When having someone program labels for label printers, it’s cheaper to ship the LIMS label printer to the person than the have to person fly to the site to use it.
If you wonder where we got all the printer shipping tips, given, below, it’s because GeoMetrick Enterprises has expertise with these LIMS issues.
Most LIMS Label Printers Can Be Shipped
Many of the printers we use for LIMS label printing are fairly sturdy. When you’re using brands such as Zebra or simlar classes of label printers, most of the models are meant for some durability, but that varies by each model and the intentions of the model.
If the printer is brand new and still in the box, it is already packed fairly well. To be extra-safe, it does not hurt to put that box in yet a larger box. It also helps to add packaging peanuts between the two boxes.
If you have removed the printer from its box, check it before shipping it to someone. When you return it to the box, make sure you include everything. Don’t just include the printer and power cord, but spindles, manuals and software, as well.
Don’t Forget the LIMS Labels
You also need to send one of each ribbon and label stock that need to be used in that printer for the LIMS label printing. Normally, customers send these to me brand new and untouched. However, if you have an older ribbon or roll of labels, just make sure it’s all pulled together nice and tight. Then, put tape on the end to hold it. Yes, this does mean that some of it is wasted if the tape doesn’t come off, easily. On the other hand, that’s better than losing the entire roll if it comes loose.
This brings me to my next point: do not ship the printer with the roll of labels actually loaded into it. In shipping, as it jiggles around, the labels can come loose. If they get extremely loose, they can jammed into the printer. Labels can come off and stick in the works. The entire roll can end up so loose that it can’t be easily re-wrapped for use. Some printers can be extremely sensitive to the roll not being properly wrapped. If the roll gets loosened, they might not ever again be able to use that roll.
More Details on the Ribbons
As to whether it matters whether the ribbon for the LIMS label printer is shipped in the printer or not, I’m not sure. I’ve only had one or two printers come with the ribbon installed in them. Both printers were holding the ribbon tight-enough that it was unlikely to come loose. Plus, and this is important, they were installed and rolled properly and quite tight. However, I would suggest that ribbons be treated the same as label stock. Even though they can probably ship fine if they’re tight, if you happen to have them just a bit loose, it would cause an issue.
That is, if it does require a ribbon. If it’s a thermal transfer printer, of course, you shouldn’t be including a ribbon.
Used Labels and Ribbons
When I say “used” I don’t mean that we can re-use a specific label. I mean that the ribbon or label roll was already being used and has use left in it.
When I say they should be sent, separate from the printer, I don’t mean they have to be in a separate box. What I mean is that they shouldn’t be still loaded in the printer when it is sent.
Final Notes on Shipping a LIMS Label Printer
To summarize, for those ribbons and label stock that will be used and where the roll has begun its use:
- Remove the ribbon and label stock.
- Make sure they’re rolled tight and put tape on them to hold them.
- Ship them separately (they can be in the same box, just not in the actual printer).
For new rolls, just leave them in their bag or with the tape on the end.