How to Choose an Inkjet Label PrinterMay 31, 2012
We understand the thought that goes into purchasing a color label printer. You really want to make sure that you are purchasing the printer that is right for you and your application. We manufacture two different inkjet label printers: the Kiaro! and the Zeo! and we’ve heard many of the questions you have running through your mind from customers of our own and want to help. When you’re comparing and contrasting different inkjet label printers here are some things to consider before you purchase.
Print Speed and Print Quality
If you’re looking for an inkjet label printer two things that you are probably going to look at are print speed and print quality. You may think that print speed means the amount of time it physically takes to print labels but print speed also includes: pauses for maintence procedures, loading the labels into the printer, processing time delays, etc. All of these impact the throughput of the printer. Your production department needs to measure in order to evaluate what they are looking for in terms of print speed with a label printer.
When you’re looking at the print quality of the labels be sure to ask questions about what speed they were printed at, for example “were they printed at top speed?” Some label printers reduce effective print resolution when printing at higher speeds. Be sure to ask for different label samples to compare and contrast.
The Kiaro! inkjet label printer has print speeds up to 8 ips, fitting in nicely in fast paced production environments. But the print speed can be slowed to as low as 2 ips allowing it to accommodate to other various packaging environments. The Zeo! inkjet label printer on the other hand ha sprint speeds of 0.02 – 0.25 ips making it more suitable for slower production areas.
This beautiful label, for example, was printed on the Kiaro! inkjet color label printer. The detail is crisp and clean even at 8 ips!
Regular maintence on a label printer is a given but all inkjet label printers must periodically clean their print heads. If print heads are not cleaned blotches, banding, or voiding artifacts will occur. An important label spec to look for is whether the inkjet label printer you choose allows you to clean labels “in job” instead of cutting the web and requiring you to splice together a finished roll. It is little things like these that go unnoticed until it comes time to have to deal with it.
Another important feature to take into consideration with inkjet label printers is its build. If a printer is finicky or fragile, it will produce a print error if the system is just slightly tilted. Think of a table with uneven legs or floors that are slightly uneven. A robust label printer should be able to be used at more than just a perfectly flat angle.
A good example for comparing and contrasting different label printers can be done with the Kiaro! and the Zeo! The Kiaro! is a compact table top printer built to fit into almost any atmosphere, it is small enough to fit on an office desk but robust enough to find a home on the manufacturing floor. The Zeo! resembles your typical desktop printer (but more stylish in purple of course!) but its better fit for an office rather than a production floor.
Label printers can’t work unless they have software! It isn’t uncommon that software isn’t included in the price when you purchase your label printer. Be sure to check into whether software is included or if it will be another expense to endure. Software leads into another valuable perk that is fantastic to be included in the purchase…
Installation and Training
I don’t know about you but I know trying to learn how to use a label printer from scratch can be hard and overwhelming. How can you really know you’re using the printer correctly? In some cases installation and training are provided for the label printer, this is an extremely beneficial perk to take advantage of if it is available. The Kiaro! inkjet label printer comes with a Quick Set-Up package where a QuickLabel specialist will come to your location, install the Kiaro!, and train your users to start printing labels.
We understand that’s a lot to take in but if you have any questions about inkjet label printers we’re here to help! For more information on QuickLabe’s inkjet printers you can schedule a demonstration or request more information.