WHAT ARE LABEL PRINTERS
Label printers are machines whose function is to print data over self-adhesive materials and also in some cases on tags. These printers differ from ordinary printers because they need to have special feed mechanisms to handle rolls of paper. In some cases these machines can be computer peripherals. The printers use a wide variety of label materials, including paper and plastic.
Label printers use a sensor that detects a mark in the roll of labels. This can be a gap or perforation between labels. This allows the printer to adjust the intake of the roll of labels so that the printing head aligns correctly with the label.
Printers have a variety of applications, including price marking, shipping labels, retail operation, blood banks and laboratory identification.
Label printers use mainly two types of technologies. One is called direct thermal that uses heat sensitive paper similar to the ones used by faxes. This type of printing has the problem that it lasts only 6 - 12 months before fading. If exposed to direct sunlight the label can have an even shorter life. Therefore, direct thermal labels are primarily used for short duration applications, such as shipping operations. The other type op printing technology is called thermal transfer. It uses heat to transfer ink from ribbon onto the label for a permanent printing. Most thermal transfer printers are also capable of direct thermal printing.
There are several types of label printers such as desktop printers that are designed for light usage. They can hold a roll up to 4” wide and they are not very expensive. There is also the commercial printer that is designed for medium volume printing and can hold a roll up to 8”wide.Then there is the industrial printer that is designed for heavy duties and are the most expensive ones.