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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Xerox Adaptive CMYK+ Kit for Xerox Versant expands colour palette to more than a million

Xerox Adaptive CMYK+ Kit for Xerox Versant expands colour palette to more than a million

Xerox has announced the Xerox Adaptive CMYK+ Kit for Xerox Versant, claimed to be the print market’s first adaptive technology kit that adds seven specialty colours to an existing production press, enabling instant digital print enhancements.

Labelmaster survey examines impact of COVID-19 on hazmat supply chain

Labelmaster survey examines impact of COVID-19 on hazmat supply chain

Labelmaster, the provider of products, services and technology for the safe and compliant transport of dangerous goods (DG) and hazardous materials (hazmat), has announced the results of its fifth annual 2020 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook.

IPIA says printers should be logistics businesses’ first line of defence for protective equipment

IPIA says printers should be logistics businesses’ first line of defence for protective equipment

As the country prepares for the next phase of businesses reopening, the Independent Print Industry Association (IPIA) claims its members are one of the best placed to not only produce protective equipment like face visors, masks and sneeze screens but also develop further products and services to reduce spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Videojet launches Videojet 1280 continuous inkjet printer

Videojet launches Videojet 1280 continuous inkjet printer

Videojet Technologies, the coding, marking and printing solutions provider, has launched its new Videojet 1280 CIJ printer.

SATO Europe vows to support supply chain as demands on transport and logistics industry surges

SATO Europe vows to support supply chain as demands on transport and logistics industry surges

SATO Europe vows to support supply chain as demands on transport and logistics industry surges

Epson UK strengthens team with appointment of new MD from senior European management team

Epson UK strengthens team with appointment of new MD from senior European management team

Rob Clark, who remains senior vice president of Epson Europe, has been appointed MD of Epson UK & Ireland.

inotec labels supporting COVID-19 pandemic response

inotec labels supporting COVID-19 pandemic response

Warehouse solutions and label specialist, inotec UK, has ramped up production of its labelling systems to support the medical, facilities and e-commerce industries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Epson launches its ReadyPrint Subscription Service in the UK

Epson launches its ReadyPrint Subscription Service in the UK

Epson UK has launched ReadyPrint, its first subscription printing service for its consumer cartridge printer models.

Online pharmacy investment in Beaverswood Labelling just the medicine for improvements

Online pharmacy investment in Beaverswood Labelling just the medicine for improvements

Investment in new warehouse storage and handling systems has helped an online pharmacy secure an estimated 30% improvement in productivity.

NiceLabel to provide free label cloud software to organisations fighting COVID-19

NiceLabel to provide free label cloud software to organisations fighting COVID-19

NiceLabel, the global developer of label design software and label management systems, is offering free subscriptions of its cloud-based labelling solution and technical consulting services to organisations that have joined the fight against COVID-19.

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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