Since forming as a company in 2008, the China-based company Meenjet has been steadily producing a wide range of affordable printing systems and traceability solutions. Offering continuous inkjet and thermal inkjet printers, high-resolution case coders, and laser marking systems, Meenjet’s products are known for their low price points and diverse applications. One of Meenjet’s latest contributions to the industrial marking world is the MX1—a thermal inkjet printer designed for inline printing.
Operated by a separate controller, the Meenjet MX1 printer is an integrable printing system that is compatible with a wide range of substrates, including porous, semi-porous, and non-porous materials. Available from Sneed Coding Solutions, Inc. for $1,399 with a summer sale price of $699 shows the true cost of this unit, the MX1 also carries a lower price as compared to similar products like the Sojet Elfin 1S and the Anser X1. Because of its cheaper cost, though, how does the MX1 compare to these models in performance, dependability, and overall value?
If you’re considering the Meenjet MX1 printer for your coding and marking operation, here’s what you need to know about its specifications and applications.
Before delving into its capabilities, let’s take a look at the Meenjet MX1 contents, physical dimensions, and material build.
The complete MX1 kit consists of multiple components, including:
These materials make the MX1 easy to integrate into existing production line setups. Users can operate the machine either through the touchscreen display or remotely through a Wi-Fi network. Wireless connectivity also supports external data access for streamlined label creation.
To protect the printhead and controller from environmental issues, the MX1’s hardware is encased in aluminum alloy. In theory, this aluminum outer shell allows the MX1 to successfully dissipate heat for an operating temperature of 32-113°F as well as protect itself from minor physical damage.
With a maximum resolution of 600 x 300 DPI, the Meenjet MX1 can print substrates at a max speed of 70 meters per minute (approximately 230 feet per minute). With these resolution capabilities, the MX1 can print machine-readable barcodes, QR codes, and logos as well as alphanumeric text markings like:
Thanks to its diverse ink access, the MX1 can place these markings on a wide range of substrates. As long as the proper ink cartridge is installed, the MX1 can mark:
The 0.25-inch throwing distance also enables the MX1 to code curved surfaces like pipes, bottles, and wires. Available ink colors include white, black, yellow, red, green, and blue.
Note: All of the substrates and surfaces with curvature are based on ideal printing conditions such as room temperature, low humidity, and no pre- or post-production environment processes.
Both in appearance and application possibilities, the MX1 bears a strong resemblance to other leading TIJ printers like the Sojet Elfin and the Anser X1. However, the MX1 costs thousands of dollars less than these other printing models. Where does this price difference come from?
Just looking at the specifications of these three printers, one can quickly see that the MX1 does not offer the same speed, durability, or marking functionalities as the competition.
To demonstrate, let’s compare the coding speed, environmental durability, and marking functionality of the MX1 to the Anser X1.
The MX1’s max printing speed of 70 meters per minute is relatively standard (if not a bit low) for a thermal inkjet printer. While not all production lines require high-speed coding, it isn’t uncommon for lines to run at speeds three times faster than what the MX1 is capable of. For these cases, the Anser X1 is a much better choice given its top marking speed of 300 meters per minute.
Other considerations to consider include:
The processing power required to print at these higher speeds from software innovations has a higher market value than $1,399.
Because of the MX1’s aluminum alloy casing, this printer offers a wide operating temperature range of 32-113°F.
When comparing it to other printers, one will quickly see that aluminum alloy is not the material of choice for warm environments, as heat dissipation is slow. Slow heat dissipation combined with low processing mainboards and other components, situations leading to faults, shorts, and overheating arise. The MX1 is not well-protected against either humidity or dryness, as its operating humidity range is constricted to 40-60%. Further, the printer offers little protection against dust particles and water.
If worksites aren’t prone to these environmental issues, the MX1 will operate as the product marketed. However, if dust or humidity fluctuations are prevalent, hardware failure is inevitable.
Compared to the MX1, the Anser X1 provides a higher level of environmental resistance through its IP66 housing. With IP66 construction, the Anser X1 offers:
Another printer to compare to the MX1 is the Sojet Elfin 1S, which offers:
The MX1 is a solid line printer that can be easily integrated into a larger IT infrastructure. It is a very affordable piece of equipment for creating small codes (0.5 inches tall) at low-to-moderate speeds. Given the MX1’s low price point, it’s unsurprising that it doesn’t offer many marking functionalities beyond basic applications.
On the other hand, the Anser X1 is available for a higher price (around $5,000), and the buyers get what they pay for. Beyond its high speeds and rugged durability, the X1 offers:
If you’re looking for a standard line TIJ printer at a bargain price, the Meenjet MX1 is the right choice for you. With wide substrate compatibility and ink formula access, the MX1 can meet many operational needs as long as the environment isn’t challenging and high-speed coding isn’t an issue. The US master distributor does allow for returns and exchanges if you find the product does not fit your application. However, the MX1’s low speeds, environmental vulnerability, and barebones functionality make it a poor fit for line operators that require more from their printers.
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