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Leigh's Paints


Success Stories - Leighs Paints


In 2001 Leighs Paints began having issues with their printing process. If one printer failed and required maintenance, production was stopped on that job until the printer was fixed, as the work could not be reassigned to a secondary printer.


To overcome this challenge they decided to run a centralised label printing application, to label their paint containers with product information and hazard warning labels. In order to easily print a variety of different labels, Leighs Paints required a solution that could link into their AS400 information system to produce complete product labels with little or no operator intervention.


"Barcode-IT have provided printers and printer maintenance for over 10 years and as a result of our satisfaction with the service and support, when we require software and advice on centralising our label production, Barcode-IT were the obvious choice." - says Alan Moon, IT Manager at Leighs Paints.

Leighs Paints

Application Overview

To allow centralised label printing, the printers located throughout the site are connected via Ethernet to the company's central network. This allows all users full accessibility to any printer, which eleviated the problems Leighs Paints were facing, as another printer can easily be used for the job in a faulty printer's place.


Label design and printing is controlled by NiceLabel Suite software. Labels are designed and stored on the server, allowing access to all users with the software installed on their PC. When designing the labels, variable fields within the label are linked to the AS400 system and the laboratory's SQL database. This link is important for providing correct product information for the front label on the container and accurate hazard information for the label on the back on the container. It is crucial that the hazard information on each container is accurate, as failure to do so could result in prosecution or severe fines. As NiceLabel is linked in with the main system, information added to the label can easily be updated and is always accurate, therefore incorrect labelling problems are avoided.


In order to make label printing as easy as possible for the operators, a front end for users was written in Active X and linked to the NiceLabel software. To create a label for a job, the barcode on the job sheet is scanned into a PC using Metrologic MS9520 scanners. The barcode contains information on a specific label design, which in turn pulls data from the AS400 and laboratory systems. The operator must then simply input the correct quantity and choose one of the networked printers to produce the labels. There are a number of variable fields that the operator can change, but information for the back hazard label is uneditable due to it's importance.


Leighs Paints have several different automated lines for different products and each requires a specific type of labelling technique. Leighs use a combination of hand application, Zebra and Datamax print engines and Datamax I-Class and W-Class thermal label printers to produce their many varied labels. The Datamax A-Class print engine combined with the NiceLabel software, allows labels to be printed for both the back and front of the paint containers simultaneously and applied to the containers as they pass down the conveyor, speeding up the labelling process and reducing human intervention.


How it started

Leighs Paints were introduced to Barcode-IT in 2000 after they became unhappy with their current supplier and began to look for an alternative provider of maintenance for their thermal printers. Over the last 6 years the relationship has developed and Barcode-IT continue to provide advice and support to Leighs Paints about current and future barcoding and label printing projects.


Leighs Paints are a leading supplier of heavy duty industrial coatings to specialist markets worldwide. The family business, based in Bolton, Lancashire, was established in 1860 and has been handed down the generations over the last 140 years to become the successful manufacturer it is today. Leighs Paints now provide specialist coatings for fire protection, road markings, steel and a wide range of other industrial uses.


Want to know more about the individual components of this success story, click below for more information:

Components Used in the Leigh's Paint Solution


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