No matter the size of your business, a label printer can be a game changer when managing and shipping your inventory. There are so many different printers to choose from, making choosing the right one a daunting task.
Label printers come in all shapes, sizes, and capabilities, and this guide will help you know what to look for when making your choice.
There are a few different kinds of printers on the market, the three main ones being mobile, desktop, and industrial printers.
As the printers get bigger, they become more and more expensive. If you are starting, a smaller printer is all you will need, and you can upgrade as and when you need to. You will also need to consider if you need more specialized labels, such as ones that print incredibly small labels for circuits or wiring, as the machines that print these can vary in cost.
This may not sound like an important aspect, but when it comes to cost-per-label and running costs, the size of the label your printer makes is important. What you are wanting to print labels for will also determine what size you need.
If you want to label packaging and shipping boxes, you will need a printer than can handle high volumes than if you were going to be labeling a small part of your product or a small amount of stock. The size of the label you need can also help you save money.
Buying an expensive, large printer is unnecessary if you only need a few dozen barcode-sized labels a month.
Much like any other equipment, you want to ensure you are buying a high-quality and durable label printer. Considering you will be using it for hours on end every day, printing thousands and thousands of labels, the machine you buy has to keep up.
Since this will be for your business, it is crucial to be prepared to spend money on a high-quality and reliable machine.
Speed & Performance
The last thing you want is a printer that takes too long or doesn’t print quality labels. Therefore, you need a machine that can keep up with your needs no matter what.
If you are unsure where to start, consulting with labelling experts and machine providers will help you determine which type of machine you need; investing in a quality machine will ensure that you buy a machine that can perform at the level you need.
Labels can be applied in two ways; by hand or by machine. If you are applying labels by hand, then there are usually no issues as you can store the labels in a carton, away from sunlight, and in a mild temperature, between 20°c-25°c.
However, if you use an automated process to create and apply stickers, your machine will produce labels that can be rolled and are printed and spaced out correctly; no need for you to do anything.
While this may not be an issue for some, label printers can be connected in different ways. How a label printer connects can influence how it works with other machines that you use, such as if they are all on the same network or connected via ethernet.
Internet speed and connections will affect how efficiently your printer operates, therefore it is important to have a fast and reliable internet setup to ensure there are no hiccups in production.
Some printers will have special features, such as being able to print more “unusual” labels like wiring labels, connectors, breakers, and the like. These aren’t standard formats, but desktop and mobile printers can create them, the style and setup of the printer would differ though.
You will need to invest in a label printer that is either specialized for this type of printing or can be formatted to the specifications you need.
The quality of a label is made up of two parts. The first part is if the label can hold up to environmental factors, such as rain and dampness, as well as being able to withstand being repeatedly scraped and exposed to friction, after it is applied, in transport or storage of the item it is on. The second part is the print quality itself.
Much like any other printer, the quality of the print and the quality of the letters and numbers are important. This is especially true if you are printing labels that have a lot of characters on them or labels that have 2DBarcodes, or QR codes as they are sometimes know.
Even though labels can be small and you don’t use a lot of transfer ribbon per label, the running costs of the machine are essential to consider. You will also need to include the price of the printer as well as the maintenance costs that are involved.
Choosing the right label printer for your business can be a tricky task at times. However, using what you have learnt here and using the experience and knowledge of a trusted supplier can steer you in the right direction.