Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Sunday, March 8, 2015

C3500 Surprise

While working with a prospect, I had positive surprise; Epson released a new driver for the C3500. 

TM-C3500 New Driver

You may remember my first driver surprise this year that enabled 8.25” wide printing:

 After the initial introduction, I learned my prospect wanted to print small labels with color codes. The color helps the organization and their customers distinguished similar products in inventory. In our discussion, I told him that the TM-C3500 is limited to 0.6” label height.  Given this limitation, he created BarTender files and sent them to me to print.  I printed and scanned the 3” x 0.6” barcode labels with no problem.
TM-C3500 Printing Barcodes

The prospect then wanted to see a demo of the printer printing these small labels. While conducting the printer demo, I learned he was currently using the Primera LX900 printers to produce the labels.  However, many of the labels were not able to be scanned.  It seems the labels moved during printing; thus producing poor barcodes.  In addition, he was not able to add the printer to the network; forcing them to use USB connectivity and making the IT group very unhappy.  More important, he shared that their ink costs were very high to produce these little barcode labels.

The prospect also shared that the label real estate was critical; they could not use a label taller than 0.375”.  Based on this requirement, I suggested we could print 2 of these labels in a 2.75” x 0.75” area.  It seemed, however, the prospect company’s current process required printing one label at a time.  To learn more about printing narrow labels, check out my earlier post:  

Once I understood what he really needed, I recommended going back and looking at label design options to produce these small labels. Back at the office, I emailed Epson to say that we may not be able to help this customer given the requirements. Within minutes, I received the reply from Ken at Epson: 

“We just released a new version of the 3500 driver / FW that accommodates heights down to 0.31. “

After getting samples of the prospect’s 2.75” x 0.375” labels, installing the new driver and thanking Ken, I set up the media height as 0.375”:

TM-C3500 Media Size

 and received a message which I should have expected:

As I had the previous WAD20200 version of the firmware loaded in my printer, I went ahead and printed using BarTender.  The labels printed great and the barcodes scanned easily using my phone.  However, each print job skipped 3 labels:

Given this issue, I adjusted the gap sensor to insure the printer was reading the gap correctly.

TM-C3500 Gap Sensor

And I adjusted the print start position (which need to be adjusted slightly anyway).

TM-C3500 Print Start Adjustment

But each print job still skipped 3 labels.  When I contacted Epson to ask why, their first question was, “did you update the firmware of the printer?”  As I hadn't, I immediately updated the firmware; and the 0.375” labels printed perfectly.

Given these results, this prospect is now a new customer of Color Label Solutions.

When printing small/short labels, please know barcodes can be an issue.  For example, this ~.25”/X dimension of 15 mils Data Matrix barcode scanned just fine using my phone when printed:

TM-C3500 Data Matrix Barcode

But this ~.125”/X dimension of 12.5 mils Data Matrix barcode did not scan using my phone:

If you want to print short or small labels, contact us.  We’ll help you get started printing these seemingly difficult labels quickly and easily.  If you have a C3500 printer and want the latest driver/firmware, contact us as well.  We’ll get these updates to you. 

We want to help you become one of our important customers as well.

Guy Mikel