With the economic climate affecting everyone’s pockets, the temptation to find ways to cut costs may seem wise. However, opting for less expensive consumables for coders and thermal transfer printers over the tried-and-tested, specifically-designed options will cost manufacturers more in the long term.
According to Brandon Pearce, Pyrotec PackMark’s General Manager, ‘Although manufacturers may save a little money in the short term, the harmful effect of these consumables will cost companies more money in the long term as expensive printer parts become damaged.’
Pyrotec PackMark, a Pyrotec brand, sells and leases coding and print application labelling equipment to a broad spectrum of South African companies. It also provides the consumables, and takes care of maintenance and repairs to keep customers’ equipment running efficiently. Pyrotec PackMark is the sole distributor of the Markem-Imaje range of coding equipment in South Africa.
Pearce warns customers not to abandon the slightly more expensive official brand of consumables for less expensive ‘grey’ options, specifically when it comes to the Markem-Imaje Thermal Transfer Ribbon consumable. ‘This practice has a negative effect on the lifespan of the print heads and the printer, forcing customers to replace expensive parts at a cost that far outweighs the savings they made on using the cheaper alternatives.’
There are distinct advantages to using the correct consumable, especially with bigger capital investment equipment such as large printers.
The correct consumables are specially developed for their intended purpose on a specific machine. ‘The Markem-Imaje Thermal Transfer Ribbons are developed with precise release layers and a back coating that matches the Markem-Imaje machine’s print heads. A poor quality back coating can cause premature print head wear and damage, as well as machine malfunction from static build-up,’ Pearce explains
Markem-Imaje consumables are extensively tested using ISO standards and are put through strict inspection criteria prior to shipping to ensure that the highest quality products reach customers. ‘Using cheaper alternatives negates the terms of the printer’s warranty – when something does go wrong, and it often does, our customers are left with a hefty repair bill that could have been avoided had they used the correct product,’ Pearce cautions.
Markem-Imaje consumables are consistent across the world. This means that customers with facilities in multiple locations can be assured that they will always receive the same product to achieve the same exacting standards.
‘Where customers could save a hundred rand on a cheaper alternative, damaging the print head could cost thousands. And, if something big goes wrong, the cost could go up to tens of thousands of rand. If alternative consumables are used, the equipment warranty falls away,’ Pearce points out.
Adding to this, Pauline Bouteiller, Markem-Imaje’s Consumables Product Manager, explains that their products offer complete synergy between printers and consumables: ‘We never create a new model without simultaneously considering the consumables capable of optimising its performance. Teams of chemists are tasked with developing new formulations and improving existing inks that undergo stringent testing. This approach guarantees the long-term reliability of coders, as well as the quality and resistance of codes.’