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Where to Place an RFID Inlay

Posted December 17, 2020

Printing and encoding RFID “smart labels” with an RFID-enabled printer has traditionally been difficult; a classic case of “the Devil is in the details.”  One difficulty users have wrestled with has been “inlay placement.”  Inlay placement refers to the location of the RFID inlay under the label’s face stock.  Although inlays are generally oriented horizontally under the face stock, the inlays can be located towards the bottom of the label, towards the top, or anywhere in between.  In the picture to the right, for example, the inlay is relatively close to the bottom of the label, the “leading edge” as it is often called, because this edge comes out of the printer first. 

Almost every printer brand – and even model – has traditionally had detailed, complex specifications regarding inlay placement, with different specifications for each and every inlay on the market.  The location of the inlay has to be a particular distance from the leading edge of the label in order to maximize the printer’s throughput (speed).  Just a millimeter or two either way, and the performance of the printer can suffer dramatically.  What a mess.  Given that printing and encoding RFID labels is already slower than printing traditional barcode labels, any further loss in performance has often been catastrophic for the end-user.  Waiting for your RFID labels to print and encode can hold up an entire production line.  This all meant that for your printer brand and model, you needed to make sure to order labels with an optimal inlay placement. 

Precise inlay placement also causes some additional problems: 

  • It makes selecting labels more difficult. Users need to order their labels very carefully to ensure correct inlay placement.  Does your purchasing department understand inlay placement?  
  • It can cause delays in sourcing labels.  Often, a convertor (label manufacturer) will have exactly the label size you need – but with incorrect inlay placement for your printer.  To get labels with optimal inlay placement, the convertor needs to configure their entire production line and run a new batch of labels for you.  This can take several days to several weeks. 
  • Finally, requiring a specific inlay placement can mean that users may pay more for their labels.  A quick Google search of classic paper thermal transfer 4×6 RFID shipping labels will show some surprising results.  The very same labels from the very same vendor can have dramatically different prices depending solely on inlay placement.  It all boils down to supply and demand, but if you are on the wrong side of the equation, you may have to pay significantly more for your labels. 

With Printronix Auto ID’s current line-up of RFID printers, these headaches associated with inlay placement are now a thing of the past.  Printronix RFID printers have a unique firmware (the software brains in the printer), which does what they call “Encode During Print.”  In clearer language, this means that the printer will first print some of the label, then switch over to encoding, then switch back to printing and finish up the label.  The printer will automatically either print or encode at any given moment depending on where the label is relative to the printer’s printhead and RFID encoder.  The traditional approaches for RFID printers were to either first print the entire label, then encode the RFID portion (“Print then Encode”) – or to first encode the RFID, then print the label (“Encode then Print”).  But with these traditional approaches, if the inlay is not optimally placed, then the printer needs to back- or forward-feed the label to align it for an operation (printing or encoding) at any given moment.  With Printronix’s Encode During Print functionality, back- and forward-feed are eliminated (other than to overstrike bad labels, which is another blog topic for another day), regardless of inlay placement. 

So far, we have been talking about labels like 4×6 shipping labels that allow different inlay placements.  But what about all of the RFID labels, “tags,” on the market that have predetermined inlay placement?  For example, on-metal tags, plant stakes, small pharmaceutical labels for cold-chain applications, “RTI” tags (Returnable Transport Items), etc., etc.  There are many such tags on the market, and more are being developed and released all the time.  These tags generally have a fixed inlay placement based on their physical design and on simple commercial considerations – they are meant to be “Off-the-Shelf” (OTS) products.  This is another area Printronix’s Encode During Print functionality shines even more.  Because the Printronix printers do not care where the inlay is located, you can use any of these tags and still achieve maximum throughput. 

