barcode label printer

Types of barcode printers and how they differ from label printers

In today’s business world, cutting costs, automating tasks, and boosting efficiency are top priorities. Gone are the days when businesses, big or small, relied on manual data entry by clerks. Now, barcode printing and scanning are essential for businesses of all sizes.

Barcode printers aren’t like your usual printers. They’re specialized computer tools designed for printing labels or tags that stick onto packages or directly onto products. These printers can create adhesive labels for packaging or retail items, printing barcodes on various surfaces.

Barcodes can be printed using two main techniques: direct thermal and thermal transfer. In direct thermal printing, heat from a pinhead activates a chemical reaction in special paper, turning it black. Thermal transfer, on the other hand, transfers ink from a ribbon to the paper using heat without reacting with the paper.

There are various types of barcode printers to choose from, each suited to different business needs. These types differ in print quality, maintenance costs, initial investment, and other factors.

Types of barcode printers 

Dot Matrix – Dot matrix printing is an established, cost-effective technology suitable for businesses with high-volume printing needs and lower quality expectations. These printers are durable, low-maintenance, and capable of printing on diverse surfaces, though their output lacks water and chemical resistance.

Inkjet – High-speed production settings often utilize inkjet printers for barcode printing. These printers, though costly and complex to install, provide excellent print quality. They require constant oversight to maintain optimal performance.

Laser – Laser printers, similar to photocopiers, are capable of producing high-quality text and graphics on both labels and paper. These versatile printers can also function as document printers. Their labels are easily read by infrared scanners but are not designed for industrial use.

Thermal – Thermal printers, including direct and transfer types, dominate the manufacturing sector due to their ability to produce highly durable labels. These labels withstand environmental stresses, maintain scan-ability over time, and can be printed in flexible quantities to prevent waste.

Comparing Barcode Printers and Label Printers

The terms “label printers” and “barcode printers” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Here’s a comparison to highlight their differences:

Intended Use – Label printers are designed to print labels, tags, and other small documents. Barcode printers, however, are specifically designed to print barcodes on labels, paper, or adhesive materials.

Printing Technology – The technology used in printing affects the cost and quality of the output. Label printers typically use direct thermal and thermal transfer technologies. Barcode printers usually employ direct thermal printing, with the option for thermal transfer at a higher cost.

Print Speed and Resolution – Print speed depends on various factors, including resolution and printer model. Label printers generally have faster speeds and a wider range of resolutions for different applications. Higher resolutions result in clearer images but take longer to print. Barcode printers tend to have lower resolutions but can offer higher resolutions for detailed graphics.

Size and Weight – Label printers are built for industrial settings, making them bulky and heavy, constructed from durable materials to withstand tough environments. Barcode printers are generally smaller, lighter, and portable, ideal for desktop or mobile use.

There exist several distinctions between barcode printers and label printers, allowing businesses to select based on their specific needs. Both types offer features advantageous to certain businesses, underscoring the importance of clear understanding before deciding.

TVS Electronics offers a diverse range of barcode printers and label printers, allowing businesses to choose according to their printing volume, quality, and durability requirements.

Contact us to learn more!

barcode label printer barcode label scanners barcode label sticker

How to Choose the Right Barcode Label

Barcode labels are important stickers that help keep track of things like inventory and equipment. They’re used in different industries like healthcare, technology, construction, schools, stores, and more.

But how do you know which barcode label is right for your business? There are different kinds of barcode labels. They vary based on whether they work with your barcode printer and how well they stick. If you pick the wrong one, it can be expensive and cause problems. When choosing a barcode label maker in India, there are a few things to think about. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Key Things to Think About When Picking a Barcode Label

There are many things to think about when choosing the right barcode label for your product. Things like temperature, chemicals, weather, surface, and how long it needs to last all matter. Knowing about each of these things will help you pick the right label and avoid making a mistake.


This is really important when choosing a barcode sticker. If the surface is smooth or curved, it affects how well the sticker sticks. Different materials like paper, plastic, or metal stick differently.


The size of the sticker is really important. It affects how much it costs and how much you can save.


This is another thing to think about when picking a barcode label. Some stickers are supposed to stay on for a long time, while others are just for a little while. You shouldn’t use strong adhesive on stickers that you’ll only use temporarily.

Label Lifespan:

If your sticker needs to stay readable for a long time, it’ll probably get rubbed, wet, or exposed to chemicals. If it doesn’t need to last long, you don’t need a super tough sticker. In that case, a simple paper sticker will do.

Barcode Label Printer Compatibility:

Printing barcodes using thermal methods is the most reliable and common way. There are two main types of thermal printers: direct thermal and thermal transfer. Both make good quality barcodes, but they work differently and are picked based on what you need them for.

Direct Thermal:

When you print barcodes using direct thermal printing, the printer uses a special kind of ink instead of ink ribbons. The printer head heats up, making the ink visible on the label. Since heat is what makes the ink show up, the label won’t last in very hot temperatures, moisture, or sunlight. Direct thermal printers make good quality labels that are best for short-term use, like packing labels.

This shows that the kind of barcode label you pick depends on the kind of printer you have, and vice versa.

