Barcode Label Solutions Blog
Tags: thermal transfer ribbon
Barcodes are everywhere—and for good reason. We’re deep in the Information Age and automated data collection is king of this universe. Barcoding is an easy way to achieve a wide range of goals for your business—from inventory and asset management to security and access control to market research. With barcoding software and printers for building barcode labels, you can keep better track of the comings and goings—from who is entering restricted areas to where your products are going. You can even keep track of what happens when they get there because your products are scanned when they are entered into inventory and scanned again when sold to your ultimate consumer.
Barcode labeling in the manufacturing industry is critical for managing inventory, which is the major asset. Operations that haven’t effectively integrated barcoding are letting profits slip out the door. From the expense of human error to time spent tracking down materials and products, the cost of manual systems is a major expense that can be avoided by the use of barcode labeling and a thermal printer.
A thermal printer used for printing barcodes applies heat to produce images. Whether you’re using a direct thermal or thermal transfer method, both printer types rely on a print head as the heat source. If the print head doesn’t work correctly, the print quality suffers.
A print head consists of 203, 300 or up to 600 resistive heating elements per linear inch (dots-per-inch or dpi). These elements heat up and contact with the label media (in direct thermal printing) or a thermal transfer ribbon (in thermal transfer printing) to form the image.
As long as a printer can output black and white, it can print a decent barcode, right?
A direct thermal printer is commonly used for printing barcodes on labels, but to get the best quality printing, you need to be sure you start with the right labels. Here’s a buyer’s guide to understanding direct thermal printer labels to get you started.
Tags: direct thermal labels
If you’re printing barcode labels on a regular basis, you are most likely using a thermal printer (as opposed to laser, inkjet, or dot matrix, which are not optimized to produce high or lasting label printing quality). Thermal printers, engineered to produce crisp, clear, high quality barcodes, use one of two printing technologies: direct thermal or thermal transfer.
Although the two printing methods are both used to produce barcodes, there’s a big difference between them and the labels that should be used with them.
Barcoding is an amazing technology. With just a seemingly simple array of lines, you can communicate a vast amount of information that is encoded on even the tiniest direct thermal labels that are often used for barcode printing. Hospitals use barcoded wristbands for patient safety, to provide critical information to their healthcare providers with just one quick scan of the barcode. Manufacturing uses these symbols to code information about a product or part. Retailers use barcodes to easily scan merchandise for pricing and to automatically update inventory. Produce suppliers now include barcoded direct thermal labels on fresh foods so that the sources can be traced in the event of a problem. Virtually, every industry has deployed barcoding in some facet in order to streamline data collection.
Tags: direct thermal labels