Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

We specialize in creating unique customized cleanroom label solutions that can support colors, any sizes, graphics for on-demand label printing applications.

At PaladinID, we treat every label application as unique. We first listen and understand your label challenge and then work with you to provide the most cost-effective solution that not only meets but exceeds your expectation.

We offer the widest array of adhesive choices on the market today from a standard permanent, freezer, or removable to a large assortment of cryogenic adhesives.

We will work with you on your packaging options with a vast array of choices from double bagged, shrink wrapped, UV blocking bags, or cold flow vacuum sealed to meet your requirements.

Standard lead times are 7-10 working days from receipt of order or proof approval where applicable. Lead times can vary due to the complexity of the order due to label materials and packaging requirements.

We create cleanroom label solutions for the Pharmaceuticals, Medical, Electronics, Consumer Products, Semiconductor, Media, and the Biotechnology industries.

PaladinID has been supporting label printing systems for over 30 years. Our specialty is on-demand printing of variable data. We carry all of the main manufactures of printers with brands like Zebra, Honeywell, Sato, TSC.

Yes, we have many years of experience to know what works and we carry all of the major brands for thermal transfer ribbons.

Label Industry Update 2022

DONE: You are absolutely correct; we saw material supplies starting to tighten up over a year and a half ago. Most raw material suppliers predicted things would improve in early 2021. Well, that certainly didn’t happen.  Throughout 2021, raw material supply availability continued to get worse. Most of our suppliers responded by enacting allocations on even the most basic stocks such as Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal paper.  We have all heard the issues related to storms in the gulf states and paper mills pivoting away from printing papers, but that is only part of the story. Here we are in Q2 of 2022 and there is no end in sight.  Certainly, the UPM Finland paper plant strike has exasperated the situation and it is still not resolved. This strike is important because that plant supplies over 25% of liner stock for the U.S. market, in addition to a large portion of semi-gloss face sheet.  At this point, every one of our raw material suppliers is stating that conditions won’t get any better throughout 2022. The industry continues to face unprecedented demand, while simultaneously dealing with supply chain problems.

DONE: To answer this question, you need to take a more holistic view of our business environment. The economy has really taken off as we move from the pandemic to an endemic environment. Not only has e-commerce continued to grow rapidly, but general business has rebounded as well. This has led to extremely high demand for product label. While label manufacturers are facing a supply issue, the high demand has also created a capacity issue. When you put it all together, you get a perfect storm where demand is outstripping available capacity. The raw material providers just don’t have enough capacity to handle more volume. They are already running at maximum capacity on their coating lines, and increasing capacity takes time. It will take months, if not years for them to invest in and deploy new coating assets, which cost millions of dollars each. Then there is also the need for physical space to house the new equipment and additional people to run the new production lines.

DONE: Very hard. I have been in the printing business for 40 years. Outside of a short time in the early 1980’s when paper for stock computer forms had a significant shortage and allocations occurred, I have never seen anything like the situation we are in right now. It is generational.  Almost every one of our suppliers (who by-the-way, are all major companies in label lamination) have initiated allocations on material. Under these allocations, we can only purchase, at most, what we purchased a year ago, and none of the suppliers are accepting new volume. In other words, we can’t buy enough material to meet current demand from existing suppliers, and no raw material companies even want to take on more new volume. They are all slammed with business and are trying to get their arms around their blossoming backlogs.

I am receiving calls weekly for companies to source label material.  Some of these requests have been significant, like a truckload of labels every three months.  It kills me to turn away business.  We are doing out best to mitigate the situation and we try to help everyone who calls.  As I tell everyone, it does not matter what you produce or how important your product is to industry, if you do not have the proper label, you can’t ship.  It your product does not ship, you can’t stay in business.  It is that simple.

DONE:Well, if you mean are we speaking with every raw material supplier we know, both domestically and internationally, the answer is yes. Material sourcing and acquisition has become a full-time activity for our strategic sourcing and executive teams.  The good news is that we enjoy very solid relationships with our suppliers and spread our volume around to ensure we are not captive to any one company. Also, we pay our bills in a timely manner and work to partner with suppliers so we get favored status. This has allowed us to take care of our customers in a manner that is as good as it gets in the market right now. We are focused on getting materials in and getting production out the door every single day.  The work load has increased 3X on every label order because of the supply chain challenges.  Every day is a grind, but we are committed to our customers in keeping them up and running and we know this to shall pass.

