If your business needs to incorporate a barcode printer there are many different types to choose from. Before investing in a thermal barcode printer, it is worth taking the time to understand how you will use it so you can make the right decision.
Our AIS experts have come up with 6 top tips that will help when choosing the right thermal barcode printer for your business.
6 Top Tips For Choosing The Right Barcode Printer
- Print Method: In order to ensure you get the right quality when printing barcode labels, you will need to determine the type of thermal barcode printer technology you require. There are three types: direct thermal, thermal transfer, and ink jet. Thermal printing is designed for on-demand label printing and will produce crisp, clear barcodes. Direct thermal printing uses specially coated labels and heat is applied directly to them to activate the ink and produce your barcode. There is no ink, toner, or ribbon required making this a cost-efficient method. Thermal transfer printing applies heat from the print head to the thermal transfer ribbon. The heat melts the coating and transfers the image to the label. It is more expense but gives you longer lasting and more durable labels. Ink jet printing uses tiny dots of ink to create the image. The more dots per inch the higher the resolution. Jets can clog though so this is not the best choice for a barcode printer.
- Print Resolution: In order to be scanned and read, barcodes must be clear. Barcode symbology consists of a series of bars of different widths and when buying a barcode printer, the resolution needs to be taken into consideration. It ranges from 203 dpi up to 600 dpi. The higher the dpi the clearer your barcodes. If you are printing large barcodes 203 dpi is sufficient. If you are using your thermal barcode printer for high density barcodes, 2D barcodes or detailed graphics you will need to consider going for a higher dpi model.
- Print Volume: Some barcode printers are designed for printing a high volume of labels. Others are more suited to smaller print runs. If your barcode printer is only going to be used on occasion print speed won’t be an issue. If you require a higher volume you will need to take this into consideration.
- Maximum Label Size: The size of the labels is important. Different barcode printers can handle different sizes. Small models might only take labels up to 4 inches so if you need a barcode printer that can produce wider labels you will need to choose a larger printer.
- Connectivity: How do you plan to connect your barcode printer? Will it be stationary or do you require a mobile printer? You also need to make sure your barcode printer can connect to your current network whether through Ethernet, USB, or wireless methods.
- Compatibility: When deciding which thermal barcode printer model to invest in, you need to make sure it is compatible with your current software and that it can run with the systems you already have in place.
There are so many choices when buying thermal barcode printers and if you need any help or advice in narrowing down the options available, our AIS experts are always on hand to help. We can help you find the best barcode and label printers for your business needs.