Label printing technology is advancing. With more options available, it’s important to select label printing equipment that meets your needs and that works well with your product labeling requirements. The right printing process will help you streamline your processes and help you work smarter.
1. Evaluate Your Product Labeling Requirements
Before selecting label printing equipment, get some clarity on your requirements. For example:
- Do you need to print in color due to industry regulations or branding needs?
- If color is a requirement, will the content of your labels stay static or will it be variable?
- How durable will your labels need to be?
- Do you need a large volume of the same label or short-run versions of different labels?
- Does your label material need to meet industry standards such as UL/CSA agency approvals in the electronics industry?
Answering questions like these is the first step to determining the print technology that will be right for your application.
2. Consider the Application
Do your labels need to withstand a harsh environment, such as moisture, heat or sunlight? If so, consider a thermal transfer printer, which creates an image by heating ink on a ribbon and transferring that to the label substrate or material. Thermal transfer produces a sharp, durable image on a wide variety of synthetic media that won’t fade or smudge.
Color inkjet label printers are ideal for on-demand printing. This is an alternative to buying large quantities of pre-printed labels. If label content changes regularly, or if your print runs are relatively short, on-demand inkjet provides the speed and flexibility to implement quick changes in label content. You can increase speed even more with Epson color inkjet label printers, which are impressively fast.
All of these methods use a wide variety of materials and substrates for printing on, including paper, polypropylene, synthetic and woven/fabric. To help you figure out what is best for your application, consult a certified supply expert.
3. When to Make the Case for Color
In many cases, color is a requirement to meet regulations in industries such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage, chemical and industrial.
The pharmaceutical and medical device industries are moving towards smaller product batches, which is a perfect application for using color inkjet printer’s like Epson’s C6000, and C6500 to print runs of color labels in-house. As regulations and industry standards increase, keep a keen eye on color barcode printing equipment to future proof your operations.
Another advantage of printing color labels in-house, is that you can easily eliminate the two-step color label process . Businesses are moving toward the efficiency of on-demand printing, eliminating the need of having to order large runs of preprinted labels which require a second run in-house on a thermal transfer printer to add variable product information.
On-demand color label printing also allows users the flexibility to print labels of any color instantly, making changeover of manufacturing or packaging lines much faster, and improving agility to market without having to wait for preprinted color label inventory to arrive.
Depending on the application, some color printers like the Epson C7500, with its high-yield ink cartridges, require less user attention and produce less waste than most thermal transfer printers.
4. Enlist the Help of an Expert
Selecting the right label printing equipment can speed up your labeling processes and reduce errors, downtime and waste. But, it takes the right partner with years’ of experience working with a variety of printer types, substrates and supplies to make recommendations that will meet your goals and help grow the bottom line.
Let Miles Data help you discover the printer and supplies that are ideal for you.