For many companies, printing or (or having them produced) labels and labels is a habit. To the question – how this is done – is often the answer, “Actually I have no idea”. The answer to the question – why it is done that way – can therefore be guessed … again “No idea”.
Yet many companies are looking at whether it can be done differently and whether it should be done differently. This is a development that is not limited to a few branches, but actually takes place everywhere. The reasons for doing it differently are varied. The GHS industry, for example, is obliged to do things differently or better. For example, producers want more flexibility in the product labels to be able to respond to market developments and seasons. In contrast, traders would like to offer added value by offering private-label, even for “smaller” volumes without high start-up costs. These are just a few examples of reasons for doing it differently.
In this process, facts do not always play the most important role, but assumptions. Especially assumptions based on the past. Take an office printer, a laser printer is much cheaper per print, right?…
If this question is answered with “yes”, it is an assumption, based on the past. Until a few years ago, the laser printer was the cheapest way of printing in business. Due to current technological developments, the current inkjet printers, looking at the costs per print, have become a lot cheaper to use than laser printers. A fair comparison of all costs is of course important, only comparing the costs of a toner with ink cartridges is not enough. The “invisible” costs must also be included. For example, a laser printer is a real energy waste while an inkjet printer hardly consumes electricity. The low energy consumption also makes an inkjet printer more environmentally friendly and that is a bonus.
Epson has had research done into the market assumptions about the differences between laser and inkjet printers. This research showed that when one is fully informed about the facts and the assumptions are contradicted, 74% replace the laser printers with inkjet printers. Click on the image on the right to view the complete study. In this research many more “wrong” or “outdated” assumptions come forward including the accompanying facts.
A4 printer vs. Label Printer
Companies that already print their own labels, or are in the middle of the process of this change, regularly ask “Why should I buy a color label printer? I can easily do this with my / a office printer? ”
It is precisely this – how and why – that is what this blog is all about. There are many reasons why you should not do it with an office printer. In this blog the focus is somewhat on an SME, but most things are almost the same for all business formats and the difference is often only in details.
Perhaps not the most popular part, but certainly a very important part of every decision within a company. Certainly when it comes to matters that have to earn themselves back indirectly instead of directly. In the end, costs are of course an important part of any decision.
When printing labels, whether it concerns product labels, GHS labels, crate cards or another type, we are mainly confronted with two cost items that have to do with actual consumption. These are the label materials themselves and the inks, we do not consider the toner of a laser printer since this technique is by definition more expensive than inkjet.
Ink costs per label
Where Epson has an ink calculation system for the ColorWorks inkjet label printers for its & nbsp; ColorWorks partners, this is usually not available for office printers. To arrive at a fair comparison, we have to compare the information that is available to compare the costs. On the Coolblue website I chose an office printer from HP to make a comparison. The printer for comparison is the “HP OfficeJet Pro 8715 e-All-in-One (K7S37A)”, the associated cartridges cost € 47.99 at Coolblue for a black, according to HP good for 2,000 prints, and each color (3 pieces) cost € 30.99 a piece and according to HP would be good for 1,600 pages. The basis on which this is calculated is not very easy to find, but comes down to a mix of color and black with a coverage of around 40%. This amounts to approximately 8.2 euro cents per A4 sheet.
Epson has some more striking examples with the costs per label where the print is visible. An example representative of a fair comparison, at a size of 101.6 x 152.4 mm, brings us to an ink cost per label of 1.4 euro cents per label based on the Epson TM-C7500.
Taking into account the fact that 4 of these labels fit on an A4 sheet, this equates to 8.2 cents for the A4 printer against 5.6 cents for the label printer (based on 4 labels). A difference of more than 30%.
The ink costs are now clear, but that ink has to come up somewhere else we don’t see anything yet. To compare this, and in particular to prevent us from comparing apples with pears, we use a sustainable label material that is used in the chemical industry, for example * (* or this may and may be discussed later).
For the A4 sheets we use the “Herma 4377 105X148 mm A6 Weatherproof” labels, packed per 100 sheets of 4 labels. This costs around 84.50 per package. This means that the costs per label are approximately 21.2 cents.
