Are Your Printers Protected Against Disaster? 

  • By ericjgough
  • 01 Mar, 2016
printers protected from disater?

If your printers were suddenly damaged – what would it do to your company?

I know what you are thinking … it’s a printer why am I insuring a printer? Well, for one, printers are underrated in terms of importance. People don’t tend to realize what damage a broken down printer can cause, and it can cause enough damage to shut down some business production. If you don’t believe me, look around the room you’re in right now. Look at everything that has some type of printing on it, especially the documents you received today. Any info on those you would not have received if your printer went out. That’s just the effects of it shutting down. If I were to tell you what exactly could go wrong with every individual printer, like the mayhem guy on the insurance commercials, I would be here all day. 

Many printer repair companies offer two types of service; a service repair center (depot) and on-site service. It is great that these services are available, but still after a couple breaks and malfunctions, it can add up especially if there are parts involved. Printer service contracts can help control these costs.

You would never drive your car without it being insured so why would you not cover your printer as well. No worries, I get what you’re thinking. Why should we listen to some guy with just an opinion, we want to see facts. And, in that case, I say “you better get comfortable because this one is going to be a long one.”

Let’s first start with the basics. If you pay for a service contract, you get free printer repair for whenever your printer breaks down within the contract time. That’s cool, that’s fine, but what if it happens again? Well, a printer service contract will still cover it. That’s right. With a printer service contract you will still be covered and it will be repaired every time it breaks while under contract. It even beats car insurance. Every time your car insurance has to pay for an accident repair or any other repair that they make, they end up raising their rates. Most printer repair contracts don’t raise their rates due to excessive service calls. If you do go with the on-site repair you will be responsible to pay the full amount just like any repair on an uninsured car.

We are not done yet though, because there are more than just the service fees for the printers. There is the cost of parts as well. When you are covered under a printer service contract, all replacement parts are covered with the exception of consumables (such as toner or ribbons). This I will admit is a hit or miss type of perk. Sometimes the parts are not that expensive and paying for them won’t hurt your wallet that much. However, some of the parts can run very high so paying for those can be very hurtful to your wallet, not to mention that even if you are paying for the other parts that aren’t very expensive you are still paying for parts that you wouldn’t have to be if you were covered under a printer service contract. In addition to the cost of parts, there are multiple benefits and cost reducers hidden within the contract that you could be saving right now. Did I mention this was going to be a long one?

The next is the labor cost. When covered by a printer service plan the service company will know what problems your printers have had in the past and what those can end up leading into. So when the service technician does end up coming on-site, the problem can be determined and fixed right then and there on the first visit. Good printer service contract companies should be able to fix a printer on the first trip 80% of the time. In fractions, that is 4/5. So 4 out of every 5 service calls are repaired on the first visit. Now if you don’t have a printer service contract there is a greater chance that you will be in the 20%, or that 1 out of 5 calls will be you, and not only will you have to pay for the first trip out but you will also have to pay for the second trip out, and if it doesn’t get diagnosed until the second trip out then you will probably have to have the tech come out for a third time for installation. So you will end up paying for three trips out including the parts as well, all of which would be of no cost with a printer service contract.

I have a slight confession to make. I did get a little ahead of myself. There is a slight reason why the people who have a printer service contract have such a high first service request rate. This is because, if you have a contract, the techs carry common parts for your printers with them. So that if it is a common problem they’ll have a part right then and there to replace it with and get you back up and running. Which for normal service calls, they might not have causing them to have to order it and come back, which is more time that you have to pay for. And, this is in addition to the part you would have to pay for as well as the downtime for that printer while that part is shipped which would could possible lead to loss of revenue of your own business.

That brings up another point and that is priority response. If you are covered under a printer service contract then you have priority response over just normal time and material service calls. A good printer repair company should have an 8-hour or less response on their service calls, which means you could possible get same day service. It is possible to get same day service for non-service contracts, but there is significantly less of a chance that it would happen especially with the contracts taking priority. This equates to less down time for the service contracts than the normal service calls and downtime can never really be good. If you have a backup printer it is not the end of the world, but if you don’t it could seriously cripple your business.

So let’s recap, really quickly. If you get a printer service contract, you get free unlimited printer repair services for the duration of the contract, free parts with the exception of the consumables, an 80% first visit repair rating, common parts for your printers carried on hand, and an 8-hour or less priority response time. This will ultimately save you on parts, service, and downtime along with the loss of revenue that comes with it. Also, how can I forget the free contract member site. This site allows you to easily organize and request service on your contract printers. With a printer service contract you can get way more bang for your buck.

