Creating Arc Flash Labels in DuraSuite

Last Modified: 08/10/2021
Article Contents



The Arc Flash module of DuraSuite uses a built-in database system to store and retrieve Arc Flash label data, keeping track of your entered information and displaying it in a compliant format.

The relevant standard for Arc Flash labels, NFPA 70E, is updated periodically. DuraSuite versions 1.6.3 and later are designed to help users comply with the 2015 edition of the standard, while earlier versions of DuraSuite were designed for use with the 2012 edition. Contact your DuraLabel representative if you need help with a different version of DuraSuite.

To start working with Arc Flash labels in DuraSuite, choose Arc Flash from the program’s opening menu, then choose your label size. You will see the first label in your database (or a blank label, if no data has been entered.)

Arc Flash Toolbar

The Arc Flash module of DuraSuite has its own toolbar at the top of the window, just below the main DuraSuite toolbar.


  1. Header – select the Danger, Warning, or Caution header for your labels, or select no header if your label stock already has the header printed in place.
  2. Options – toggle the optional Grid and Border lines on your label, and toggle showing the date on the label. Also, select either Incident Energy or Category for the presentation of the Arc Flash information.
  3. PPE – modify the selectable list of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  4. Import – automatically read information from an existing spreadsheet to create labels in the DuraSuite database.
  5. Project Filter – choose to view all labels in your database, or only the labels within a specific set.
  6. Project – identify which set of labels the current label belongs to. This information does not appear on the label itself.
  7. Language menu – add, edit, or remove options from the Language selections.
  8. Language selection – choose a language for the label’s static elements.

Data Entry and Editing

To use DuraSuite’s Arc Flash module to create arc flash labels, simply click the New Label button in the toolbar at the top of the screen. The fields on the label will become editable, and you can simply type the appropriate data into each field.


Each label must have a unique Equipment Name, located in the lower left. You may also want to use the Project field in the toolbar to type in a project name, or select an existing project name. Grouping your labels into Projects will make it much easier to find a specific label in the database (described later in this guide).


The 2015 edition of NFPA 70 clarified that a label may include either the general Arc Flash PPE Category, or the calculated Incident Energy and Working Distance, but not both. To choose which of those two elements will appear on your label, choose Show Incident Energy or Show Category, as appropriate, from the Options drop-down menu in the toolbar.


To specify a list of required PPE, scroll through the list of PPE on the right side of the label and check the boxes for each appropriate element. If you have chosen to show the Arc Flash PPE Category, the list of PPE that is shown will update to match the recommendations for the category that you select with the Arc Flash PPE Category drop-down menu. You can also edit the list of PPE to adjust, remove, or add PPE elements using the Add PPE button on the toolbar.


By default, arc flash labels will include the Date of Arc Flash Risk Assessment in the lower right corner of the label. This can be disabled with the Show Date option in the Options drop-down menu in the toolbar. To change the date, click the down arrow next to the displayed date and choose a date from the calendar that appears, or choose Today to use the current date.


In addition to the dynamic information on the label, which is different for each piece of equipment, you may want to change the static text, such as the field titles and PPE names. These can be modified for different languages or facility preferences. There are three defaults included in DuraSuite: English, Spanish (Mexico), and French (Canada).

To choose an existing language entry, simply select it from the Language selection drop-down in the Arc Flash Toolbar. To add a new language entry, choose “New” in the Language menu on the Toolbar; you will be prompted to name the new entry, and then type in the desired text for each field. You can edit or delete Language entries that you have created.


When finished with your label, click the Save button. The data will be included in DuraSuite’s built-in database for future reprinting or revision. If you want to edit the information in the label later, simply click the Edit Label button, and the fields will become editable again.

If you edit the Equipment Name of a saved label, and then save the new changes, DuraSuite will add the new entry to its database instead of overwriting the old label. This can be used to quickly enter data for similar equipment.

Importing Data from a Spreadsheet

Rather than entering all your data manually, you can import it into DuraSuite from an existing spreadsheet or database. DuraSuite can pull data directly from spreadsheets in .CSV (Comma-Separated Values), .XLS (Microsoft Excel), or .MDB (Microsoft Access) file types. Many electrical analysis programs can export data into one or more of these formats, or a spreadsheet may be assembled as part of an independent analysis.

DuraSuite can also use an ODBC connection to pull data from a variety of database systems. This is an advanced option, and will be covered at the end of this section.


preparing-spreadsheet-durasuite-softwareBefore you start the import process, ensure your spreadsheet is formatted properly. Use the first row of data for column headers. After that, each new row should correspond to a specific piece of equipment, with no blank rows.

