Strange Sightings from the Field
Submitted by John James
Over the past few months, I have had occasion to visit my local car dealership service center several times. Auto shop waiting rooms not being the most interesting environments on my list, I would wander the floor and check out the newest vehicles and chat casually with the office personnel while my car was serviced. One day I noticed a label printer sitting off in a corner with a large black zip-tie harness around its casing. My curiosity got the best of me so I asked the office manager why they had bound their printer this way.
As it turns out, this is the second printer of its kind they’ve had over the past few years… and this is the second time the plastic locking mechanism broke. This time, rather than go through the trouble of having the printer repaired or replaced, they simply strapped on a big black zip tie to keep the printer closed while in operation. Not an ideal solution, to be sure, since every time they need to change the paper roll or ribbon, the zip tie must be cut off and replaced with a new one.
I explained that my company, CognitiveTPG, makes a comparable label printer that features highly durable and reliable metal components. To my surprise, the manager went into his back office and returned with one of CognitiveTPG’s oldest flagship printers, the Barcode Blaster, which he said he used for years until his supplier told him he could no longer acquire the ribbon used for that model (which is not true Blaster ribbons are still available today). I promised to come by the next day with the supplies he needed to get the printer back up and running… without the need for the zip tie.
Today, most label printer manufacturers reserve metal mechanisms for their large industrial printers. But this story illustrates the need for reliable and durable metal components even in smaller office settings. That’s why CognitiveTPG still uses metal for ALL critical components in their desktop barcode printers, just like we have for over 30 years when the Barcode Blaster first entered the market.
Because if it doesn’t break… you don’t have to fix it.