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Stainless Steel vs. Plastic Printer Enclosurestainless vs plastic enclosuress

Which is better for you? Stainless Steel or Plastic printer enclosures? It depends on your criteria, but most food processing companies will choose stainless steel for the following reasons.

1. Stainless Steel is strong – This is obvious. Remember that your environment is harsh where the unit will be hit, run into, and more. A plastic enclosure can take minor stresses but after a few impacts it will crack or break.

2. Stainless Steel looks nice – While plastic enclosures look nice initially, their appearance degrades quickly with wear and continuous washdown. Stainless looks nice for years.

3. Longer Warranty – Stainless Steel enclosures often have a warranty of 1 year. Most plastic enclosures only have a 90-day warranty.  Maybe the shorter warranty is because plastic enclosures are more prone to break from normal usage?

4. Stainless Steel handles abuse – Do your workers treat equipment as if they bought it? Probably not. Stainless Steel can take years of abuse, whereas plastic can break just after a few rough incidents.

VBS’ product manager, who has 20+ years of food processing experience, stated that he has yet to see a plastic printer enclosure that 1) does not have holes drilled in the bottom to let water out, and 2) doesn’t show some sort of damage. The estimation is that a company will go through 3 plastic enclosures for every one stainless enclosure.

printer-enclosure-slide-out-tray

NEMA-4X printer enclosure with slide-out tray for easy label stock replacement.

Comparison Table of Stainless Steel vs. Plastic Printer Enclosures

 Stainless SteelPlastic
StrengthVery StrongModerate Strength
Aesthetic AppearanceLooks good for yearsLooks good for a few weeks, maybe months
CostMore expensive than PlasticLess expensive
Seal Integrity DurationYears1 year...if you are lucky
Access to Label StockSlide-out trayEnclosure hinges open
Label Door OptionYesTypically Not

Yes, the cost of a plastic enclosure is going to be cheaper, but not by much. When you look at the long terms costs of the two, a stainless steel printer enclosure is the obvious choice.

Contact us to learn more.