Label printers are special printers designed to print barcode labels using special papers. There are two types of printing technologies available in the market today. Direct thermal and thermal transfer printers. The first technology uses a special paper designed to turn black upon contact with heat, pretty similar to fax machines. This printing technology is cheaper than the other because it does not use movable parts or ink and ribbons. The power of this technology resides on the paper it uses. However, it has a drawback. The information on the labels is not durable, so the data is no longer readable after some weeks after the printing. The second technology used by label printers uses ink and ribbon accessories. This fact increases the maintenance cost of the printers, so this tech is more expensive than the direct thermal method.
Depending on the business sector, one technology is preferred over the other. For example, the retail and logistic sectors prefer to use label printers that use the thermal transfer technology, because goods in their warehouses need to stay for a long time. On the other hand, the shipment industry uses label printers with direct thermal technology because they only need labels that last a relatively small amount of time. In the later industry, using the direct thermal technology contributes to reduce operational costs with the same quality.
There are several brands and models of label printers available in the market, and most of them are capable of working with additional accessories to do a better job. For example, you can use label dispensers to feed the printer and label rewinders to receive the labels printed. These accessories can greatly increase efficiencies and reduce manual labours in offices where speed is critical. Most logistic operators configure complex printing lines like the one described above.