Thermal Printing Technology

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Posted May 21, 2010 11:10:10 AM by DecisionPoint Team & filed under

Although laser, ink jet and dot matrix printers have the ability to output bar codes, thermal printers provide the highest quality and cost-effectiveness to users. Thermal printing is classified as either direct thermal or thermal transfer printing. Both direct thermal and thermal transfer printers provide:

  • Crisp, clear lines and spaces for the best bar code read rates
  • Long-lasting labels
  • Reduction of waste

Thermal printing is also fast (up to 12 inches per second), making it the perfect choice for on-demand printing applications. As you can see from the comparison chart below, thermal printing beats out the competition and is the best option for bar code labeling.

Technology Print Quality Scanner Readability Initial Installation Cost Long-Term Maintenance Cost Materials Waste
Dot Matrix Fair Low Low/Moderate Moderate/High High
Ink Jet Moderate Low/Moderate High Moderate/High High
Laser Moderate Moderate Moderate/High Moderate/High High
Direct Thermal Moderate/Excellent Moderate/Excellent Moderate/High Low Low
Thermal Transfer Excellent Excellent Moderate/High Low Low


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