As with almost all printing solutions, finding the best label printer for your business will depend entirely on what you want to use it for. Let's look at what your business needs may be and which printer type would work best for you.
Determining what you need from a label printer is an essential first step to correctly matching your technology to the task. Under or over estimating your labelling needs can result in you purchasing a printer that is unable to meet your demands or drains your resources. Before deciding upon a label printer first consider:
Understanding your exact requirements along with any budget limitations will help you to differentiate effectively between label printer models.
Before we explore printer types let's look at the two distinct classes of label printing mechanism which you can choose from.
1. Thermal printing technology
This class of printer use the controlled application of heat to create a permanent image. There are two main types of thermal printing:
Thermal printing is the traditional technology behind label printing and is considered a cost-effective method.
2. Inkjet printing technology
As with thermal printing there are two types of inkjet printing technology, thermal and piezoelectric. However we're only going to look at the more sophisticated piezoelectric method, as it's both faster and more accurate.
In a piezoelectric label printer, each ink droplet is pushed out of the print head nozzles by a special plate which is powered by an electric current. These droplets of ink are precisely fired onto the label's surface at an incredibly fast rate (40,000 droplets are produced each second) to produce a photo quality image.
Piezoelectric label printers are fast, efficient and cheap to operate. The fine precision of their ink droplets create high quality coloured labels. Their absence of heat method also means that a wider range of inks can be used with the technology, including heat-sensitive inks, and the printers last longer.
There are many different types of label printer, each designed to fulfill a different set of expectations and business tasks. Here's a look into the broad categories and what they are best suited for:
Handheld or desktop label printers
Compact electronic label makers are a speedy and easily portable solution to most office and warehouse labelling needs. Don't be fooled by their compact size, these powerful label printers can handle heavy-duty operation and for demanding industrial environments you can even find models able to withstand the elements and the occasional drop.
Handheld or desktop label printers are most suitable for creating:
Commercial colour label printers
Commercial colour label printers are designed for more heavy duty printing requirements such as on factory floors or manufacturing plants. They offer high quality custom label designs in durable prints and allow companies to meet their in house labelling needs without reducing speed and quality.
Commercial colour label printers are specifically designed for consistent high label demands and are suitable for creating:
Industrial scale label printers
For businesses that require wide scale label printing operations, such as label converters or commercial printers, larger and more versatile label presses are available. These can produce standard sized labels, or be specialised for large format printing for billboards, vehicle wrapping or wall posters.
These specialist types of printers are best suited for intensive label production where speed and cost efficiency are important.
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