And these unusual tags often pose physical feed challenges for RFID printers.  For example, on-metal and RTI tags are often thicker than normal smart labels, and they can have abrupt edges between labels, large gaps, etc.  Both Printronix’s T6000e and T4000 series printers were designed from the ground up to work with these more difficult constructions.  The printers are spec’ed for labels up to 1.2mm thick and are available in 4” and 6” print-widths, allowing you to print and encode a wide variety of tags from a single printer – all without sacrificing performance.  

Finding the right RFID solution is always a challenge and having the right resources and help are critical. If RFID sounds like a suitable solution for your business or you have additional questions, feel free to contact us at Barcodes, Inc. We’re always happy to help you find the right solution for your needs. 

Get Intelligence and Toughness with SATO’s CL4NX Plus Industrial Thermal Printer

Posted December 15, 2020

Offering a vast array of standard features that are unequaled by its competition, SATO’s CL4NX Plus sets a new and groundbreaking industry standard for ease of use, intelligence, on-board emulations, connectivity, speed of processing data streams, user activity interface, and much more.

Built with integrity, designed with the user and productivity in mind, the CL4NX Plus supports up to 10-inch outside diameter of media and 1968-foot (600-meter) ribbon and incorporates Smart Printhead technology to keep track of usage specific to the mounted printhead. The platen roller with the Pure Line indicator provides a visual wear indicator so users can be proactive when it is necessary to change this vital component. The Micro Label Print Mode provides higher print accuracy for small pitch labels and can dispense labels as small as 10 mm. 

Using SATO Application Enabled Printing (AEP), you can build custom standalone applications that can be run directly on the printer and connect peripheral devices directly to the printer for data input, such as a barcode scanner, keyboard, or weigh scale.

The CL4NX Plus Industrial Printer is fast, precise, and intelligent. It will exceed your expectations of the printing technology of today.

Shop the SATO CL4NX Plus Printer online or Contact your Barcodes, Inc. Account Manager for more information.

The Next Generation 4-inch Desktop Thermal Printer

Posted November 27, 2020

Setting the bar for desktop barcode label printing, SATO’s CT4-LX is a 4-inch thermal printer offering features and functionality typically only found in industrial printer models but in a compact size. Designed with a full-color touchscreen display, the latest wireless connectivity options and patented label waste prevention feature, the CT4LX Label Printer is easy to operate and maintain with user-replaceable printheads and platen rollers to quickly keep your business up and running.

Key Features
– 4.3″ Full Color Touchscreen Display
– 203 or 305 dpi print resolution
– Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal
– Label Waste Prevention – eliminates first label loss
– Apple iOS Connectivity
– Quick pairing with NFC-enabled devices
– Auto Switching competitive emulation languages (SBPL, SEPL, SZPL, SDPL, SIPL, or STCL)
– Auto RFID positioning with SATO RF Analyze (SRA)
– Remote management with SATO Online Services (SOS)

Connectivity Options: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RS-232C
Optional Features: UHF RFID encoder (pre-installed), Auto-Cutter, Linerless Cutter, Dispenser, Real-Time Clock

Shop the Sato CT4-LX online or Contact your Barcodes, Inc. Account Manager for more information.

Print On-Demand Color Labels with The Epson ColorWorks C6000/C6500 Series

Posted November 17, 2020

The first printer specifically designed as a color upgrade to black-and-white thermal transfer printers, the Epson ColorWorks Series of inkjet printers deliver on-demand, 4″ and 8″ color labels with fast-drying, durable color inks, while offering cost and inventory reduction compared to using pre-printed labels. Compatible with ZPL II, SAP, and more, and built to accommodate remote printer management, these versatile printers offer seamless integration with your existing workflow.

