Choosing the Right Label Printer

Date February 16, 2012 Author AM Labels

Choosing the right label printer for your needs can be quite confusing with so many options, it’s difficult to make sure you get the printer to suit your needs. This is where AM Labels will help; we will give you our in-depth knowledge and professional advice to insure you get the label printer for your business needs.

When you are first looking for a label printer there are a few questions to ask yourself:

1: What is the application? (Direct Thermal / Thermal Transfer)
The first step is to identify what you are printing for, as if you are only going to be printing address labels or labels for perishable goods that are only going to be used for a short space of time then a direct thermal printer would be ideal. This is due to the fact that Direct thermal technology uses heat sensitive paper by transferring heat through the print head of a direct thermal printer burning an image (text, images and barcodes) directly onto a label. This means that the print will fade in sunlight or heat and can be easily marked when scuffed.

The other option is Thermal Transfer which uses heat to transfer an image (text, images and barcodes) using an ink ribbon onto a label. Heat from the print head melts the ink on the ribbon which is deposited onto the label surface to create the image. This type of printing allows for use of paper and synthetic label materials, which depending on the type can give resistance to heat, water, oil and chemicals.

2: How many labels will you be printing?
This will dictate what range of printers you will need. For low volume printing, which is up to 1000 labels a day a Desktop Printer would be ideal. If you’re printing up to 10,000 labels each day then a mid-range printer would be recommended. An Industrial Printer is needed if the requirement is to print up to 60,000 labels on a daily basis. High performance label printers are suitable for mission critical printing in a 24/7 industrial environment, suitable for printing up to 200,000 labels per day.

3. What size labels do you need to print?
How wide your labels are going to be will also impact on the type of printer you will need. Label printers come in different size of printheads, which are generally 2”, 4”, 6” or 8”. The printers become more expensive the wider the printhead needed. The standard size is normally 4 inches, which we would generally recommended.

4. What will you be printing?
What you will be printing will depend what type of printhead you require, 200dpi is the standard resolution for a label printers printhead, this is ideal for printing just crisp barcodes and text. If you would require to print small graphics or 2D barcodes then we would recommend a 300dpi printhead. A 600dpi printhead is available for certain printers, and is used to achieve fine resolutions for tiny barcodes.

So to summarise, first off you need to decide on what you will need for your application so will you need to print with a direct thermal or thermal transfer and how many labels you will be printing to decide if you will need a desktop or greater. Once that is decided you just need to match your label specification to that range of printers.

  ·   Categories:  FAQs, Labelling, Printing, Top FAQs

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