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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. 

Ticket Printing Made Easy and Affordable With Citizen’s CL-S400DT

Posted February 13, 2019
CL-S400DT Ticket Printer
Why over pay for pre-printed media? When it comes to an admission control system, you need a printer that can print and provide all the essential information on the ticket to up-stand a quality event. The Citizen CL-S400DT can produce quality tickets with all the information needed with a fraction of the cost compare to other suppliers. This high quality and low-cost ticketing system allow events to print barcodes and information with ease to manage entrance and provide a receipt for the customer at the same time. The CL-S400DT not only prints tickets. This ENERGYSTAR compliant printer can also handle standard roll media for label and receipts allowing fast printing to fulfill high-volume print tasks. Capable to work with a large range of media, it is perfect for applications in warehouse, healthcare, retail, logistics, transit, and couriers. Furthermore, its easy to read LCD panel allows the operator to easily configure and be alerted when an error occurs.
CL-S400DT
Features:
  • Versatile media support (Fanfold, continuous, perforated, labels, tags)
  • Wide range of print width from 0.5- 4 inches
  • Fast print speed- up to 6 inches per second
  • Durable all-metal mechanism design
  • USB, serial interface (optional ethernet)
  • 2-color LCD display
  • Adjustable media sensor
  • Auto-cutter option
Whether you need to produce boarding passes, shipping labels, retail tags, festival, or admission tickets, this is the environmentally friendly printer for you. Its compact footprint, quick media loading, robust, and all- metal mechanism design makes the CL-S400DT easy to use and extremely reliable. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and see how the CL-S400DT is right for your operations.
Ticketing optionCL-S400ST-label

ZD510-HC Wristband Printer is Your New Healthcare Companion

Posted September 13, 2018

zd510-hc-photography-application-nurse-station-adminThe ZD510-HC wristband printer is your new healthcare companion, patient wristbands allows all healthcare workers to provide patients a safer and more efficient process for delivering care. Wristbands provide a quick identification required to prevent medical errors.

Designed to improve safety and data security the Zebra ZD510 printer is easy to clean and sanitize, medical grade power supply, secure solution for HIPAA compliance, and quiet operation.

What Makes the ZD510 Better Than The Rest?

  • Ease of Use- No Training Required, just insert wristband cartridge and print
  • Multiple Connectivity Options, Wireless or Bluetooth or NFC to pair and print
  • Compatible with leading ADT systems
  • Easy migration from the Zebra HC100, existing inventory wristbands will continue to work with the ZD510
  • Maximize uptime, business operations and printer visibility to save caregivers valuable time

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In addition to the ZD510, Zebra Z-bands have leading durability and scannability compare to the other class. It is up to 6- times more durable than other wristbands and healthcare wristbands features silver antimicrobial coating, which test results show effectively protects the wristband against S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, E.coli, and MRSA.

Lastly, the ZD510 can also serve as a hospitality printer in events and leisure when used with different types of wristbands.

Contact our dedicated account managers if you want to learn more about the printer or the wristbands that you can use and we will be happy to help.

 

RFID Printers At-a-Glance

Posted July 27, 2018

Whether you are a retailer, distributor or manufacturer, items are always on the move throughout your facility. Standard fixed RFID readers provide visibility into the inventory ‘at rest’ on your shelves. But you need to also track items as they travel in, through and out of your facility. And with Zebra’s family of RFID Combination Fixed Reader/Antenna solutions, you can. These advanced RFID solutions provide an additional layer of business intelligence that allows you to more tightly manage your inventory to prevent lost sales, stockouts, theft and unplanned downtime on the manufacturing plant floor. There’s an RFID Fixed Combination Reader/Antenna designed for every area of your facility, from your main building entry and exit areas, including the receiving and loading docks, to interior transition points such as the front and back room in a retail store, warehouse and shipping areas in a distribution center, or the warehouse and plant floor in a manufacturing plant. Track assets on the move in your facility to take your competitive advantage to the next level with advanced RFID Fixed Readers.

RFID solutions gives you real-time asset visibility you need to streamline operations, maximize asset utilization and error- proof asset related data.

Check out the Zebra’s line of RFID printers, with these printers you can create small hang tags, case/ pallet labels to photographic quality RFID- enabled ID cards.

RFID Printers

……………..ZT420 RFID                             ZD500R                               ZQ520                                             ZXP Series 7 

Industrial RFID Printer                            Desktop                         Mobile                       ID Card Printer with RFID Encoder

Contact our dedicated account managers to see what the right solution for you! We will be able to give you an assessment to set up an RFID solution that you need.

Brother’s TD-2000 Series – Printing Mobility for the Modern World

Posted July 13, 2018

Brother PrinterBoost efficiency where you need them. The Brother TD-2000 Series of compact desktop thermal printers can produce labels, tags, and receipts up to 2.2″ wide. From wireless-enabled PCs, tablets, and your smartphones you can print from this printer from whichever devices you want. The TD-2000 is perfect for rolling carts or kiosks in the retail or healthcare vertical. Small enough to be able to transport and have a media printing station on the go. With TrustSense smart media technology, the TD-2130NHC can also prints accurate human and machine readable patient identification wristbands and barcoded labels for  help improve patient safety. Click on the video below to watch all the features and benefits that the TD-2000 printer can provide! If you are interested or have any questions, please call us at 1-800-351-9962 and we will be happy to show how the TD- 2000 printer can work for you.

