Do I need a special printer just to print barcode labels? Customers often have existing printers and logically ask the question — why can’t I use my laser printer or dot matrix printer to print my barcode labels?
Let’s look at a couple of alternative printing options.
- Poor quality
- Can’t print small enough
- Too slow
- Print barcodes as graphics
- Has to print entire sheet
- Only prints on paper
- Still pretty slow
Thermal Barcode Printers:
- High quality text and graphics
- Very fast. Up to 12 in./sec
- Prints on demand – One label at a time
- Prints high density bar codes (Down to 2.5 mils)
At the risk of piling on, here are even more advantages for Thermal Barcode Printers:
- Speed: Thermal Printer’s speed is measured in Inches Per Second (IPS). At 12 IPS the printer is generating 2 4×6 shipping labels every second.
- Print on Demand: Unlike a laser printer, Thermal Barcode Printers have the ability to print a single label at a time. Perfect for those applications (such as shipping) where only a single label is needed at a time. Batch printing with a rewinder enables labels to be printed ahead of time in mass.
- Resolution: A Thermal Barcode Printers with a high resolution printhead can print high density barcode. With a 600dpi printhead a high quality 2.5 mil barcode can be generated.
- Alternative media: With Thermal Barcode Printers you are not limited to just printing paper labels. As we will see later on, a wide range of materials and form factors are available.
This image clearly illustrates the distinct quality difference between thermal barcode printers and their competition when it comes to printing barcodes. Remember the crisper and straighter the edges and the higher the contrast between the black bars and the white spaces, the better the barcode.