Epson ColorWorks follow-up: your questions, our answers

    This is the previously promised “follow-up” post about the Epson ColorWorks label printer .

    In a previous post, I talked about what the ruler printers are all about and what is the main difference between inkjet digital printing, which is used in these printers, and from flexographic and offset printing technologies.

    In this post there will be answers to the most interesting questions that we were asked in the comments and in a personal (it turned out that most of the questions are about labels and supported media , and not the devices themselves!), And also supplement them with a couple of things that we and our service technical support is often asked by potential buyers.

    And I will share a bonus fact about where the labels and price tags came from.

    How labels are moisture resistant and resistant to environmental influences?

    Many people are naturally interested in how the labels obtained when printing on Epson ColorWorks C3500, for example, are resistant to the harsh Russian reality: freezing, soaking (including with long immersion in water), etc.

    We have a very short and illustrative video on the topic, in which the labels are immersed in ice water, poured over with alkali and frozen:

    In addition, the inquiring minds of America year tested the label printed on Epson ColorWorks TM-C3500, to be exact:

    • kept the label in the sun;
    • frozen labels;
    • moistened with water;
    • and even immersed prints in the water (including a year)

    As it is easy to guess, the labels passed all tests perfectly.

    What media types can be used in the ColorWorks series?

    The range of carriers is growing, every year there are new types that are used in various industries. Almost any carrier can be either with an adhesive layer (in other words, a label) or without it.

    Printing is possible on:

    • continuous media
    • Perforated Media (Epson ColorWorks GP-C831 only)
    • on cutting labels
    • on black marked media

    In form, it can be a roll or folded paper (z-shape).

    Materials - more than enough.

    • From standard - this paper media glossy or matte.
    • On a polyethylene and polypropylene basis. Such materials are very popular for the manufacture of, for example, trade or functional labels, where the important criteria are the resistance of the print to the effects of moisture, sunlight and mechanical stress.
    • Polyester based. Such materials look like textiles and can be used for color printing labels on clothing, marking mattresses and carpets.

    For example, this is what a “mattress” label looks like, but it is printed on an Epson ColorWorks GP-C831 printer due to the fact that it uses perforated paper (by the way, this is the only inkjet printer in the world that supports printing on perforated paper):

    Such a polyester label will easily “survive” multiple washing by hand or in a stylish car.

    • Further - more interesting. With Epson ColorWorks printers, you can organize printing and simultaneous recording of information on a label with an RFID tag . There is a compatible option from Flexstr8 for this . This is how a label looks like this:

    • And as a bonus - the print on the back of the check tape . Those. A roll of check tape is printed in advance (such as, for example, on which you can “sign with your fingernail”). And then the finished roll is used for printing already in the receipt printer.

    So on checks you can print useful and / or advertising information and change it as necessary. You can go even further and when printing on each copy of the print add a unique number, among which then arrange a rally or something like that. Opportunities are limited only by your imagination.

    Is printing on round and free-form labels allowed?

    Yes. It is also printing on labels with arbitrary “logging”. Such printing is possible using so-called. “Black mark”, which will allow the printer to determine where the cut mark begins on the roll, in order to correctly type in it a previously prepared model.

    Black Label Cutout Label

    I will add that when printing, printers do not "get off" and fall exactly within the specified label boundaries. Printers are able to determine the cutting at the joints, respectively, adjust the exact positioning. After all, it often happens this way: the dimensions were given alone, but the actual dimensions differ, for example, by a fraction of a millimeter. After 100-200 labels will definitely go offset. Epson printers with a border sensor will not allow a violation of the imprint accuracy of the layout in the frame of the label.

    And yet: printers have compatibility with different languages, and it can be used favorably. For example: a template is loaded into the printer, and variable information is sent to the printer, as, for example, to an ordinary thermal transfer printer. In this situation, he prints himself - imposes a background, and compares the variable information with it , that is, you can replace the thermal transfer printer in certain situations without any damage. This is also possible due to the high accuracy of the media supply to the printer.

    What about printing on non-original (compatible) media?

    All the way through. Moreover, on behalf of Epson, we can even recommend carriers of some brands, since They have been tested "in the case."

