6 Issues You Can Prevent By Replacing Your Aging Printers

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Every business wants to get the longest life and the most performance out of every piece of equipment, including the barcode label printers you use every day. Ideally, you just want your label printer to work and keep working forever, without any headaches or hassles.

Nevertheless, even the most durable and high-performance printers have a limited lifespan. Over time your printers can start to wear out or break down. Even if your printers are running strong, maybe you need more for your operations. If your business needs have grown, maybe you need faster print speeds or higher security to protect against cyber threats. 

Ultimately, even if you keep your label printers serviced and well-maintained, there comes a time when they need to be replaced.

Here are six big issues you can prevent by being proactive and replacing your barcode label printers before they start to negatively impact your work.

1. Downtime

As printers age and near the end of their life cycle, they typically start requiring more preventive maintenance, servicing, and repair. This means you have to take them offline, and they might even need to be shipped to a depot repair center for work. You could be looking at short or potentially prolonged downtime and interruptions of your labeling processes.

You can work around this to a point, however, the most efficient and cost-effective solution is to replace aging printers before they become an issue. Your printers should seamlessly work in the background of your operations. If you’re taking time and staff energy to swap out printers, send them out for repairs, and wait for their return, it might be time to consider an upgrade.

2. Workflow Disruptions

Whether your labeling operations are slowed down to send a printer for servicing or you’re having problems with reprint labels because of worsening print quality issues, there are many ways that your aging and poorly performing printers can disrupt your workflows.

Every time you have to reprint a label, it means time and money is taken away from something else. Every time a poorly printed label gets through and applied, it’s a potential problem that could lead to a failed scan or the inability to read the label. 

In either case, it’s lost time. As this keeps happening, it quickly adds costs to your bottom line through wasted and unnecessary labor.

Before your aging printer starts disrupting your workflows, make sure you’ve been doing the right servicing and cleaning and keep your printheads replaced. If you’re doing all the right things but you’re still having problems, it’s time to work with us to find a long-term solution.

3. Missed Shipments

As we mentioned above, print quality can become a significant problem when using an aging barcode label printer. If a barcode or label is printed incorrectly, it may not be scannable or readable. The ability to read and scan a label correctly is crucial for avoiding missed or lost shipments.

There’s no margin for error when it comes to barcoding and tracking at a time when fast, accurate and on-time deliveries are more important than ever. To keep your shipments moving and ensure that they can be tracked and traced from end to end, you need to keep your printheads and printers in excellent shape.

If your printer isn’t keeping up anymore and is causing issues, and it’s not simply a worn or damaged printhead, then get repairs made or replace your printer to prevent similar problems from recurring.

4. Waste

As print quality and printer performance begin to suffer from worn-out hardware, so do your labeling operations’ efficiency and cost savings. Inevitably, you’ll find yourself having to reprint labels because of a jam, a label coming out blurred or faded or inconsistent. This quickly adds up to wasted labels and printing supplies or printer ribbons.

If you’re starting to see this kind of waste and it’s not an issue with needing to clean your printer or replace a printhead, it might be time to replace your printing device itself. If needed, reach out to SK&T for a free consultation. We’ll help you decide if a replacement is needed or if your problems can be addressed with a repair or other fix.

5. Compliance Issues

In industries and applications where clear, readable, and scannable labels are critical for meeting compliance requirements, there is no room for poor printing or other labeling issues. If a label can’t be read or scanned, You may run into the following problems:

  • Unable to trace back to the manufacturer for recall
  • Missing safety information
  • Incorrect color-coding
  • Faded or misprinted warning icons

Issues such as these can result in dangerous risks for customers and costly compliance violations for manufacturers and other entities responsible for proper labeling. To ensure compliance, address printing issues promptly. Examine whether servicing or repair might be warranted, and replace printers if they are no longer able to get the job done correctly and perfectly every time.

6. Cost

One common denominator in the above problems is the unnecessary costs added to your business. Sometimes the disrupted workflows can be easy to overlook, especially if you’re not regularly dealing with reprint labels or struggling with the poor print quality and scanning issues. If it’s not your workflow being disrupted, you might not be immediately aware of what’s going on.

Every bit of downtime, disruption, waste, and printer-related problems is a drain on time, resources, and costs. Sometimes costs will be quite clear and impossible to ignore, especially if a label printing problem leads to a lost or misidentified asset or shipment to a vital customer, or to a compliance failure.

Be sure to monitor your printer usage and use printer management tools to track and identify problems. Consult with the people using your printers and involved in labeling operations to find out if printing issues are getting in the way of their jobs.

The last thing you want to do is wait for problems to become so severe they cost you more than the price of a new printer. It’s better to stay on top of things, be proactive, and make a preemptive investment in a new printer when it will save you hassles, risks, and costs in the long run.

If your printers are aging and are starting to cause problems or are at the risk of creating them, connect with our team at SK&T for information on some of the latest devices, the newest features and capabilities, and how to save money by trading in your old equipment.

In fact, with the GO Zebra Trade-In Program, you can save up to $650 per device when you trade in your qualifying old equipment, including non-Zebra devices, and upgrade to Zebra’s next-generation and top-quality label printers.

To learn more, contact us now at 720.851.9108. We’d be happy to help!