Zebra’s ZD420 The User-Friendly Printer

Posted July 5, 2018

zd420-1Why waste time to try to figure out your old printer when the Zebra ZD420 4- inch thermal printer is the printer for all users, easy to deploy and use. It can keep your business moving and lower total cost of ownership. Users can easily see what’s needed to keep the printer up and running with either replenishing media to resolving printer issues with no training required. Click on the play button and watch how easy it is to use the ZD420 printer and check out all the benefits it can bring to your work place.

|Speed & Quality| Maximize Printer Uptime| Easy to Manage & Connect| 

Applications:
Retail- Prices markdowns, shelf, asset, and return labels
Healthcare- Prescriptions, lab labels, patient ID wristbands
Manufacturing- Shipping, receiving, asset, inventory labels, and packing slips

Send us an email or give us a call at 855-337-5086 if you have any questions or need a quote on the printers, consumables, or service and we will be happy to help.

Avoid Printing Disruptions with Zebra Supplies

Posted May 10, 2018

It is important to choose the right printing supplies to prevent any operational hang ups. It is just as costly to operate with the wrong supplies as to operating without them. When labels fall off, gets hard to scan, cripples the printheads, or jams the printer causes unnecessary bottlenecks, often times means downtime in your operation.

Learn about how Zebra supplies can help you avoid all that. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact our dedicated account manager for a free assessment on the type of printing supplies you should use.


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Zebra

Tech Tip Tuesday: Money Back, Money Back! Go Zebra Trade In Program

Posted April 17, 2018

Screenshot_2Did you know that Zebra have a program that can help you save up to $550 per printer when you trade up to the latest Zebra printer to keep your operation running smoothly and efficiently? Outdated printer hold back operations and cost you time and money, so when it’s time for an upgrade Zebra makes it easy.

Upgrade and Save in 4 easy Steps with Barcodes Inc Puzzle BiFold DRAFT (NEW):

1. Contact our Dedicated solution providers at Barcodes Inc

2. Purchase a Qualified Product

3.  Submit your Reclaim Form

4. Trade in Your Legacy Devices

After submitting the claim you can log on to Go Zebra to check on your claim status to when you will receive your rebate. It’s that simple! Any questions feel free to reach out to our dedicated solution providers at Barcodes Inc.

The table below shows examples of how much you can save with the Go Zebra Trade- in Program when you purchase a new Zebra printer.

Go Zebra

To learn more about our Zebra printers, visit us at: https://www.barcodesinc.com/zebra/zebra-barcode-printers.htm

*Update: There’s a new update on the program eligibility, please check in with our dedicated solution providers on eligible products.

Top 5 Benefits of Zebra’s ZD420

Posted March 19, 2018

Why Should You Buy The ZD420 Series?

  1. Simple
    Installation, setup, and management is easy as 1,2,3.
    Drop the ribbon in place, plug it in, customize your printer configuration, and remote access to all the settings on the printers with Zebra’s printer profile manager.
  2. Same Format
    Whether you are upgrading to Zebra or a different printer, the ZD420 can use the exact label formats you use to print with no modifications needed.
  3. Efficiency
    The design of the printer is so simple anyone can use it. No need to spend time for training during work time, color coding and instruction labels makes ribbon changes fool proof. The result is less downtime, less technical support, and increased worker productivity.
  4. Saves Money
    With the new 300m ribbon for the ZD420 means four times fewer ribbon changes. This high capacity ribbon means you will be paying less per inch, reducing the cost of your supplies and cost for ribbon changing downtime.
  5. Built for Your Preference 
    Buy the ZD420 printer with the features you need today, and just like legos, you can add features on site anytime to meet changing needs. Whether you need a cutter, peeler, movable media sensor to Ethernet Connectivity, there’s an accessory for you.

Applications:
Retail- Prices markdowns, shelf, asset, and return labels
Healthcare– Prescriptions, lab labels, patient ID wristbands
Manufacturing- Shipping, receiving, asset, inventory labels, and packing slips

 

Touch Dynamic’s TB4: A Fast, Reliable, and Versatile Receipt Printer

Posted February 7, 2018

tb4In today’s highly competitive industry, it’s essential that receipt printers are fast, reliable, and versatile. The TB4 is all of that and more. Being Epson compatible it offers easy installation, and eliminates the headaches that typically come with setting up and installing a new printer. Touch Dynamic understands the direct correlation between printer weight and ease-of-use. The TB4 weighs in at a low 1.5 pounds making it easy to service and load.

Touch Dynamic’s state-of -the-art thermal receipt printer boasts a print speed of 9.8 inches per second (250 mm/sec). It’s available in dual interfaces either Serial/USB or Ethernet/USB and includes all necessary cables for implementation.

TB4 Features and Benefits:

  • Drop in Paper Loading
  • Wall Mountable
  • Print Resolution 203 dpi (8 dots/mm)
  • Cutter: 1 million cut life
  • Paper Type: Thermal Paper
  • Paper Max Width: 3.12 inches (79.5 mm)
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