Thermal Transfer:

In thermal transfer printing, the printer melts ink onto the barcode label using a special ribbon with ink. This method makes labels that last longer than direct thermal printing, perfect for situations where labels need to survive tough conditions. Labels printed with thermal transfer printers can handle smudges, scratches, moisture, extreme heat, and sunlight. If you don’t use this printing method, your barcode labels might wear out over time, causing mistakes and reading errors.

Types of Materials for Barcode Labels:

Different barcode label materials have their own good and bad points, which decide where they’re best used. With thermal transfer printing, it’s important to match the label material with the right ribbon type. If you don’t, your labels might smudge or not print properly. Here’s a closer look at the materials for barcode labels and the ribbons that go with them.

Paper Barcode Labels:

Paper labels with wax ribbon printing can last a long time if they’re used indoors and taken care of. They work best on smooth, dry surfaces and should be kept away from extreme temperatures, liquids, and sunlight. Paper labels are easy to take off and break down over time. They’re often used on indoor items like folders and product labels. They’re easy to scan and don’t fade or rub off easily.

Polypropylene Barcode Labels:

Polypropylene labels are synthetic and tougher than paper labels. Printing them with a wax/resin ribbon makes them look good and can have a clear or matte finish. These labels resist bad weather, scratches, and tearing, and sometimes they can resist chemicals and oil. They’re great for sturdy materials but can’t handle being squeezed, stretched, or soaked in water. They’re water-resistant but not waterproof. So, they’re not the best choice if your products will be in water a lot or in very humid places.

Polyester Barcode Labels:

Polyester labels printed with resin ribbon are really tough. They can handle high temperatures and are often used outdoors. They resist scratches, chemicals, water, and bad weather.

These labels make barcodes that last a long time and are easy to read. You can choose between a matte or white finish, depending on what you like.

Choosing the Right Barcode Label Type:

When picking a barcode label, think about what you need. Consider the environment and surface where the label will go. The label’s stickiness should match where it’ll be used, especially if it’s humid or hot. How long it needs to last also matters.

There are three main types of barcode labels:


These labels stick on and stay there. They’re good for things like wood, plastic, metal, and glass.


These labels are for temporary use. They come off without damaging the product.

High Tack:

These labels are super sticky and meant to stay put, even on uneven or dirty surfaces. They’re not meant to come off easily.

If you need help picking the right barcode label, talk to our experts at Sun Data Processing Pvt. Ltd. We can make sure you get the right label for your needs. Schedule a free consultation today to find out how we can help.

High Temp Labels

Steel High Temp Labels: Tough Solutions for Extreme Conditions

Looking for durable heat-resistant and high-temperature labels? This post will guide you through the various options available to help labels withstand extreme heat and conditions.

Advantages of Labels for High-Temperature Environments

Self-adhesive labels offer numerous advantages, including aiding in stock tracing, enhancing production processes, and promoting health and safety practices.

However, harsh environments such as high temperatures, ovens, and furnaces pose challenges for standard label materials, limiting their effectiveness.

Fortunately, there is a variety of specialized heat-resistant labels and materials compatible with high temperatures available. Trrridev Labels can assist in identifying the most suitable option for your customized label application.

Polyester Labels for Electronic Devices

For applications requiring labels to withstand extremely high temperatures, polyimide labels, commonly referred to as Kapton labels, are an excellent choice. These labels are utilized in various fields ranging from spacecraft and satellites to calibration testing.

Capable of enduring temperatures of up to 300°C for 5 minutes and up to 240°C for 80 minutes, polyimide labels excel in high-temperature environments and diverse production processes.

Polyimide labels are crafted from a synthetic resin, offering resistance to chemicals and flammability. Additionally, they are compatible with thermal transfer, impact, and laser printing methods, ensuring seamless integration with existing production and inventory processes.

What high temperature labels are best?

The most suitable high-temperature label for your particular application will vary depending on your specific needs. Customized labeling solutions are essential for extreme temperature applications, and Trridev Labels is adept at providing them.


1. What are steel high-temperature labels, and how are they different from standard labels?

   – Steel high-temperature labels are specially designed labels capable of withstanding extreme heat conditions. Unlike standard labels, they are constructed from materials that can endure high temperatures without deteriorating or losing legibility.

2. What temperatures can steel high-temp labels withstand?

   – Steel high-temp labels can withstand temperatures typically ranging from several hundred to over a thousand degrees Celsius, depending on the specific material and adhesive used in their construction.

3. Are steel high-temp labels suitable for outdoor applications?

   – Yes, many steel high-temp labels are suitable for outdoor applications, as they are designed to withstand not only high temperatures but also exposure to weather elements such as sunlight, rain, and humidity.

4. How long do steel high-temp labels typically last in extreme heat conditions?

   – Steel high-temp labels are engineered to maintain their integrity and legibility even in prolonged exposure to extreme heat conditions. Their lifespan can vary depending on factors such as the temperature range, duration of exposure, and environmental conditions.

5. Can steel high-temp labels be customized with specific information or designs?

   – Yes, steel high-temp labels can often be customized with specific information, such as serial numbers, barcodes, company logos, or other designs, to meet the unique requirements of different applications.

6. What printing methods are compatible with steel high-temp labels?

   – Steel high-temp labels are typically compatible with various printing methods, including thermal transfer, laser printing, and certain types of inkjet printing, depending on the material and adhesive used.

