Now a days barcodes have been in use in different situations for different purposes. Barcode labels are printed with the help of a device called a barcode printer. Many types of barcode printers are available, each one having its own printing mechanism, functionality, portability, advantages and disadvantages.
There are different types of barcode printers including laser printer, dot matrix printer, ink jet printers, and thermal printer. Of all these, thermal printer is considered as the best barcode printer.
A thermal printer is of two types including direct thermal printer and thermal transfer printer. The thermal transfer printer uses the heat for transferring ink from ribbon to the paper. The direct thermal paper makes the heat-sensitive part of the thermal paper burn. This creates an image on the paper. A current of electricity is sent to the heating resistor on the thermal head. A specific pattern is then generated by the thermal head. The heat thus produced helps in activating the layer of the paper which contains dyes that act as ink.
The most important advantage of using the thermal printers is its compatibility with high-quality point of sale software. A variety of data can be processed by these printers without any regard of the speed. High-quality images and text are obtained through the high resolution and density of the thermal printers. The operation of a thermal printer is very easy. Ink cartridges, toners or ribbons are not required for these printers. Only a special thermal paper is required. These printers are more reliable, cost-efficient, and convenient for any business types. Many models of thermal printers are available through Zebra printers, Wasp printers and so on.
The thermal printer is considered to be the best, because of the disadvantages of other printers:
Firstly we will know about laser printers. These are used for printing barcodes at high speed and resolution.
The dot matrix printers are inexpensive and used in many businesses. But the dot matrix barcode printers have certain disadvantages. Ink saturation may take place often and this may result in bleeding and distortion of the image on the barcodes. Also, these printers require a lot of maintenance and are also limited to the dot-size of the matrix.
Next one is ink jet barcode printer. Due to its multi-functionality nature it is commonly used. However, it is very slow. It is sensitive to dust, dirt, vibrations, and other external factors and hence is not much durable.
The main disadvantage of all these printers is the inability to print single, individual labels. Only a batch or sheet of labels are printed by them where most of them may get wasted.