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A 'key' improvement

One of the biggest improvements for Martin’s latest pair of thermal-transfer coders installed in fall 2006 is also among the smallest in size.

“Another design improvement that is very good for us is the ability to upload new image files to the printers using a data key,” says Martin’s vice president of operations Glenn Zearfoss.

Also known as a memory stick or jump drive, a data key is a portable data-carrying device that plugs into a USB port. It carries image files used for new set-ups that aren’t preprogrammed into the printer’s database. Martin’s small and compact operations don’t warrant a printer network that larger companies may have, which can otherwise make updating the printers’ onboard files problematic. Although the Videojet printers can be networked, Zearfoss says that was overkill for them.

“On the older units, we needed to take a laptop out to the production floor and connect up to those printers and download the image files from the laptop,” Zearfoss explains. “With the new Data Flex Plus models, we’re able to download the images onto a USB data key, and the printers read and upload the images from that data key. It’s a very nice feature for us, allowing easy changes without the cost and complication of a fancy networked system.”

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