Done: Great question. We have made some tough decisions. We are focused on taking care of our existing customer base, which has supported us for many years. We are turning down opportunities from prospects as we feel a fiduciary responsibility to our current customers. I can’t tell you how many companies have reached out to us and said they have large quantities of work they can send our way if we can just meet their needs. Our answer to those opportunities has been “Thanks for thinking of us, but with the tight supply, we are focused on our existing business right now.”  It has gotten so tight from a material supply standpoint that we are prioritizing the production of custom labels over stock products. We believe this is important because our customers rely on us to meet those custom needs.  As for stock label product, we have been forced to limit ordering quantities and to focus on the higher volume stock items. Right now, we can’t be all things to all people. It just isn’t possible. So we made a conscious decision to target the stock products that are needed most.

DONE: You are correct. In 2021, we saw quarterly cost increases for raw materials that averaged 7% – 9% each quarter. And that was in addition to cost increases that occurred throughout the year for everything else we purchase such as: cores, cartons, plastic bags, shrink and stretch wrap, pallets, and ink. Plus, as we all know, freight and labor costs continue to escalate.  Now, in 2022, we have seen a continuation of the cost increases for raw materials, with 9% -11% increases in both Q1 and Q2. Think about it; we are experiencing rapid, on-going inflation, and at the same time, seeing a significant deterioration in service with two to four month lead times, allocations, and unreliable deliveries.  It is a common occurrence for us to expect material to arrive today that we have waited over ten weeks for, only to receive a notice that we won’t see the material for another month.  Every major label coater and laminator is telling us to expect prices to go up each quarter in 2022 with no lead time relief in sight. It is a very difficult situation for us and our customers.  In my 35 years in the label business, I have never seen price increases like I have seen these past two years.  Like I said before, it is the perfect storm that is causing this.

DONE: Again, we have a perfect storm. Here is what is happening to all label converters right now. We order material for jobs; we won’t see it for many weeks. In the meantime, raw material companies announce a price increase, which takes effect on all shipments within the next month.  That means our costs for material will go up well after we cut the purchase orders. And, with quarterly cost increases, there are many orders that won’t ship until two price increases have taken effect.  What used to be an orderly process is now completely chaotic. We quote jobs with the best knowledge we have, but the disclaimer is that all orders are subject to material availability and potential material cost increases. None of us like running our businesses this way, but it is our reality today.  We are especially cognizant of how difficult this makes things for our customers. Everyone in this market needs to ensure their customers understand that supplies are very tight and costs are not firm until raw materials come to the converter.  That’s why we have been staying very communicative with our customers. We recognize this is a partnership and it is our duty to keep them updated, no matter if the news is good or bad.

DONE: The best things we can do are:

  • Keep you up to date regarding market conditions and issues. We need to repeat this over and over again so companies really hear what you are saying.
  • Get your orders in early and be prepared for delays and shortages. There is no bullet-proof answer. We try best to get ahead of your customers’ needs knowing that you are not going to get everything you want when you want it.  I do not want to sound like a used car salesman, but if you can plan 3-6 months ahead for you labeling needs, that seems to be working the best.
  • Be open to alternatives. I wish this was as simple as it sounds, as all materials are in short supply. Right now, the coating and laminating companies are focused on trying to keep up with core material and adhesive requirements. There are some specialty products where you could wait months and months for stock. Working with our sale and estimating team, we can explore less painful alternative options. They may not be perfect, but they will allow us to keep our customers supplied with label stock.

My biggest fear is that label materials become scarce or not available.  Second, that prices continue to rise causing end users get creative, finding other options to labels. Let’s face it, we all need to run our businesses and companies will pivot away from problem areas, finding new ways to mark products, identify inventory, track production, or ship goods other than applying a label.  Hopefully, with steps we are talking with our suppliers and customers, we can hold the line.  This is a very challenging time to be in the label business and I sure you feel the same about your business as well.