GHS‑Compliant Labels – Fast, efficient, durable GHS solution printing for your production floor
Fresh Food Labels – Fast, full‑color, high‑volume, heavy production labels for busy, fresh food production
Healthcare Label Printing – Fast, reliable printing for custom color‑enhanced labels for healthcare solutions

ColorWorks Model C6000A
C6000P 
C6500A 
C6500P
Key Feature Auto cutter Peel-and-present Auto cutter
Peel-and-present
Max. Print Width4.25-inch4.25-inch 8.34-inch 8.34-inch
Roll Media Outer Diameter8-inch8-inch6-inch6-inch
Roll Media Core Diameter3-inch 3-inch 3-inch 3-inch

Contact us today for a free assessment and see if you have the right label printing solution in place. Ask us about TrueSupport and our other DesignDeploy and Support services.

Industrial Label Printing as it Should be with the Honeywell PX940 Industrial Label Printer

Posted September 10, 2020

Error-prone, mis-printed and unreadable barcode labels continue to cost businesses tens of thousands of dollars annually due to chargebacks, fines and rejected shipments. For example, retailers like Walmart have detailed requirements for on barcode label design/placement. Non-compliance can cost the shipper $5,000 for the second infraction which can double with each infraction. In order to reduce fines and delayed shipments, you need a label printer that can change the landscape of the supply chain. Barcodes, Inc. and Honeywell can help you deliver an industrial barcode printing solution with integrated label verification. Watch how the Honeywell PX940 with Verifier is ideal for regulatory shipment printing:

Contact us today for a free assessment and see if you have the right industrial printing solution in place. Ask us about TrueSupport and our other Design, Deploy and Support services.

Citizen CL-S700 Industrial Printers for Easy Large-Volume Printing

Posted May 19, 2020
CL-S700 Industrial Printer

Keep up with busy manufacturing and warehouses with the Citizen CL-S700 industrial printer, ideal for use in applications including supply chain, inventory control, asset tracking, packaging, and ticketing.

Why Choose the CL-S700 for Large-Volume Printing?

The Citizen CL-S700 industrial printer is designed for ease of use and durability so you can rely on it to keep working even with high print volumes.

A large LCD screen on the front is programmable for your organization’s needs. Unique to printers in this category, the front-loading rewinder option makes it easier to access along with a Hi-Lift metal mechanism that opens the printer so you can access the ribbon and media.

The CL-S700 can print a number of 1D and 2D barcode types and has seven kinds of fonts and works with a wide range of media types for flexibility:

  • Roll or fanfold
  • Continuous or perforated
  • Die-cut labels
  • Tags
  • Tickets

The CL-S700 works with wax, wax-resin, or resin ribbons and can print up to 10” per second.

Shop the Citizen CL-S700 printer or CL-S700DT direct thermal model on Barcodes, Inc.

Durable & Flexible Label and Ticket Printing with the Citizen CL-S400DT

Posted March 24, 2020
Citizen Label and Ticket Printer

If you need to reliably print labels, passes, or tickets, consider the Citizen CL-S400DT barcode label printer! The CL-S400DT printer can be used in healthcare, retail, for logistics, in transportation, at events, by couriers, and more.

Quickly & Easily Print with the Citizen Barcode Label Printer

How can this label printer help your organization? Its compact size and durable metal construction fits into any environment, and it can quickly print a wide range of labels and tickets including event tickets and passes, barcode labels, tags, and more.

The CL-S400DT can use standard or fanfold media for more flexibility, and the Large LCD panel makes it easy to use. And the printer has an ENERGY STAR power supply.

Citizen CL-S400DT Key Features

  • Supports fanfold, continuous, perforated, labels, and tag media
  • Print widths between 0.5” and 4”
  • Prints up to 6” per second
  • 203 dpi print resolution
  • USB 2.0 and serial connections, option for Ethernet
  • Option for auto-cutter
  • Hi-Lift metal mechanism with wide opening head
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

Learn more about the Citizen CL-S400DT barcode label printer, or contact Barcodes, Inc. today for help finding the best label printers for your organization.

