BEFORE BUYING BARCODE PRINTERS
Due to the many brands and types of barcode printers available in the market, it is of utmost importance to consider some basic premises before investing in printing hardware. First of all you must know the intended use for the barcode labels. This means to understand their operational function inside the business process. This first question can greatly narrow choices of barcode printers, for example, if barcode labels are going to be used for long term warehousing, then direct thermal printers are instantly eliminated, because labels printed by this kind of technology are made to last just a short time before fading away.
Another very important matter to consider is the environment where the barcode printers are going to operate. It is critical to measure temperature fluctuations, vibrations, high humidity and exposure to chemicals. A complicated environment can greatly change hardware specifications, so keeping an eye on this factor is of utmost relevance. Another critical factor is the expected duty cycle for the printers, if they are going to operate continuously or just sporadically, and how fast they need to print in order to fulfil the requirements.
It is also important to consider the labels that are going to be used in the barcode printers, their dimensions, width and height. Also the user needs to know how often these dimensions change, no one wants to buy hardware that will work fine for the first months, only to discover that a minor change in the labels makes the machines obsolete. As we asked before for the printers, we need to analyze the environment where the labels are going to be. The same questions we asked for barcode printers are relevant to labels because conditions like high temperature fluctuations, abrasion, high humidity and exposure to chemicals can ruin the most perfect labels.