Retail Print & Labelling

label printer is a computer printer that prints on self-adhesive label material and/or card-stock (tags). A label printer with built-in keyboard and display for stand-alone use (not connected to a separate computer) is often called a label maker.Label printers are different from ordinary printers because they need to have special feed mechanisms to handle rolled stock, or tear sheet (fanfold) stock. Label printers have a wide variety of applications, including retail supply chain management, retail price marking, packaging labels, blood and laboratory specimen marking, and fixed assets management.

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Primera's full range of Label Production Solutions at the 35th London Wine Fair

Primera's full range of Label Production Solutions at the 35th London Wine Fair

Individual product packaging and labelling is getting more and more important. Unfortunately small and mid-sized wineries and wine importers don't have the financial resources or the fitting equipment to implement multinational, personalised and seasonal packaging campaigns.

SATO’s PJM RFID technology integrated with DiaAdmin software

SATO’s PJM RFID technology integrated with DiaAdmin software

SATO and GemBox RFID has announced that SATO's PJM RFID technology has been integrated into DiaAdmin, an administrative and tracking application developed by XSS. DiaAdmin users can now enjoy full compatibility with select SATO PJM RFID readers and printers.

Find my supplies meeting the demands of the mobile audience

Find my supplies meeting the demands of the mobile audience

By Brook Chalmers,VOW Retail.

Technology has had a major effect on the supply and demand of products over the past couple of decades.

SATO appoints Tetsushi Kondo as Head of Europe

SATO appoints Tetsushi Kondo as Head of Europe

SATO, the global provider of Auto-ID solutions that empower workforces and streamline operations, has announced the appointment of Tetsushi Kondo as Head of Europe for the SATO Group.

Canon MAXIFY business inkjet printers receive prestigious Red Dot international design award

Canon MAXIFY business inkjet printers receive prestigious Red Dot international design award

Canon Europe has announced that its Canon MAXIFY MB5350 and MB5050 all-in-one business inkjet printers have received the Red Dot Design Award for Product Design 2015 from the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, a design institution based in Essen, Germany.

Epson announces distribution channel for WorkForce Pro RIPS business inkjet printers

Epson announces distribution channel for WorkForce Pro RIPS business inkjet printers

Epson has announced the distribution channel for its WorkForce Pro RIPS (Replaceable Ink Pack System) range of business inkjet printers.

Transparency is key to winning the savvy shopper

Transparency is key to winning the savvy shopper

By Nick Martin, SVP, Trace One.

Today's consumers are more mindful and savvy than ever, with dietary and allergy awareness playing a much larger part in people's lives. The recent example of nuts being found in place of spices in a number of food products prompted a continent-wide recall and added further damage to consumer trust following recent food scares like the horsemeat crisis.

SATO strengthens presence in retail markets with two new appointments

SATO strengthens presence in retail markets with two new appointments

SATO, the barcode printing, labelling, and EPC/RFID solutions provider, has appointed Andreas Gimpel as Business Development Manager, Retail Food and Non-Food, and Holger Brasse as Business Development Manager, Fashion.

Star Micronics launches all-in-one mobile point Of purchase solution

Star Micronics launches all-in-one mobile point Of purchase solution

International POS printer manufacturer Star Micronics has launched its mobile point of purchase solution. mPOP combines a 58mm Bluetooth thermal printer with a cash drawer to provide the ultimate space saving mobile POS system for retail and hospitality.

Datamax-O’Neil presents printing solutions at Retail Business Technology Expo 2015

Datamax-O’Neil presents printing solutions at Retail Business Technology Expo 2015

Datamax-O'Neil, the manufacturer of stationary, vehicle mount, portable label and receipt printers, will present new solutions for retail at Retail Business Technology Expo 2015

Global enterprises are looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency and accuracy in their supply chains. To remain competitive, distribution centres, manufacturers, and logistics providers must change the way they label and track goods. Success depends on maximizing efficiency throughout all supply chain operations—front to back. Exploiting mobile labelling technology is fundamental to achieving optimal efficiency.

