Proper signage is extremely important for the safety and efficiency of any jobsite or warehouse. From reminding workers to wear important personal protective equipment (PPE) to marking inventory items for easy access, signs and labels provide the support you and your employees need to get the job done.
Premade signs and labels are available from printing companies, and they can often be customized to fit your needs. However, accidents and confusion could happen while you’re waiting for your order to arrive. Plus, you’ll pay a premium price and shipping fees to have someone else do your printing for you.
If you’re ready to start printing your own labels and signs onsite, there are several things you should think about before choosing which printer to buy.
7 Things to Consider When Buying an Industrial Label & Sign Printer
1.The Type of Printed Items You Need
There are printers on the market today that can customize almost anything you can imagine, so it’s vital that you consider the type of finished products you need. Are you looking to make large, detailed banners with lots of colors? Do you need auto service reminder stickers? Or do you need more durable signs like floor markings, GHS labels, and pipe markers?
Once you decide what items you need to print, consider the availability of different media for printing. If you need a vinyl label and sign printer, does the company offer vinyl media in a variety of colors and sizes? Do you need colors that are OSHA compliant? Maybe you’re looking to organize your warehouse, and you need magnetic vinyl options to easily rearrange your product storage. If you have areas that are sometimes dark, you may want fluorescent, reflective, or glow-in-the-dark options as well.
2. Company Reputation & Customer Reviews
A company’s client list can tell you a lot about their brand and the service they provide. If they’ve been trusted by companies you recognize, you can feel confident about working with them yourself. Talk to people who have used printers made by the same company, and get their honest opinion. What do they like and dislike about the printer they purchased? Would they recommend it to a friend?
If you’re used to shopping online, you know how helpful reviews can be. In fact, 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. And with good reason! These are people who have real-world experience with the product or service you’re looking to buy. So, when you’re looking for an industrial printer, make sure to talk with others who have used the product, and check out the reviews online as well.
3. Print Quality
Depending on the type of items you’re looking to print, you should look at the print quality and durability before choosing a printer. For regular office printing, printers may spray ink onto the item being printed (inkjet) or melt toner powder into place (laser).
For more durable safety signage though, a thermal transfer printer is your best bet. The ink will not wash or rub away because it is melted into the print media. This creates a long-lasting design even in the toughest environments.
4. Ease of Use
A printer is only a good investment if you can use it. There’s nothing more frustrating than opening a brand new device and finding out you have no idea what to do next. Make sure the printer company you choose offers detailed instruction manuals. It’s even better when there are video tutorials to get you on the right track.
You should also consider where you’ll need to use your printer. Does it need to be hooked up to a computer to work? Can it easily be moved throughout your workplace? You should also consider if there are templates available or if you’ll need to create your own designs for things like GHS labels or lockout tags. Templates can save you a lot of time and give you a better finished product as well.
While it may seem a little expensive upfront, an industrial printer is a one-time investment that will save you money in the long run. That being said, you should still compare prices to ensure you’re obtaining the best value possible within your budget.
If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Often the lowest priced items will break easily and have no warranty coverage, which can be a huge risk.
Does the printer you’re considering come with a warranty? And if so, how long does it last? Some companies will cover manufacturer defects for only a few years, while others may offer limited lifetime warranties. These can be subject to regular service and maintenance requirements, so be sure to understand all the details before you make your purchase.
Normal wear and tear may require you to replace certain parts of any printer, such as thermal print heads, over the life of your printer. Typically, people consider this regular maintenance, and it does not fall under warranty coverage.
7. Customer Service
Because printers have so many moving parts and do require regular maintenance and troubleshooting help, you must find a printer company that offers top-notch customer service. Before you buy, try contacting a company’s customer service department just to see if it’s a fit for you.
Do you prefer to talk to someone right away? Make sure your printer company has customer service representatives available regularly. Do you prefer to take care of issues on your own? Make sure the company has a comprehensive instruction manual for your specific printer. Either way, you need to find a customer service experience that matches your needs.
Don’t Wait to Get Started!
Now that you know what to consider when choosing an industrial printer, it’s time to make your choice. If you’re looking for a high-quality, reliable sign and label printer or an auto service reminder printer, Cobra Systems has exactly what you need. We’d love to help you pick out the right printer for your business. Contact us today to get started!