Considerations when buying a barcode printer are many and varied. Barcode printers are devised to improve business processes. They do this by printing a label or tag that is part of a product identification system. This product could be a file, an asset, a library book, a warehouse shelf face, any number of things.
Label and barcode printers are devised to print a label or tag that is part of a product identification system. This could be person, asset, a library book, a warehouse shelf face, a blood or DNA sample or even a patient in hospital. Label and bar code printers can be Portable, Industrial, Desktop, or Portable.
While choosing bar code printers, a business needs to consider its current and also future label requirements. There can be companies that need a printer with modest output features for now, but their requirements can increase in next one or two years. It is here that superior quality and efficiency of a printer matters. There are bar code label printers that reliably operate well for long duty cycles. The barcode printer can print at low resolution of 200 or higher resolution at 300 and 600 DPI. It is important to understand DPI-Dots Per Inch, when choosing a printer. Apart from a wide range of printing resolution options, a good printing technology also ensures high degree of accuracy on multiple media.
Barcode printers can be thermal transfer based or direct thermal based. In thermal transfer printing, the heat from the print-head is applied to the ribbon. The material on the ribbon is then transferred to the label media. This technique is easier on print-head, as the back of the ribbon is very smooth and protects print-head from friction of the media. As TT printing uses a ribbon, it also opens up other options for types of ribbon and label media. Thermal transfer printing is high resolution and flexible, and allows printing on a wide variety of surfaces.
In DT-direct thermal printing, the print-head comes in contact with the label media directly. There is a coating on the label media that turns black as heat is applied to it. Due to this, no ribbon is required. DT printers are good for shipping labels, and temporary printing needs.
While planning for label needs, businesses need to consider the label volume capacity of printers. Light duty printers produce 1,000-5,000 labels per day, medium duty can produce 2,000-7,000 labels per day and heavy duty printers can produce between 5,000 and 10,000 labels per day.
Other key components in good printers include:
•User selectable printer languages
•Stand alone printer applications, eliminating the need for PCs if desired
•Adaptability to changing host environments and applications
•Multi lingual capability
An ideal bar code printer also has competitive pricing, extended warranties, sizeable and varied media inventory and ease of maintenance.
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