One of the best-selling industrial printer of the last decade – the Zebra Xi4 – has now become end of service. With no more units sold as of 2018, no servicing on Zebra OneCare policy, and printer components including print heads only available as stock is depleted, the retirement of the Xi4 and the end of service period will gradually affect every business that owns an Xi4 series printer.
Cobalt have now begun suggesting the migration from Xi4 series printers to the ZT600 series. With all of the benefits that an Xi4 has, from the ability to produce high volumes of labels to the durability and longevity of an Xi4, the ZT600 series represents the next premium workhorse printer to hit the market.
Introduction to the Xi4
The Xi4 is one of the best-selling printers in the market since its release in 2009, meaning that the printer entering end of service will affect more than most. The Xi4 is renowned for being able to print high volumes of labels at all times, perfect for fast-moving production and warehousing environments that run 24/7, which made it a popular printer through a variety of industries.
The range of labels printed on Xi4 printers runs from 4-inch labels with the 110Xi4 through to the 220Xi4 printer for 8-inch labels (the 220Xi4 is still sold and supported). The wide variety of high-volume label printing that the Xi4 series allows for has been replicated – and improved upon! – by the ZT600 series.
What Does "End of Service" Mean?
End of service is the last step in the process of winding up the Xi4 printer series, which entered end of sale in 2018.
End of service means that the Xi4 will:
- No longer have spare parts produced
- No longer have OneCare support
- Only have print heads available while stocks last
The end of sale period that the Xi4 entered in 2018 means that there will no longer be new Xi4 units produced either. With the end of service, Cobalt recommend checking your business printing requirements, and in the case where businesses require the same application, upgrading to the ZT600 series to ensure that all of our clients have a reliable printer at the ready.
Why Should You Replace Your Working Xi4?
The Xi4 series is renowned for its workhorse ability to print huge amounts of labels and work under some of the most extreme conditions possible, so the question remains – why upgrade? The Xi4 might have gone out of service, but if it continues to work, you might be asking what the need to migrate to a ZT600 series printer is.
However, the upgrade to a ZT600 series is about much more than the Xi4 entering its end of service period. Xi4 print heads will only be sold as long as stock lasts, meaning that the upgrade to a ZT600 series will become necessary eventually. The entry of secondary print heads onto the market, which are potentially substandard non-OEM copies of Zebra equipment, could make keeping your Xi4 running more perilous to your business than planning an upgrade to a ZT600 in the near future.
In Case of Printer Failure
If your Xi4 series printer does fail, which is much more likely as time goes on, the amount of downtime that your business experiences is likely to be much longer than if you had upgraded to a ZT600. As a printer that was last available on the market 5 years ago, the main logic boards on Xi4 series printers will begin to fail, along with the decreasing availability of printheads, rollers, and other standard consumables for Xi4 printers making an upgrade the obvious choice.
The ZT600 is supported by Cobalt’s return-to-base servicing, engineer onsite callout options, and for the most business-critical applications, also supported by next-day printer swap options. The availability of such comprehensive cover allows for a much quicker repair service than having to find a secondary market for Xi4 repairs, and by upgrading to a ZT600 you can be sure that printer failure doesn’t mean that your business will be unable to produce labels for products or logistics.
Reduce Your Support Costs
In order to reduce the support costs that come with printer repairs, having a machine that’s covered by the OneCare contract can help. The ZT600 series is still covered by the service, which means that in the event of servicing, breakdowns, and repairs, you can keep your support costs down by owning a ZT600 series.
With the market for Xi4 series repairs and servicing shrinking, repairs and support costs will likely increase.
Improve employee efficiency
One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to a ZT600 series is unrelated to the Xi4 end of service period, but still relevant. The ZT600 series is made up of machines that are much better suited to the world of labelling in 2023 than the Xi4 which debuted over a decade ago.
For the ease of hot swaps, integration with the Zebra ecosystem and a range of software services, plus an improved user interface, the ZT600 provides an improvement to employee efficiency compared to the Xi4.
Contact Cobalt to upgrade your Xi4 to a ZT600
Get in touch with the team at Cobalt to find out about upgrading your Xi4 series printer to a ZT600 series.
Our consultants will work with you to find the most appropriate option and assist with integrating a ZT600 series into your existing setup, minimising your risk of breakdown moving forward and keeping your production and packaging lines working smoothly.
We’re here to help with the migration from Xi4 printer to ZT600 printers, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.