7. Are steel high-temp labels resistant to chemicals and abrasion?

   – Yes, steel high-temp labels are often resistant to chemicals and abrasion, making them suitable for use in demanding industrial environments where exposure to harsh chemicals and physical wear is common.

8. Can steel high-temp labels be removed or repositioned easily?

   – Steel high-temp labels are generally designed for permanent application and may not be easily removed or repositioned once applied. However, some specialized adhesive options may allow for easier removal or repositioning under certain conditions.

9. What industries commonly use steel high-temp labels?

   – Industries such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, and oil and gas commonly use steel high-temp labels for various applications, including equipment identification, asset tracking, and safety labeling.

10. Are steel high-temp labels cost-effective compared to other labeling options for high-temperature environments?

    – While steel high-temp labels may have a higher upfront cost compared to standard labels, they often provide long-term cost savings by minimizing the need for frequent label replacement due to heat-related damage. Additionally, their durability and reliability can help prevent costly downtime and maintenance issues.

asset labels

Understanding Asset Labels: Their Purpose and Importance

Asset labels, also known as asset tags, serve to identify a wide range of physical assets, including equipment, tools, racks, and machines. These tags typically feature serial numbers or barcodes for identification purposes. They often come with adhesive backing and are constructed from materials such as anodized aluminum, laminated polyester, vinyl, or foil. The durability of the asset label directly impacts the ease of asset identification, tagging, and tracking for organizations.

Varieties of Asset Labels

Asset labels come in a variety of materials and sizes to ensure optimal matching with the asset they are intended for. The most common types of asset labels include foil, anodized aluminum, polyester, and vinyl.

  1. Foil Asset Labels: These premium labels are crafted from anodized aluminum face stock and feature a high-performance permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive. They are suitable for indoor or outdoor asset tracking and include barcode and printed information that remains legible throughout the asset’s lifespan. Foil asset labels adhere to metals, plastics, and textured surfaces, and are resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and solvents.
  2. Aluminum Asset Tags: Top-quality aluminum asset tags offer exceptional durability for both indoor and outdoor environments. Made from thicker anodized aluminum face stock, these tags typically feature the company name, asset number, and barcode information. They can be affixed with a high-performance permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive or holes for attachment with rivets or screws. Aluminum asset tags are designed to bond permanently to various surfaces and resist chemicals, abrasion, and solvents.
  3. Premium Polyester Asset Labels: These labels are manufactured with gloss polyester face stock laminated with clear polyester film and a general-purpose permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive. They are ideal for use on high and low surface energy plastics, slightly textured, or contoured surfaces. Premium polyester asset labels resist general purpose and household cleaners, mild acids, oil, and water, with an expected exterior life of up to two years.
  4. Tamper-Evident Asset Labels: Designed to prevent tampering or unauthorized transfer of assets, these labels leave the word “void” on the surface when removed. They bond to various surfaces and resist general purpose and household cleaners, mild acids, oil, and water.
  5. Destructible Vinyl Asset Labels: Constructed from vinyl face stock, these labels break apart when removed from the asset surface, discouraging unauthorized transfers. They adhere to various surfaces and are suitable for textured and contoured surfaces, powder coatings, and slightly oily metals.
  6. Removable Asset Labels: These labels are designed for short-term applications and can be cleanly removed or repositioned easily. They are commonly used for chemical drums, shipping containers, shelves, parts, and short-term asset-tracking applications.


Q1. What are asset labels used for?

A1. Asset labels are used to easily monitor inventory and assets, schedule routine maintenance, and avoid lost items.

Q2. How do I choose the right type of asset label for my application?

A2. Consider factors such as the environment (indoor or outdoor), surface type, durability requirements, and any specific features needed (such as tamper-evident or removable).

Q3. Can asset labels be customized?

A3. Yes, many companies offer customization options for asset labels, allowing you to include company logos, serial numbers, barcodes, or other information as needed.

Q4. Are asset labels suitable for outdoor use?

A4. Yes, certain types of asset labels, such as foil and aluminum tags, are designed to withstand outdoor environments and harsh weather conditions.

Q5. How long do asset labels typically last?

A5. The lifespan of asset labels depends on factors such as material quality, environmental conditions, and usage. Premium labels can last several years, while others may have a shorter lifespan.

Q6. Do asset labels leave residue when removed?

A6. It depends on the type of adhesive used. Some labels are designed to leave minimal or no residue when removed, while others may leave behind adhesive residue that can be cleaned.

Q7. Can asset labels withstand harsh environments?

A7. Yes, certain types of asset labels, such as aluminum and premium polyester labels, are designed to withstand harsh environments, including exposure to chemicals, abrasion, and extreme temperatures.

Q8. Are asset labels tamper-evident?

A8. Yes, tamper-evident asset labels are available. These labels leave behind a “void” message when removed, indicating tampering or unauthorized removal.

void tags

Exploring Void Tags: Types, Usage, and Applications

Void labels are a crucial component of security stickers designed to deter tampering with external packaging or products. Once removed, the adhesive reveals repeated text, typically the word “Void,” signaling that the label has been tampered with. While the name originates from the term “Void,” these stickers can also display other messages like “Opened” and are often customizable to suit specific needs.

