It pays to be genuine
Feb 26, 2020 Comments (1)
I read that last week ICCE (Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East and Africa) stepped up its fight against counterfeit printer cartridges and other imaging products by joining the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT).
It’s claimed that fake and counterfeit imaging products are estimated to be worth US$3.5 billion†.
Lest we think over here in the industrial sector that we’re immune to the same issues facing our ‘consumer’ brethren, we’re not. And I would like to make the business argument about why it pays you to get into the practice of using proprietary supplies for your industrial, mobile or desktop printers.
You might think a label’s a label but not all labels are born equal. Some label rolls are wound so tightly that the adhesive squeezes out, causing your printer to jam. Some may not have the right adhesive to remain stuck to the item you want it to stick to. And when your ribbon’s not matched to the label material, the print can fade or easily rub off.
With bewildering combinations of thermal supplies available, each with variable degrees of performance and price it can be hard to identify the best solution for your specific application.
But questions to ask yourself are:
- Can you guarantee your labels will perform in the specific environments where they’ll be used?
- How well will the label’s printed image perform if rubbed against other surfaces?
- How resistant will the ink prove if exposed to certain chemicals?
- How sticky will the label prove on certain surfaces and how durable will it turn out to be in extremes of temperatures, or when being stored outside?
Labels are the digital voice for your assets, and investing in quality labels and materials ensures that each and every asset is scannable. By putting price before quality, companies expose themselves to major operational headaches, like frequent printhead failure or costly downtime, not to mention regulatory headaches like non-compliance of labels.
What supplies you choose can impact the life of your printer. When OEMs test their printers, they check things like ensuring the material of the label does not cause premature wear and tear. They also consider the impact of issues like residue build up from the material coating, from adhesives and varnishes.
Using the printer manufacturer’s genuine and certified supplies will provide consistent and reliable performance, reduce downtime and extend the life of devices.
How you print can also help in operational effectiveness. Getting the right product to the right location when the labels are black and white and when English isn’t your first language can be challenging. This is where single colour printing like Zebra’s IQ Color 2000D can help operators match pallet to location, and make errors visible at a single glance. A 1%* improvement in speed can equate to $1000s in savings
We may not have the counterfeit challenges our consumer printer contemporaries face but we certainly share similar legacies when using inferior products, like damage to printer hardware. It pays to always use genuine OEM media and if you’re printer’s getting a little long in the tooth to source genuine parts maybe it’s time to consider an upgrade. Take advantage of some of the very good trade-up programmes around at the moment and work smarter.
* Zebra Transportation and Logistics Labeling Solution fact sheet 2018
Renovotec is the UK’s largest independent rugged hardware and maintenance, software and services company. Managing Director Richard Gilliard has helped lead the organisation for over 25 years, supporting customers across many sectors including warehousing and distribution, transport and logistics, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, seaports and field mobility. Richard's drive is to enable firms through…