Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions
www.colorlabelsolutions.com

Sunday, March 20, 2016

300x Color Label Printer: Top 10

Recently, I completed Neuralabel 300x (http://www.neuralabel.com/NeuraLabel300x-label-printing-solutions.phpcolor label printing training at their Houston headquarters.

Neuralabel 300x Training

Before, I tell you about the printer, let me provide you some background. 

Neuralabel is the label printer division of Neuralog (http://www.neuralog.com/). Neuralog was founded in 1991 to find creative solutions for problems in the petroleum industry through the application of advanced computer science technologies and client direction. Today Neuralog software solutions are recognized around the world as the best digitizing and exploration reconnaissance tools available. Currently, over 1000 customers in 70 countries use Neuralog products.

Neuralabel launched the 300x color label printer recently.  You may find my earlier post on printing/laminating/die-cutting/slitting labels of interest.  http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2015/10/print-laminate-die-cut-slit-path-to.html.  Be sure to watch the video of the 300x printing labels 2 up.

300x

Based on the HP X451 page wide technology (http://www8.hp.com/us/en/ads/pagewide-technology/overview.html),  the 300x is a high resolution (up to 2400 x 1200 dpi), fast (up to 20”/second) and wide (up to 8” wide) printer for both GHS and prime labels.  From my perspective, the 300x will be best utilized to print beautiful, wider than 4”, labels in batches.

Based on my experience in the training and in my initial color label printing, I like to share with you my 10 observations/tips with this new printer. 

First, the 300x is a “batch” printer; perfect for producing a large batches of labels, either die cut or continuous for post-printing finishing.  The primary reason I say batch printing is the printer produces a “spit” pattern on every print job consuming a label. 

300x Spitting
300x Spit Pattern
This spitting insures the print head is functioning properly.  With this function, the 300x can’t be used in a “print 1” process; and rather only as a batch printer.

Second, the 300x uses die cut labels, either on a roll or in a fanfold stack.  In either case, you must use a blackmark on the back of the liner as the printer does not have a gap sensor.

300x Blackmark
300x Blackmark
You can also print cut sheet labels with the printer; either standard sizes using “Tray 2” or non-standard sizes using “Tray 1”.

Third, the printer can produce labels which are “full-bleed”.   Normally, the 300x produces labels with a .117” margin.  To ensure that no unprinted edges occur, you must use labels with a .25” gap and a blackmark centered in the gap.

300x Full-Bleed Spec
300x Full-Bleed Media Spec
Fourth, the 300x can now print labels that are as narrow as 1.5” wide; down from 3” during the initial launch.  To print this narrow label, it is required to purchase a label guide that connects in the back of the printer.

300x Narrow Label Guide
300x Narrow Label Guide
(FYI:  one cool aspect is that Neuralabel produces this guide using their internal 3D printers). With this guide and new firmware, you can even produce full bleed labels using the .25” gap and blackmark.  This capability should be great for labels applied to bottles with a semi or automatic label applicator; as done in the Vape market.

300x Vape Label
300x Vape Label
Fifth, the 300x uses HP pigment ink.  Although sufficiently durable to meet the BS5609 requirements on matte poly (http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2012/03/bs5609-is-no-bs.html)  for the marine shipment of chemicals, the 300x does not instantly dry on gloss labels.  You need to expect the labels to need some time to dry. Once dry, the gloss labels look great!

Sixth, the 300x has no consumable items other than ink.  The print bar lasts the life of the printer.  And if you purchase the extended on-site warranty provided by HP, the printer is warranted to last the life of the contract.  This printhead life/lack of consumables eliminates costs seen by many of the other label printers on the market:  consumable items such as printheads, service stations, blades, kits, etc.

Seventh, Neuralabel offers optional winders enabling the use of large rolls and rewinding of rolls for finishing or placing on an applicator.  One key aspect of these winders is the size: they’re large.

300x Winders
300x Winders
And they ship in a big crate!

300x Winders

Eighth, the 300x has “S” media path; meaning labels take 3, 90 degree turns during printing.  The turns do open up the possibility of labels getting stuck in the printer.

300x Label Jammed
Label Jammed in 300x

To reduce the possibility of jams, you need to insure the labels have a straight cut; you can’t rip labels off and place in the printer.  I now use a paper cutter to cut the label prior to inserting into the printer.

Ninth, the 300x uses relatively large ink cartridges; requiring cartridge changes less frequently. In addition, ink costs are significantly lower than the Primera and VIP branded printers and equal to or maybe only slightly higher than other higher speed label printers.

300x Ink Cartridge
300x Ink Cartridge

Please know: if the 300x runs out of ink while printing, the job is canceled.  This aspect is crucial if printing serialized labels.

And tenth, the 300x produces beautiful, wider than 4” labels.  Although repeating myself, this aspect is probably the most important reason to purchase the 300x. 

300x Gloss Poly Label
300x Gloss Poly Label
If you want great looking, wide labels in large batches, then the 300x is a good alternative.  Contact us to discuss how the 300x would fit into your operation.

Guy Mikel
855-962-7670

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