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Barcode printer

Barcode printer

  • July 17,2015.

Barcode printer

A barcode printer is a computer peripheralfor printing barcode labels or tags that can be attached to, or printeddirectly on, physical objects. Barcode printers are commonly used to labelcartons before shipment, or to label retail items with UPCs or EANs.


The most common barcode printers employ oneof two different printing technologies. Direct thermal printers use a printheadto generate heat that causes a chemical reaction in specially designed paperthat turns the paper black. Thermal transfer printers also use heat, butinstead of reacting the paper, the heat melts a waxy or resin substance on aribbon that runs over the label or tag material. The heat transfers ink fromthe ribbon to the paper. Direct thermal printers are generally less expensive,but they produce labels that can become illegible if exposed to heat, directsunlight, or chemical vapors.


Barcode printers are designed for differentmarkets. Industrial barcode printers are used in large warehouses andmanufacturing facilities. They have large paper capacities, operate faster andhave a longer service life. For retail and office environments, desktop barcodeprinters are most common.

Thermal transfer printing is a verydifferent method that uses a heat-sensitive ribbon instead of heat-sensitivepaper, but uses similar thermal print heads.

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