Raising the bar in marking?Follow article
Hi, I’m Andy, I’m the Product Manager for marking and tooling (known as M&I) at Phoenix Contact UK. I’ve been at Phoenix Contact 11 years, of which the last 4 have been looking after M&I. I know what you’re thinking, why do we need someone to look after marking? Believe it or not Phoenix Contact has the largest industrial marking offering in the world with thousands of printing material options or printer varieties with nine printer options available. But it’s not just the amount of different materials we can mark ,but the variety of industries, for example; Cabinet building, machine building, power plants, solar industry and rail industry to name just a few. But why is it important?
What do you think of when you think of marking? It could be anything. Terminal markers and cable markers, or perhaps you see them as the fiddly little white tags that can line your workshop floor? In some cases, your partner’s sticky labels for marking up your spice cupboard at home. Whichever way we think of it, marking is everywhere, and mainly for safety, fault finding and quick identification. Marking is a fundamental obligation and is required in the electrical world, but let’s be honest, who really looks forward to the task of printing and installing hundreds of markers? A lot of people still hand write them.
That’s where Phoenix Contact can make your life easier.
Phoenix Contact have looked at marking and seen its fundamental importance in industrial automation and many other industries. We released such printers as our revolutionary Bluemark CLED for high volume marking where UV light technology is used to cure ink, meaning your labels are instantly dry and ready to install. Since then we’ve seen a need for smaller more compact printer options for medium to low consumption. We turned to our good friend ‘thermal transfer’ in 2012 to release Thermomark Card and Thermomark Roll that can print 10 markers a second or 8 seconds per card. These two printers exploded our marking repertoire and fast became our biggest sellers
Phoenix Contact has since taken the marking technology one step further. But how?
Let’s look at a scenario. You’ve been in your workshop for weeks, you’ve built half a dozen control panels, you’ve wired them, tested them and marked them all up and probably consumed copious amounts of tea! Now you’re finished and good to go. You now have the task of transporting your panels five hours up the M6 for on-site installation. You’re on a deadline and all is looking great until you realise you’ve missed or lost some push-button markers. You could put a sticky label on but that’s not on the spec, you’ve got to use the Polyamide clip-on markers you’ve been printing back in the workshop. You can’t wait a day for someone to print and post them as you could be fined for a delay, neither do you have the time to drive back, pay the £5.50 M6 toll charge and print them yourself. So what do you do?
Thermomark Prime is ideal for this situation. It prints the same material that the Thermomark Card prints (more than 600 different options). BUT, where you had to plug in the Thermomark Card to the mains, and use a PC to operate with our Clip Project software, with the Thermomark Prime you don’t. Well you can, but once you’ve finished your projects on the PC you can unplug it from the mains and take it with you where it will hold a charge for 600 print-outs. You don’t always have to plug your PC in to operate it, you can use the Android touchscreen on top of the printer together with the installed ‘lite’ version of our Clip Project software, making this marking system completely mobile if required. Another great feature is that you can save all your printing projects onto a USB stick and load them onto the Thermomark Prime reducing the need to ever have a PC. It’s good to be prepared, markers cost pence but fines cost thousands!
Over the last two years the Thermomark Prime has been our biggest seller and it’s easy to see why, it has changed the marking world and it’s made life easier by offering the option to print on-site. We also have the THERMOFOX (137-244) handheld printer available now from RS which is perfect for on-site adhesive labels, shrink sleeve markers and cable markers. This can also be plugged into the Thermomark prime where you can create a large quantity of labels on the Android touch screen and then send them straight to the THERMOFOX for printing, saving you the need to type them out by hand.
Globally, Phoenix Contact have transformed the day to day use of marking. The goal is to make life easier, there isn’t much you can’t mark with a Phoenix Contact marking system, pretty much everything in a control cabinet. And my wife’s spice cupboard.