Since 2012, the IntelliTech International barcoding blog is to give our readers useful advice on getting the most out of their barcoding technology. We’ve covered a wide variety of topics, from very specific to broader overviews. Some of our most popular blog posts have been about technology. Since our readers are looking for answers, we thought we’d give you a quick recap.
Barcode Label Solutions Blog
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?
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.
So you’re going to start using barcodes in your business, and you’re trying to decide whether or not your current inkjet or laser printer will do the job. It may be tempting to try to make the machine you have work as a barcode label printer. However, before making any decisions, it’s important to consider the benefits of using a dedicated thermal system.
Laser vs Thermal Label Printers - What's better for printing labels?
Having been in the barcode label printing business for over 15 years, we have many customers who are talking about our printers. Customers from medical centers, manufacturing, food products business and others. Here's what they are saying...
From a Medical Center: "Every step of the way, from patient records to bills, prescription labels and equipment labels, barcodes are used to process information.”
From a Manufacturer: "It's peace of mind knowing they know our history, our time schedule and if we need something quicker, they take care of us."
From a Food Products business: "The IntelliBar printer has been running every day for 15 years. It seems like it will run forever."
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