Varieties of Void security labels

Different types of Void labels exist within the realm of security stickers, varying based on the material they’re composed of and the residue they leave behind upon removal from the product. Let’s explore Precintia’s selection of Void labels:

1. Non-residue Void labels

The CKNR model of Void label features a concealed message revealed in the plastic film when the label is peeled off. Its characteristics include:

– These security stickers do not leave any residue on the applied surface, yet tampering is evident on the label’s front face.

– Crafted from Mylar polyester, they boast a robust adhesive that ensures exceptional strength, capable of withstanding temperatures ranging from 0 to 80°C.

– Ideal for use on non-porous surfaces.

– Writable surface and customizable in shape, size, and branding, allowing for the addition of logos or messages.

Applications for non-residue Void labels encompass various sectors:

– Transportation: aircraft doors and windows, containers, air cargo, catering trolleys, vehicle doors, security areas, wooden or plastic pallets.

– Industrial: alarms, security equipment, ballot boxes, emergency equipment, entry/exit doors, panels, extinguishers, first aid kits, computer equipment.

– Surveillance: communication points, access control, valve and pump controls, meters.

– Financial sector: coin boxes, ATMs.

– Retail: returns management, packaging protection.

2. Void labels with partial residue

The CKR Void label model is a type of security sticker that leaves behind a partial residue upon removal, indicating evidence of tampering. Recommended for use on non-porous surfaces, these labels are constructed from the same material as the previous model – Mylar polyester – and feature a high-strength adhesive.

Applications for Void labels that leave a partial residue include:

– Transportation: containers, air cargo, catering trolleys, storage, security areas, wooden or plastic pallets.

– Industrial: panels.

– Surveillance: security envelopes and bags.

– Retail: returns management, packaging protection.

3. Void labels that leave a full residue

The KTL and KTL+ Void label models are specifically designed for application on porous surfaces such as cardboard, paper, or fiberboard. Upon removal, these labels leave behind a concealed message adhered to the surface, indicating evidence of package or product tampering.

Crafted from translucent polypropylene and featuring a high-strength adhesive, both models ensure secure attachment. The primary distinction between the KTL and KTL+ Void labels lies in the external numbering present on the latter type. However, the remainder of the identification is embedded in the plastic film underlayer, rendering them unmodifiable.

Potential applications for full residue Void labels include:

– Surveillance: security envelopes and bags.

– Financial sector: general boxes, envelopes, and confidential mail.

Employing Void labels helps safeguard products from tampering, combat fraud, and deter counterfeiting. Due to their challenging replication and ability to facilitate traceability, they serve as a means of identifying goods.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What are Void labels?

A1. Void labels are security stickers designed to prevent tampering with external packaging or products. When removed, they reveal repeated text, such as “Void,” indicating tampering.

Q2. What are the different types of Void labels?

A2. Void labels come in various types based on the residue they leave upon removal. These include non-residue Void labels, Void labels with partial residue, and Void labels that leave a full residue.

Q3. What materials are Void labels made of?

A3. Void labels are typically made from materials like Mylar polyester and translucent polypropylene, ensuring durability and strength.

Q4. What are the applications of Void labels?

A4. Void labels are used in a wide range of sectors including transportation, industrial settings, surveillance, retail, and the financial sector for purposes such as security, tamper-evidence, and product authentication.

Q5. How do Void labels contribute to product security?

A5. Void labels serve as a deterrent against tampering, fraud, and counterfeiting. Their unique design and ability to leave behind evidence of tampering help enhance product security and traceability.

thermal transfer ribbon

Understanding the Difference Between Polyester and Polypropylene

Every business, no matter where it stands in the supply chain, relies on Automatic Identification and Data Collection. These tools help gather important info about products and operations, allowing for smoother processes. Barcodes are a common tool for this, helping identify products and track assets. But not all products can use the same barcode label. That’s why there are different types, like polyester and polypropylene labels. In this blog, we’ll break down the differences between them, making it easier for you to choose the right one for your needs.

What are Barcode Labels and Why Are They Created with Various Materials?

Two methods are commonly employed for creating barcodes in AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Collection) applications: Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer Printing. Let’s set aside direct thermal for now since it doesn’t involve labels. Thermal Transfer Printing (TTP) involves using a thin film, called a ribbon, to print barcodes on labels. The ribbon includes a layer of wax/ribbon and adhesive on one side, melted and stamped onto the label to generate codes.

Labels can be crafted from various materials, each tailored to specific applications and offering distinct material properties. Material selection impacts both durability and printing cost. Today, we’ll focus on the two most frequently utilized label types: polypropylene and polyester.

Comparing Polyester and Polypropylene Labels

Factors such as durability and resistance greatly depend on the coating of the ribbon used in barcode printing. However, the label material itself also plays a significant role. Let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages of polyester and polypropylene labels.

Durability Compared to Other Labels:

Polypropylene labels offer considerable durability compared to other types like polyimide and paper. However, polyester labels stand out as the most durable in the market.

Vulnerabilities & Resistance:

Polypropylene excels in protecting against damage, showing resistance to scratches and even water and chemical damage to some extent. However, it lacks flexibility and may deteriorate under prolonged exposure to water and abrasions. Conversely, polyester labels exhibit excellent resistance to chemical and water damage, along with remarkable resistance to abrasions.

