Tri-State Business Systems: Chemically Resistant Labels



In this customer case study CleanMark partnered with Tri-State Business Systems to test the chemical resistance and durability of our labels. Tri-State aspires to be a top healthcare company world wide, and is dedicated to leading innovations and solutions for tomorrow. CleanMark has been a part of supporting this customer to achieve that vision since 2007 with our cleanroom labels. Since 2007, CleanMark has been successfully solving a variety of extreme environment & cleanroom label identification challenges, resulting in a long, successful partnership. The story began when CleanMark identified that this customer was modifying one of their cleanroom processes to accommodate a label that was not durable enough to withstand a wipe down with IPA chemicals.

The Challenge

Testing our new label technology against Tri-State’s old labels

From Resistance to Resistance

In order to ensure that lab samples would not be contaminated with any foreign particles, technicians thoroughly cleaned lab sample vessels with a heavy dose of IPA. The ideal process was to label the sample prior to the IPA cleaning. Unfortunately, Tri-State’s old cleanroom label could only withstand a brief wipe of IPA before it began to lose legibility. The inability of their current cleanroom label to withstand this extreme environment, dictated a process change. The process was modified such that the collection vessel would first undergo a heavy dose of IPA prior to being labeled. Once the label was applied, a secondary step was added to wipe down the vessel again, with less aggressive cleaning. Although this new process solved Tri-State’s legibility issues, it added an additional step in their process and also increased the possibility of contamination. Tri-State needed an ISO 5 cleanroom label that could be applied to the vessel right away, then wiped immediately with a high dosage of IPA to ensure total decontamination and save time and materials.

The Test Process

  1. Print the label in order to uniquely identify the collection vessel
  2. Apply the label to the collection vessel
  3. Thoroughly soak the vessel with aggressive amounts of IPA

The Solution

There was no commercially available chemically resistant, direct thermal printable cleanroom label material that met the ISO 5 cleanroom label requirements at the time. Therefore working closely with engineering, CleanMark researched multiple materials and constructions that would meet these requirements. Multiple candidate constructions were developed and tested until the final solution was achieved. This solution also included a print treatment which improved the overall performance of the label. Finally, a durable cleanroom label was qualified for use within the process.

“I was present at the facility with their engineering team and printer supplier, Tri-State Business Systems, doing a demonstration of CleanMark’s solution. Clothes soaked in IPA were placed over both CleanMarks’s new label and the old label. We met for about an hour on another project and came back to the demonstration at the end of that meeting. It was amazing to see how the new label retained its integrity and complete legibility and you could not discern anything on their old label.”

— Bev Nelson, Sr. Sales Representative, CleanMark Labels

The Result

The label solution that CleanMark helped create, has given way to many more applications within Tri-State Business Systems. In addition to the original project, they now use CleanMark cleanroom labels to meet a myriad of requirements. We helped them customize adhesive characteristics for various surfaces and extreme environments. An example of a more recent project required the utilization of CleanMark’s very own cleanroom to manufacturer labels in a microbe free cleanroom environment. We were able to meet this requirement while also utilizing gamma sterilized CleanMark® cleanroom labels. Showing how CleanMark can rise to the occasion to meet even the most stringent critical environments.

Cleanroom Labels

CleanMark pioneered the label technology that is now standard in cleanrooms today. Learn more about the different types of cleanroom labels that we offer.


Cameron McKillop