Mobile printers today have all types of features that make your labeling tasks efficient and cost-effective. Being able to print labels when and where you need them is a time and cost saver. When a printer can move to the job, you don’t need to walk to a stationary printer to pick up the labels, check them to be sure they are right, and then bring the labels to where they are needed. But mobile technologies will only add value if they fit into your environment. So how do you go about selecting the mobile printer that is right for you?
Our friends at Intermec have written an informative article called “Top 5 Tips for Choosing Mobile Printers”, and the information here is a summary of some important features you should consider.
What is the work environment? Unlike a computer room or desk in which stationary printers usually sit, printers that move with the worker are exposed to weather elements and are often bumped or dropped. Therefore it makes sense to select a mobile printer that is rugged and protected from the work environment.
Rethink how productivity is measured. Mobile printers are used differently from stationary printers because they produce labels, receipts, etc., on demand, often while the user is waiting. Productivity for mobile printers is measured in terms of throughput, or the total time it takes for the printer to complete a job after receiving a print command, rather than how many inches per second it can print. Remember that the printer will need to access a database or some other information on a mobile computer in addition to printing out the label.
Is the printer easy to use? Simple things like dead batteries will oviously affect the productivity of the mobile printer. Since mobile printers might be far from your IT staff, you need to consider how easily the user can recharge batteries, or fix a paper jam. Printer features like an LCD screen that prompts the user through operations, clear error messages, or even belt clips for carrying the device can make the printer user-friendly and more productive.
Compatibility with existing platforms. To take full advantage of mobility, the printers must be integrated into your development environments and work with your software applications. Therefore, be sure that the printer models you select are compatible with your platforms and connect to your networks in a secure manner.
Match the printer with the mobile computer. A mobile printer can be compatible with many different mobile computers. However, printer performance can vary significantly depending on the computer it is paired with. So test the mobile printer with different mobile computers to determine if the printer is right for you.
So if you are looking to make your labeling tasks more efficient, or change the way you label to add productivity, then give us a call or leave us a comment. We know labeling and can help you get the printer that is right for the way you label.