LABEL PRINTERS AND THE SHIPMENT INDUSTRY
The shipment industry has experienced an exponential increase in the last couple of decades, due to the constant increment of free trade agreements signed between countries and the economic boost provided by emerging economies like Asia and Latin America. Exports and imports have increased and so the amount of work done by shipment companies, whether the transportation is done by sea or by air. Packages of several sizes and weights travel all around the world to reach their destinations, and these packages need to be correctly identified in order to avoid mistakes. We need to remember that not every country speaks the same language, so here we need some sort of code to be capable of transporting the goods between them. This code is provided in the form of barcode labels, and this barcodes are of course printed by the famous label printers. The shipment industry uses barcodes in every single package they need to transport. This is why manufacturing companies of label printers have designed a very special technology to support this industry. This technology is called direct thermal and it uses a special paper to print the labels. This paper is special because it turns black upon contact with a heated surface, just like the fax paper. Label printers using this technology do not have replaceable or moving parts, and they don’t use ribbons or ink. This is why maintenance cost of label printers that use this technology is cheap when compared with other printers that use the other technology, called thermal transfer. Direct thermal technology was designed because the shipment industry had special requirements, they don’t need their labels to last for very long times like in the retail market for example. This greatly reduced the printing costs of the label printers used by this industry.