Phoenix Contact’s New Thermomark E-Series Printers Simplify Wiring

June 09, 2023 by Seth Price

Phoenix Contact has announced the release of the new Thermomark E-Series printers to increase the speed of wiring projects and provide a more well-documented future for control cabinet manufacturing.

Phoenix Contact is well known for its wiring, connector, and harness solutions. With all of their experience in these fields, it is only a natural extension that they develop a method for speeding up wiring projects as well as making documentation of wiring easier. These are the primary design criteria for their latest Thermomark E-Series printers which print labels on wiring insulation.


Proper wire labels

Placing labels on wires can be critical for future problem-solving. Image used courtesy of Adobe Stock


Why are Labels so Important?

The labeling of wires is critical for installation and troubleshooting tasks. In the modern industrial world, where devices have many ports and potentially thousands of sensor and control wires, being able to confidently make connections is essential. For small systems with only a few wires that run short lengths, labels may appear unimportant, but as the system expands, or devices require longer lengths of wire or wire running through conduits, engineers, and technicians must know where each wire is connected. Without labels, the temptation is to pull on a wire and see which one moves, leading to damaged wires, wires stretched too tightly, and incorrect connections.

Labeling wires is similar to documenting software code. Each wire, like each line of code, has a specific purpose, and that purpose should be clear to everyone, not just the original design engineer or programmer. Furthermore, these labels need to last for years, not fade with time and temperature or smear, like magic markers are prone to do.


Phoenix Contact label printer

Thermomark E.300 thermal label printer. Image used courtesy of Phoenix Contact


Thermomark E-Series Printers

Thermomark E-Series printers are offered in several varieties. The E.300 and E.600 are for printing labels that can be placed on panels, controllers, and other devices. The E.Sleeve prints information on a shrinkable sleeve. The wire is inserted and the sleeve is heated so that the sleeve tightly grips the wire. Similarly, the E.WIRE and the E.WRAP perform the same end result: permanently-labeled, well-documented wires, using slightly different methods for placing the label.

The newest member in the E-series line is the VARIO. The E.VARIO is the ultimate time-saver when it comes to labeling terminals. It can print terminal labels up to 1 meter long, with any pitch (port count). This is significantly faster than printing individual port labels or attempting to format the proper spacing on other printers.

Each of these models saves time and effort, as the wire labeling is performed directly, rather than printing all of the labels, then putting them on wires one at a time. Furthermore, by wrapping or banding, multiple wires can be bundled together. This is less messy and has a much longer life than wrapping wires with electrical tape.


Phoenix Contact wire labels

The Thermomark E.VARIO. Image used courtesy of Phoenix Contact


The Importance of Documentation

Properly labeled wires not only aid in installation and troubleshooting operations, but are essential to running a safe manufacturing plant. Any time non-trade secret information is communicated to technicians, safety is enhanced. First, it prevents accidental shorts, miswirings, and other problems. Second, it sends a clear message that sloppy, poorly-designed and undocumented work is not tolerated.

By having clearly labeled wires and connections, technicians and engineers can also see the attention to detail that is required in a modern manufacturing or industrial facility.