Zebra Labels Are The Best Choice for UL-Approved Product and Component Labels

UL-approved labels are an essential part of manufacturing many products because these labels are used to convey safety-related information to consumers and other end users. Each label might contain information on the product’s safety certification as well as warnings, hazard indicators, ratings, instructions, or graphics designed to help ensure safe use or operation of the product.

UL designation comes from Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a private, non-profit certification and consulting company that tests and approves products to ensure that they meet specific safety standards. Typically, UL approval involves electronic devices or components as well as fire safety products. But the company has become increasingly involved in testing and certifying for a wide range of issues including hazardous substances, water quality, food safety, performance testing, and environmental sustainability.

Products or components that are UL-approved can be labeled as such after being submitted to UL, going through its testing and evaluation, and receiving official UL certification. Importantly, many customers and companies will not purchase goods that don’t meet UL safety standards and certification because insurance companies typically won’t insure non-UL-approved devices. Additionally, local laws prevent many businesses from using non-UL approved electronics.

Once you have UL certification and are approved to apply the UL mark to a product or component, you then need to submit a design of your UL certification label to a UL label center to verify that all required information is in an acceptable format.

However, a UL-approved label isn’t just a matter of product certification and communicating required safety information. The label itself must meet the UL 969 standard for permanence and durability. This standard tests and certifies that the label remains adhered and readable, even in conditions such as outdoor exposure, sunlight, extreme heat, high humidity, the presence of water or oils, and other factors.

To be certified and UL-approved, labels are tested and reviewed for numerous environmental, exposure, and durability factors that can impact how well the label withstands the conditions of use in the marketplace. Since factors such as sunlight, heat, humidity and oil or water can potentially cause labels to fade, become unreadable, or even fall off a product or component, specialized label materials and printing ribbons are required for UL approval.

Ultimately, UL tests and reviews labels for a number of factors, including:

  • The materials used in the manufacturing of the label
  • The label’s endurance through natural wear and tear
  • The label’s resistance to conditions such as heat, humidity and oils
  • The measurable area of the label where printing can occur
  • The appearance, legibility and prominence of the printing.

Fortunately, product manufacturers can easily meet these standards and ensure UL label compliance by working with UL-approved labels and printing supplies from a UL-certified manufacturer. UL-authorized label manufacturers use the right materials and supply the proper printing ribbons to meet Underwriters Laboratories’ stringent standards for long-term label legibility, adhesion, and performance.

One of the world’s top UL-approved label suppliers is Zebra, a global leader in barcoding and labeling since 1969. Zebra manufacturers UL-approved thermal transfer labels that withstand environmental stresses better than any other products on the market.

For example, Zebra’s Z-Ultimate 3000T labels are pearl white, gloss polyester thermal transfer labels with permanent acrylic adhesives, and when paired with compatible Zebra resin printer ribbons, they offer UL-certified extreme resistance to chemicals, UV exposure, smears, scratches, and conditions as extreme as water immersion, contact abrasion, and more.

Zebra’s Z-Ultimate labels are also designed to withstand indoor and outdoor conditions and temperatures such as extreme cold or heat, high humidity and moisture. Print quality and durability are outstanding, and there are no fading, damage, or readability issues from outdoor exposure.

The key to this performance is Zebra’s stiffer, polyester label material with gloss finish, plus a resin printing ribbon, which ensures that thermal-transferred information and graphics remain readable for many years. The stiffer polyester of the Z-Ultimate 3000T is a great choice for labeling flat surfaces, but if you need to label round surfaces, a variant with a matte finish would be ideal since it will help the label adhere better over surface curvature.

Ultimately, the right UL-approved label will depend on your application requirements as well as the conditions and how your product or component will be used by the end user out in the marketplace. However, there are two great ways to quickly and easily narrow down your choices.

  1. Contact TSBS for the Zebra certified labels and supplies selector guide and check out the page on Zebra’s UL-recognized labels and corresponding ribbons. This will give you a quick rundown of each product, its core label material, compatible ribbons, and its specific UL recognition.


  1. Contact our UL labeling experts at Tri-State Business Systems for personalized recommendations and guidance. We’ve been helping manufacturers specify and choose the right labels for decades, and our partnership with Zebra allows us to bring you its best label and supplies products at the best prices and with outstanding support.

Contact us now www.tri-statebussys.com , or call us at 908-359-8001

Zebra Cryocool 8000T Labels for Pharma and Biotech Cold Storage

For pharmaceutical and biotech companies that need to label and track specimens and vaccines through cold storage, standard barcode labels won’t handle the job.

To handle the environmental stresses of going through alcohol wipe downs and refrigeration or cryogenic freezing, labels need to be made with specialized materials and adhesives that can withstand the harshest cold storage conditions and handling.

Labels also need to be printed with specialized resin ribbons to ensure that barcodes and printed information remain scannable and readable, even after exposure to chemicals, extreme temperatures, and up to five years or more of cold storage.

This is one of the reasons why our labeling experts at Tri-State Business Systems recommend Zebra’s Cryocool 8000T cold storage labels and its 6200, 5095 resin ribbons for pharma and biotech.

As a global leader in barcoding and labeling since 1969, Zebra has some of the highest-quality label production and research & development facilities in the industry. Its 8000T Cryocool labels are one of the many products the company has developed to meet the highly specialized needs of the pharma, biotech and healthcare industries.

