While the deadline to comply with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is long past, companies still struggle with the overall process. The GHS template alone has six standardized elements, including the red triangles with pictograms, plus you need to accommodate regional regulatory requirements, customer-specific demands, as well as multiple languages, transactional data and more.
Loftware has worked with hundreds of leading chemical companies to address the most complex global labeling challenges, including GHS, REACH and others. Our labeling solutions are designed to meet the rigors of regulatory labeling while supporting large scale, global deployments on-premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment. As you evaluate your current labeling process, consider these best practices for implementing a robust, compliant solution that will grow with you.
The expanding global supply chain points to the need for a more centralized yet flexible, scalable, and consistent approach to labeling. Complying with GHS standards is critical to be sure, but there are other important considerations as well. Loftware has been providing the chemical industry with GHS-compliant labeling solutions well in advance of regulatory deadlines. Loftware Enterprise Labeling Solutions ensure consistency throughout the global supply chain, enable support for regional labeling considerations, provide supplier labeling capabilities, simplify adherence to customer-specific labeling requirements, and minimize reliance on scarce IT resources by facilitating simple and rapid label changes. Instead of relying on disjointed and redundant labeling processes, Loftware delivers a scalable labeling solution to cover a multitude of labeling challenges, GHS-centric and beyond.
With so many different types of data needed to create compliant labeling, organizations often find that multiple labeling systems with redundant data sources take root over time. And with different labeling solutions scattered throughout the supply chain comes the risk of labeling errors, relabeling and failure to meet customer needs. Getting the right data on all your labels is key. Loftware Enterprise Labeling Solutions are designed to drive labeling directly from your sources of truth. Whether regulatory data is sourced from an SDS database or applications like SAP EHS Management, Loftware provides the ability to integrate with your key data sources. At the same time, transactional data such as product information, lot and batch number, images or customer specific information can be sourced from content management or ERP systems like SAP or Oracle. This level of integration enables dynamic data-driven labeling, maximizes flexibility, and ensures accuracy without replication of data.
One of the major considerations in meeting GHS requirements is the number of possible permutations in labeling. Drums, pails, cans, cases, cartons, pallets, and even tiny vials must all be labeled with GHS compliant information. This means differently sized labels with different amounts of printing “real estate.” Loftware offers unmatched design capabilities that allow you to create any size or shape of label required, with out-of-box support for GHS pictograms. What’s more, Loftware Enterprise Labeling Solutions allow for sophisticated field and label logic that supports the ability to dynamically determine label content based on available white space on the label. Rather than creating myriad labels for thousands of different chemical products and packaging variations, the power of a built-in rules engine enables label size, format and content to be determined based on transactional data.
With projections for growth in most of the major countries, the outlook for the global chemical industry is bright. Much of this growth will happen overseas with U.S. exports increasing to keep pace, so sophisticated language capabilities will continue to be centrally important to participants in the chemical industry supply chains. Making sure labels are compliant in any language is a fundamental consideration in today’s global marketplace. Loftware Enterprise Labeling Solutions provide unlimited support for languages that are an essential component of labeling in the global supply chain. Full Unicode support ensures that any languages required for labeling, including languages that are read from right to left, can appear together on the same label. Loftware's advanced logic capabilities can calculate the real estate needed and determine whether sufficient space exists to print a complete warning or text string on a label. This functionality reduces the time and effort needed to produce accurate, compliant labels when delivering chemicals throughout a global supply chain.
What about the ability to support your need for color printing? For GHS compliance, whether by using pre-printed stock or color printers for pictograms and logos, you need a labeling solution that suits your color printing preferences. Loftware supports any approach to color printing that your organization prefers. For customers using pre-printed stock, Loftware provides the sophisticated design capabilities to support the quality label printing results you need including the ability to leverage business rules to dynamically populate pre-printed pictograms based on transactional data. For those companies looking to embrace color thermal and inkjet technologies, Loftware provides native print drivers for leading print technologies including Windows, PCL5c and cab support. Regardless of your approach, Loftware offers the native support for thousands of different print devices to fulfill your GHS labeling requirements.
Looking at the number of chemical governmental regulations around the world, it's clear that labeling complexity is compounding everywhere. The EU REACH & CLP of (2006/2008), Taiwan Existing Substance Inventory Available (2012), South Korea “K-REACH” (2015), Australia National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), and India’s draft of Hazardous Substances Rules are just some of the regulations around the world in effect now. Environmental concerns are dictating regulations with ongoing global pressure to improve safety standards in more countries. Leveraging data driven labeling and a built-in rules engine, Loftware provides support for new regulations and label specifications without requiring code or changes to label templates. The end result is labeling agility and greater responsiveness to meet evolving labeling requirements without the assistance of expensive and scarce technical resources. Loftware’s business rules even provide dynamic selection of labels and rapid support for regulatory variations through multi-channel supply chains, allowing for unprecedented levels of responsiveness.