So there you have it. How did I do? Did I convince you? Printer service contracts are the printers’ auto insurance and just like in the mayhem commercials, you will never know when disaster will strike and break your printer. How you will fix it is up to you. I do know one thing though it won’t fix itself! So get a printer service contract from a  reliable printer repair service company  and you won’t be sorry.  As always, you can call MIDCOM at  (800) 643-2664  or chat us up on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+  and  LinkedIn !

By ericjgough 10 Jul, 2017

Barcode scanners are an essential must if you are looking to optimize your business practices regarding inventory management. Barcode scanners can make inventory taking a much easier task. If you don’t need them all the time, then renting barcode scanners when you do can be a smart decision.

Some of the most common reasons to rent are:

  • During peak seasons
  • Doing quarterly, semi-annual, or annual inventory
  • Equipment is being maintenanced
  • Special events

Barcode scanners provide the following benefits:

·        more accurate results

·        improve speed of process

·        cost savings

Benefits outlined:

1)    Provides Accurate Results:

·        Counting by hand instead of scanners can provide errors and inaccuracies. Barcode scanners guarantee reliable results. It is crucial for fiscal responsibility to have an accurate account of your inventory and stock levels and know exactly what products are on hand, allowing you to make better decisions when ordering and allocation of available resources.

 

2)    Provides Faster Process:

·        Using barcode scanners cuts down on the amount of time required to do inventory compared to manually counting inventory.

 

3)     Provides Cost Savings:

·        When it takes less time and people to count inventory with barcode scanners , there is a savings in the amount of money spent on labor costs.

For more information on barcode scanner rental and to learn more about your options for all your thermal label printer , labeling and barcode scanning needs, call us as (800) 643-2664 and immediately talk to one of our friendly representatives; or chat us up on Facebook , Twitter , Google+ and LinkedIn !

By ericjgough 04 May, 2017

Line matrix printers are the true and steady, reliable old friend. They tend to get overlooked and forgotten to the new and cooler laser printers on the market. However, they shouldn’t.

Below are 7 reasons why. The following are advantages that line matrix printers can provide you, especially for those of you that print high volume of multi-part forms and barcode labels.

By ericjgough 12 Apr, 2017

Dot matrix printers are the true and steady, reliable old friend. They tend to get overlooked and forgotten to the new and cooler laser and thermal printers on the market.  However, they shouldn’t. Below is a summary highlighting both the advantages and disadvantages dot matrix printers offer.

By ericjgough 14 Feb, 2017
Hi-tech manufacturing is extremely complex and ever evolving. Technology changes at the speed of light these days and so hi-tech producers need their systems to be able to keep up with the production requirements accordingly within its infrastructure. Selling shelf life and design cycles are now averaging a mere 12-18 months at most. And with every new design or product enhancement, there is a need at that production level to modify and factor in the changes in the product manufacturing process.

All these products have a wide array of small parts and components that amalgamate together to create the new products. High amounts of detail on each of the components are required to begin at the point-of-assembly. This is needed in order to meet the demands to protect brand image and provide higher levels of customer service in regards to quality effective replacement service, as well as have a comprehensive understanding of what is impacting product failure rates and service issues.

Every part and component needs to be defined and identified in a database with its serial number and date of manufacture, during its entire product lifecycle -- so it can tracked and traced for access within the production and distribution systems, and then by field service techs and customers if repair or warranty, or product recall issues arise. It is impossible to provide effective customer service without it. Simply put … unhappy customers cause decreased demand, causing poor sales and a diminished brand image.

For the manufacturer, when components are traceable, data is readily available to pinpoint fall-out rates early in the cycle. Thus, making it easier to adjust production output levels and have the right inventory on hand to meet the timely demands for hot swaps and swap-outs to reflect in-service life, and warranty stock, and service and replacement, and non-serviceable parts.

By ericjgough 30 Jan, 2017
Real time data equals greater visibility. So very true especially in transportation and logistics.  Logistics is all about providing efficient, timely service to keep your customers up and running.

Providing and maintaining service levels and operational efficiencies in this extremely competitive market is paramount. Being able to provide real-time analytics for efficient tracking and tracing of shipped products enhances customer service and thus improving customer loyalty and maintain and grow business levels.

Visibility utilizing mobile barcode scanners, printers and tablets computers and provides you a vantage point into every area of your transportation operation, allowing to proactively maintain your fleet, track drivers and shipments instantly, improve turnaround times and more.

