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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DataLase and PARC partner to develop inkless photonic printing solutions

DataLase and PARC partner to develop inkless photonic printing solutions

DataLase, the solutions provider for inline digital printing of products and packaging, and PARC, a Xerox company, have entered into a new strategic partnership and signed a lease agreement.

OKI ColorPainter M-64s wins Keypoint Intelligence's Buyers Lab Inaugural Award in Wide-Format 'Enhanced' CMYK Category

OKI ColorPainter M-64s wins Keypoint Intelligence's Buyers Lab Inaugural Award in Wide-Format 'Enhanced' CMYK Category

Oki Systems UK has announced that its ColorPainter M-64s wide-format printer was awarded the Outstanding 'Enhanced' CMYK Eco-solvent/Latex 54"/64" Printer Pick Award by Keypoint Intelligence's Buyers Lab (BLI).

Primera introduces FX500e foil imprinting system

Primera introduces FX500e foil imprinting system

Primera Technology Europe, European headquarter of the manufacturer of specialty printers Primera Technology, Inc., has announced its new FX500e Foil Imprinting System.

'3D printing will bring a whole new dimension to retail,' – ParcelHero tells leading retailers

'3D printing will bring a whole new dimension to retail,' – ParcelHero tells leading retailers

The impact of 3D printing on online shopping and the High Street has been massively underestimated, ParcelHero's David Jinks warns The Richmond Supply Chain Forum's Autumn Conference.

SATO appoints Atsushi Suzuki as Chief Technology & Innovation Officer

SATO appoints Atsushi Suzuki as Chief Technology & Innovation Officer

SATO, provider of Auto-ID solutions that empower workforces and streamline operations, has appointed Atsushi Suzuki as CTIO (Chief Technology & Innovation Officer).

Logata and SATO join forces to deliver Cloud-based label printing solution

Logata and SATO join forces to deliver Cloud-based label printing solution

Logata, known for its BusinessApp Logistics Mall, a cloud-based platform for logistics processes and SATO, the provider of label printers for the logistics industry, have joined forces to deliver a cloud-based label-printing solution.

Brother to migrate mission-critical applications to AWS and Ensono Cloud

Brother to migrate mission-critical applications to AWS and Ensono Cloud

Print and technology specialist Brother International Europe has selected hybrid IT services provider Ensono as its partner for its ambitious cloud-first strategy.

OKI Europe offers businesses free mono printing for a year

OKI Europe offers businesses free mono printing for a year

OKI Europe Ltd is offering businesses free mono printing for a year when they purchase an eligible device from OKI's comprehensive portfolio of advanced colour and mono office printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) between 1st October and 31st December 2017.

Label Expo 2017 will see New Solution demonstrating its full range of digital printing systems for labels and packaging

Label Expo 2017 will see New Solution demonstrating its full range of digital printing systems for labels and packaging

Following its BETA outing at Print 17 in Chicago, New Solution is proud to be officially launching the brand new Atom - a compact label printer, industrially built and designed for the short run digital label market.

Bixolon explores the future of retail printing at Paris Retail Week 2017

Bixolon explores the future of retail printing at Paris Retail Week 2017

Bixolon, the global manufacturer of advanced mobile label and POS printers, is showcasing the latest in retail printing technology for a range of trend sensitive applications from multi-platform POS ecosystems to digital payment applications at Paris Retail Week 2017.

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.

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