In order to scan barcodes, you need barcodes. If the items in your warehouse do not currently have barcode labels adhered to them, you will need to print out and attach labels to each of your items. In order to do this, you will need to invest in a barcode label printing solution.
When selecting a label printer for your business, it is important to remember that not all label printers are equal. In fact, there are so many makes, models, and types that it can get confusing to know which type of barcode label printer your business requires. Because we know how overwhelming the process can be, we have developed a list of questions to ask prior to investing in your label printing solution. We have also detailed the most important variances in barcode label printers below to aid in your selection process.
What You Need to Know about Barcode Label Printers
There are several different types of thermal barcode label printers available on the market. Depending on the solution you choose, a thermal barcode printer will use either direct thermal technology or thermal transfer technology to imprint the barcode to the label. The differences between each technology are highlighted below:
- Direct thermal barcode label printers
Have you ever left a grocery store receipt out in the sun? If you have then you know that the receipt will eventually turn black; this is the result of direct thermal printing. Direct thermal printers are effective in barcode label printing. Using chemically coated paper, direct thermal printers use heat to print out the barcode image directly on the item.
- Thermal transfer barcode label printers
Thermal transfer printers use similar technology as direct thermal printers; however, the chemically coated paper is replaced with non-sensitized label stock and an inked ribbon. The ribbon, coated with dry thermal transfer ink, is situated between the heated print head and the label. The printer transfers the ink to the label surface, where the ink dries and adheres to the label. Once the ribbon is pulled away, the barcode label remains on the item.
Both types of thermal barcode label printers offer benefits to the label printing process. Unlike laser printers, thermal printers can easily switch between batch and single-label printing with almost no waste. Direct thermal printers are easy to use and require no additional supplies (like ink, ribbons or toner). They have low long term maintenance costs and a low total cost of ownership. The image quality is sharp, ensuring that the barcode image lasts for a long time. The biggest drawback to direct thermal printers is sensitivity to the environment (particularly light or heat). If you cannot guarantee that your labels will not come into contact with harsh elements, thermal transfer printers may be a better option for you.
We have several barcode label printing solutions for your barcode label printing needs. MP2, a barcode label printing solution for Sage 100 ERP (formerly Sage MAS 90 and Sage MAS 200), is our newest label printing solution. It integrates seamlessly with the Sage 100 ERP software and can pull virtually any information from the system. Users have the ability to print barcode labels using various label templates and can print the information needed on a label at any time, from anywhere. MP2 is also compatible with most laser and thermal label printers, giving you the ultimate choice when it comes to selecting your label printing device.
Our Sage 500 (formerly Sage MAS 500) barcoding solution, LabelXpert Designer, allows you to customize your barcode label formats or create new formats according to your needs. The LabelXpert Designer also supports both laser and thermal label printers. The software seamlessly integrates with both Sage 100 and Sage 500 ERP, allowing users to pull information directly from the system.
Learn more about the benefits of investing in a barcode label printing solution here. Stay tuned to our blog for an upcoming article on the best label printing devices.