Thermal Label Printers: What Is the Distinction?

Thermal Label Printers: What Is the Distinction?


Thermal printers are so far more than the little desktop printers that are given away by sending companies; now they can fill quite technical rolls in printing environments.

Who’s the leader?

Zebra Technologies currently is the market leader in terms of distribution, but there are many manufacturers of thermal printers which have greater features and price points. Zebra gained a massive market share in 1998 when it bought the California based company Eltron International. Eltron had the contracts for supplying these tiny printers to both UPS and Federal Express. With this acquisition Zebra was able to enter the market in the’Desktop’ printer company and get name recognition with each business that shipped the product with UPS or Fedex. Zebra was already a formidable force from the’Tabletop’ printer business. Tabletop thermal printers are moderate to big size printers which are meant for higher production volumes.

Source Technologies is the new kid on the block. They presently have a product line in the tabletop size of printers which is more innovative and lower priced. With pricing which begins around the industry low to mid end tabletop printers, Source Technologies printers possess inventions such as touch screen control panel, lively print head cooling, automated print head pressure controller, Integrated ethernet adapter and single tag calibration. Most thermal printer manufacturers use proprietary control languages. This may require systems like IBM’s AS400 to get custom kinds programmed in order to print to the printer. This can be time consuming because the programmer should learn the terminology of the printer before programming at the formats for your labels to be printed on the thermal printer. Most developers are already knowledgeable about PCL-5 since that is the control language used by almost every laser printer made today.

Who earns a better’Desktop’ thermal printer?

Last year Datamax-Oneil established the E-class Mark3 lineup of thermal printers. These printers not print quicker in terms of inches per minute, but they also have a fast CPU and a decent amount of DRAM so they can process the labels and print them out at rates that compete with inkjet printers.

What about automated thermal printing methods?

Almost every major thermal firm has a lineup of printers made for automation methods. Southern California based firm Vanomation has built the LPA1000 print and use system working with a Printronix T5000 series thermal printer. With just some slight modification to the firmware the printer is fairly much the like the T5000 printers sold to the public. This saves on the implementation cost of an automatic thermal printing system by using a product that is already commercially available.

What’s there?

There many thermal printer makers. The ideal printer for the work frequently has to do with this program. No one printer provider makes a printer that’s for all software. To learn more on tag printers you can contact me in Progressive Tag or at LA Barcode Label.

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