Test & Tag Machines with Printer
For people testing equipment in high volume, it’s vital you’re using the correct test and tag equipment to help streamline the entire process.
It involves combining a printer, scanner and software together with your portable appliance tester. The printer will print tags for you on the spot with the required information (no hand writing), while the scanner can recall previous test results for quick re-testing times.
Most notably, by integrating these items together, it’ll undoubtedly make your life a whole lot easier and lessen your overall workload.
Printing Solution Comparison
- Mains/Battery: Battery power is more convenient if you're testing large facilities.
- Tag Type: Thermal Transfer is a more durable and better suited for industrial environments, while Direct Thermal is generally cheaper to run.
- Bluetooth/Wired Scanner: Bluetooth is a faster and more efficient way of scanning when compared to Wired because of its portability.
- Re-testing: QR codes are a quicker form of re-testing when compared to barcodes, due to the way the information is read by the scanner. They can also store more information than single barcodes.
Seaward Printing Solutions
Image: Seaward Elite Kit
Optima II Kit
The Primetest Optima II Kit is an extremely cost-effective kit that utilises Bluetooth to connect all of the accessories together. Although it's a more affordable option, the appliance tester contains all test functions and has an alpha numeric keyboard for easy data entry.
The printer will print out Direct Thermal Tags only, meaning that the tags are susceptible to temperature and sunlight (not ideal for industrial environments), but offer a great solution for offices and schools.
New to the market, the Elite Kit is considered a top of the range printing solution that’s very simple to operate. The tester supplied contains a full QWERTY keyboard for quick data entry, colour screen for easy readability and a camera for all of your selfies!
The printer is considered more advanced than the Optima II Kit, as it allows for both Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal tags. Thermal Transfer tags are a great choice for any heat sensitive locations as they're highly durable. It also comes with the high-end PATGuard Elite 3 software (compared to PATGuard 2 for the Optima II Kit), which offers additional control and automation.
Metrel Printing Solutions
Image: Metrel DeltaPAT Complete
Metrel DeltaPAT Complete
The highly comprehensive DeltatPAT Complete significantly speeds up your entire test and tag process. It conveniently comes with both mains and battery power for increased portability, and is capable of performing all tests required by AS/NZS 3760.
However, to get the most out of it, you’ll need to use an Android device to connect the tester and printer together (you can use the Android device for data entry via the devices onscreen keyboard).
The printer uses Thermal Transfer Tags to print QR codes, which is actually a faster method of re-scanning and re-testing. This is because QR codes contain the information within a scannable code, meaning it essentially stores all the information (saving you from re-entering the same data each time).
Metrel aPAT Pro Print Pack
The Pro Print Pack is Metrel’s newest addition to the market and is comparable to the Optima II Kit. Although it comes with all the added benefits mentioned with the DeltaPAT Complete, it also contains a more compact and durable printer that can print either Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer tags, along with a more advanced aPAT software.
This will allow for:
- Upcoming test warnings on your smart device
- Simple, custom auto-test creation
- Remote control of tester
- Data of appliances tested in different locations
- Barcode or QR code scanner from your phone
- Send data from your test site to the main office
The aPAT software is where this package really shines, as it’s basically is an advanced data management system that allows you customise the way you work in so many different ways.
Wavecom Printing Solutions
Image: Wavecom TnP-500
Wavecom’s printing solution comes in the form of the TnP-500. It’s very simple to operate and comes with a QWERTY keyboard, printer and scanner (hard wired to the unit) and is all built into a rugged transit case for extra protection.
Interestingly, it’s a bit cheaper than the other options, mostly because it requires mains power to operate and doesn't include an Isolation Transformer for portable RCD testing. However, if you've got easy access to different power points, this shouldn't be too inconvenient and is well-worth the cheaper price.
In addition to the TnP-500, Wavecom also offer an upgrade for people wanting a wireless scanning option. So if you've got your heart set on a wireless scanner, the TnP-500W will offer that additional convenience.