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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DSales introduces new mobile ID and print authentication

DSales introduces new mobile ID and print authentication

The latest version of ineoPRINT v3.4.0 now supports ID and print authentication via a mobile device (Android / iOS).

Xaar expands its 3D business with new Xaar 3D centre and team

Xaar expands its 3D business with new Xaar 3D centre and team

Xaar plc has introduced its new Xaar 3D Centre in Nottingham, UK. This new facility, which opens in January 2017, will deliver 3D printing services and equipment to OEMs, material suppliers and end users.

DNP introduces panoramic printing and luster print finish for flagship DS620A printer

DNP introduces panoramic printing and luster print finish for flagship DS620A printer

DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation has announced the immediate availability of its DS620A Firmware v1.41, DS620A Driver v1.0.4.2, and Hot Folder Print Utility v2.2.

NiceLabel selected among 100 leading software and technology providers key to supporting the global food and beverage supply chain

NiceLabel selected among 100 leading software and technology providers key to supporting the global food and beverage supply chain

NiceLabel has been chosen to the FL 100+, Food Logistics magazine's annual list of the top 100-plus software and technology providers to the food and beverage industry.

'World's first' 3D printed pop-up retail store created for Louis Vuitton using Massivit 3D printing

'World's first' 3D printed pop-up retail store created for Louis Vuitton using Massivit 3D printing

Massivit 3D Printing Technologies has announced that its customer, OMUS, a specialist 3D print provider in Australia, has constructed what it believes to be the world's first 3D printed pop-up retail store, on behalf of luxury fashion brand, Louis Vuitton.

Printing volumes on the rise as digital content increases

Printing volumes on the rise as digital content increases

Digital content is actually leading to an increase in printing, despite the common misconception that digitisation will help companies to reduce their reliance on paper. In a recent survey by Danwood of 1,000 office workers, almost half (46%) say they print daily, with 84% of workers believing print is an important aspect of work.

Brother extends mobile print offering with rugged-jet launch

Brother extends mobile print offering with rugged-jet launch

Information, communication and technology services provider, Brother UK, has launched a new mobile print solution, targeting markets which require efficient portable printing in a variety of working environments.

Having the right technology is key to ensuring your retail business has the edge

Having the right technology is key to ensuring your retail business has the edge

By Mike Mulholland, head of services and solutions at print solutions and services provider Brother.

The latest findings in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor show that sales are up for retailers by 1.3 per cent year-on-year, meaning the industry managed to gain some lost ground in September after a couple of stagnant months. In fact, like-for-like sales also increased on the previous month’s growth of 0.4 per cent.

New Xerox colour printer, MFP, puts big business capabilities within reach of small offices

New Xerox colour printer, MFP, puts big business capabilities within reach of small offices

Xerox has introduced the Xerox Phaser 6510 colour printer and Xerox WorkCentre 6515 colour multifunction printer (MFP).

BarTender Print Portal App delivers label printing from any mobile device

BarTender Print Portal App delivers label printing from any mobile device

Seagull Scientific has announced the immediate availability of the BarTender Print Portal App, making enterprise label printing as easy and flexible as using your smartphone or tablet.

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.