that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the design and manufacture of complex machinery and electronic devices, a self-adhesive label is often categorised as a ‘C’ class item. One that is simple and easy to produce. A sticker which can be produced as easy as pressing ‘File’ and ‘Print’, the least likely component to cause a problem and as such is often left to the end of the product implementation process.

However, when you consider a label will most often be customer facing and can contain the company’s logo and corporate brand, important operational information, critical health and safety warnings, legal legislative information or all of the above, can you really afford not to give it more attention?

The Implications

If a missing warning label results in accidental injury or death, the manufacturer can be liable to legal action. There have been cases where such accidents have resulted in million dollar claims against the OEM. Legal ramifications are just one edge of the sword, there is also the consideration of brand reputation, productivity efficiency and return on investment. Ask yourself, would you be happy if you purchased an electronic gadget and the front cover fell off after a week? Would you worry the product was a counterfeit? Would you buy from that company again? How much would it cost your company to put this sort of issue right?

The design specification of the label materials and production methods is just as important as the visual design of the label. The label may contain all the right information, the correct colours and every legal warning required, but if the label falls off, all that effort was for nothing. Consideration needs to be given to where and what the label is being applied to, what conditions and environments it will be exposed to and how long the product needs to last. In America in 2013, General Motors had to recall almost 19,000 Chevrolet Camaros because the airbag warning label was peeling off the sun visor. Some might say this is a minor issue but in a bulletin issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: “If the airbag warning label detaches from the visor, the driver and front seat passenger may not be warned of the risks of airbag deployment, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash.” As published on the Washington Post website.

Even a label with suitable adhesive and all the right printed information can cause issues if not given careful consideration. The type of ink being used also needs to be carefully selected as a division of Sun Pharmaceutical recently discovered. In October 2015, they opted to recall more than 216,000 bottles of medication because the over-varnish on the labels was found to be leaching benzophenone into the drugs (As published on the FDANews website). Although unlikely to cause any adverse effects, they still initiated a recall out of an abundance of caution. Sun Pharma was already under scrutiny by the FDA following a string of recalls including a claim made two years ago that the label for one of their generic drugs didn’t adequately warn against its risks. In these instances, it is safe to assume that not only will the company be subject to financial implications and a negative brand reputation, but that the increased scrutiny from a government enforced health and safety agency will likely put increased pressure on all processes and personnel within the organisation.

“Are you too busy cutting that tree with a blunt saw”

It’s therefore undoubtedly worth spending the time and effort to get your labels right first time. You’ll benefit in the long run and a reputable label supplier can help you with this. A quality focused label supplier will have the experience, expertise and connections to offer suitable solutions so take advantage of this service. A former M.D. of System Label once said: “Are you too busy cutting that tree with a blunt saw?” In other words, sharpen your saw or get a new one and reap the benefits. If your labels are causing you problems either financially, legally or through reduced production efficiencies, then maybe it’s time to consider a new approach.

Please feel free to get in touch with us today and we will be delighted to assist with your labelling requirements. Email: sales@systemlabel.com or call the office on: +353 (0)90 6630 900 , +44 (0)1438 791750