Overview of Benefits Real-Time Data can provide :

By ericjgough 04 Jan, 2017

Laser printers come in a wide variety of sizes and features. From monochrome (1-colour, black), colour and multi-function (MFD) all-in-one copy/scan/fax printers with high speed and high dpi print resolutions, and advanced NFC technology, wi-fi connectivity, there are a vast number of brands and models on the market to choose from, such as HP, Lexmark, Dell, Epson, Samsung and Brother, to name a few.

Laser printers are mainly used in business office settings and home computing use. Examples of what can be printed are documents, letters, spreadsheets, presentations, stationary, labels, flyers and brochures. Monochrome laser printers only print black text. Color laser printers add color to the process by using four toners: black, magenta, cyan and yellow. Large format printers are those that can print sizes larger than 8 by 11. Large format laser printers may be monochrome or color, and are used to print posters, signs and billboards. Laser printers with high resolution (high dpi (dots per inch)) provide clear, sharp and crisp graphics.

By ericjgough 06 Sep, 2016

Looking for speed? Look no further. TSC’s MX240P barcode label printer offers that and more. The TSC MX240P   is the fastest industrial thermal transfer barcode printer on the market for high volume enterprise applications, including WIP, compliance labeling and asset management, to name a few.  

Below is a summary of its top features and benefits, as well as a list of the applications well suited for the TSC MX240P :

·        536 MHz processor, with 512 MB Flash and 512 MB SDRAM memory

·        provides print speed of up to 18ips

·        yields cleanest, high quality barcodes with its thermal smart control print technology

·        rugged design with heavy duty die-cast aluminum

·        4.3” color LCD with the new UI design including 6-button menus and touch panel operation

·        provides precise media positioning and preprinted label identification

·        ribbon capacity of 600 meters

·        3 Resolutions to choose from - 203dpi, 300dpi or 600dpi

·        Plug-n- play capabilities with TSPL-EZ firmware

·        USB host interface for stand-alone application

·        auto TPH resolution switch detection

·        energy efficient with its ENERGY STAR* qualification

Key Applications of the TSC MX240P :

·        High Volume Printing

·        Work In Process

·        Compliance Labeling

·        Asset Management

·        Shipping and Receiving

·        Inventory Management

·        Electronics Labeling

·        Jewelry Labeling

By ericjgough 09 Aug, 2016

For those of you with HP DesignJet products in use and in the field, did you know about UPD? If not, keep reading as it can save you money and time in many areas.

This Universal Print Driver (UPD) includes 2 drivers (HP-GL/2 and PostScript) and is touted as eliminating many of the management hassles and high costs associated with multiple print drivers.

Key Benefits:

   ·        supports a wide range of HP DesignJet printers (see list below)

   ·        provides IT departments with greater control and effectiveness, and end-user productivity

   ·        reduces printer-related costs (fleet management, integration, installation, updates, maintenance, helpdesk related, etc.)

   ·        streamlines printer deployment and management

   ·        Client operating systems supported: Microsoft Windows 8, Pro, Enterprise; 32 and 64 bit Microsoft Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate; 32 and 64 bit

   ·        Server operating systems supported: Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Windows Server 2008R2, Microsoft Windows Server 2008

Qualifying Models:

   ·        HP DesignJet T120 Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet T520 Printer series

   ·        HP DesignJet T790 Printer series

   ·        HP DesignJet T795 Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet T9230 Printer series

   ·        HP DesignJet T1300 PostScript Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet T1530 Printer series

   ·        HP DesignJet T2300 Multifunction Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet T2530 Multifunction Printer series

   ·        HP DesignJet T3500 Production MFP

   ·        HP DesignJet T7100 Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet T7200 Production Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet Z5400 PostScript Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet Z6200 Photo Production Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet Z6600 Production Printer

   ·        HP DesignJet Z6800 Photo Production Printer

If interested, below is the link to download*:

http://h20566.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/swdHome/?sp4ts.oid=7399938&ac.admitted=1406724250258.876444892.199480143

For HP DesignJet repair and other barcode labeling solutions or all your printer and labeling equipment needs, call us as (800) 643-2664 and immediately talk to one of our friendly representatives; or chat us up on Facebook , Twitter , Google+ and LinkedIn !

Keep you HP DesignJet printers running!  Download eBook now. click here
By ericjgough 26 Jul, 2016
Thermal printheads are a vital part and extremely sensitive and expensive. Important care and maintenance is important to the optimal functioning.

