Industrial printers play a key role in countless packaging and manufacturing organizations. Technologies like continuous inkjet printers and high-resolution case coders enable users to mark their products and shipping containers with essential tracking codes and government- and distributor-required variable data. As such, industries ranging from agricultural production to chemical manufacturing rely on industrial printers to ensure that goods are code-compliant and ready for sale. If these machines fail, manufacturers often experience periods of downtime that can quickly cause them to fall behind production goals.
While high-quality industrial printers are designed for long-term use in the coding and marking field, they can become quite costly. The printers are designed for easy self-maintenance by the use of “cores” that house all of the filters and mixing tanks. While this makes maintenance easier for the user, the cores are expensive and are generally 30-50% of the cost of the printer. These high costs make it advantageous for the customer to buy new printers entirely instead of just purchasing new cores.
Many of these printers experience other problems as well. While many issues do have simple solutions, some are not as easy to fix. If a machine appears to be broken beyond repair, it’s important to know what’s covered by the distribution warranty.
However, sometimes it isn’t easy to find the manufacturer warranty or what’s covered by the industry-standard policy. Below, we detail boiler-plate industrial printer warranty details, including limited equipment and parts coverage, what happens in the event of repair failure, and warranty exceptions.
Generally speaking, most industrial printer warranties cover the same sets of problems, unless the customer paid money for additional protections. Here, we’ll take a broad look at what you can expect to be covered in a standard agreement. You should still examine your contract to see how your specific machine is covered, but it’s beneficial to know what’s standard across the field.
You can expect to see the following industrial printer warranty details when you purchase a machine:
If you buy equipment from a distributor, the warranty will specify that the machine is free of material defects when purchased. If a defect slipped through the cracks, you should expect the distributor to fix the issue as long as the problem is discovered within a reasonable time window (often a year after the equipment was first installed).
These defects include problems that arise from using the machine for its intended purposes in the correct, specified conditions while following all recommended maintenance guidelines.
Most industrial printer companies explicitly mention that buyers must contact them within a short time after discovering the problem. You can expect this time frame to range from two weeks to 30 days. Consequently, it’s important to not procrastinate once you discover that something is wrong with your printer.
Along with the time frame, the warranty should specify the method(s) in which the buyer can send the machine back for repairs. The most common method is shipment through the mail, but many companies will also send out field agents to buyers who are located close to the facility. Larger companies like Videojet often have vast field agent networks that enable onsite repairs.
If the distributor isn’t able to repair the machine, the warranty should specify what actions will be offered as restitution. More often than not, a replacement model is sent or a refund in accordance with depreciation principles is issued.
Unless you buy additional protections for your machine, the standard warranty won’t cover much beyond manufacturing defects. Included in the usual industrial printer warranty details are explicit mentions of what is not covered, such as issues that arise from the following:
Additionally, warranties often state that owners can not loan their printers to third-party users at any point. If a third party uses the printer, the warranty is effectively void, and the buyer is responsible for any problems sustained after purchase.
Typically, manufacturers start the clock on the warranty, so to speak, once the printer is sold to the end-user. During the start-up of a new packaging line, it is not uncommon for the printer to arrive on-site weeks or even months before the actual acceptance of the packaging line, so the printer does not enter service on the date it was sold. This timeframe gap can be even longer if the printer was shipped to a third-party OEM/integrator for a factory acceptance test (FAT)—some FATs are many months prior to actual factory integration and run time. If this might be an issue, it is best addressed at the time of order and not after the fact.
When it comes to getting the best warranty, there are advantages to working with smaller companies in the industry. Not only will the customer get more local support but they also will be able to talk with an authority figure. The warranty resolution is usually more in favor of the customer than the supplier as well.
If you want to learn more about the policies of today’s industrial printing companies or the latest marking hardware, C&M Digest has the coverage for you.
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