When considering different options for labelling in the lab outsourcing is an often overlooked strategy. If you’re not already familiar with the benefits of outsourcing your labelling strategy start here—but for those of you who are ready to start vetting specific offers, this article will provide the basics of our own label outsourcing program: READY Labware Services.
In Under 100 Words…
READY Labware Services is a customised barcoding and labelling outsourcing program targeted towards laboratories and other scientific research facilities—particularly those dealing with harsh environments.
Our goal is to help our customers focus on their goals by marking and preparing their labware so it is ready to use when it reaches their facility. Our advanced marking technologies and custom labelling capabilities allow you to get the most out of your labware, while our focus on data integrity means you’ll never lose track of a sample.
After sourcing, we mark your labware to your specifications—dimensions, sequence, colour needs etc. This is one of the key differences between READY Labware Services and generic pre-barcoded options offered by some manufacturers.
Some commonly requested customisations include:
- Graduation lines
- 2d-barcoded caps
- Custom text
Our customers often bring unique procedures, challenges and ideas to the table. Whether it be oddly shaped labware, uncommon label dimensions, or special data requirements we work with you to find a creative solution to your dilemma. We’re capable of, and eager to adapt to special needs and requests that will ultimately optimise the performance of your labware.
In addition to accommodating your size, colour and sequence needs we offer three different marking technology options to better adapt to your processes.
You’re most likely using pressure sensitive labels in your lab today. These are the ‘sticker’ labels which can be purchased pre-printed or printed in the lab and are often hand applied or fed through a semi-automatic label applicator.
Using the proper materials and adhesives these labels can be engineered to better withstand chemical and temperature exposures—however, they are still the least durable option. That being said, pressure sensitive labels are extremely well known and widely used around the world for good reason.
Simply put, some sample containers don’t need anything more than a simple pressure sensitive label, while other samples may benefit from a more permanent solution. Although this is the only label option which can be managed by laboratories in-house, many labs will still choose to outsource their needs so the burden of application doesn’t fall on their team.
As the name implies, direct mark technology is applied directly to the surface of your glass or plastic labware. This creates a near permanent mark capable of withstanding harsh chemical baths, extreme temperatures and long-term storage.
The method of direct mark currently available through READY Labware Services is ink-based. Specially formulated inks are printed then cured onto the surface of the labware. Ink-based direct mark allows for the inclusion of colour making it a great choice if colour-coding or logos are needed.
The ability to print onto the surface of labware without a layer of media also makes it possible to include markings like grad-lines.
If you’re looking for a permanent mark—guaranteed to survive as long as the container itself, ceramic is the way to go.
Ceramic barcodes are made from a special clay that will permanently bond to a glass container when fired in a kiln. In addition to both linear and 2D barcodes, small round coloured markers can be placed on the bottoms of containers if colour-coding is part of your strategy.
Unfortunately, this method isn’t compatible with plastic containers due to the high temperatures involved in the bonding process. If you are looking for a highly durable marking for your plastic labware, direct mark is a suitable near permanent option.
Our customers in compound storage have found ceramic labelling to be particularly useful as it can be trusted to protect the integrity of high-value samples for decades.
Once your barcoding and marking needs are sorted, the rest of your service package can be fitted to your needs. As we mentioned earlier, the goal of this program is to prepare your labware so it is ready for you to use immediately upon arrival. So, in addition to custom labelling, we offer a few additional services…
As a standard protocol, each and every barcode we print is scanned by our proprietary sequence management system to ensure no customer ever receives a duplicate or otherwise unusable barcode.
If recording an accurate tare weight of your containers is a standard part of your process, our team can take care of the first round.
If you opt in to this service, we’ll carefully tare weigh each of your containers prior to packaging and send a tare weight report alongside your order.
Nase Free Preparation
Another optional service that some laboratories may benefit from is Nase free preparation. If you choose to have your labware prepared Nase free, our staff will label your labware in our certified Nase free room.
Sorting, Kitting & Packaging
As our standard practice, your order will be repackaged in its original packaging supplied by the labware manufacturer, however, you will find several additional options on your order form.
Let us know if you’d like to receive your pieces in sequential order, sorted into kits and what type of packaging you prefer and we’ll honor your requests. Regardless of any customisations, we prepare and package your labware in a way that ensures it will arrive at your facility intact.
Pricing and ROI
READY Labware Services is priced from the ground up—you will only pay for the services you choose for your individual package. We will work with you to understand your current processes and challenges as well as your goals for future growth to help determine which features will add the most value.
In fact, depending on your internal capabilities, it may be more cost-effective for you to keep certain aspects of the labelling process in-house. It’s also possible you won’t be able to take advantage of READY Labware Services if you require certain time sensitive data. Don’t fret! We offer various comprehensive in-house labelling solutions to boost efficiency within the lab.
We have spent the past 40+ years working with folks in the science and healthcare industries. Learning about their goals, priorities, struggles and building solutions to address them.
While tracking and identification are of critical importance within these labs—it often presents as a roadblock to their core business. We understand that label application can feel like a chore when your mission is based in science and research, and as barcoding experts we have the knowledge, tools and experience to take it off your hands.