Label Printer Guide

Thermal printers types

Barcode printers can play a very important role in managing your business information. As a business owner wanting to keep track of your company's assets, barcodes offer an easy and convenient method that provide information about your products and material goods. The best way to manage and regulate this type of information is to create labels that include the appropriate specifications that correspond to your specific activities. At Logiscenter we want to help you to choose the barcode printer that best suits your needs.

Direct thermal printing Vs. Thermal Transfer

Direct Thermal Printing

Direct thermal printers do not use a ribbon. With direct thermal printing, print head elements come into direct contact with heat sensitive labels. The heat from these elements causes a color change in the label which produces the printed image. Because direct thermal printing paper is sensitive to heat and sunlight, it is recommended to store these labels indoors. Direct thermal labels have a shelf life of about one year.

Thermal transfer printing

Thermal transfer printing utilizes a thermal ribbon, and involves heating the thermal print head elements of a thermal transfer ribbon to melt and transfer the ink compounds to a label, thus creating a printed image. Thermal transfer printers are the most effective in producing resistant and long lasting labels.

Types of Printers

Desktop Label Printers

Desktop printers are ideal for applications where budget and space are limited. Desktop printers are designed to be compact to fit perfectly on your desk, counter or POS terminal. Desktop printers work best with labels over 1.5 "x 0.5". A label printer is also the perfect choice for print vinyl labels as those used in jewelry, but can print on other synthetic materials, but in limited quantities.

Industrial Label Printers

Designed to work around the clock, industrial label printers offer a rugged construction that withstands the harshest industrial environments. Built mostly with metal casing, they are ideal for large work volumes. In addition to offering 203 and 300 dpi models, they are also available with 600 dpi heads for more complex labels with graphics and high density codes. They can print by thermal transfer and direct thermal, are recommended when the impression is longer of six hours to the day.

Line Printers

Line printers print line by line, as opposed to printers that print character by character, such as a standard jet printer, or even page by page, like a laser printer. Line printers cost less to maintain, are cheaper per printed page, they are easier to use, and their ribbons last longer.

Professional Label Printers

Professional label printers can print a large amount of label sizes from labels used for serial numbers on the components of a mobile phone to large formats that are applied on barrels in the chemical industry. These printers also include a variety of labels made from paper to synthetics with great flexibility. With faster processors and more memory, Professional Label Printers are able to process labels with more complex designs faster than a desktop printer.

RFID Label Printers

RFID tags can be printed with this type of printer. With this technology you can find any product located within the supply chain. RFID printers embed data into the label so that you can track how long a product was stored at a site, etc. These printers easily integrate into industrial manufacturing, warehouse and logistics applications, ensuring all items are labeled and tracked via RFID for quick and accurate data collection. Using an RFID printer can optimize the handling of products in the supply chain, practically becoming independent information system.

Receipt and Ticket Printers

Receipt and ticket printers are specially designed to integrate with POS terminals. In terms of their quality and resolution they offer more possibilities, including color printing, personalized receipts that can include logos or other messages, etc. — options that will help improve the image of your company.

Printing Options

There are many printer options available for your application needs; For example, if your labels are printed in one place and later distributed to different locations for application, you might consider a printer with a rewind option. Here is a list of some of the most common options available for barcode printers.

Label Peel (off):For challenging applications, each code is printed, peeled off and ready to apply. Some printer models will collect the excess liner (paper backing).

Cutter (cutting): For applications that require that the labels are cut from a continuous roll either in batches, simple labels or labels with different sizes and shapes.

Media Rewind (rewinders): With options for internal or external winding for full label rolls while the printer continues to print. Some internal double rewinders also include the peel function.

Memory:Stores a greater amount of label formats, multiple labeling tasks, detailed graphics with memory expansions.

Bar Code Verification

Barcode Verification ensures that the printed codes are readable, have good contrast and fully comply with the parameters of the symbology of the barcode. Barcodes are generally analyzed using a quality grading system evaluating the barcode as suitable or unsuitable.

Verifying the quality of legibility of barcodes on labels is essential when printing packaging or when printing codes for shipments to warehouses, stores or dealers. An unreadable label can lead to the return of a shipment.

What is ppi/dpi?

Pixels Per Inch/Dots Per Inch are very important to consider when printing very small or detailed labels. The minimum resolution for label printers is 203dpi. This is sufficient for 90% of the barcode printer applications for printing labels for material goods, inventory labels, shipping and receiving. Applications that require higher resolution, or a higher dpi, would be used for printing logos, small labels for trade and 2D labels. If you need a printer with higher resolution, there are plenty of options from 300 dpi, 400 dpi to 600 dpi.

Do You Need Software to Generate labels?

Generally labeling programs fall into two categories: Off-the-Shelf and Custom. Off-the-Shelf programs are generic applications that produce labels on demand (with existing templates). There are many DOS and Windows applications to customize the labels using WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get, What You See Is What You Get) interfaces. These labels are generally produced off-line and don't need to be created from a database.


For more advanced integration with other systems such as ERP, SGA, or to access databases, it is recommended purchasing a Label Management program. These applications are developed for the same printer manufacturers, or third party companies.

Print method per application

Application Direct thermal Thermal Transfer
Asset tags
Shipping Labels
Location Labels
Product Tags
Bracelet (Interior)
Bracelet (Exterior)
Receipts
Tickets
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