Printing Barcode Labels | Mr Scanman | The Barcode Experts
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Home Page > Articles > Print Barcode Labels


Printing Barcode Labels
 

 

Barcode labels are required for a wide variety of applications. Perhaps you need to label products for sale, or maybe you need to label assets within your organisation. At some point, most growing businesses have a need for barcode labels.  This paper will help you choose the labelling solution best for your task.

 

Label Sizes

 

Labels come in all types of sizes and materials. The label is cut using a special “die”. When selecting the size of label you require it is important to remember that most label manufacturers have a limited number of die sizes available. It is best to work out the approximate size of label you require ad then ask for the existing die cuts and choose a size that is suitable.  If you want a specific size Mr Scanman can  have a new die created for you at a small cost.

 

Common Label Materials

 

Paper – The most commonly used material for retail and records.  Not really suitable for outdoor or harsh environments unless protected by lamination of some variety.  Paper is the cheapest form of labelling.  Suitable for high turnover applications and a 3-6 month usage life.

 

Polypropylene - The material to use if you are fixing the labels to containers or products that will be housed indoors (i.e. not exposed to UV light).  Polypropylene is a lesser performer than vinyl but very suitable for labelling containers to be housed indoors where damp or conditions will adversely affect a paper label.

 

Vinyl is the next more heat resilient performer but the material is not really suited to a printer that senses top of label and I have not quoted this material.  As a guide, the pricing of this material is between the Polypropylene and Polyester.

 

Polyester Labels are more heat resilient than Vinyl and do not need the mesh backing of vinyl.  Polyester labels will deliver a durable and the most UV tolerant labelling solution of the three labelling materials discussed here and will deliver excellent label longevity indoors, outdoors, harsh or clean environments.

 

Aluminium Labels are made from metal and are extremely robust.  These labels can be physically attacheed to an asset using a rivet, screw or bold.  Superb for outdoor use and in harsh environments.  A favourite for labeling tools or plant equipment.

 

Printer Types

 

Printers that print Labels come in three basic types:

Thermal Direct This label is similar to the old thermal fax paper. The label is typically used for a short period of time since it is susceptible to fading and marking. It is a less expensive label stock however the ongoing maintenance costs of replacing print heads is higher.

Thermal Transfer – This label is created using a ribbon. The label is long lasting and comes in many different varieties. The cost of the label is slightly higher however the ongoing maintenance costs of replacing print heads is lower.

 

A4 “Avery” Laser Some businesses opt to print labels using their laser printer. The common difficulty using these types of labels is printing a few labels on a sheet.  Normally customers re-use the label sheet meaning the label sheets are heated a number of times over multiple print passes.  This affects the glue backing and the labels can develop a tendency to peel off from the backing sheet and “gum up” the transport mechanism or print heads in the Laser Printer. This solution is good for low label requirements and printing Full Sheets of paper labels.

 

Label Printing Software

 

Printing from Windows Applications such as Word, Excel and Access or by specialised barcode label printing programs.  When printing from a Windows application the Microsoft operating system will use any fonts installed on that computer.  Mr Scanman has a range of fonts that allow users to print directly to Laser or specialised Barcode Label Printers.  Please contact Mr Scanman who can assist you with your Windows Barcode Font Selection.

 

Software Supplied with the Barcode Label Printers is usually quite basic in functionality and uses the imbedded printer fonts stored in the printers memory.  For simple label applications this normally produces very satisfactory results.  Many of our clients are still happily using this method while many others after gaining a better understanding of the labelling process have chosen to progress to specialised labelling software.  What the user has to be aware of is that the software supplied with these printers is very basic.  Many of the more popular label composition and printing features are only available in the Retail versions of the software that needs to be purchased separately.

 

Specialised Label Printing Software These packages include label design, data integration with applications, such as MS Access or other Databases as well as Graphics and sophisticated layout design tools.  These packages usually have excellent graphic integration allowing very complex label designs to be generated reasonably quickly and are almost compulsory if you are producing volume labels.  Mr Scanman has tested many of these applications and can provide you with details if you choose this path.


Label Solutions

As you can see there is more to barcoding successfully than meets the eye!.  Mr Scanman can walk you through your options and choices and assist you in selecting the labelling systems that will support your barcoding project.  

Our most popular label printing solution involves the purchase of a barcode label printer, label printing software and rolls of label in the size and material required. The strength of this solution is that labels can be printed as and when they are needed with replacement or new products being able to be coded in minutes. Label design software is usually required to format the labels as required.

 

Typically businesses include a logo, barcode and descriptive text under the barcode on the label. You should check to see whether the ability to print labels is already present within the software you are using (eg. warehousing or retail software).

The other alternative is to purchase pre-printed barcode labels. This solution makes sense if you require a small number of labels and you know the numbers or text you want printed on the labels.

 

Contact Mr Scanman for any assistance required in label printing solutions.

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