Operational Lifespan:

Polyester labels outlast polypropylene labels significantly, with a functional lifespan of over 10 years compared to 6 months to 2 years for polypropylene labels.

Implementation Cost:

Cost considerations are crucial, especially as business scale increases. While polypropylene labels are about three times more expensive than paper and polyimide labels on average, polyester labels top the list as the most expensive, sometimes costing up to ten times more than paper. Nevertheless, selecting the label that best suits the item and its operating environment remains paramount, regardless of cost.


The ability of a label to endure stretching and warping is pivotal for various applications. Vinyl offers the highest flexibility among label materials. Polypropylene lacks flexibility, whereas polyester offers some flexibility, making it ideal for rugged environments.

Uses of Polyester and Polypropylene Labels

As mentioned earlier, polyester and polypropylene labels possess varying properties and capabilities, making them suitable for certain applications while unsuitable for others. Below is a list of applications for both types of labels:


1. Barrels

2. Flooring

3. Baggage

4. Retail shelves

5. Pallets

6. Cartons

7. Electronics

8. Machinery


1. Electric motors

2. Actuators

3. Pumps

4. Electronics

5. Valves

6. Automobile parts

7. Industrial tools and equipment


In conclusion, the use of diverse materials in manufacturing similar products aims to leverage distinct material properties. As outlined in the preceding discussion, both polyester and polypropylene offer unique advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, there isn’t a definitive answer as to which type of label is superior. Instead, when choosing a label, it’s essential to consider its material characteristics and associated costs to determine the most suitable option for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are polypropylene labels waterproof?

A1. No, polypropylene labels offer good water resistance but are not entirely waterproof. Prolonged exposure to water can likely cause damage to these labels over time.

Q2. What is the difference between PE and PP labels?

A2. PE and PP labels are made from different materials, each with its own set of material properties, advantages, and disadvantages for various applications.

Q3. What are barcode labels made of?

A3. Barcode labels are essential components utilized in Thermal Transfer Printing for creating barcodes in AIDC solutions. They are crafted from various materials to suit diverse industrial needs. Common types of labels include Paper, Polyester, Polypropylene, Polyimide, and Vinyl labels, each named after the material used in their production.

barcode label printer barcode label scanners

Learn how barcodes function: we’ve got the answers to your questions.

Barcodes and SKUs play vital roles in retail operations. While they may seem natural to experienced staff, newcomers often struggle to grasp their functions, including those of UPCs. This post aims to demystify their workings, explaining their distinctions, functions, and advantages.

What exactly is a barcode?

A barcode is a graphic containing parallel black and white bars readable by a barcode scanner.

Barcodes are affixed to products for rapid identification. They serve various purposes, commonly in retail during purchases, in warehouses for inventory tracking, and on invoices to aid in accounting.

What is a barcode scanner?  

A barcode scanner, also known as a barcode reader, is a device designed to capture and interpret the data encoded within a barcode. Typically, barcode scanners comprise four main components:

  1. Light source: This illuminates the barcode to enable accurate reading and decoding.
  2. Lens: It scans the barcode.
  3. Photoconductor: This converts optical signals into electrical ones.
  4. Decoder: This analyzes the barcode’s data and sends it to the scanner’s output port.

Once the information is captured, barcode scanners connect to a host computer or tablet, transmitting the data in real-time without requiring additional human intervention. This automation helps retailers streamline processes such as inventory tracking and point-of-sale transactions, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency.

How exactly do barcodes function?

A barcode is a method of encoding information into a visual pattern consisting of black lines and white spaces, which can be interpreted by a machine, such as a barcode scanner. 

The arrangement of black and white bars, known as elements, corresponds to different text characters based on a predetermined algorithm specific to that barcode type. 

When scanned by a barcode scanner, this pattern is translated into a text line comprehensible to your retail point-of-sale system.

Types of barcodes

Barcodes are categorized into two types: one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D). 

These categories can be subdivided into specific types, such as the one-dimensional Universal Product Codes (UPC) or the two-dimensional QR codes.

One-dimensional (1D) barcodes

One-dimensional (1D) barcodes consist of black and white bars capable of storing information such as a product’s type, size, and color.

These barcodes, like UPCs found on product packaging, aid in tracking packages through delivery services such as UPS, FedEx, the US Postal Service, and Canada Post.

Two-dimensional (2D) barcodes

Two-dimensional (2D) barcodes are more intricate compared to 1D barcodes. They have the capacity to encode additional information beyond mere text, such as price, inventory levels, and even product images. QR codes represent a type of 2D barcode, as do Aztec codes, which are commonly utilized on flight or concert tickets.

Although not all barcode scanners are equipped to read 2D barcodes, Lightspeed Retail POS is compatible with various wireless barcode scanners that have 2D barcode support.

What about three-dimensional (3D) barcodes?

You might be familiar with 3D barcodes, the latest addition to the barcode scene. Essentially, they are similar to 2D barcodes, but instead of information being encoded through an image, 3D barcodes utilize three-dimensional shapes like engravings. These barcodes necessitate specialized scanners and are not commonly encountered in retail environments.

The advantages of utilizing barcodes

While initially developed to expedite sales and transactions, barcodes offer several additional advantages.

1. Enhanced Accuracy:

Barcodes ensure greater precision in processing product data compared to manual entry, minimizing the risk of human error.

