In manufacturing environments, the demand for label printing continues to rise!
Just about every product that a company ships includes some sort of barcode label. From product labels, to serial numbers to shipping labels, it is almost impossible for a product, in the consumer or commercial business world, to leave a factory or warehouse without some type of identification sticker. Popular label printer brands like Zebra or Sato can be enhanced with environmental enclosures that will protect vital electronics from dust, dirt, lint, grease, or even hose directed water in wash down climates.
When configuring a printer enclosure, be sure to ask 3 questions to ensure the product is appropriate for your specific needs.
1. How will the label(s) be accessed?
Before purchasing printer box enclosures, understand how often the labels will be printed. This will dictate if a window/door slot or a printer access door should be used on the enclosure. Busy manufacturing factories can print upwards of 100 labels every hour. A slotted path is ideal for continuous label access and will feed the labels quickly and efficiently out of the cabinet.
2. What is the level of protection?
Label access is also imperative in determining the level of protection for the enclosure. If dust, grease, or water are a primary concern for enclosing the printer, consider the trade-offs of using a printer access door over a slotted path. A printer access door will provide an environmental seal around the enclosure to keep dust and water away from the printer. Environmental concerns, such as freezer locations or cold warehouses, pose immense problems for thermal transfer printers. Supplemental heaters or filtered fan systems are common thermal management systems installed on Zebra printer enclosures.
3. What is the return on investment?
Integrators may be conflicted with the decision to spend a large chunk of budget on environmental printer enclosures. Considering the price of the enclosure, is it worth spending money on a NEMA rated cabinet or should we risk using printers without any protection? Understand the actual cost of replacing a barcode printer – contemplate the cost to purchase a new unit, as well as, the downtime associated with employees unable to use the printer to complete tasks.
First and foremost, make sure that the chosen enclosure(s) is NEMA rated to protect against harmful elements in a factory, warehouse, or plant. Printer enclosures will extend the life of a barcode label printer, while offering security and protection from outside factors. In the industrial enclosure industry, ‘you get what you pay for’ is a very honest statement. Always shop around and find the enclosure solution that will best fit the needs of your business, while providing a safe environment for your printer.
For More Information:
- 3 Considerations for Choosing a Zebra Printer Enclosure
- 6 Benefits of Using a Waterproof NEMA 4X Zebra Printer Enclosure
- Finding the Perfect Zebra Barcode Printer Enclosure
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