A barcode printer is used for printing barcode labels that can be placed onto objects. They are commonly used for companies such as retail, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare and more.
There are two main types of barcode printers: Direct thermal printers and thermal transfer printer. Direct thermal uses heat that causes the paper to turn black. Thermal transfer uses heat to melt information on the ribbon, which is then transferred onto the paper. Direct thermal printers are more affordable, but the labels can darken when exposed to sunlight and heat. Due to this reaction, these labels are best used for temporary labels such as shipping labels, or temporary marking indoors.
If your application requires a label that needs to be readable for many years, then a thermal transfer label printer is required. This is due to the material being “transferred” from the ribbon to the label. The more permanent the requirement will dictate both the ribbon used and the label material used. Paper labels and wax ribbon are the most economical for thermal transfer printing, but as you can imagine, paper can tear and will not hold up to moisture. Wax can rub or scratch off over time. Polyester labels and a resin ribbon is the most durable combination for thermal transfer printing allowing both the label and the resin image to hold up for many years of abuse.