Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Q&A's


One day this week, I received three questions from readers of my blog.  These questions excited me for two reasons.  First, I appreciate any and all questions concerning print on-demand labels.  Your questions have led me to discover new potential applications or to learn something new myself.


Second, these three questions came from people I would never had communicated with except for my blog.  My goal with this blog is to help value added resellers and end users become aware of and begin selling/using this technology.  Your questions help me measure my achievement of this goal.

Check out my first question from a nutritional supplement company:

Hello Guy

I read your blog and was wondering if you would be willing to take a quick moment and help us choose between the Primera LX900 and the Epson TM-C3400 printers?

Our need is for small run color labels for nutritional supplement samples bottles. We anticipate printing 50-100 labels at a time, up to perhaps 1000 max. We probably won’t print more than 1000 labels per month. We will want to print on water and smudge-resistant stock. Initial price is not a driving factor although ongoing per-label cost is a consideration. Vendor support and availability is important.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


And here was my answer:

Thanks for connecting; and for reading my blog. 

Here is what I tell people about the differences.  If you are printing labels with 100% coverage of ink, I recommend the Primera LX900.  This printer has higher resolution and 4 colors; which makes for better full-color pictures.

However, if you are adding color images, text, graphics, logos, barcodes to a white label, then the TM-C3400 is the best choice.  First the ink is much more durable.  Epson uses an encapsulated-pigment ink; not the dye based inks in most printers.

Second, the TM-C3400 consumables (ink and media) are typically much less expensive.  As Epson works with converter partners and not sell media, label costs are usually less than the media sold by Primera.  Depending on what you print, the total cost is significantly less.

Third, the TM-C3400 is much faster and much more durable in production.  I've talked to lots of people who had issues with the LX900 in production.  This printer is fine for a graphic artist doing a few labels; but not so much on the factory floor.  Although a different printer, you may find this story on the Primera PX450 of interest.


Finally, the TM-C3400 offers a good Ethernet capability; which you may need.

You might find these previous posts covering previous Primera printer users of interest.



As for support, you can contact me anytime; especially when you first start.  I do many 30 minute webinars to help people get started quickly and easily.  Plus, you can call Epson Advanced Tech Support at 562-290-1314 OPTION #3 for help.  Also, Epson sells extended warranty and a Spare-in-the-Air which enables you to get a different printer next day if your printer breaks.  SITA costs $61 a year.  This program seems like a great deal to me if you don't want to keep a hot swap.

Feel free to contact me next week to talk more.  All the best.

Here was my second question from a chemical manufacturer:

Hello Guy,

I ran across your blog on color label printers and am hoping you can help me. I manufacture lubricants and I pack them into 55 gallon drums and 5 gallon pails. I currently print my labels on a Dell 3130cn color laser printer (http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&sku=224-0485and use 8.5"x11" online labels weather proof polyester printer (http://www.onlinelabels.com/Products/OL175LP.htm).  I print about 250-500 labels per week. Due to the thick paper, the Dell continuously jams. The current set-up is no longer sustainable.

I was looking at the Epson GP-C831. Seems this is the printer I am looking for. But I have a few questions and can't seem to find anyone with the information. Where do I buy the paper? Are there labels available for this printer that are "weather-proof"? I currently print label size of 8.5"x11", I assume I will have to reformat to fit the 8"x" setting?

And of course, where can I buy this printer?

Your help is appreciated!

And here was my answer:

Thanks for connecting; and for reading my blog.

From your description, I agree with you; the GP-C831 should be a much better alternative.

First, the pin-fed media handling was used to insure reliable media handing.  Many times, sheet-fed printers have the problems you mention; they are much more likely to jam.

Second, the on-going ink cost with the GP-C831 should cost you at least 50% less than color laser; a big savings over time.  The cost to refill all three ink cartridges is $106, with thousands of potential labels per set of 4 cartridges.  Just last week, I spoke to a reseller who said it cost over $1,200 to refill toners in a 4 color laser printer.  Send me your label samples so I can print and return them to you.

Third, the Durabrite ink used in the GP-C831 is very durable; and has the BS5609 certification you may require.  Check out my previous blog post on this topic.



As for reforming the labels, the GP-C831 prints up to an 8” die-cut label; with a total construction including the pin-feed of 9.5”.  As for a source for the media, most converters can make the labels required.  I know of two who plan to produce the labels once the printer is released

I’m sure others converters will offer this media shortly.

As for where to purchase the printer, Epson has not officially released it yet. I understand you should be able to purchase the GP-C831 after the middle of December.  After this date, I can recommend a local Value Added Reseller for you to purchase the printer. 

Thanks again for connecting.

PS:  If you 5 gallon pail labels are less than 4.4" wide, you may want to consider using the TM-C3400.

And my third question from a label converter:

Hi Mike, (FYI:  With a last name like Mikel, many people call me Mike sometimes)

I've been reading your blog and appreciate all the useful information you posted. I am a label converter and need to source the subject material.  Can you suggest a supplier for the adhesive coated label stock?

Thanks

Here is my answer:

Thanks for reaching out; and for reading my blog.  As you are a converter, I recommend you contact the media development companies on this link:


For paper labels, you may want to contact Fasson.  For poly labels, you may want to contact Neenah Paper.  These companies manufacturer facestocks.  Also, you may want to contact Wausau Coated to purchase the total construction.

From this link, you can get their contact info:

http://pos.epson.com/healthcare/colorpartners.htm

Be sure to get me involved on your selling or training efforts.  I help end users get started all the time.  Let me know how I can support you.

All the best.

Let me know if you have had similar questions and if the answers help.  Also, send me any other questions you have on print on-demand color labels.  As I said, they me learn; and sometimes provide more content for my blog.


Guy Mikel


4 comments:

  1. HI GUY...

    Where to purchase the Epson C831, i don't seem to find any on the web. I am also looking in the pigment ink based Color Label Printer from VIPcolor VP495, they also uses pigment ink. with the correct media, can they be BS5609 certified too ?

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  2. To learn more about the GP-C831, take a look at this Epson website: http://pos.epson.com/colorworks/C831.aspx.

    Soon, you should be able to download the driver for the C831 here soon: http://www.pos.epson.com/developers/techresdetails.htm?productpk=678.

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