Offices, laboratories, and industrial sites all need to create labels from time to time, and for some entities, all the time. Whether for professionalism, aesthetics, or safety, label makers have become indispensable in these environments.
As a commercial sample, Epson Colombia provided Finance Colombia with their LW-400 label maker (Rotuladora in Spanish), a unit widely available in Colombia and throughout North and South America. The unit comes with instructions in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, but the actual device user interface can also be set to French. A user would be well advised to keep the instructions handy, not because the label maker is difficult to use, but because it has considerable advanced functionality, such as printing bar codes, surrounding labels with frames and borders, and comes with a rather large library of symbols and graphic elements, including scientific, electronic.
The LabelWorks LW-400 can be configured with 14 different fonts, and each font can be adjusted with 10 different styles – such as italic, underline, bold, etc. A user can store 50 different labels in memory.
The LW-400 takes 6 AA batteries. It can be powered with an AC adaptor, but such adapter must be purchased separately if required. Epson sells 19 different varieties of label tape, from 6mm in width up to 18mm – just under ¾ inches. There are metallic, pattern, luminescent, and different colored selections.
Like most inkjet printers and entry-level laser printers, the profit for the company seems to be in the sale of replacement label tape cartridges. The unit sells for $30 USD on Amazon.com, while replacement cartridges range from $12 to $20.
The screen has a very bright backlight that can be turned on or off, and screen contrast can be adjusted. The user interface can be set to read out in inches or centimeters. One helpful feature is the unit displays the length of a label being composed, so tape and time is not wasted on multiple attempts to create a label of a certain size.
Straight out of the box, most users probably could get started making basic labels, without going into the instruction manual. To make changes and adjustments or to access the advanced capability there is a learning curve, though the instructions are graphic and relatively well written. Once a user spends a half an hour going through the various functions and settings, he or she could master all the device’s features, though as mentioned, this learning period is not necessary simply to print a basic label.