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How does a barcode printer work?

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Today we will answer several questions to learn a little more about how the barcode printer works.

Bar code printers are widely used today for printing personalized labels in different market sectors.

But have you ever wondered: How do these printers work and how do they get the information printed on the labels? today you will learn.

What is a barcode printer?

A barcode printer is a technological device or tool that manages to print relevant information about a product (usually its identification).

They are widely used in different market sectors, such as in production factories, in transport and many other things.

supermarket cashier

The appearance of these printers on the market has greatly facilitated the work of large companies and production companies that can identify the products produced much more easily, in addition, they help to facilitate sales processes in large stores and much more.

What are the most commonly used types of barcode printers?


In general, two forms of barcode printing can be found that are much more effective than any other: thermal transfer printers and direct thermal transfer printers.

The key to the use of thermal barcode printers is that they obtain much higher printing performance and that the image sent from the computer or mobile can be reflected much better on the paper (or the label).

There are even today thermal printers that use both thermal transfer technology and direct thermal transfer technology.

Thermal transfer printers are the most recommended, however barcodes can be printed with printers with laser technology, inkjet printers and printers with RFID technology.

How does a barcode printer work?

Today we will learn a little more about the operation specifically of the most recognized barcode printers on the market which are thermal transfer printers.

The operation is as follows: the print head uses heat transfer technology to print (apply heat) on the paper that we are using at the time of printing.

The most widely used paper today is thermo-sensitive (prints look better), but other types of paper are also used.

barcode invoice

After the barcode label printing has been completed, another device is required that is capable of interpreting that barcode and converting it into useful information.
In short we need a barcode reader. It is for that reason that we will always see the printing and the barcode reader working as a whole.

Have you seen that many of the products you buy in the store have a label that goes through a barcode reader and thus gives the price or cost of the product to your seller?

Imagine having to enter the code for that product into the computer every time we want to buy a new product and that the store has thousands of different products and codes:

How long could it take a single person to make a good purchase? Perhaps much more than a few hours.

The importance of barcode printing for inventory is very clear.

It allows you to organize everything much faster and even with more peace of mind

In addition, you can be the ones who decide what information to put on that label and you can not only have the code, but also add the type of product, among other things that will surely be very helpful.

What materials are most used by barcode printers?

printer rolls

As we mentioned previously, thermo-sensitive paper is one of the most common used when printing barcodes, but it is not the only one, we can also find, for example, the following materials:


Polypropylene is one of the most used materials when printing bar codes that are used in libraries, hospitals and other places where information is usually stored for a long time on shelves.

Phosphorescent paper

On the other hand, we have a slightly less durable paper, but one that is excellent for quickly differentiating the products that may be stored in department stores.

They can be used in different colors and their tone makes them stand out quickly. The life of this paper does not usually exceed one year of use.

Direct thermal paper

It is also known as thermo-sensitive paper, it has a fairly short duration and it is not recommended that it be affected by humidity or even by the sun.

Most recognized brands of barcode printers

Zebra barcode printer

Zebra printers are one of the most recognized brands in barcode printers, they are characterized by being high quality printers, very good performance and long lasting.

When they select a zebra barcode printer they ensure good performance for a long time, something very important when printing barcodes. In addition, they will have enough types of printers to select the one that best suits their needs and demands.

Epson barcode printer

On the other hand, we can also recommend getting an Epson brand barcode printer.

Epson printer

This brand is widely recognized in the world of printing in general and has been in the market for a long time for the quality of its products and the prints produced by its machines.

They are also highly recommended printers, yes, it is important that they select the printer that fits what they really want, need and may need at some point in their life.

Do you already know how barcode label printing works? How many times have you seen barcode scanners work and you had no idea how they worked?

Now you can better understand how it works and you can even use printers of this style for your businesses, companies, factories and much more.

If you are interested in printers, we invite you to also visit the uv printers article to see what you could achieve in your business.

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