    The digital label market is evolving, and a year ago finding paper compatible with ColorWorks was even harder than preparing a flexo print run. However, now there is already a fairly large selection of carriers on the market, mainly European manufacturers: UPM Raflatac , Nakagawa , Emax , Lomond , Modern technologies that are perfectly compatible with the devices of the ColorWorks series. The main requirement for such a carrier is compatibility with inkjet printing technology. In general, the devices of the ColorWorks series are "omnivorous", like most inkjet printers, so today there is definitely no problem in finding the right carrier for them.

    What if you need a personalized label?

    Take and print! The entire ColorWorks series is created for just this purpose. Need 10 labels? We print ten. Need a hundred? - Making a hundred. The layout can be changed directly on the computer and immediately sent to print.

    Such promotions makes everyone known Coca-Cola - remember their bottles with names.

    Another example. In stores now there is a tendency to "allocate" the goods. For example, on the shelves is some popular product, under which labels are printed en masse. But part of the labels must be personalized, because at some specific point in time there is a promotion, a sale, etc. To do this, you can either add “variable” information (date, for example) to the label, or make a label with the inscription “Action!” In a separate small circulation. So you can print and paste over goods or shelves in real time.

    Sometimes these technologies are needed by shops that conduct research: on which days the product sells better, which design or special offer works better, etc. Personalized labels will "issue" at the checkout different items - and then, as they say, the matter of technology.

    How do these printers differ from other similar devices? After all, many manufacturers, for sure, produce such devices?

    Yes, there are similar devices, but they, as a rule, are laser, or they use thermal jet printing heads. In this case, the so-called increases. cost of ownership of the device due to the need to regularly replace the print head or the appropriate components. We have ink-jet devices with piezoelectric printing technology: low cost and high printing speed, simple maintenance.

    Here, simply speaking, there is nothing special to break: only the cartridges and the ink waste bottle are changed. Neither the drum nor the "stove", not to mention the fact that printing with pigment inkjet ink allows you to get extremely long-lasting prints (as described and shown above in the post).

    What are the types of collectors of labels?


    • humophiles - collectors of labels and inserts from chewing gum;
    • errinophiles - those who are fond of non-postal stamps and labels (not intended to pay all kinds of postage);
    • etherelabofily - collectors of wine labels;
    • kervaabelofily - collectors of beer labels of all stripes;
    • Tyrosemiophiles - the same, but with labels from processed cheese (and it happens, yes)
    • fishefil - collectors of labels and stickers that cover cans of canned fish and caviar;
    • phillumenists - collectors of match labels, matches and matchboxes;
    • Theonotaphils are all who collect tea tags;
    • alcoholics - collectors of minions (small bottles) with alcohol;

    Bonus fact

    Do you know who invented price tags? Until the end of the 19th century, the price of goods in stores was not indicated. The buyer, entering the store, could see the goods only behind the back of the seller, and selecting the goods, asked for the price. An experienced seller "by eye" determined the solvency of the buyer and, on this basis, called this or that amount.

    And it was absolutely normal until the owner of the store in which the seller Frank Woolworth worked, did not set an ultimatum: Frank had to trade one day himself, and if the proceeds would be less than normal daily, the owner would dismiss him.

    Frank attached to all the goods for which it was allowed to make a discount, a piece of paper with the lowest possible price (the prototype of the modern price tag). All the stale goods, dumped in the warehouse, he laid out on a huge table, attached to it a sign with the inscription "Everything is 5 cents." He set the table near the window so that both the goods and the plate were visible from the street. Buyers, having read the sign "Everything is five cents," bought up all the goods in a few hours! Having seen the price written on the product, they did not bargain, but simply pointed their fingers at the goods and gave them money. The store's revenue in one day did not reach the weekly level a bit! Inspired by the success, Frank left the owner, borrowed money and opened his shop.

    It was he who invented the price tag, display of goods with free access to it for buyers, discounts on small groups of goods, sales and much more. And the stores, where his ideas are used, became known as supermarkets.

    In 1919, the "empire" of Woolworth had more than a thousand stores in the United States, Canada, and England. The state of Woolworth was $ 65 million. And as a monument to its well-being, accumulated literally from the coppers, and in thanks to fate, in 1913, Woolworth erected the Woolworth building at that time in New York.

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