DONE: For the past two years, PaladinID has been on a mission to add capacity, both from a supplier and a personnel standpoint.  We have positioned ourselves to have redundancy in our manufacturing processes.  Meaning, having multiple plants in different locations around the country to produce our labels.  If weather or label shortages occur in an area of the country, we can pivot and move orders to another facility all the while maintaining our quality of work and timely deliveries.

Good things happening and this situation has caused us to look outside the box. We have been highly focused the past two years on ensuring we have everything we need to produce more product. We agree the supply chain will eventually correct itself and are in position to support our customers once it does happen – so they can benefit from the change.  We are operating under the premise that the world is fundamentally different today than two years ago; we are building our company to meet the needs and challenges of the new normal.

Printer Service

We have had a situation where the labels and ribbons were in spec for a customer, but the printer was burning through printheads well before their warranty was complete.  We discovered, after hours of testing, that some of the late model Zebra printers shipped from the factory with bent printhead brackets, causing a printhead alignment issue and prematurely burning through printheads.  We wrote an article and a complete solution for this problem.  Read more..

Over the past 10 years or so, we have discovered that the connection between the USB connector plug and the USB board was very weak.  We believe that there was not enough solder to make a strong connection.  When the Zebra printers are being moved around, that puts stress on the USB cable connection.  We have put together an adapter kit to replace your USB board and cable stay along with a special 90 degree USB pigtail cable that virtually eliminates this problem.  To date, we have not had a board get returned for repair after the customer added our adapter kit.  Read more…

Product Labels

The simple answer is yes.  You will need to use a non-paper label like a polypro or polyester label with an inkjet printer that uses pigmented inks.  There are two types of inks used in inkjet label printers, dye and pigmented inks.  Dye based ink give your very vibrant colors and are water soluble.  The pigmented inks are not as vibrant, but give you permanent long lasting inks that are waterproof and very chemical resistant.

Yes, we offer an entire suite of label products that comply with “Cleanroom” requirements and standards.  Please send us an email or give us a call to discuss your application and for label samples.

Yes, we have developed a flexographic ink, (ink that is used in the label manufacturing process) that has been tested by one of our customers and UL.  This means that this special outdoor ink can be applied to label that runs through a thermal transfer printer for on-demand, variable data label printing.  We are excited to offer this product which took over two years to develop.  To our knowledge, we are the only company to offer this type of performance.  There are many color choices available from Red, Cyan, Yellow and Green to name a few.

RevealPrint FAQs

With traditional direct thermal labels you can only image in black.  You can have colored labels, but they are typically floodcoated and you can still only print or image in black.  With RevealPrint’s patented technology, you choose the areas where color will highlight your products.  You can have as many colors as you wish.  When the labels get imaged, the area where the color is applied turns that color for text, images or graphics.  So the labels come to you as white, and the color on the label is invisible to the eye until heat is applied.  Sections of your labels will pop with vibrant color, making is easy to differentiate your products.

The RevealPrint product does not contain any Leuco Dye, BPA or BPS chemicals and are fade resistant, unlike traditional thermal labels.  For samples of this exciting new product, please contact us via Email or give us a call at 888.972.5234.  We want to hear about your label printing challenges and help you find a solution.

The beauty of RevealPrint is that there are no limits or restriction on how many colors you can have on a label.  The number of colors is only restricted by the label size and the amount of data in a specific color.  We have total control of the manufacturing process from start to finish. Therefore, this enables us to do things that no other company can offer.  We have full flexibility with the finished product.  Currently, we are able to put up to eight colors on a label.  For samples of this exciting new product, contact us via Email or call 888.972.5234.  We look forward to talking with you.

The short answer is no.  You can put a single color or multiple colors anywhere on the label.  Once the location is determined, the color is set in those designated spots or what we call “zones” per part number SKU.  The variable data on each label can be different.  If the location of the color on the label is not imaged, that section of the label will remain white.  For example, if you wanted color on 1″ of the leading edge of the label as it exits the printer, you can choose any color you want, but for any given product number SKU, that color will remain the same.  So for instance, if you wanted green, it would always be green for that part number.  If you wanted red, you would have to order another label for a different part number.  You can choose to image that section and Reveal the color, or not and leave it white.  This technology does not allow you the change the colors on the labels once the labels are produced.  Looking for samples, contact us via Email or by phone at 888.972.5234.


