Saving time in cable identification is an ongoing challenge for any contractor in the electrical industry. In addition to saving time, contractors must also be flexible enough to meet the label specifications of a given job.

To fulfill the label specification for one of the world's largest aerospace and plane manufacturers, D.W. Close Co., Inc., an electrical contracting firm based in Seattle, used a new thermal labeling system, which features the latest advancements in portable handheld printers. Designed to accommodate more than 200 label options, the printer generates crisp, clear identification using the speed and power of thermal transfer technology.

"We were initially interested in the printer to meet the label specifications of a high-profile client," explains Don Kohler, service electrician for D.W. Close Co., Inc. "The job required identifying and upgrading the liquid nitrogen refrigeration system of a lunar environment pressure vessel."

Kohler explained that they use these vessels, created to simulate the atmosphere on the moon, to conduct tests prior to a launch. They may contain thousands of wires.

"Not only was the printer compatible with the heat-shrinkable sleeves required for this job, but I was impressed with the printer's speed and ease of use. I had all of my labels and sleeves printed and ready to go in about one-third of the time," adds Kohler.

D.W. Close Co., Inc., a full-service contractor with more than 50 years of experience serving the industrial, commercial, residential and communications industries, is one of several companies that participated in a beta test program for the compact printer.

Weighing only 2.75 lb, the printer fits in the palm of a hand and can be used quickly and conveniently wherever needed throughout a job site. "With an average of five or more projects per week, portability and flexibility are very important features in a printer," notes Kohler. "Since no two jobs are alike, I've got to be prepared for anything, including a variety of label sizes and styles."

The printer accommodates labels and wire markers up to 2-in. in width. In addition, a built-in smart cell label identification feature automatically recognizes label sizes and printer settings. This eliminates time wasted on complex programming procedures.