b + b automation > News > Labeling systems for Sarstedt tubes



Correct labelling in the medical field is extremely important, especially the labelling of pharmaceutical and biological tubes is crucial for an efficient process flow. Tubes are used in pharmaceutical facilities for various purposes. As test tubes they are used in medical practices, clinics, laboratories or blood banks. Due to manual labelling, the labels are often applied to the tubes inaccurately or incorrectly.

Faults in the labelling of laboratory samples are often the reason for inefficient process flows. Incorrectly labeled tubes cannot be processed in the laboratory. The consequences of labelling, identification and allocation are often underestimated.

Labelling of tubes

Correct labeling of pharmaceutical tubes is extremely important. The requirements vary depending on the application, purpose and area of use of the tubes. In the case of test tubes, for example, correct labeling is a requirement to be able to provide results quickly and reliably.

For example, sample containers are correctly labelled if they meet the following requirements:

  • Free visibility of the content

  • It must be possible to check the filling level

  • Screw cap can be removed without difficulty

  • If the tube and label do not jam or stick together in the centrifuge

Unlabelled sample

Unlabelled sample

Correctly labelled sample

Correctly labelled sample

Incorrectly labelled sample

Incorrectly labelled sample

Incorrectly labelled sample

Incorrectly labelled sample

For test tubes, the label is applied precisely and lengthwise to the tube sample. It must neither be applied all around nor at an angle. It must be possible to remove the cap without difficulty. The label cannot be used as a closure label, so it closes the cap and tube.

Correct and precise labeling is essential. Tubes are often a challenge for conventional labeling systems due to their cylindrical shape. However, correct labelling is particularly important so that samples can be allocated and evaluated as quickly as possible in the test laboratory, for example. This can be solved by labeling systems that have been specially developed for labeling tubes.

The semi-automatic labeling system TNC-DS from b+b is used for the precise labeling of individual tubes. Test tubes can be labeled easily and individually, for example after sampling.

With the fully automatic labeling system RML60pharma from b+b, tubes are precisely labeled on the circumference. The tubes are fed into the labelling machine via a sorting and feeding station. A roller conveyor transports the tubes to the labelling station. Compared to semi-automatic systems, a higher number of pieces can be achieved. With both labeling models, the tubes can be labeled both lengthwise and all around.

Print of variable data

All labeling systems can be optionally equipped with printing units. Integration allows variable data to be applied to the labels inline. Depending on the material and size of the label, print image, resolution and speed, different printing methods are used:

  • Thermal transfer printing

  • Thermal inkjet printing

  • Laser printing

We would be pleased to advise you on the choice of the right printing unit.

Barcode labels to identify the sample

Barcode labels provide extensive data and simplify process flows. Labeling tubes with barcode labels, for example, ensures reliable identification of the samples. In this case they serve as important information carriers for the test laboratory. The barcode label should always be applied to the primary tube, only this way a clear identification is guaranteed and a fast patient care is ensured.

If the barcode label is applied to the lid, the outer packaging or the transport container, the sample cannot be identified.


Barcode labels can contain various information, such as:

  • Encrypted patient data

  • Production data

  • Sampling data

  • Expiry dates

  • Barcodes or QR-codes

  • Batch number

  • Further data

A clear assignment is necessary. Especially in the pharmaceutical and medical sector, label material and label adhesives play a major role. We would be pleased to advise you in finding the right label. b+b is your partner for turnkey solutions for labelling and identifying sarstedt-tubes.

Incorrectly labelled sample
Incorrectly labelled sample

Incorrectly labelled sample

Incorrectly labelled sample

Correctly labelled sample

Correctly labelled sample