Garbage in, garbage out: Why quality matters for printer supplies

For those of you who are parents, do you let your kids fill up on junk food? I’m hoping you all answered a resounding, “No way!” And if you didn’t, well, this blog might not make any sense whatsoever to you. Feel free to grab a Twinkie and a soda while the rest of us converse.

My point is this. Garbage in, garbage out. If you feed junk to your thermal printer or card printer, how can you possibly expect to get quality in return? Let me tell you why quality matters for printer supplies.

1.     Your printhead’s valuable life is proportional to the supplies. The printhead on your thermal printer is the key to quality printing. It’s also both the most delicate and expensive part. When you use poor quality ribbons and/or media, the printhead accumulates more than its share of dirt, dust, and debris. All that waste builds up on the printhead and scratches the coating on the heating elements. When the heating elements are damaged, your print quality hits a new low.

Now, you should be cleaning the printhead regularly, as part of the routine maintenance, but using inexpensive (can I say “cheap”?) printer supplies shortens the life of the printhead, which can cost about $400. There goes the money you saved on cheap supplies.

2.     Why reprint when you can get it right the first time? Seriously, you can’t possibly expect the same results from a printer that has been fed quality label media, cards, and ribbons as one that gets the knock-offs. So, the input isn’t up to par. The barcodes are blurred, the ink smudges, and the adhesive doesn’t stick where it should (or let go when it’s supposed to). You reload and reprint. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Therefore, it’s kind of crazy to think that you could get better results when you load the printer with the same old supplies. All those wasted supplies add up to no cost savings. In addition, you’re paying for labor to do quality control on the printer output. “Hey! These labels are no good. Go back and get me something I can use!”

And this leads me to the next reason.

3.     Your IT folks have better things to do. “This stupid printer isn’t working right.” The IT person on the other end of this phone call sighs, stops what he/she is doing, and goes to tend to the unhappy worker. Very, very often, the fault isn’t in the printer’s engineering, but the “fuel”. There’s nothing to fix here—well, maybe the printhead, which needs to be replaced because it’s damaged from the cheap supplies. Your IT people have better things to do than to spend time on a printer that is only suffering from a poor diet.

Here at Vision Computer Works, we use Genuine Zebra supplies. That’s not just because we sell Zebra products. We sell Zebra products because we BELIEVE in them. Zebra puts the same dedication to quality into the ribbons, labels, tags, wristbands, and receipt paper that they do with their thermal printers and card printers. Everything is ISO 9001:2008 certified. They never substitute materials, so every product is consistent. Zebra does extensive testing—print quality, chemical resistant, adhesive strength, and printer wear and tear.

If you buy a Zebra printer from Vision Computer Works and then commit to purchasing only Genuine Zebra products, we’ll also replace your printhead for FREE, for as long as you own the printer. Our Printhead Protection Program makes it a no-brainer to do the right thing. Contact us if you want to learn more.

We don’t sell anything that would compromise your business. And you shouldn’t accept anything less.