2. Real-Time Data:

The rapid processing speed of barcode information enables instant access to inventory levels and sales data.

3. Reduced Training Needs:

The simplicity of barcode scanners—requiring only point-and-click actions—means employees require minimal training to operate them effectively.

4. Improved Inventory Management:

With heightened accuracy and real-time data, retailers can conduct faster cycle counts and make more precise estimates of inventory turnover.

5. Cost-Effective Implementation:

Barcode generation is swift and uncomplicated. Moreover, the expedited transaction speed and enhanced accuracy of inventory and sales data lead to anticipated cost savings for retailers post-implementation.

What is a Universal Product Code (UPC)?

A universal product code (UPC) is a code printed on the packaging of retail products to aid in identification. Although predominantly utilized in North America, they are also employed globally in e-commerce. 

A UPC comprises two components: the machine-readable barcode, consisting of black bars, and a distinctive 12-digit number positioned beneath the barcode.

Parts of a UPC

To obtain a UPC for product usage, companies must apply through GS1 US, the organization responsible for managing and assigning UPCs in the United States.

Upon payment of the application fee, GS1 assigns a six-digit manufacturer identification number, constituting the first six digits of the UPC for all of the company’s products, identifying the manufacturer.

The subsequent five digits of the UPC represent the item number, uniquely identifying the product. Each company should designate an individual responsible for issuing item numbers, ensuring their uniqueness and discontinuing their use for obsolete products.

Given that most consumer products come in various sizes, colors, etc., each variation necessitates its own item number. For instance, a box of medium-sized t-shirts would have a distinct item number from that of the same t-shirt in small size.

The final digit of the 12-digit UPC is the check digit, calculated by adding and multiplying several numbers from the UPC code. It serves to verify the validity of the UPC to the barcode scanner. An incorrect check digit results in improper scanning of the UPC code.

UPCs vs. SKUs

Although UPCs and stock keeping units (SKUs) have similarities, they are distinct entities.

A UPC, or universal product code, serves to identify a product irrespective of its point of sale. For instance, a t-shirt purchased online or from a local retailer sharing the same product will bear the same UPC.

Conversely, a SKU is an internal inventory code unique to each company. Comparing the SKU of identical products across different stores would reveal differences.

To differentiate between a UPC and SKU, note that the UPC is the barcode label on a product’s packaging, while the SKU is typically found on a store’s pricing shelf.

When searching for a product online, using its UPC enables you to locate it across various retailers, whereas the SKU restricts the search to the business using that specific code.

UPCs are valuable for suppliers and manufacturers to monitor inventory sold to different retail outlets, whereas SKUs aid merchants in inventory management tailored to their business needs.

Both SKUs and UPCs offer advantages to retailers: SKUs for their customization and UPCs for their universality. Many businesses employ a combination of both systems.

Comparing barcode scanners: laser vs. charged coupled device (CCD) vs. camera-based 

When choosing a barcode scanner, retailers typically consider three main types: laser, CCD, and camera-based scanners.

Laser scanners are known for their accuracy and speed, making them well-suited for busy environments with high scanning volumes, such as supermarkets and warehouses. While they come at a moderate to high cost, their efficiency and durability justify the investment.

CCD scanners, on the other hand, are more budget-friendly and ideal for short-range scanning. They are commonly used in smaller retail settings where cost is a significant factor. However, they are limited in their ability to read from screens, which may restrict their usefulness in certain modern retail setups.

Camera-based scanners offer the greatest versatility, capable of reading both 1D barcodes and 2D QR codes from various angles, including from screens. This makes them particularly suitable for retailers implementing mobile payment or loyalty programs. Although they are typically the most expensive option, their adaptability and functionality make them a worthwhile investment, especially in dynamic retail environments.

How to create your own barcodes  

Here’s a simplified guide to using barcodes:

1. Determine the type of barcode that best fits your needs. 1D barcodes are suitable for basic inventory tracking, while 2D barcodes provide more detailed information.

2. If necessary, acquire a unique manufacturer identification number from a GS1 member organization to ensure global uniqueness of your barcodes.

3. Use a barcode generation tool to input your product details and create printable barcodes for labeling your items.

4. Test your barcodes with your scanners to confirm compatibility and readability. This proactive approach ensures smooth inventory processes, improving overall efficiency and accuracy.

Here are some commonly asked questions about barcodes:

1. How do barcodes encode data?

Barcodes encode data by varying the widths and spaces of parallel lines (in 1D barcodes) or using patterns of geometric shapes (in 2D barcodes). This encoded data is then decoded by a barcode scanner.

2. Can two products share the same barcode?

Ideally, each product should have a unique barcode (such as UPC or EAN) to ensure accurate tracking and inventory management, thus avoiding confusion.

3. Do barcode scanners only read black bars?

Barcode scanners read both the black bars and the white spaces between them. The contrast between black and white enables the scanner to decode the information accurately.

4. Can I generate my own barcodes?

Yes, you can create barcodes for internal use, like inventory tracking with SKUs. However, for retail purposes requiring a unique identifier (like UPCs), you should obtain a unique code from a GS1 member organization.

