When weighing the various benefits of a high resolution laser printer, there are three key areas worth considering and measuring against other types of laser printing equipment available on the market today. This type of machine uses a non-contact process to print information on various types of target materials. Its ideal application is when permanent marking is needed because the machine etches codes onto the target material. While benefits of a high resolution laser printer abound, here are three primary perks:
- Low cost of operation: While the up front cost of a laser printing system can be more expensive, its cost of operation is significantly lower over the entire lifetime of the machine because there are no consumables that must be purchased. Also, the machines are so advanced that their components are built to last, saving more money over the long run. Some systems last up to ten years despite being continually used on a daily basis.
- Functionality: There is a long list of reasons why laser printers are so incredibly operative. The lasers can support continuous or intermittent package motion processes; they are easier to operate due to their integrated touch-screens; some can print two-dimensional barcodes as well as two to four lines of text; and speed sensing shaft encoders help integrate lasers with the movement of the packaging line.
- High productivity: The printing capability can add barcodes and lines of text at up to 125 feet per minute. Depending on the message size, type of substrate, and laser wattage, a laser system can reach a top speed as high as 5200 parts per minute. The built-in technology of a high resolution laser printer, including integrated programmable logic controllers, barcode scanners, or scales can crate codes, trip photocells for printing, and track conveyor speed so that productivity can be managed and assessed.
In addition to these benefits of a high resolution laser printer, it is important to keep some other things in mind:
- Depending on the application, a fume extractor may be needed, which raises the cost.
- Dust, vibration, and moisture can cause problems so the laser systems must have at least an IP65 rating if they are going to be installed in areas that are dusty or that have wash-down requirements.
- More attention must be paid to material handling due to the fact that the laser’s distance from its printhead to the substrate can be up to six inches away.
In summary, these points should be remembered regarding high resolution laser printers:
- There are many benefits to investing in a high resolution laser printer, including a low cost of operation over the lifetime of the equipment, functionality, and high productivity.
- There are also other considerations that must be weighed when deciding on type of equipment to purchase, including the fact that a fume extractor may need to be an additional purchase, the operating environment could cause problems for the equipment, and more attention must be paid to material handling due to the location of the laser printer system.
- Overall, there are many reasons why a high resolution laser printer is an excellent choice for a coding operation.