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Labeler: Primera 362 vs. Racer RLRZ


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We are a startup looking for an inexpensive and reliable front and back labeler. The Racer RLRZ and Primera 362 are both about $1200.

The RLRZ is made in New Mexico and the owner is super nice and helpful and claims very high reliability (ie. not one return in 14 years and thousands of printers). I've also seen positive comments on another thread.

The Primera 362 seems easier to use, more automated and has a faster bottle rate (20/min vs 10-15/min). However, I'm concerned about reliability (convenience = more parts to break).

Doeas anyone have experience using the Primera?

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I haven't used the RL-RZ, but I have 2 RaceJRs that I have been fairly happy with. I could see the RL-RZ being more efficient, but my space constraints initially nudged me to the RaceJR. We might wish to "upgrade" at some point as well, and would be interested in hearing from those that have used the 362. In particular, how well does it do for tapers? How well does it do for positioning front-back labels in sequence on roll?

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We've had a 362 for years. It's been a breeze to operate. Both my father-in-law and my 7 year old have no troubles running it. The roller on the stabilizing arm has broken on one side, and Primera doesn't seem to have replacements - but it doesn't affect permormance that I've noticed.

It's highly repeatable for positioning. And I've given up using the presets. It's easier to whip out a ruler and measure the gap between the front and back label than to remember what preset is which bottle. It usually takes about 3 bottles to fine tune it.

You have to be a bit careful about how labels come: left edge leading, wound with the label out on the roll (I think - I'd have to go look. One way puts the neck over the controls - a problem with slender bottles like Bellissima.) And no bigger than 7.5" outer diameter (if memory serves.) Before we set that spec, we'd occasionally get a roll at 8-9", and have to unwind some to make it fit.

The last 50-100 labels tend to wander in vertical (on bottle) positioning. Depends on the roll.

If I were going to improve it, I'd add a take up reel and a spring loaded tensioner for the label roll between the roll and the bar it turns on. A touch of weight or force really settles down the end-of-roll drift.

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Is there anything similar that would work with a tapered or conical bottle?

The 362 is SUPPOSED to work with a taper, but I haven't heard from anyone that has used it that way. There is a version of the Race, the RLTC, that will do tapers in rolling format, and with an attachment, will do odd sizes by "striping" along the height of the bottle, instead of rolling. I have not used it, but I have been told by others it works. We have found that we can accommodate a very minor taper on the RaceJR by playing with the alignment guides, after a fair bit of tweaking, but this is not a vendor recommended mode of operation.

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