Below are a collection of questions and answers to help provide you with information and direction to follow to get the most out of your printheads :

1. Why is preserving the printhead life important?

  • save money as printheads are very expensive
  • reduce poor print quality and marginally scannable bar codes, due to worn out printheads

2. What causes wear to the printhead ?

  • friction
  • prolonged use at high printhead energies (i.e. heat)
  • excessive buildup or ink residue on the printhead
  • misuse or abuse by the operator

3. What protects the printhead from abrasion?

  • a thin, hard coating over the heating elements protect them from abrasion while providing efficient heat transfer
  • the ribbon also protects the printhead from abrasion damage. It is separates the printhead from the printing substrate to shield it from abrasive movements, and also has a lubricated backcoat that allows it to flow smoothly over the printhead

4. What causes abrasive damage to printheads ?

  • when a label or tag stock is wider than the ribbon (which causes the media on either side of the ribbon’s edges passes directly over the printhead ).
  • using a ribbon with an ineffective backcoat
  • using inappropriate media for thermal transfer
  • improper cleaning of the printhead
  • some ribbons with backcoats specially formulated to clean the printhead

5. How can abrasive damage be recognized?

  • the first sign is usually a decrease in image quality
  • also can be failure of one or more heating elements, which shows as a “white line” through the printed image where the printhead no longer has the ability to transfer ink

6. Do quality ribbons require lower energy settings?

  • yes, a ribbon and substrate combination that is matched for optimum print quality at the lowest energy settings can extend printhead life

7. What is "Printhead Buildup"?

  • buildup is the accumulation of deposits of ink, ribbon backcoat, paper particles, label adhesive, dust, dirt, etc. over time

8. When does printhead buildup become a problem?

  • buildup becomes a problem when maintenance guidelines are not followed and print quality results
  • any deposit on the printhead , if not removed regularly, can insulate the heating elements from the ribbon and thus require printing at higher energy settings, which can ultimately shorten printhead life
  • burned-out pixels in the printhead result in unscannable bar codes

9. How to prevent buildup from becoming a problem?

  • purchase a good quality ribbon and printing substrate
  • minimize the accumulation of dust by keeping the printer cover closed
  • follow the OEM’s recommended operating, maintenance, and printhead cleaning schedule

10. How long will a printhead last if the best possible ribbons are used?

  • this will depend on the printhead design and other factors such as printer speed, energy settings, static, substrate, and ribbon quality
  • a good ribbon should be guaranteed not to cause significant degradation due to buildup or abrasion throughout the printhead’s rated life
  • the industry standard is that the printhead should last for one million linear inches of use

Be sure to keep these answers and tips handy for quick reference. For more information on printheads and to learn more about your options for all your printer, labeling and barcode printing and scanning needs, call us at (800) 643-2664 and immediately talk to one of our friendly representatives; or chat us up on Facebook , Twitter , Google+ and LinkedIn !

Keep your thermal label printers running!  Download our   FREE thermal label printer maintenance eBook   now.   click here

By ericjgough 20 Jul, 2016

Line matrix printers may be considered old technology compared to newer options, but they have stood the test of time and offer many benefits. In addition to their reliability, durability, cost savings and less complexity they offer many key applications. 

Below is a summary highlighting the 9 key applications for the various formats:

1. Labeling & Inventory Forms:

·        offer online form and label generation capabilities

·        controls all graphic functions thus lowering host computer programming and processing times

·        ability to print food labels and barcodes with non-toxic inks unlike laser printers, and print freezer grade food labels

·        straight paper path and heat free fusion system allows for ability to print complex sticker and label cutouts without paper jams

·        ability to print on a wide variety of stock

 

2. Invoice Forms:

·        compatible with enterprise host platforms to print on-demand invoices right on the production floor

·        ability to print paper stock widths from 3” to 17” and up to 6-part forms

·        text, graphics and barcodes can all be printed on the same invoice

·        driver and configuration options for Windows and most major mainframe computer applications are available

·        data security ribbon cartridges available for printing on multi-part invoices

 

3. Manifest & Bill of Lading (BOL) Forms:

·        able to accommodate single form and multiple form printing

·        zero-tear feature single form documents can easily be printed and dispatched with zero form waste

·        rugged design to withstand extreme temperatures and harsh conditions in warehousing and freight work environments

·        fast high speed printing features

·        ability for seamless integration into current and legacy applications

 

4. Delivery Sheets:

·        able to accommodate most report size requirements with widths from 3” to 17”

·        fast print speeds of up to 2000 lines per minute

·        ability to design forms that have preprinted appearances and contain customer information that can be inserted all in one pass eliminating           the need to use pre-printed forms

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