An emission label/decal is an important product component that allows U.S. Customs Inspectors and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to verify that a product meets all necessary regulatory requirements. This label is used to describe the emissions that are created as a by-product of manufacturing, transporting, or disposing of a consumer product. Not only are these labels used for regulatory requirements, but they also provide details to the consumer who may be looking to minimize their ecological footprint.
Companies should take a hard look at the type of emission decal they are currently using for their manufactured products in the Durable Goods market. Does your pressure sensitive decal meet the current UL standards and internal company engineering specifications? When was the last time your company conducted a cost analysis to see what new materials or technologies are available in the industry that can provide potential cost savings?
It is important that you know your local requirements when it comes to emission regulations. For example, emission labels in California may be referred to as CARB (California Air Resources Board) labels. This board is considered the “clean air agency” in the government of California and sets the states emission regulations, which are typically stricter than the EPA regulations. Other states are permitted to follow CARB standards or use the federal ones that are spelled out in the Clean Air Act.
Is your company currently using a pre-printed emission decal and also imprinting data to the decal? If you have multiple SKU’s you may want to consider a blank emission label/decal and printing the specific details on demand with a thermal printer. Using a blank emission label program can help your company in the following areas:
- Reduce number of SKU’s
- Reduce inventory levels
- Avoid obsolescence
- Reduce waste
- Use existing thermal printers
- Avoid rush/expedite charges
- Group parts together to lower label price
If you are using void polyesters, you can also save money using a UL approved PET (polyester) film. Void features can be added during the manufacturing process and are typically more cost effective than using void material direct from the material manufacturer. There are thermal imprintable films that will pass the UL-969 testing for emission decal parts without having a film over-laminate protect the imprinted graphics. The thermal imprinted area will also pass the UL oil/gas splash test.
It is also highly recommended that you use a full resin thermal ribbon versus using a wax/resin based ribbon. It is always important to test the product and work with your supplier, but using a blank emission decal will likely save you money.