5. What do the first two digits of a barcode signify?

In EAN-13 or UPC barcodes, the first two digits typically represent the manufacturer’s country code, although it’s more about where the manufacturer’s business is registered than geographical location.

6. How is barcode information read?

Barcode information is read by a scanner using light to translate the barcode into digital data. The scanner then sends this data to a computer or cash register for processing.

7. Are all barcodes 13 digits long?

No, EAN-13 barcodes consist of 13 digits, but UPC-A barcodes have 12 digits. Other barcode formats may vary in length depending on their specifications.

8. What is the standard encoding for barcodes?

Retail barcodes typically adhere to either the UPC (Universal Product Code) or EAN (International Article Number) standards. UPC is prevalent in North America, while EAN is used globally. Other standards like Code 128 and QR codes are utilized for different purposes, depending on the application.

void tags

Void tags: classifications, utilization, and practicalities

Void labels are integral components of security stickers designed to deter external packaging or product tampering. Upon detachment, the adhesive unveils text featuring the repetition of the term “Void.” This sticker type derives its name from the word “Void,” though alternate messages like “Opened” are possible, offering customization options.

Varieties of Void security labels

There are different kinds of Void labels in the world of security stickers. They vary based on what they’re made of and how much sticky stuff they leave behind when you take them off. Let’s check out Precintia’s Void labels!

1. Non-residue Void labels

Non-residue Void labels don’t leave any sticky mess when you remove them. They have a secret message that shows up on the plastic film when you take off the label. They’re made of strong Mylar polyester and have super sticky adhesive, so they can handle tough situations like extreme temperatures. These labels work best on smooth surfaces. You can write on them and customize their size and shape, adding any logo or message you want.

These labels are handy in lots of situations:

  • Transportation: They’re great for planes, boats, and vehicles, like on doors, windows, and containers.
  • Industry: They’re useful for alarms, doors, panels, and equipment.
  • Security: They’re good for controlling access to places and equipment.
  • Finance: They work well on coin boxes and ATMs.
  • Retail: They’re helpful for managing returns and protecting packages.

2. Void labels with partial residue

The CKR Void label is a type of security sticker that leaves some sticky residue behind when removed, indicating tampering. It’s best used on smooth surfaces. Made from Mylar polyester like the previous model, it has strong adhesive.

Here’s where you might use Void labels that leave residue:

  • Transportation: They’re handy for containers, cargo, and storage areas.
  • Industry: Useful for panels and equipment.
  • Surveillance: Great for securing envelopes and bags.
  • Retail: Helpful for managing returns and protecting packages.

3. Void labels that leave a complete residue

KTL and KTL+ Void label models are made for porous surfaces like cardboard or paper. When you peel off these stickers, they reveal a hidden message stuck to the surface, showing if the package or product has been tampered with. They’re crafted from see-through polypropylene and have strong adhesive.

The main difference between KTL and KTL+ Void labels is that the latter has external numbering. Both types have identification on the plastic film underneath, so they can’t be changed.

Here’s where you might use Void labels that leave a full residue:

– Surveillance: Good for securing envelopes and bags.

– Finance: Useful for boxes, envelopes, and confidential mail.

Using Void labels helps protect products from tampering, fights fraud and counterfeiting, and makes it easier to track items.

Contact us for more details!

barcode label printer thermal transfer ribbon

Everything About Thermal Labels: Direct Thermal vs. Thermal Transfer

When you ask for “thermal labels,” your label printer might ask if you want “direct thermal” or “thermal transfer.” If you’re not sure, that’s okay! A good printer will explain the differences and help you choose.

But if they don’t explain or it’s still confusing, don’t worry. There are two ways to use heat to put images and words on stuff. Your printer might understand the differences well, but for someone who’s not into labels, it can be confusing.

In this article, we’ll talk about the direct thermal vs. thermal transfer debate. We’ll explain what each type is, when they’re used, and the good and not-so-good things about each one.

What are thermal labels?

Thermal labels are labels made using heat to print images or text on special surfaces. There are two types: direct thermal printing and thermal transfer printing.

The infographic below shows the advantages and disadvantages of direct thermal and thermal transfer printing. Keep reading for more details.

What is Direct Thermal Printing?

Direct thermal printers use special paper or material coated with leuco dye. This dye can change color when it’s heated. So, when the printer’s heating element touches the paper, the dye turns dark, creating text or images. Sometimes, it’s the printhead that moves, and other times, it’s the paper or material. It depends on the printer.

More Everyday Uses

Apart from shipping labels, direct thermal printing is commonly used for things that don’t need to last a long time. For example, think about a ski lift ticket. They need to be printed fast for each person but don’t need to last more than a day.

Other uses for direct thermal printing include short-term stuff like:

– Parking tickets

– Wristbands for patients

– Passes for events

– Name tags

– Receipts

What Are the Benefits of Direct Thermal Printing?

Direct thermal printing is often used for barcodes and other scannable items because it produces clear, high-quality graphics and text consistently. Other benefits of direct thermal printing include:

– No need for ink or cartridges; the special printing material is the only thing you need.

– Because there are fewer supplies needed, there’s less maintenance and lower maintenance costs.

– Direct thermal printers are quick, which is why they’re used for things like receipts or shipping labels.

– They can be small and easy to move around.

– Operating direct thermal printers usually costs less than thermal transfer printers.