For the Epson TM-C7500 we take a roll with an almost equal size, namely 2 “x 4” (approx. 100 x 150 mm), which is offered for 1 roll of 800 labels for € 79.99 and quickly for multiple rolls. becomes cheaper. This brings the cost per label to less than € 0.10 per label. For those familiar with the regulations in the chemical industry, this material complies i.c.m. the Epson inks used in the TM-C7500, among others, are fully compliant with the BS5609 standard.
If this difference in costs is not large enough, consider how many labels are used if 2 have to be printed. With the A4 printer there are 4 on 1 sheet, so 4 are used. With a label printer, 1 label is actually 1 label, nothing more, nothing less.
Total consumption costs
Now that we have both costs in view, we can calculate the total. For convenience, we look at the costs per 1,000 printed labels. We do not include the loss of labels or printhead maintenance because they differ greatly per situation. We also disregard the delivery unit and volume discount.
For the A4 printer we have an ink cost of 8.2 cents per 4 labels and material costs of 21.2 cents 4 label. This means a cost item of € 236.25 per 1,000 labels.
For the Epson TM-C7500 we were 1.4 cents per label for ink costs and € 0.10 per label for the label material. This means 114.00 per 1,000 labels and, in proportion, a saving of more than 50%.
Ease of use
In addition to the cost, other things also play a role when choosing a label printer instead of an A4 printer. Certainly in the case of plastic labels.
Looking at the users of an A4 printer for labels, a common problem is the jamming of the label sheets. Sometimes only a matter of removing the sheet and continuing, but in other cases the labels are peeling off the sheet and are actually stuck in the printer. Besides annoying also very time consuming, and very cliché but time is money. Another common problem is the alignment of the print, which does not always go well. These problems do not occur with label printers, simply because these printers are built for printing labels in industrial environments where an A4 printer is primarily designed for printing paper sheets in an office environment.
Another big difference is speed. Of course there are fast A4 office printers available, although these faster models are also more often and more bothered by a jam, an office printer cannot beat the 300mm per second of the Epson TM-C7500. Furthermore, the printing of rolls ensures that the labels can be easily processed with a label dispenser or, when using the correct rewinder such as that of Labelmate, in an automatic applicator.
Much more is also possible in the management of a label printer. Software packages such as Nicelabel and BarTender have been developed to easily add variable data and thus provide the label with the right design and data. Comparable software for an A4 printer is very limited compared to the possibilities of, for example, Nicelabel.
We have already dealt with most of the benefits, leaving us one important difference if we compare an Epson ColorWorks printer with an A4 printer, namely the durability of the prints.
The prints of the Epson ColorWorks printers with the DURABrite Ultra pigment ink are waterproof, UV-resistant and resistant to many cleaning and chemical agents. Of course this is partly dependent on the material used, for example, a paper label such as the Diamondlabels DIA050 will have a waterproof print, but the paper will be easily rubbed when wet. With a correct PE mat label, such as the Diamond labels DIA700, the print is so resistant to all kinds of influences that these labels fully meet the GHS BS5609 standard. No A4 office printer can carry this approval. Therefore, no matter how good the base material is, these labels will meet the standards.
An important point to pay attention to when using a color label printer is, as may also be seen from the blog, the material used. There is even a difference between materials for inkjet based on “dye-based” inks and the “pigment” inks such as those from Epson.
An inkjet label printer and the inks used can only produce good labels if the material being printed is also good. If the ink cannot be absorbed by the label material, the end result is still zero. We regularly come across companies in the market that have already made the switch and, for example, work with the Epson TM-C7500 but, in the context of keeping costs low, opt for the cheapest label material that is for sale. This means that, for example, printing is done on Vellum, which is actually a material for a thermal transfer printer. The result is therefore a dissatisfied user.
So keep in mind that if you invest in an Epson TM-C7500 or TM-C7500G that is not exactly cheap with a purchase value of approximately € 6,400, you also invest in the right label material. good.
Smart2B is a GOLD partner of the Epson ColorWorks series. Through close cooperation with Epson and the training that our people have had and still receive, Smart2B has a lot of knowledge. In addition to the printers, inks and advice, Smart2B supplies the inkjet materials from Diamondlabels. The inkjet label materials from Diamondlabels are specifically developed for the inks of the Epson ColorWorks printers and meet the highest quality requirements.
We are happy to assist companies with the transition from existing systems to printing and producing high-quality color labels, labels and tickets in-house. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation or advice.