Barcode Printers Buying Guide
A barcode printer is one of the basic elements of a barcode solution, but customers new to barcoding don’t always know much about printers, including what they are and how they work, let alone where to start when making a purchase. This guide will help you better understand barcode printers and which type will fit the needs for your business.
Printing technologies primarily used to create barcode labels and tags are inkjet, laser, and thermal the latter being the most widely adopted by organizations with dedicated barcode systems.
Thermal transfer labels are extremely durable, making the a great fit for long-term applications in harsh conditions.
Once you’ve identified the type of printer you will need, you’ll want to pay close attention to the specification sheets for each model. They contain details about a printer’s type of connectivity.
How it Works
Like serial interfaces, parallel ports are seen less frequently on barcode printers because of their transmission rates. But, you can opt to purchase printers with them, if needed.
How it Works
USB is widely used on most electronic devices, including barcode printers. It’s easy to set up a printer when you use a USB interface: Simply plug the USB cable directly into the printer, and install the print driver on the host computer.
How it Works
You may send data to a mobile printer using a variety of radio frequencies. But you must have a wireless network (Wi-Fi) set up for this option to work. And then, you are required to operate within the network to successfully send data to the printer.
Types of Printers
You’ve identified your labeling requirements and have learned about printing technologies. Now it’s time to see which printers are available to you.
Typically compact in size, desktop printers are great when you’re tight on space. They are also a good fit for companies that don’t print a high volume of labels. There are a wide variety of stationary printers designed to sit wherever you need them to.
Organizations with mission-critical operations depend on industrial printers to perform 24/7 with minimal downtime. That’s why manufacturers equip these reliable workhorses with tough exteriors that can withstand even the harshest environments.
Mobile printers travel with you and are designed to withstand field conditions such as dirt, moisture, and extreme temperatures. They’ll even survive physical shock that comes from users occasionally dropping them.
After you’ve determined the type of printer and connectivity option best suited for you, the last step in finding the right printer is narrowing down which add-on accessories you may need.
RFID allows you to print on the front of a label while encoding data into an RFID chip within the label.
A rewinder allows you to print labels and feed them back onto a new roll. This option is useful for high-volume applications that require printing large batches at one time.
A cutter does exactly what it is named. As the barcode label is printed, the printer’s cutter will cut the single label from the roll, leaving you a single barcode label to use as you wish.
As the name implies, each label is ‘peeled’ from the back liner as it prints. However, peelers are not good for batch printing, as the printer will stop printing until you remove the label.
A rewinder is great for batch printing as you end up with a roll of printed barcodes as opposed to a pile of barcode labels.