Not all printers are built the same – some are more robust and rugged than others and are better suited to working in industrial environments or places where printing is essential. I’m often asked: “When do we need an industrial class printer?” In return, I ask 5 questions to get to the bottom of this:
- Where are you printing? Outside of your carpeted spaces you may need to print on the floor of the manufacturing plant, in the warehouse, in goods-in or goods-out and many places in between. In these areas, where technology can be bumped and knocked – and is subject to many environmental extremes – your printers need to be as tough as the conditions they’re operating in.
- How much are you printing? If you’re doing a huge volume of printing – perhaps labelling parts for use in car production or pharmaceuticals destined for the high street – you’ll need printers that are designed to print, print and print some more, day in, day out.
- How important is printing? If you’re printing labels used to mark parts or validate quality – for example, electronics components or a car door – you can’t stop the plant if the printer breaks. In short, if what you’re printing is critical to any workflow process in your plant, you’ll need an industrial printer.
- How important is quality? If you’re printing tiny parts labels with dense data – as is typical in the electronics industry – then there’s a need for high-quality print performance. What’s more, in many markets, such as CE part marking in electronics or GHS labelling in the chemical industry, you’ll need to use printers that can print on specialised labels designed to remain in place for extended periods (often years).
- How important is maintenance and management? If you’re running numerous printers across lots of sites, being able to remotely manage them is critical to helping keep costs down. For example, we offer a cloud-based Operational Visibility Service that provides detailed insight into the status, use and health (e.g. Wi-Fi connectivity) of every printing device on your network. The configurable dashboards provide the insight to help you proactively manage and improve the performance, availability and life cycle of your printers.
If you’ve a requirement for any of the above, the likelihood is you need an industrial printer. Our printers are built to be robust using metal frames and chassis to house highly reliable components. Most of our customers run their printers for between 5 and 7 years. This lengthy service results in significant cost savings and a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) that more than justifies any price premium for the units.
When you’re printing high volumes, in demanding environments, and where you’ve no time for downtime, the best option is an industrial printer.
Reliable performance is a key trait of all our industrial mobile technology that includes mobile computers, Wi-Fi networks and a range of utilities and apps. The apps and utilities make it easy to convert Android to a true enterprise operating system and ease the process of deploying, managing and optimising your mobile devices. You can find out more about our full solutions in our new video showcase here. The showcase especially features our new TC8000 mobile computer that, by changing the scanning workflow, can increase per worker productivity by 14%.