How Newcastle Systems Mobile Workstations Cut Receiving Times by 52%

Posted March 13, 2020

Saving time and improving warehouse efficiency is a top priority for businesses. The typical receiving process can take 20.75 minutes – but with Newcastle Systems mobile workstations you can cut that by 52% and save 520 hours per user per year!

Mobile workstations from Newcastle Systems improve warehouse systems by moving the computer and printer to you

How to Streamline Warehouse Receiving

How much wasted time and tasks could your warehouse cut out with a mobile workstation that moves with your workers?

  • Walking from the receiving area to the computer to look up order details
  • Waiting to print orders
  • Walking back to the products
  • Walking back to the computer to print labels
  • And more

Instead, a Newcastle workstation with its own container computer, printer, barcode scanner, and power source can move to your receiving station and allow your workers to scan, inspect, print, and apply labels right on the spot.

Shop Newcastle Workstations

Mobilize your workstation to anywhere in the warehouse with Newcastle Systems. Durable and customizable, these stations have everything you need. Compact stations fit into narrow isles and smaller warehouses, and battery options can power your devices for an eight-hour shift.

Barcodes, Inc. carries a wide range of Newcastle Systems mobile workstations including the NB series, the PC Picking series, the RC Utility series, NB Slim series, and EcoCart series along with accessories, parts, and power packs.

Compact and Durable Mobile Label Printing with SATO

Posted February 24, 2020

A truly compact mobile label printer, the SATO PW2NX mobile printer measures just 3.74” wide and 5.05” long so you can quickly and easily move it around your workplace to print price and sale labels, food safety labels, inventory records, receipts, and more.

The SATO PW2NX mobile label printer comes with a range of high-quality SATO supplies and SATO accessories.

Powerful & Compact Mobile Label Printer

SATO PW2NX Mobile Label Printer Available at Barcodes, Inc.

This direct thermal printer has five printing modes for more flexibility: continuous, tear-off, cutter, dispense, and linerless. Print speed will depend on your print mode.

The printer weighs less than a pound (444g) including the battery (not including paper) but can still withstand multiple falls up to 8 feet. The printer comes with a 1-year warranty.

Four Connectivity Options for Flexibility

For easier integration into your workplace, the SATO PW2NX has multiple connectivity options to work with your computer, tablet, mobile computer, or smartphone:

  • Bluetooth v3.0 (iOS support)
  • USB 2.0 (Type B)
  • NFC
  • WLAN (optional, select this PW2NX model)

Questions?

Shop the SATO PW2NX mobile barcode printer online or contact your Barcodes, Inc. Account Manager for more information on mobile barcode printers.

TSC MH240T Industrial Printer for High-Quality Label Printing

Posted February 19, 2020

TSC introduces a new generation of industrial printers with the new MH240T thermal printer. The TSC MH240T barcode printer features their best print quality yet – and with the latest print technology, faster processors, and plug-n-play TSPL-EZ firmware you will confidently be printing high-quality labels in no time.

Thermal Smart Control Print Technology

The TSC MH240T printer utilizes “Thermal Smart Control” print technology to help you produce the cleanest, highest quality 1D and 2D barcodes. Using this technology, the printer tracks each pixel to precisely heat it up for the best print quality so your labels can always be easily scanned without worry.

The printer also features 203 dpi resolution and fast print speeds – print labels as fast as 14” per second for efficient, high-volume printing! And for ease of use, the TSC MH240T barcode printer has a 4.3” color LCD touch panel.

Shop the TSC MH240T Industrial Barcode Printer at Barcodes, Inc.

MH240T Printer Applications

The MH240T industrial thermal printer is designed for:

  • Industrial printing
  • Compliance labeling
  • Work in process
  • Order fulfillment
  • Distribution
  • Shipping/receiving
  • Healthcare labeling & patient safety
  • Ticketing
  • Electronics & jewelry labeling

Questions?

You can find the TSC MH240T industrial thermal printer online at Barcodes, Inc. or contact your Account Manager for more information on the best printing system for your business.

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