Bar code printers come in a wide variety of styles. There are printers for
* small labels such as jewelry tags
* large labels for shipping boxes
* identification cards - like employee ID cards or membership cards
* lift tickets for skiing
How bar code printers work - Bar code printers are usually connected to a computer or network or PDA and receive a set of instructions from that device. On a computer, the program that sends the instructions is usually a special software program. Bar code printers are useful because they are very fast and easy to use. Since they are designed for printing bar codes, the quality of the printed code is very high. This is important for fast and easy scanning at the checkout counter.
When considering what type of bar code printer to use, it is also critical to carefully choose the label type as well. If you are planning on printing labels for a jewelry store, you should make sure that the printer can handle those types of labels. If your labels are going to be on display in a retail showcase that can get hot due to the lights inside the case, you may not want to use thermal labels - or, better yet, you could get actual samples of the label from the company and test them in the real environment.
It is also advisable to test the labels that come out of the printer from time to time, before applying them to a package. We know of one store that printed over 10,000 labels without ever testing them. It turned out that the printing program did not fit the code correctly on the label and none of the labels would scan. The store found this out after they had applied thousands of labels to products. Don't make the same mistake!
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