The RevealPrint cost difference is that labels are only slightly more expensive than traditional custom direct thermal labels. The reason is because the process of making these labels is all done in-house. Coating the label material with the RevealPrint technology, coating the adhesive, applying the liner, and then die cutting and slitting are all done inline on one machine.  This makes the whole process very lean, fast, and cost effective.  The process does not use any Leuco dyes, BPS or BPA chemicals.  The end result is a vibrant color, fade resistant label for a fraction of the cost of what is currently on the market today.

We would love to send you samples of this exciting new product.  Send us an Email or give us a call at 888.972.5234, we are here to help.

The simple answer is yes.  These labels can be used in a black and white application.  The advantages are better quality imaging on facestocks with crisp images, bar codes, and text.  The biggest advantage of RevealPrint in a black and white application is the smudge and abrasion resistance of the top coatings.  If you have an application that requires a more robust direct thermal label, then the RevealPrint solution is right for you.  Would you like to see samples? Send us an Email or give us a call at 888.972.5234.  We would love to discuss your specific label application.


  • More smudge proof and abrasion resistance
  • crisp images, bar codes, and text
  • Longer shelf life, 2-3 years
  • Available in paper or synthetic materials

We would love to talk with you.  With over 35 years in the business, no two companies are alike in their needs and wants. The RevealPrint custom color label solution opens up many doors that have traditionally been closed due to costs and high MOQ’s (minimum order quantities).  The studies have shown a 25% increase in productivity on the low end when color is implemented into the supply chain.   There are many functional benefits to using RevealPrint solution for color including:

  • Improves awareness
  • Increases communication
  • Improves product identification
  • Reduces the costs of human error
  • Increases efficiency
  • Greatly reduces label cost of today’s current solutions

Having a discussion about your application is the first step in improving your processes.  Once you understand the benefits of RevealPrint over what is currently available, you will be glad you made the call.  Send us an Email or call 888.972.5234, we are here to help.

Please send us your label requirements via our Contact Us form and we will provide you with a label quote.  Once we receive that, a quote will be provided in 48 hours.  We can even produce a sample of your label within 7-10 working days.  Depending on quantities, you can expect that pricing will be comparable to a custom direct thermal label, but about 75% of the cost of what is currently available.  As always, you are welcome to contact us via Email or call 888.972.5234 for any questions.  RevealPrint label samples are available upon request.

The simple answer is yes, the RevealPrint solution works with every direct thermal label printer on the market.  We suggest you test before placing an order.  What we have found that with older model direct thermal printers or a label printer with high use, the printhead gets worn down and needs to be replaced.  We have a complete line of bar code printheads available as well to keep your labels looking perfect.  For samples of this exciting new color labeling product, please Email or call 888.972.5234.

The RevealPrint direct label printing solution is cheaper than the competition. This new patented technology is easier to work with and offers a more efficient way to manufacture. We can produce labels or tags in house on a single pass production line. The process starts with the application of the direct thermal coating and ink on the facestock, and then applying the adhesive and liner.  Once that process is complete, the product moves to die cutting, slitting and packaging all in one application, thus reducing costs in time and labor.  It is a fully integrated manufacturing process and we pass the savings along to our customers.  This is not an improvement on traditional direct thermal paper. RevealPrint is a totally different chemistry and patented solution that can be produced at a lower costs than traditional color direct thermal labels.

For samples of RevealPrint, please contact us via Email or call 888.972.5234.  We look forward to discussing your label printing challenges and finding a solution.

Advantages are:

  • Manufacturing is done at one facility, speeds manufacturing time, lowers costs
  • Labels will not fade
  • Low MOQ’s (minimum order quantities)
  • No restriction on color choices
  • About 75% of the cost of what is currently available
  • Currently up to eight colors per label

The short answer is no.  The RevealPrint technology/chemistry is totally different than what is in use today.  Typical direct thermal coatings have a 6 month shelf life.  The RevealPrint labels can be used even after they have been on the shelf for 2-3 years.  The technology does not break down over time.  This alone provides a huge cost savings because you do not have to throw away unused dated labels. due to a short shelf life.  This new technology allows the coatings to be stable over a long period of time.  Looking to see RevealPrint for yourself?  Send us an Email or give us a call at 888.972.5234 for samples and to discuss your label application.

