Kestronics announce next generation Zebra print engine for Print and Apply Labelling

It’s been 10 years since the Zebra ZE500 Print Engines first hit the market, and 25 years since the first PAX Print Engine was released. These workhorses power tens of thousands of print-and-apply solutions in factories, warehouses and distribution centres.

Kestronics has many years of experience supporting customers in the secondary and tertiary print and apply label space. Or more simply, supporting customers who print labels for secondary packaging boxes and pallets.

As Zebra state, “Mission critical doesn’t compromise – and neither do Zebra print engines”. The 4” label width ZE511 and 6” label width ZE521 are replacements for the current ZE500 print engine, they are compatible with and offer significant improvements over the outgoing version. The new Zebra print engines offer significant improvements and advantages over many competitors print engines too.

Much of the technology used in the new Zebra print engines comes from their latest generation, high end industrial label printers which are used in business-critical applications on thousands of packaging lines around the world. These are state of the art systems which raise the bar on “premium performance.”

For starters, they have best-in-class print speeds. When you’re racing to get labels on your products, milliseconds matter. These Zebra print engines can print up to 18 inches per second and they can offer up to 600 dpi resolution.

Something else that’s spectacular about the ZE511 and ZE521 is that they’re engineered with a rugged, all-metal construction with no need for cooling fans. Their external cabinets are fully enclosed, have no perforations and are resistant to debris and water ingress.

The print engines feature the same 4.3” colour touch screen used in their high end industrial printers. For convenience, the control panel can be remotely located up to six feet from the print engine. The touch screen uses resistive technology so where the environment dictates, gloves can be used.

With Zebra’s exclusive “Link OS” Operating System and industry leading “Print DNA” software suite, the ZE511 and ZE521 are easy to setup, manage, maintain and secure, onsite or remotely.

Users can

  • Run the dead dot detection application to ensure bar codes always look and perform as intended
  • Further leverage onboard analytics to predict and schedule maintenance to prevent unexpected downtime
  • See printer status at a glance and change settings quickly using the large, full colour LCD touch display.
  • Troubleshoot remotely and swap out the modular drive for servicing to keep lines moving.
  • Change print heads in seconds with the single socket quick release tab.
  • UHF RFID encoding can be specified from new or can be easily added when needed

These new print engines have USB host ports through which multiple machines can be cloned using nothing more than a memory stick. They also have NFC capability enabling setup from a range of Zebra handhelds. The USB host port and NFC can also be used to input changes to label parameters and graphics.

While Zebra printers can last over a decade, delivering high quality labels day in and day out, regular maintenance like simple cleaning and wear part replacement is a major contributing factor to the reliability of labelling solutions, but this only works if the basic product is well designed. The ZE500 was designed on a modular basis to enable efficient maintenance, a concept that has been extended in the new ZE511 and ZE521

The ZE511 and ZE521 are extremely straightforward to maintain and repair. These print engines are resilient, they are built to last for years, but regular preventative measures will slow down wear and tear. As they age, a little TLC goes a long way in keeping the engines running at their tip top performance level.

It takes less than a minute to clean key printer components when you replace media or ribbon, all you need is 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol. Your on-site facilities personnel can easily replace key components.

  • Printheads require no tools and can be changed in less than 60 seconds.
  • Rollers can be changed using a single tool equally efficiently.
  • And you just have to loosen three captive fasteners to remove the extended-life modular drive system or change belts.

Other key modules like the ribbon system, circuit boards and power supply are also easily removed for repair and replacement.

The Zebra ZE511 or ZE521 print engines will give your existing systems new life – whether you are replacing Zebra print engines or another brand.

The extensive support from Kestronics includes consumables, spare parts, service contracts, support, maintenance and repairs.

Kestronics supplies products from leading manufacturers including Zebra, Rohm, Honeywell, Datalogic, Elo and Chainway. Products include printers, thermal print heads, handhelds, touchscreens, payment devices, barcode scanners, RFID devices, consumables and supplies.

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