Cryocool 8000T labels are thermal-transfer, polypropylene labels designed with a specialized facestock and cold-temp permanent acrylic adhesive, along with a 40 lb. semi-bleached, kraft-stock liner. When combined with Zebra’s 5095 resin ribbon for printing, these materials produce high-quality and extremely durable labels that can survive temperatures as low as         -196° C for liquid nitrogen cryogenic applications and deep-freezing processes.

They will also withstand conditions such as dry ice (-80° C), steam autoclave, and even gamma radiation, and they can survive temperatures as high as 88° C.

Cryocool labels ensure adhesion despite these extreme conditions, and they provide excellent smear, erasing and scratch resistance. They’re also resistant to moderately harsh chemicals, including 70% isopropyl alcohol solutions for disinfecting as well as ammonia and bleach.

Zebra tests all of these capabilities using ISO:9001:2008 quality assurance procedures. To test its Cryocool products, Zebra applies labels to glass vials (2.8 cm OD), polypropylene centrifuge tubes (3.5 cm OD, 50ml), and glass microscope slides, and it allowed 24-hour dwell time before exposure to extreme conditions.

Zebra then tests the labels in a wide variety of environments and conditions, including high temps, low temps, freezers, pressure cookers, liquid nitrogen, moving from freezers to boiling water, and moving from liquid nitrogen to boiling water.

It logs typical results and recommendations for its labels and each use case involving glass vials, centrifuge tubes, and microscope slides. The end result is a thorough validation of its label performance and durability, with testing specs and results made available on Zebra’s product spec sheets.

For leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, the real-world results speak for themselves. In our years of working with pharma and biotech clients and supplying labels for their cold storage needs, Zebra labels consistently outperform competing solutions and provide peace of mind in knowing that labels will always adhere and remain readable and scannable, even in the toughest cold storage and other conditions.

To learn more about Zebra Cryocool 8000T labels, download our spec sheet now, and connect with our pharma and biotech labeling experts at Tri-State Business Systems to get a free assessment and recommendations for your cold storage and other applications. Contact us now through our website, or call us now at 908-359-8001.









Why Certified Zebra Supplies Are Best Choice for Your Zebra Printers

Printing barcode labels is critical for tracking inventory, assets and shipments, but it also costs money.

Your costs can easily add up when you’re printing hundreds or thousands of labels per day, per week, or per year. In fact, in just one year, companies typically spend three to 10 times more on their barcode printing supplies than they do on the original cost of their printers.

Many companies respond by buying cheaper supplies, thinking that this will save them money. But often it leads to the exact opposite.

The long-term costs of buying cheaper barcode printing supplies often far exceeds the short-term gain on your up-front costs. This is because cheaper supplies usually mean they’re lower in quality, and they’re made with inconsistent and substandard materials. In turn, this causes print quality issues, disruptions to labeling processes, and costly printhead replacements.

For example, cheap barcode labels with poor coating are often abrasive and grate on your printhead. This causes premature wear that requires replacements costing hundreds of dollars per printhead.

If you’re buying low-cost labels but need pre-printed colors on them, this is another problem. Often these labels are produced with substandard quality, causing pre-printed colors to transfer onto your printhead and cause print quality problems. Then you end up needing to reprint labels, costing you more time and money.

Lower quality labels are often too heat sensitive as well, and they require constant print darkness adjustments to compensate for printing problems and barcode scanning issues. More print darkness means you’ll be burning through your printing supplies faster.

Adhesives are frequently a problem with low-cost labels too, since they’re often produced with low-quality adhesives that may cause labels to fall off. In other cases, low-quality labels ooze adhesive into your printer because the label rolls are often wound too tight. This often causes printer jams or labels wrapping around the platen, plus adhesive oozing onto the label liner.

To add to these headaches, if you choose cheap labels and ribbons that aren’t properly designed and matched for the precise conditions of your labeling and scanning environment, you can end up with barcodes and label information fading, getting damaged, or rubbing away.

Each of these headaches adds up to lost time and money, particularly in labeling interruptions, servicing, repair, and replacement costs.

At Tri-State Business Systems, we recommend high-quality and certified Zebra printing supplies for all Zebra label printers.

Why Certified Zebra Printing Supplies Are Better

Zebra uses consistent materials and has ISO 9001:2008 certified processes in place to ensure the highest quality and print performance with all of its labels, ribbons and printing supplies. These quality processes include:

  • Pre-testing on Zebra printers
  • Assessment of printhead wear
  • Verification of adhesive strength
  • Pre-tests for environmental factors
  • Testing for indoor/outdoor use and high/low temperatures
  • Testing for resistance to abrasion, moisture and chemical exposure.

The end result is that you get barcode printing supplies with the right materials for each Zebra printer and application. You get the best possible printing, labeling and scanning results with minimal printhead wear and none of the problems of cheap, low-quality substitutes.

Best of all, if you own Zebra industrial or desktop printers and agree to use genuine Zebra supplies exclusively, Zebra will cover the cost of any printhead if it ever needs to be replaced. That alone could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars on your printing costs.

To learn more about Zebra supplies and request samples and pricing, contact Tri-State Business Systems at 908-359-8001 or email sales@tri-statebussys.com  for more information.