Epson Labelworks printers win gold for quality
Italian grass-skiing team chooses LabelWorks
Resolving the smallest recurring issues helps achieve larger objectives and contributes to overall victory. This can be seen in the Italian National Grass Skiing Team where, thanks to Epson LabelWorks label printers, equipment management can now be optimised, reducing stress and costs.
Grass skiing first appeared in Germany around 1960 and achieved maximum growth during the 1970s, spreading to Italy's South Tyrol region. From an initial similarity with Alpine skiing, both in technique and rules, the sport has over the course of time adopted its own unique characteristics. For example, instead of the sliding movement used in the winter version, grass skiers roll along the ground on wheeled skates.
According to Roberto Parisi, coach of the Italian national team, "Grass skiing is currently a sport practised in 18 nations, with an international competition circuit, a World Cup, a World Championship for adults every two years and a junior version every year."A tough life for labels
The grass skiing team receives its equipment for the season from sponsors and must personalise all items so that each athlete can easily recognise their own equipment. It is a difficult, complex and tiresome task to check that everything is labelled correctly. It is important that all equipment including helmets, ski poles, skis and boots, slalom and giant slalom poles have not been tampered with, replaced or stolen while stored. This mandatory inspection must also be performed for coach tools and course markings.
To achieve lasting and durable labels, the team needed a high-quality printer. A large proportion of the equipment is used in particular weather conditions and is subject to a great deal of friction, both during descent and while being transported. For this reason, the team decided to purchase two Epson label printers: the portable LabelWorks LW400 model for remote use and the LabelWorks LW900P for the office.
"When we were looking for a product that would allow us to create labels for identifying equipment quickly and easily," continued Parisi, "we found that Epson offers special adhesives that are suitable for our reequirement for high resistance to friction and temperature. Once we acquired and tested them, we were able to confirm that they are superior in terms of quality to our previous solution."Saving time and money with LabelWorks
After an entire grass skiing season including a World Cup and World Championship, none of the labels used were showing deterioration or reduction in the readability of the printed information, and no reprinting was necessary. The team halved expenditure on label sheets, meaning coaches could use more of them to prepare for competitions (for example the giant slalom poles are now labelled to give the exact positioning of the cloth).
Due to labels being used more effectively, the skiers showed significant signs of increased concentration as they approached their run, as the equipment was now easily recognisable. The extra time and concentration has allowed the team to achieve excellent results in recent seasons.
The team prints labels both in colour and black and white, as needed. Black on a yellow fluorescent background for the labels which are stuck to the slalom poles, which must be highly visible in all situations; white on a transparent background for the safety helmets, so that they can be visible without the label being invasive; and various colours for the heat transfers to be applied to clothing.
Parisi explained, "In skiing, you have to be well prepared to deal with fatigue during a championship to get the best results. You could say that this year the Epson labels won gold for quality."