The bar code industry is continuing to grow and change. However, a good many of the top players are well established companies and we thought we'd do a quick review.
Zebra Technologies has its origins in the state of Illinois back in 1969 but later moved to Delaware in 1991. The company produces a wide variety printers for bar codes from high-range to mobile ones. Zebra Technologies has distribution centers and offices in over 100 countries and produced bar code equipment for use by the European Union postal system to improve mail processing and delivery.(4) In 2010, Zebra pulled in an annual revenue of $957 million.(5) That year the company collaborated with Honeywell to create and manufacture bar code printers and scanners marketed to the health care and field mobility industries.
Honeywell manufactures technology for global security and safety. Founded in 1904 by Mark Honeywell, the heat generator was the first machine perfected for his plumbing business. Soon the company included clocks after merging with the Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company in 1927, eventually moving into security systems. Honeywell plays an important role not only in the aerospace but also the bar code industry, providing high tech scanners to businesses that need them.(11) Honeywell remains one of the bigger firms, pulling in $33.4 billion in revenue for 2010.(12), although specific bar code industry related revenue is estimated to be under $500 million. Honeywell owns the Metrologic brand and the Voyager is the best selling handheld laser scanner ever, according to Honeywell staff.
ScanSource, Inc. specializes in the wholesale distribution of bar code scanners and printers, providing data capture and POS solutions to businesses. The company has been incorporated since 1992, and was the first in selling bar code equipment as a value-added reseller.(13) On the Fortune 1000 list, ScanSource ranks in at #881 and is an environmentally conscious company, having recently established a recycling program.(14) The company has earned a net sales of $613 million in the third quarter ending in March 2011.(15)
Datamax was founded in 1977 in Orlando, Florida before it merged with O'Neil Product Development, which was based in California, in 2006. Datamax was originally an engineering consulting company before it specialized in bar code label printers and scanning devices. In the 1980's the company also developed event admissions and airline ticketing systems.(16) Today, Datamax O'Neil specializes in bar code equipment, manufacturing both scanners and printers for businesses. A privately owned company, Datamax O'Neil recently unveiled a new thermal desktop printer called Mark III, which is compact at 4” and comes in four different models. The Mark III has been designed to meet bar code requirements frequently used in retail, healthcare, and government sectors.(17)
Bluestar is a major global distributor of bar code and POS equipment. Having offices in the Americas and Europe, the company works with value-added resellers of bar code equipment plus technical, educational, marketing and business development services to companies that want to have the right bar code devices to meet their needs.(18) Bluestar is based in Hebron, Kentucky and has been operating since 1988. In April, 2011, Bluestar was named to the Fast 55 list by the Cincinnati Business Courier for being one of the fastest growing companies in the region.(19)
Printronix Auto ID
Printronix Auto ID Technology, Inc is a leading AIDC solution provider focusing on thermal printers, RFID printer/encoders, and in-line barcode printer/verification systems. With a US sales office and design center in Brea, California, Printronix Auto ID is a wholly owned subsidiary of TSC Auto ID Technology, Co, Taiwan, having been purchased from Printronix LLC, Irvine, CA in 2016. The acquisition by TSC Auto ID included the transfer of various assets and the rights to use the Printronix brand name. www.printronixautoid.com.
Monarch – Avery Dennison
Monarch bar code printers are manufactured by Avery Dennison, a main leader in business technology solutions since 1935. Made at the company's plant in Miamisburg, Ohio, Monarch is one of the best known names in the bar code industry and made the Top 10 Manufacturing Plants in the United States by Industry Week magazine.(22) In May 2009, the company introduced a new hybrid thermal printer that operates at high speed which makes it a solution product for the bar code industry.(23) In 2010 Avery Dennison had annual revenue of $6.5 billion.(24)
YouTube Video's that illustrate how to make labels and bar codes:
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