The Wraptor printer applies labels to wires and cables 8 to 10 times faster than manual application.
Brady Corp. (Milwaukee; www.bradyid.com) has been awarded a patent for its Wraptor wire ID printer/applicator. The device combines the printing and applying of labels on wires and cable into one automated step, streamlining production and eliminating time-consuming manual application of labels.
According to the company, the printer applies labels 8–10 times faster than hand application, depending on the label size. It can print and apply labels to a wire in 5 seconds or less. The on-demand printing system also avoids label waste compared with batch label printing where extra labels are thrown away.
The Wraptor printer is a cost-effective solution for many businesses, such as Excel Connection USA. The company manufactures electrical connections, lead wires, wire harnesses and panels, and electromechanical assemblies. According to Shaun McGuire, the firm’s operations manager, three Wraptor printers save the company thousands of hours in production and translate into tangible cost savings.
“The Wraptor printer saves us 5–12 seconds per wrap. Based on the label size and our volume of 1.5 million wires per year, this saves us between 4000–5000 hours annually. Our Brady printers are like having two to three additional people on staff throughout the year.”
The printer also has excellent label readability and consistent label application. It provides a tight wrap for wire bundles, and handles square wraps as well as individual wires and cable. There is minimal spiraling, bubbling, or wrinkling—common problems with hand-applied wire and cable labels. Thermal-transfer printing and the unit’s 300-dpi printhead provide clear label text including bar codes, logos, and diagrams.
The printer can easily be integrated with established wire and cable production with minimal staff training. The system includes the company’s LabelMark v3 labeling software, so users can quickly design labels and create print jobs on a PC, including variable, serialized, multilegend, bar code, and graphical information. Once the labels are designed, operators can simply select the correct print job on the touch screen interface and insert the wire to be labeled. The system’s Ethernet capability offers the opportunity for companies to link the printer to their network so that users can download and print labels, and easily make changes to stored labels directly from the network, saving even more production time.
Wires and cables from 0.06 to 0.60 in. in diameter can be accommodated without tooling changes or mechanical calibration of the system. Users can request a wire test for their specific application via the company’s Web site, and the firm will provide an evaluation.