To use the checkbox-style PPE listings in DuraSuite, make a column for each type of PPE that your facility will use; type an X into cells for required PPE, and leave the cell blank for PPE that is not required for that equipment.


To begin an import, open the Arc Flash module of DuraSuite, and click the Import button on the toolbar. Select the file type, and DuraSuite will prompt you to find the appropriate file or connection. Browse to the file, select it, and click Next to continue.

On the next screen, you will see a sample label with blank boxes on the left, and a list of the column headers from your data source on the right, with the information from your data source shown at the bottom of the window. Drag and drop each column header to the blank box where that data belongs. Depending on the layout of your spreadsheet and the data for your facility, some blanks may not be used, or some column headers may be used more than once. If some information will be the same on all labels, such as units of measurement or a project name, you can type that information into the appropriate boxes (before, after, or instead of a column header). When finished with this step, click Next to continue.

A sample label will show you how data has been imported, so you can check that information is going to the right places. If something is wrong, you can use the Previous button at the bottom of the window to go back a step and correct the problem. You can preview different labels from your spreadsheet with the directional arrows on the right. When finished with this step, click Next to continue.

DuraSuite will compare the new imported data to the existing data in DuraSuite’s arc flash database. If any of the equipment in your spreadsheet shares a name with equipment already in DuraSuite, you will be prompted to Rename the new entry, Overwrite the old entry with the new one, or Ignore the new entry and leave the old one in place. When all conflicts have been resolved, click the Finish button to complete the import process.


Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) lets developers and programmers pull data from a database management system and use that data in other software. DuraSuite can accept information this way as part of the Import process. Because ODBC connections require additional software and setup outside DuraSuite, check with your IT department if you have questions.

Once the external setup for ODBC has been completed, you can select “ODBC” as a data source in the beginning of the Import process. You will be prompted for a user or system Data Source Name (DSN), or you can choose to enter a connection string. Use the Test Connection button to confirm that the database link is working, and then click OK to continue. Once the ODBC connection is in place, the import process will continue as described above.

Finding a Saved Label

As you enter more labels into DuraSuite’s database, you may have trouble finding a specific label for printing or editing. You can cycle through the labels in alphabetical order using the left and right arrow buttons near the top of the screen, but there are two other ways to find a specific label more quickly.


search-bar-durasuiteIf you are looking for a single, specific label, you can search by the Equipment Name using the search bar in the top right corner of the DuraSuite window. Type in the first few letters of the Equipment Name, and click on the desired name when it appears in the list below the search box.


If you want to narrow your search to a single Project, browsing all of the labels in that set, use the Project Filter drop-down menu just above the displayed label. By default, this is set to Show All; if a specific Project is selected, only the labels from that Project will be shown.

Printing Arc Flash Labels


The Arc Flash Toolbar, at the top of the window, includes several important options that should be set before printing a label.

First, the Header drop-down menu lets you choose to have the Danger, Warning, or Caution header printed on your label. If your label stock already has the header text pre-printed, select no header. (If one is already selected, click it again and the header will disappear from the preview.)

Next, the Options drop-down menu lets you choose whether to include optional Grid or Border lines on your label. These graphical elements are not required, but may help make your label easier to read. If your label stock already has these lines preprinted, be sure these options are turned off.

If you are using the DuraLabel Catalyst full-color printer, be sure to turn on the option to “Print labels in full color.” To check this setting, go through the Tools menu to select Options, and then go to the Preferences tab. Click OK to continue if the setting is correct.


To print a single Arc Flash label, find the desired label and go through the File menu to choose Print. The Arc Flash Module also offers additional printing options, reached by selecting Print Special in the File menu.

  • Print All prints all of the labels in DuraSuite’s Arc Flash database.
  • Print Found Records prints all of the labels that match your current Search criteria and your current Project Filter, both described in the section “Finding a Saved Label,” above.
  • Print Custom opens a new window, allowing you to select labels from a list, and then prints all of the labels that you have chosen.
  • Print Die-Cut Sheets opens a new window to let you print using the DuraLabel Catalyst, which uses individual sheets of labels. Other DuraLabel printers use rolls of label stock, and this option will not be applicable.

More Support Options

If you have any questions about using DuraSuite label design software, get help from Graphic Products’ world-class support team by calling 800-788-5572 or visiting We’re here to help with all your labeling needs!

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