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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Lakeland selects Episys for improved in-store signage

Lakeland selects Episys for improved in-store signage

Lakeland, the kitchen and homeware retailer, with 44 stores in the UK, is implementing Retail Enterprise Suite from global information technology solutions and services company, Episys.

New POS printer power consumption strategy announced by Star Micronics

Star Micronics announced that not only has it launched the worlds first ECO POS printer dedicated to minimising IT environmental impact within the retail market, but it can also claim that it must now be the most energy-efficient single station receipt printer launched to date.

Signbox launches new e-shop

Signbox launches new e-shop

Signbox has created a new ecommerce site to provide customers with round the clock access to an innovative range of sign solutions.

Belk on trend with Episys signage solution

Belk on trend with Episys signage solution

Belk has implemented Retail Enterprise Suite from global information technology services company Episys to manage all its in-store signage requirements.

Avery Dennison launches new turnkey labelling solution

Avery Dennison launches new turnkey labelling solution

Avery Dennison Printer Systems Division, provider of in-store information and complete business critical printing solutions, is launching a new turnkey labelling concept to facilitate markdowns and in-store promotions during hectic sales periods.

Gresvig selects Episys to communicate with customers

Gresvig is implementing Retail Enterprise Suite from Episys, to manage all its in-store signage requirements with a view to improving its communications with customers.

4" and 6" wide label printers from Tharo Systems

4" and 6" wide label printers from Tharo Systems

The Tharo Systems H-400/H-600 Series thermal transfer, barcode label printers, available in 203 or 300 DPI, feature a durable all metal construction with a cast aluminium centre wall for added strength.

Premier Inn selects cost-saving hardware that provides 'greener' printing solution

Premier Inn selects cost-saving hardware that provides 'greener' printing solution

The company has recently taken the decision to introduce self-service check-in kiosks in a number of its hotel reception areas as well as replace some of its traditional A4 laser printers at the reception desk.

Savoye launches e-commerce packaging solution.

Savoye, the automated warehouse solution provider, has launched E-Jivaro - a new packaging product aimed at the e-commerce market.

New Citizen POS printer for fast and accurate 2D barcodes

New Citizen POS printer for fast and accurate 2D barcodes

The CT-S281 is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for a wide range of POS applications, and can print both conventional and two-dimensional barcodes quickly and easily.

Retail Print & Labelling

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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