The Epson C6000 Review (Features, Limitations & Cost)

The Epson C6000 Review (Features, Limitations & Cost)

Label Printers, Price & Planning | 19 August 2020

Posted by John Masica

The Epson C6000 Review (Features, Limitations & Cost)

A convenient color coding system or a simple logo can be a great addition to your laboratory labeling strategy. Previously, printing color labels in-house wasn’t feasible for the average facility—cost, real estate and compromised durability made pre-printed options or forgoing color altogether, easier to justify.

Whether you need to accommodate information on short notice, or simply want more control over your labeling process—the Epson C6000 series can add a splash of color to your labels on your own terms.

Basic Specs

Print Technology

Inkjet

Minimum Print Resolution

300 x 600 dpi

Maximum Print Resolution

1200 x 1200 dpi

Minimum Print Speed (optimizes quality)

0.3 in/sec

Maximum Print Speed (optimizes speed)

4.7 in/sec

Maximum Print Width

4.25”

 

Features

The C6000 offers a range of features that make it especially suitable in the lab—and a great colorful alternative to thermal transfer printers. Keep reading for all the details:

Color

The Epson C6000 is the first inkjet print solution designed specifically to perform on par with thermal transfer print technology in cost, quality and—most notably—color printing. Thermal transfer is the industry standard for in-house printing in healthcare—but unfortunately its color capabilities are limited.

Including color in your labeling strategy can aid in various process and business improvement goals, but it has been difficult to accommodate up until now. Inkjet printers are known to be costly in comparison to thermal transfer printers making them difficult to justify.

The Epson C6000 offers color printing at a similar price-point to similar thermal transfer models.

Interested in adding color to your strategy and outsourcing your labeling?  Checkout our READY Labware Services Program to learn more!

Image Quality

Image quality as high as 1200 dpi can be achieved with the Epson C6000—comparable to the quality you might receive when ordering labels pre-printed.

High image resolution isn’t necessary in every application, but it plays an especially important role in ensuring the readability of very small barcodes, such as those commonly applied to the bottoms or caps of tubes and vials.

It must be kept in mind however, that print speed impacts print quality. So, if you are looking for the highest possible image resolution to ensure readability on the smallest of 2D barcodes, or to accommodate intricate logo designs—you will need to slow down.

Learn more about image resolution and whether or not dpi matters to your  processes here

Compact

Small in size compared to other inkjet printers designed to accommodate 8” rolls of media, the C6000 allows you to achieve color labeling without sacrificing valuable real-estate.

Cut and Peel Options

The C6000 Series features two models—one offering a peeler and the other a cutter. With both options available you can choose which is best suited to your practice.

Nozzle Verification Technology

This model has built-in Nozzle Verification software to ensure that each nozzle is releasing ink evenly allowing for a clean, accurately printed label. This feature will detect any missing dots that result from clogged nozzles. If the printer senses a clogged nozzle it will supplement with a nearby nozzle.

Compatibility

The C6000 is able to accommodate a range of label design software systems—including our two favorites, BarTender and NiceLabel. Click here to learn more about integrating this printer into your environment.

Limitations

While we stand by the performance and quality of the Epson C6000, we acknowledge that it isn’t for everybody, and it certainly has its limitations—namely environment suitability, speed and the cost per label.

Environments

While the printer itself is well suited to a variety of environments, including healthcare, in order to ensure the print technology is suited to your processes you will want to work with your supplier.

While the C6000 was designed to provide similar results to thermal transfer print technology, it is still an inkjet printer and requires labels suited to inkjet print technology. This means proper testing must be performed to ensure a label suited to both the Epson C6000 and your processes can be found.

If you are unable to find a suitable label option you may want to consider other options—such as sticking with thermal transfer, pre-printed labels or pre-barcoded labware.

Speed

While nearly 5 inches per second is pretty fast and is comparable to some thermal transfer printers—it doesn’t compare to the fastest of thermal transfer printers.

We must also keep in mind that print speed impacts print quality—so in comparison to a thermal transfer with a minimum speed of 5 inches and maximum of 10 inches per second, the Epson simply can’t compete when it comes to optimizing both speed and image quality.

If color plays a significant role in your processes it’s likely you’ll find enough value in the Epson C6000 that sacrificing a few seconds per inch won’t cause any major interruptions.

Per Label Cost

Thermal transfer printing is the most inexpensive print technology we recommend for use in the lab—consumables included. We mention this because the inks used by the C6000 are going to cost more than your standard thermal transfer ribbon.

While it may cost more, it’s most likely you find value in color if you’re seeking out an inkjet alternative to thermal transfer printing.

CostCW_C6000_Side

Considering the cost of other inkjet solutions, the Epson C6000 is priced fairly conservatively. Starting at $2,600, it’s comparable in cost to high performance thermal transfer printers making it an affordable alternative to thermal transfer that is capable of accommodating color.

When discussing cost, consumables must be taken into account as well, especially when comparing the C6000 to thermal transfer printers. As previously mentioned, the inks used with the Epson C6000 are higher in cost than thermal transfer ribbons meaning your print cost per label will increase if you’re making the switch from thermal transfer.

While extremely reasonable in cost for an inkjet printer, you can expect to pay more for your inkjet solution when considering consumable costs—but this increase can be justified if your processes benefit from the C6000’s features.

The main differentiating feature of the Epson C6000 is its color printing abilities. If your facility can find value in adding color to your strategy, or by bringing color printing in-house you’ll likely be able to justify the costs associated with the Epson C6000.

Whether you plan on introducing a color coding strategy for at-a-glance recognition or logo’s for brand awareness purposes—if you can associate monetary gain to either of these actions you will likely see a return on your investment.

Color + Variable Data

This is especially true for facilities that require variable, time-sensitive information that isn’t known far enough in advance to utilize pre-printed labels or pre-marked labware. In these situations specifically, the ability to include color has been extremely limited and a printer like the C6000 will allow you to accommodate both color and necessary data.

Color + High-Resolution Printing

If your practices require extremely small labels, high DPI is going to be necessary. The Epson C6000 is able to provide dpi as high as 1200, given you slow down on the print speed.

While colored, high dpi labels can easily be accessed pre-printed and even pre-applied you may have your reasons for seeking an in-house solution. Whether you require time sensitive data, require a broad range of different labels or just want more control over your printing process—an in-house option capable of color and high dpi may be the solution you’re looking for.

 

Overall, we are very excited to introduce the Epson C6000 to our portfolio. Epson expertly engineered this printer to perform on par with thermal transfer models in size, cost and applications. Paired with their widely trusted color technology this model in particular offers something we haven’t really seen before in the healthcare industry—an affordable, trustworthy, color-capable in-house print solution.

If you need to see a few more options for printer models check out our picks for the

Top 10 Barcode Label Printers of 2020 here >

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John Masica

Based in St. Paul, MN, USA, John Masica is Computype’s Technical Support Specialist. Specializing in label printer maintenance and engineering, John is the go-to person for all things label printing. Through his 24 years here at Computype, he has learned many tips and tricks to make your label printing easier and more efficient.