Recently, I met with the Graphtec Digital Solutions team to learn about the LCX603; the all-in-one, 3 color thermal transfer printer. This device prints utilizing 3 thermal transfer ribbons, laminates, die-cuts, weeds (removes the matrix), and cuts off a sheet of labels.
And it produces beautiful, durable labels appropriate for the end of an assembly line.
According to Brian Malouf, in Sales for Graphtec, “I see three key features of the LCX603 printer. First, the printer produces labels in 3 different colors, using thermal transfer technology. Adding colors to labels in manufacturing increases attention, improves recall/recognition, and decreases errors.
Second, the printer produces high quality, small fonts and barcodes using thermal transfer print heads capable of higher than normal resolution; up to 600 x 1200 dpi. These type of labels are perfect for an electronic manufactures who need a set of labels to apply to an assemble product at the end of a production line.
Third, the device prints, laminates, die-cuts, and weeds in one step; everything required to produce durable, colorful labels. The sheet produced by the LCX603 are perfect for barcode, caution and warning labels including UL.”
The LCX693 comes with a Windows driver that controls the colors and cutting of the labels.
According to Brian, “Each color used in the label file must be assigned to a corresponding print head, or channel. In this example, yellow is assigned to channel 1, where we have a yellow ribbon loaded. Blue is assigned to channel 2 where we have a blue ribbon loaded. Black is assigned to channel 3 where we have a black ribbon loaded. Green is assigned to both channels 1 and 3, so anything green will receive a bottom coat of yellow, followed by a topcoat of black.
Brian continues, "We offer 7 colors of ribbon in “semi-resin” or resin: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, black, and white.” In addition to the ribbons, Graphtec sells 14 different label media and 6 different laminates to use in the printer.
From my perspective, the key benefit of the LCX603 is the ability to produce a multi-color, durable set of labels on-demand. With this device, electronic equipment companies or manufacturers of products requiring warning signs can now produce a set of labels required for each step in their production process on-demand. A set or sheet of labels costs $0.50 to $0.80 for the actual label and ribbons. No longer must manufacturers purchase a large volume of expensive preprinted labels. They can just produce exactly what they want, when they want, each time enabling design changes or new variable data until printing.
|LCX603 Ribbon Holder|
As for watchouts, I see three. Initially, my thought was the LX603 printer is complex; with all the steps involved in producing the final label. This complexity may make this device difficult to set up and keep running. To help with this potential watchout, Graphtec provides on-going support for the printer.
In addition, the printer is relatively slow. It takes from 30 seconds to 1 minute to produce a sheet/set of labels. But you could have many different small labels on this sheet; ready to apply.
Lastly, the LCX603 is relatively expensive at approximately $15,000+; plus branded, approved consumables. At 250 sheets of labels per day (approximately 4 hours) for 250 days per year for 5 years, the hardware cost of a sheet of labels would equal approximately $0.05/label. With the hardware added, the total cost per sheet of labels could add up to $0.55 to $0.85. But this sheet could provide all the small, durable labels required for a piece of equipment.
Watch the LCX603 produce labels here:
According to Graphtec, over 200 of the LCX603 printers have been sold to a variety of manufacturers in Japan. I appreciate your feedback on how this printer would fit in your operation. Contact me to discuss how this all-in-one printer of durable, colorful labels would work in your operation.