Barcode Printers - What You need To Know!

Need assistance? We also provide label printing for projects large or small!

Let us also help you decide which barcode printer is best for your applcation and your budget. Barcode printers come in quite an assortment of choices.  Regardless of your barcode printer requirements, we will have the right solution for you!


Barcode printer
Barcode Printers - What You Need To Know About a Barcode Printer before You Purchase.
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"Would like to give you some feedback on the how the use of the scanners has improved the accuracy and reduced the downtime whilst performing a Stocktake. As you know AirRoad Logistics is a 3PL warehouse provider.

The Stocktake performed last year for one customer took 12 hours with 15 people Involved Nationally. This year the Stocktake count was completed in 3 hours nationally. With an additional hour for reconciliation. A saving of 8 hours x 15 people. (66% Savings in Labour Costs)

The programming loaded into the scanners ensured that we were able to ensure the user was collecting the right information thus reducing human error.

We also found the service you offered met and exceeded our expectations. Thanks again for your continued support"

Regards
AirRoad Logistics Pty Ltd




"In August this year (2014) we held a roadshow seeing just over 450 clients. Previously we have manually created name badges to place into the holders for each client across each event and asked our attendee’s to record their attendance on a registration sheet upon entry.  Using Tim’s barcode scanners and barcoded name badges for this event provided an easy, stress free registration and attendance process that our staff and clients loved! We will never do this as a manual process again.  I highly recommend the company and their products/services! "





“Thank you to for providing a fantastic service. We really appreciated all your efforts in organising these scanners for us and at such late notice. Everything went well with the event and was a great success with the help of your scanners. Hope to do business again in the future.”

Kindest regards,
Maria
George P Johnson (Australia)

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This information will probably lose us some business but.......thats ok. We are not in this industry to make a fasy buck! We love sharing......and even though we would love you to buy from us, we also know that not all our products are a perfect fit for every customer/project out there.

l promise you that if you are looking for barcode printing, you definately need to read below. You could save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in money and time.

So with all the choices there are on barcode printers, we thought it would be nice to share with everyone what we have learnt over the last decade and help bring you up to speed on barcode printer options out there. 

Lets first look at some of the differences and features you will need to know before you choose one.

There are a few types of barcode label printers used out there, to also produce barcodes. Lets also look at this as well.

Dyno & Brother Label Printers
Consumer based label printers that can also be used as barcode printers. Great pricing and come in a good range to choose from. Can buy easily over the internet or from Office Works. Great also for office requirements. Should you have labelling requirements greater than a few hundred, not a wise choice as the media costs will crucify you. Also are only direct thermal printers. Which means no permanency of print on the label. So for any applications where the print on label has to last for a long time......these are not a great choice.

Pros - Very very affordable
Pros - Easy to find
Cons - The media is very expensive
Cons - Are a direct thermal printer so print on label will fade after time, depending on environment they are used in.

Laser Printers - Your typical office laser printer can be used to print barcodes. Sheet labels are usually purchased to do this. This is not a dedicated barcode printer but a fantastic entry level alternative if you have projects that are low requirements. There is even free software available for laser sheet labels that allows you to print from spread sheets. Cost of laser printers have come down considerably so worth considering.

Pros - Very cost effective for low volume printing.
Pros - Sheet labels are quite affordable.
Cons - Direct Thermal. Print on labels is not permanent and will fade.
Cons - You cannot set a quantity on this and have to use the whole sheet when you print.
Cons - The consumable which is usually the toner, costs more than the printer so beware that with high volume printing, you will have to replace the printer very quickly.
Cons - if there are lots of laser label sheets, we find they sometimes stick together. You always have to be airing/fanning the sheets especially if used in warehousing where there could be more humidity.

Inkjet Printers - Same as laser printers. Sheet labels are usually purchased as the medium for labels. Can be used but you have to be careful when printing barcodes, especially if size of barcode has a small density or is small and used for retail/jewellry. Problem with ink jet printers is the smaller barcodes produced by an inkjet can cause discrepancies on the barcode when printing, not allowing the barcode scanner to read the barcode. We have used inkjet printers for customers who need visitor ID badges for events. So we can produce colour on them but the barcodes are quite large and no problem reading them with a scanner.

Pros - Very cost effective for low volume printing.
Pros - Sheet labels are quite affordable.
Cons - Direct Thermal. Print on labels is not permanent and will fade.
Cons - You cannot set a quantity on this and have to use the whole sheet when you print.
Cons - Consumables such as inkjet cartridges are expensive to replace and will usually cost more than cost of printer.
Cons - if there are lots of laser label sheets, we find they sometimes stick together. You always have to be airing/fanning the sheets especially if used in warehousing where there could be more humidity.


Direct Thermal & Thermal Transfer Commercial Grade Barcode Printers
The cheapest and most popular are the direct thermal barcode printers for commercial grade barcode label printers. Lets look at the two styles of printers in more detail.

Direct Thermal Barcode Printer
There are many manufacturers of thermal direct barcode printers. They do not use any ribbons and use just the thermal print head to print on to the label.

Pros - Dedicated label barcode printer. Most manufacturers offer a 2inch or 4inch print width and larger if required.
Pros - Can use labels on a roll. Which means you can have 1000 -2000 labels on a roll without having to change media all the time.
Pros - Costs of the labels can be a fraction of a cent.
Pros - Can be cheaper than Thermal Transfer barcode printer.
Cons - Cannot produce print on label that is permanent.
Cons - Printers are more expensive than your consumer based barcode label printers and some of the inkjet and laser printers now.
Cons - Cannot produce colour. Though this can be overcome with purchasing labels already have overprinting on them.

Thermal Transfer Barcode Printer
There are a number of manufacturers that produce this type of printer. TSC and Zebra are two types that come to mind. Like the direct thermal printer, it uses a thermal print head. However, it also uses a ribbon to combine with the thermal print head to give the print permanency on the label.

Pros - Dedicated label barcode printer. Most manufacturers offer a 2inch or 4inch print width & larger if required
Pros - Can use labels on a roll. Which means you can have 1000 -2000 labels on a roll without having to change media all the time.
Pros - Costs of the labels can be a fraction of a cent.
Cons - Thermal Transfer Barcode Printers are more expensive than your consumer based barcode label printers/inkjet/laser
Cons - Cannot produce colour. Though this can be overcome with purchasing labels already have overprinting on them.

Conclusion
So it's important to understand the application you are printing for.  For high volume label printing where you have ongoing requirements, then a dedicated direct thermal/thermal transfer printer is your best option.

For one off or very small ongoing label requirements where there is no need for permancy of print on label, inkjets, laser and consumer based printers are worth considering.

For applications like asset management, its not advisable to use any other printer than a thermal transfer barcode printer.  Assets are around for years. So you also want the print on the label to also be around for years to come as well. Another application that would suit a thermal transfer printer is racking in warehousing. As well as items that have long shelf lives.
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