When it comes to RevealPrint competitors, there is only one and they don’t measure up: Zebra IQ Label products.  Both products use a direct thermal coating and have several choices of facesheets and adhesives.  But that is where the similarities end.

The RevealPrint product can be ordered with up to 8 color zones on the labels from virtually an unlimited color pallet. The Zebra IQ product can only accommodate up to four colors from a selection of 8 colors.

When it comes to minimums, the RevealPrint labels have a very low MOQ (minimum order quantity) whereas the Zebra IQ is very high.
Check out more info on RevealPrint here.

The biggest difference between RevealPrint and Zebra IQ is the price. RevealPrint labels are about 65% less money than the Zebra IQ labels. The main reason for this is the streamlined manufacturing process and how the color is produced.  By providing a solution with more color options at a fraction of the cost, there is only one choice, RevealPrint!

Give us a call and speak with Dana Ritchie to discuss your label application. 888-972-5234!


"Production labeling and identification is a critical step in our manufacturing process to ensure products are manufactured according to spec and reach customers on time. Dana Ritchie and PaladinID continues to provide Madico with scanning and labeling solutions that integrates with our back-end legacy ERP system. PaladinID delivers on simplified solutions and support that enables us to be competitive and cost effective."

~ Daron Whitehouse, Madico Inc.

"Thank you so very much for the work you do. You are my life saver. It is so nice to know that there are people out there like you that are willing to go the extra mile for their customers."

~ Megan Dawes, Amerimax Building Products

"PaladinID has been a great vendor for us here at Eastern University over the last 7 years. We have appreciated your delivery of bar code labels, ID card and ID card ribbons that have met the needs of our over 3700 students. We are fortunate to have a partnership between you and Eastern University. Keep up the great work."

~ David Urban, Eastern University

"I can't think of an easier person to work with than Dana. He seems to be familiar with every kind of printer hardware and software, and drops everything to come help us, even with equipment we bought elsewhere."

~ Amy Richardson,

"We are very pleased with the quality and professionalism of PaladinID, LLC. They provide prompt and courteous service and they have been an invaluable and dependable resource and partner for many years.  They are a very caring group of people and I recommend them highly!"

~ Beth S., KAF

"Dana has always been very responsive. Any time we have any issue, no matter how small, he'll come right in and help out. He's very consistent on deliveries, I really don't know what else I could ask for."

~ Donna Ferrante, LaunchWorks Manufacturing Lab

"Dana's a very dedicated vendor. If I have an issue and send an email, he's very quick to respond, every time. He's been very very supportive of anything we needed to do."

~ Keith M., Engineering Technician


"Dana's great to work with because the relationship is so important to him. When I call he's always quick to respond, he's very thorough about getting me what I need promptly, and then he always follows up to make sure it was right. Honestly I don't think there's enough good I could say about working with Dana."

~ Michelle Williams, Rogers Manufacturing Corporation

"Dana's talent is based on staying current with today's technology.  Providing a cost effective solution based on the needs of the application.  He cares deeply about his customers and works closely with them when it comes to planning and bringing in inventory just in time.  His commitment to the industry is second to none. His main goal is to make sure his customers meet and exceed their goals. He is a problem solver and a solutions provider."

~ Rosemarie Hill, Datamax-O'Neil

"Because of his experience in the industry, Dana made it easy to design and implement a label system for a machine he'd never seen or worked with before."

~ Pat Roofe, Cambridge Isotope Laboratories, Inc.

Dana's attention to detail is truly remarkable. Every solution provided by PaladinID is not only of the highest quality but also perfectly tailored to our needs. They took the time to optimize our labeling process, which has not only saved us time and resources but also significantly increased our productivity. PaladinID consistently met deadlines, even when faced with tight schedules and complex projects. Their commitment to excellence was evident in every aspect of our collaboration together. Their ability to solve the most challenging labeling issues and increase our productivity has had a positive impact on our bottom line.  Jeff Perkins, Chief Operating Officer, AMP