Barcodes are nothing but information carrying graphical patterns which are designed for easy and automatic retrieval. Various symbologies of barcodes are created and printed on barcode labels by a barcode printer. Zebra printers, WASP printers and so on can be used for printing barcode labels. Barcodes can be printed on the labels or directly on the commodity or product.
Ink-jet printers, laser printers, and thermal printers are generally used for printing barcode labels. However, thermal printers are the most efficient types of barcode printers. Direct thermal printer and thermal transfer printer are two types of thermal barcode printers. Special and dedicated printers are necessary to get large volume and specific types of barcode labels. These might not be present at some industries. Hence portable printers are mostly preferred by many organizations.
Portable barcode printer like a Zebra printer consists of a thermal printhead for printing barcodes. These are generally powered by batteries. Data to be printed on tags and labels are received by portable barcode printers from external host devices. A standard random access memory is used by portable barcode printers in order to store information including programmable software routines, format data, and others which are necessary for operation of the printer. Different software packages are available for design of various label formats.
Efficiency and work productivity can be increased by use of portable barcode printers as they can be used, based on the demand of use at any time. No cables and wired networks are necessary for them and hence can be carried to any place. Radio frequency or bluetooth technology are used by them for communication. Print width of these printers range from 2 to 4 inches. Labels for patient bedsides, shipping and receiving docks, retail checkouts, assembly lines, offices, and others can be printed by portable printers.