2nd Gen KEW-80L Compact Direct Thermal Bluetooth PAT Test Label Printer
KEWPAT V1.2.3 on iOS and Revision 34 on Android both include support for the 2nd Generation KEW-80L Compact Direct Thermal Bluetooth Printers.
The 2nd Gen KEW-80L Compact is powered by a removable battery pack that can be re-charged using the supplied PSU. They measure around 9cm Wide x 11.5cm Deep x 6cm High and weigh just over 300g with a full roll of Polypropylene labels with roughly 300 Labels per roll.
As you can see from the image below, the 2nd Gen KEW-80L Compact is quite small when placed next to the Kewtech SMARTPAT, EZYPAT PLUS and EZYPAT PAT Testers.
KEWPAT has been specifically designed to connect to these printers from within the App, all you need to do is select the Bluetooth Connection Icon on the Home Screen and enter the Bluetooth Pin (0000) if requested. If connection has been successful KEWPAT will display a connection icon at the top of the screen.
What about the Labels?
Loading Labels into the 2nd Gen KEW-80L Compact is pretty straight forward, simply press the cover release button on the left and seat the new roll of labels into the label compartment making sure that they are snug against the left hand side spacer that’s included with the printer. Then simply slide the right hand guide so its snug against the right hand side of the label roll and lock into place.
It's important to use only recommended Label Stock, as the printer and App have been specifically setup to produce an optimal print using those labels. Please contact us if you are at all unsure of what labels to use.
Labels are 25mm x 39mm and made from Polypropylene which means they are resistant to tearing and moisture, making them much more durable than paper labels.
They are also a perfect fit for the Kewtech Snap Tags which can be used to protect the label in harsher environments.
Adhesion is good, but care should be taken to make sure the surface is clean and free from moisture, grease and dust. Obviously the surface should also be flat and big enough to accommodate the whole label.
KEWPAT includes a generous selection of label templates, Including a QR Code option
Label templates are selected via the "Your Settings" screen with all Standard templates also having a secondary option which includes a Standard Barcode in the form of the Appliance id.
Those looking for a PAT Label that includes a QR Code have a minimum of one template to choose from, given the QR Code takes up half the label.
One point worth mentioning with regards to QR Codes is that KEWPAT is designed to only read in QR Codes originally produced from the App itself.
Then we have the option to include your company logo, which can be loaded in from the Your Settings screen. The image should be Black and White for best results and 200 x 200 pixels exactly (at 72dpi).
Is the KEW-80L a good solution for me?
The question should be, is a printer solution which uses Direct Thermal Technology a good solution for me?
We think it's important to be up-front and give you guys our thoughts on the KEW-80L Printers. For those that don't know, we are the development company behind KEWPAT and SimplyPats, so have a good idea of the technology in question.
Its also important to understand that the comments below may not specifically apply to the KEW-80L, but may apply to any printer using the same Direct Thermal Print Technology, which can be found in various other PAT Label Solutions from other manufacturers.
We already know that the 2nd Gen KEW-80L Compact and the KEW-80L that came before it, both use Direct Thermal Print Technology to transfer an image to the label. This works by passing a chemically-treated label over a heated thermal print head. This process is different to printers which use Thermal Transfer Technology, which uses a thermal print head to transfer a solid ink onto the label via a ribbon, which is generally made from a wax or resin.
Because the Labels used by Direct Thermal Printers are Chemically-treated to react to heat, they can be prone to fading if exposed to direct light and/or heat for an extended period of time. How long depends on many factors, including intensity of light and/or heat as well as the initial print quality and material used in the label, however i suppose you could argue that most things fade if left exposed to light, even pre-printed labels.
The Polypropylene Labels recommended for use with the KEW-80L are of good quality and should fair better than standard paper labels, however nothing is guaranteed.
It's also worth mentioning that Direct Thermal Transfer printers such as the KEW-80L do not require consumables in the form of Ink or Ribbons, so this can keep printing costs down as you only need to purchase Labels and give the Print Head a clean every now and then.
All in all the KEW-80L offers a great solution for those who want to produce PAT Test Labels at time of Test. The Printer itself is well made and the quality of labels produced are excellent given the technology used and will survive most applications when used in an indoor environment such as an office or light industrial setting, or school for example.
For harsher environments, there are always the Snap Tags as mentioned above.
We hope that this Blog has given you enough information in order to make an informed decision on whether using a Direct Thermal Printer Solution such as the 2nd Gen KEW-80L Compact is right for you.
If you need more information, we are more than happy to go into more detail over the phone, just get in touch.