 

Wireless bar code and radio frequency identification (RFID) label printing is widely recognised by major retailers globally as an essential technology for enhancing store operations. The ability to print real-time information in the aisle, on demand, saves time, effort, and money—creating competitive advantages.

 

Mobile printing gives users the flexibility to print materials on demand wherever they may be. Seamless mobility can drive new business processes that improve worker productivity, labelling accuracy, and responsiveness to customer needs.

 

RFID smart label

 

RFID Smart label printer/encoders use media that has an RFID inlay (chip and antenna combination) embedded within the label material. An RFID encoder inside the printer writes data to the tag by radio frequency transmission. The transmission is focused for the specific location of the tag within the label. Bar codes, text, and graphics are printed as usual. Printable RFID tags contain a low-power integrated  circuit (IC) attached to an antenna and are enclosed  with protective material (label media) as determined  by the application. On-board memory within the IC stores data. The IC then transmits/receives information through the antenna to an external reader, called an interrogator. High frequency (HF) tags use antennas made of a small coil of wires, while ultrahigh frequency (UHF) tags contain dipole antennas with a matching wire loop.

 

Bar code symbols may be produced in a variety of ways: by direct marking, as with laser etching or with ink jet printing; or, more commonly by imaging or printing the bar code symbol onto a separate label. Precision of bar code printing is critical to the overall success of a bar-coding solution.

 

On-site Printing

On-site printing generally takes place at or near the point of use. The data encoded is usually variable, entered by an operator through a keyboard or downloaded from the host computer. On-site printing most often involves purchasing label-design software as well as printer hardware. Bar code printers come with their own proprietary programming languages that support all the standard symbologies, and they are capable of printing simple data-static or serialized bar code labels on their own.

 

However, labels that require additional formatted text, graphics, or multiple fields will require a separate label-design software package. Currently, more than 100 packages exist that are designed for a wide range of platforms and have a wider range of features. Once the purview of programmers, label design can now be accomplished by non-programmers via easy-to-use WYSIWYG graphical interfaces.

 

The most common bar code print technologies for on-site use are:

 

Direct Thermal — Heating elements in the printhead are selectively heated to form an image made from overlapping dots on a heat-sensitive substrate.

 

Thermal Transfer — Thermal transfer printing is a digital printing process in which material is applied to paper (or some other material) by melting a coating of ribbon so that it stays glued to the material on which the print is applied. Thermal transfer technology uses much the same type of printhead as direct thermal, except that an intervening ribbon with resin-based or wax-based ink is heated and transfers the image from the ribbon to the substrate. It contrasts with direct thermal printing where no ribbon is present in the process.

 

Barcode printers with thermal-transfer and direct thermal technology produce accurate, high-quality images with excellent edge definition.

 

Dot Matrix Impact — A moving printhead, with one or more vertical rows of hammers, produces images by multiple passes over a ribbon. These passes create rows of overlapping dots on the substrate to form an image. Serial dot matrix printers produce images character by character; high-volume dot matrix line printers print an entire line in one pass.

 

Ink Jet — This technology uses a fixed printhead with a number of tiny orifices that project tiny droplets of ink onto a substrate to form an image made up of overlapping dots. Ink jet printers are used for in-line direct marking on products or containers.

 

Laser (Xerographic) — The image is formed on an electrostatically charged, photo-conductive drum using a controlled laser beam. The charged areas attract toner particles that are transferred and fused onto the substrate.

 

Off-site Printing

Generally speaking, commercial label printers may use flexographic, letterpress, offset lithographic, rotogravure, photocomposition, hot stamping, laser etching, or digital processes to produce a consistently higher-grade label than those labels produced by on-site printers.

If the content of the bar code symbol is known ahead of use, a commercial label supplier is generally the best choice. However, there are tradeoffs. Commercially supplied labels have to be ordered, stocked, and placed in inventory. A business with frequent product line changes and/or label changes will have to weigh its options carefully.