For companies with a large number of SKU’s, on-demand color labeling enables them to reduce or eliminate their inventory of preprinted labels. In these situations, manufacturers need the capability to produce relatively small runs of many different labels; each label with variable data.
With a 4” outer diameter limit on internal media rolls, I have had many on-demand color label customers asking about using the rear label feed capability of the TM-C3400.
As the picture shows, rear feed printing allows large volume label-printing customers to use fanfold media. For example, take a look at this success story covering FX Luminaire who uses fanfold media exclusively.
Some customers, however, prefer to use large, external rolls of media with the TM-C3400. For these customers, I recommend an unwinder to insure the labels are printed correctly. Specifically, I recommend powered unwinders from LABELMATE
the world’s leading manufacturer of label rewinders, unwinders, dispensers,
counters, slitters, print mechanisms and core chucks:
According to Terry Zimmerman, President of LABELMATE, “Label unwinders provide a convenient way to manage the supply roll of labels as it feeds into a printer. With an unwinder, you can use larger rolls of labels to minimize the unit label cost. Also, the supply roll of labels does not have to be refreshed as often, saving time and adding convenience. External label rolls are always visible, making it easy to monitor the status of your label supply. Powered unwinders feed the labels into the printer on demand, eliminating any stress on the printer that would be experienced by the printer having to pull the labels off the heavy roll and into the printer.”
Take a look at this video of the TM-C3400 in combination with a LABELMATE unwinder:
By the way, I setup the unwinder myself; so it must be easy to do. But I needed to change the tension on the unwinder to prevent so much media coming off the roll. There is a continuously variable “TORQUE” control on the unwinder so you can easily set the feed rate to suit the printer.
And here is a picture of a customer who adapted their LABELMATE rewinder to serve as a powered unwinder to use with the TM-C3400 with a LABELMATE rewinder. The LABELMATE powered unwinders, UCAT-2 (12” roll diameter capacity) and UCAT-40 (16” roll diameter capacity), have a sensor arm that track the printer’s usage of the labels and starts and stops the unwinding automatically:
With manufacturers with a large inventory of preprinted labels, talk to them about moving to on-demand color; even when they require a large volume. It's a good opportunity for both you and them.