What Are the Downsides of Direct Thermal Printing?

Direct thermal printers can’t print in color, but your label printer might be able to print “blanks” with your company logo and other colors. Then you can run these blanks through a thermal printer.

Direct thermal printing is cheaper when you only need a few labels. But if you need a lot of the same label, like a whole roll or more, traditional printing methods might be cheaper.

Another problem is that there’s a shortage of leuco dye, which is used in direct thermal printing. The Chinese government has slowed down production because of pollution.

Other reasons to think about different printing methods instead of direct thermal printing include:

– Direct thermal labels can get dark if they’re in too much heat or light, making text hard to read and barcodes hard to scan.

– The labels can fade over time.

– If you scratch the labels, they can get dark. (Remember what happened when you scratched that shipping label from Amazon?)

Overall, if you care most about speed, being able to move the printer around, being efficient, and not spending too much money, direct thermal printing is a good choice. But if durability matters more, thermal transfer printing might be better.

What Is Thermal Transfer Printing?

If you’re not sure about the difference between direct thermal and thermal transfer printing, think about the word “transfer.” In direct thermal printing, heat changes ink that’s already in the material. But in thermal transfer printing, heat “transfers” ink onto the paper.

In thermal transfer printers, there’s a wide ribbon covered in wax-like stuff. When the printer’s heated printhead touches it, the wax melts and sticks to special paper or material. Usually, the ribbon is black, but you can get ribbons in different colors for thermal transfer printing.

What Are the Benefits of Thermal Transfer Printing?

Like direct thermal printing, thermal transfer printing is fast and creates clear, accurate text and images. It’s also great for printing barcodes.

But thermal transfer printing has the bonus of being able to print in color and being more durable. This makes it a good choice for printing a small number of labels as needed.

Compared to direct thermal printing, thermal transfer printing:

– Makes labels that last a long time.

– Stands up to moisture, heat, and light.

– Doesn’t rub off easily.

– Can be used on lots of different materials, like paper, polyester, and polypropylene.

Compared to other types of printing, like dot matrix or laser printing, thermal transfer printing is usually cheaper in the long run. Thermal transfer printers last a long time and don’t need much maintenance.

What Are the Downsides of Thermal Transfer Printing?

While thermal transfer printers can use ribbons in colors other than black, they can’t do full-color printing. For example, if you want to print in green, you need a green ribbon.

(GHS safety labels only need four colors, so printers for those labels come with all four.)

Thermal transfer printers also use up more material than direct thermal printers because the waxy ribbons need to be replaced now and then.

Here are some other downsides to thermal transfer printing:

– The ribbon usually can’t be recycled.

– You have to make sure the ribbon matches the material you’re printing on. If it doesn’t, it can melt onto the label and make a mess, possibly damaging the printer.

How Your Label Printer Can Assist You

An experienced label printer can help you decide between direct thermal and thermal transfer printing, based on what you need and how much you can spend.

There’s a myth that you have to buy label materials from the same company that made your printer. But a good label vendor can make labels in any size you need, like the width of the label and the space between labels.

If you need to print a lot of labels or if you want to stock up, your label printer can help with that too. They can also help you choose from other printing options besides thermal printing.

Ready to talk about your label needs? Contact us today.

barcode label printer

Chemical Resistant Labels: Ideal for Industrial and Durable Goods Manufacturing

Chemical-resistant labels are widely used in making tough goods. With technology improving, making industrial and durable goods has changed how labels are made and used. As more products are made each day, the labels needed for them have to be really strong and work well all the time. This means there’s a higher need for labels that can handle solvents like acetone and xylene.

Why You Should Think About the Environment Before Buying

Before buying chemical-resistant labels for your industrial products, think about the environment they’ll be in. This helps you pick the right labels to make sure you get good value for your money and keep your products high-quality. Depending on the environment, you can choose from:

– Labels with adhesive that resist oil

– Strong coatings and coverings

– Laminations that protect from sunlight for outdoor use

– Tough polyester labels for really hot places

Application Industries

Chemical-resistant labels are used in various industries, such as:

– Labels for drums

– Labels for household chemicals

– Labels for cars

– Labels for tough goods

– Warning labels

What are labels used in industries?

We make industrial polyester labels by printing on tough materials like high-temperature polyesters, acrylates, and vinyl. Sometimes, we add a layer of protection by laminating the labels if the print needs it. This makes the labels really strong and resistant to chemicals. All our industrial labels come with a strong adhesive that sticks well to surfaces like powder-coated paint and hard plastics.

Choices for labels used in industries

Here are the options for our tough industrial polyester labels:

– Different colors

– Barcodes

– Serial numbers

– Changeable information

– Different shapes and sizes

– Clear windows in different shapes and sizes for showing displays or indicator lights

Examples of labels used in industries

They work great for any industrial product or outdoor use where you need protection from UV rays for up to 5 years and resistance to chemicals. For example:

– Labels to identify products

– Warning labels

– Nameplates

– Tags with information

– Control panel labels

– Decals

Labels that can handle chemicals and solvents

Our chemical and solvent resistant labels are proven and tested to provide resistance against the following chemicals:

  • Acetone
  • Bleach
  • Brake Fluid
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Gasoline
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Skydrol

If you want to know more about our labels that can handle heat, get in touch with us today.