Barcodes are not something that most people generally think about, but they perform a function in so many different aspects of life. From price tags and shipping information to medical bracelets and concert tickets, barcodes help a wide array of businesses on a daily basis. They allow us to easily and efficiently gather information, monitor inventory, track the progress of shipments, and even ring customers through cash registers. Perhaps your business is thinking of incorporating a barcode system, or maybe you already have one and you want to upgrade it. So of course, the next step is: what’s the best barcode printer for your needs?
Most barcode generators use thermal printing methods. There are two main methods for thermal printing, and you’ll likely need to identify which one best suits your needs before choosing a barcode printer for your business. Direct thermal printers are a quick and time-effective solution; however, without the use of special coatings, the labels they print are liable to fade over time due to exposure. As such, a direct thermal barcode generator is better-suited to short term use, e.g. producing shipping labels.
Alternatively, a thermal transfer barcode printer is a bit more expensive in the long run; however, it is more versatile and can print on a wider variety of materials. Barcodes generated by thermal transfer tend to last longer and be more resilient to the elements, making them preferred for everything from consumer price tags to admission bracelets at festivals and beyond.
Having carefully considered the pros and cons of different printing methods and assessing which meets your specific needs, the next thing to consider is what size and type of printer is appropriate. While generalized printers can print a variety of barcode solutions, if you deal specifically only in tickets or bracelets, a dedicated printer for such an application will be more efficient, as it is designed with quickly generating a large quantity effectively and consistently in mind.
For a more general barcode printer, the choices range from desktop models, to industrial printers, to mobile units. A mobile unit is not optimal for large quantities but may prove useful for shipping and delivery applications. As for desktop versus industrial, this choice relies entirely on the nature of the business using them. Smaller businesses, offices, and retail outlets may favour a desktop barcode generator that does not take up as much space. Large corporations, warehouses, manufacturers, and the like will likely need an industrial printer, as space is less of an issue and they often need to print a higher volume.
Now that you know how to determine the best fit for your needs, you’re ready to pick a barcode printer that can help streamline your business and boost efficiency today!