So what makes a thermal transfer printer for Mac such a good idea? Assuming that your requirement is to print out adhesive labels for barcoding or similar, it’s bound to be a smarter choice than trying to use an office printer. After all, who wants to have adhesive bleeding into a laser printer mechanism, ink jet smears on the facestock or barcode labels that become rapidly unreadable once they’re printed and out there in the real world? Thermal printing scores a big advantage over laser printing in particular, because the high temperatures of lasers can melt the label adhesive. In addition, there are the IT acrobatics necessary to print individual labels from an office printer without wastage and the labor-intensive process for trying to print onto special media. It doesn’t take much to see that for anything other than standard cut sheet printing office printers are an unhappy choice, and that thermal printing is the way to go.
Would you like to “go large” on that?
You still have a few aspects to take into consideration if you want to make the optimal choice according to your needs. First of all, what volume of label printing do you want to do? If your printing needs are only occasional for just small numbers of labels, then a small desktop compatible printer may be satisfactory. However, when you start to use your Macs for business activities requiring an increasing number of labels, the “small” approach rapidly becomes impractical.
Yet as label and barcode print volumes increase, so does the importance of paying attention to costs for consumables, printer part replacements and printer maintenance. Compared to the initial purchase price of a printer, these ongoing costs represent an ever bigger percentage of the overall cost of ownership. Anything that you can do to reduce that total cost is then a bonus to your organization, and to your bottom line. In addition, saving on printer maintenance for example not only reduces overall effort, but can also lower the risk of downtime, potentially a huge saving for an enterprise.
Thermal transfer? Direct thermal? What’s the difference?
Thermal printing, the printing mode best adapted for label printing, comes in two flavors. You can opt for a thermal transfer printer or a direct thermal printer for your Mac. IntelliBar printers handle both kinds of thermal printing, but their thermal transfer mode is the winner. It gives increased print quality and durability, lower maintenance costs, and increased print head life. Using appropriate printer ribbons means label printing can be done on media with special coatings to resist extremes in temperature, water, chemicals and scratching or tearing. Thermal transfer barcode prints can last for years. By comparison, direct thermal printing is cheaper at the outset, but less durable and presents rising maintenance costs as print volumes increase.
Now all you have to do is connect your IntelliBar printer to your systems. As a thermal transfer printer for your Mac, it’s been designed to install quickly and easily, with regularly updated Mac OS X printer drivers (for Mac OS X from version 10.3 onwards). The networked IntelliBar printers can be configured via a web browser interface. A full range of printer accessories including label cutters and rewinders, as well as supplies, service and support programs completes the IntelliBar solutions.
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