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.
Retail Print & Labelling
A 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.
Mar 25, 2015 Comments (0)
By Nick Martin, SVP, Trace One.
Mar 18, 2015 Comments (0)
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.
Mar 11, 2015 Comments (0)
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.
Mar 03, 2015 Comments (0)
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
Feb 25, 2015 Comments (0)
Primera Technology, Inc., manufacturer of specialty printers, has announced the availability of highly-durable pigment inks for its LX900e colour label printer.
Feb 11, 2015 Comments (0)
Datamax-O'Neil's partner CRB Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH has developed a mobile printer solution that can be used to produce thermal transfer labels directly on the warehouse vehicle.
Jan 21, 2015 Comments (0)
Global POS hardware manufacturer Aures Technologies incorporating J2 Retail Systems has extended its product range and launched the first printer to be custom-designed and branded by the group.
Jan 21, 2015 Comments (0)
The newest tabletop label printer from Citizen Systems Europe is claimed to fulfil the market's desire for a compact product that is big on output, accuracy and longevity yet low in cost, fuss and issues.
Jan 14, 2015 Comments (0)
Datamax-O'Neil, a global provider of industrial-grade label and receipt-printing solutions, has announced its integration with ECi FMAudit, the provider of managed print services (MPS) software solutions.
Jan 14, 2015 Comments (0)
SATO will showcase its latest Auto-ID tracking and tracing solutions for the logistics industry at LogiMAT (hall 5, stand F09), 10 – 12 February 2015 in Stuttgart, Germany, with its partners ID.SYS and Eikona.
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 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.
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.