All posts by Kelly Gosling

DPI Explained-!!??

This article will explain the jargon DPI and resolution when we talk about a thermal label printer.  When you’re looking at the specifications for a printer or when someone mentions DPI, you’ll understand what it means.  You’ll also learn what resolution suits your situation best.

Dots Per Inch and Printer Resolution

DPI stands for Dots Per Inch which means how many dots of printing you get per of inch.  It is also known as Resolution.  A high DPI printer will also be a high resolution printer.  In other words a 300dpi printer has a higher resolution than a 200dpi printer.

This gives you an idea of the difference between 203, 300 and 600 dpi printers:

DPI Examples

A higher DPI means a clearer and crisper print. When it comes to thermal label printers 203 dpi is standard but there are higher DPI printers.

How to Decide What Print Resolution You Need.

Deciding the print resolution you need is something you need to do before choosing a printer.  You need to consider:

  • Clarity and readability – the higher the resolution or DPI the sharper the image printed.
  • Print speed – the higher the dpi, the slower the print speed
  • Size of text – the smaller the print of the text or symbols used, the higher the DPI needed to ensure legibility.
  • Cost – higher resolution printers cost more and replacing the printhead costs more.

How Are You Using Your Labels?

As a rule of thumb:

  • If the person looking at your labels is thinking of buying the item (i.e. you want to present your products in the best light), choose 300dpi. 
  • If the label is a packaging label used by the warehouse or used in an industrial setting then choose 203dpi. 
  • If you are printing a small label and you need text smaller than 10 point then go for 300 dpi and
  • If you are printing small label (typically less than 10mm wide or tall) and you need a 1D or 2D barcode (QR Code or Datamatrix code) on it, consider a 300dpi or 600 dpi printer.
Zebra ZT610 600dpi High Resolution printer
Zebra ZT610 600dpi High Resolution printer

600 dpi printers are not widely used but can be essential in electronics or sometimes jewellery and pharmaceutical industries.

Try Before you Buy

We are able to test print 203 and 300 dpi labels for you.  Let us send you a sample print out and see for yourself. 

We don’t have a 600dpi printer in house, but if you are considering a 600dpi printer it’s highly recommended that you test the print first.  600 dpi is available on a limited range of printers and the cost is high.  Contact us with what you need and we will arrange for a printout for testing.

We’re Here to Help

We have more than 25 years experience with barcode label printing and are here to help you.  Click on the chat button in the bottom corner, contact us through our Contact Us page or call us now on 01359 271 111 for Expert advice.

Published 16 April 2019

 

RFID Vs Barcodes-!!??

Heard of RFID and are wondering how this might help you in your organisation?  Read this article to find out what RFID is and when you would use RFID instead of standard barcode labels.

RFID – a few words of introduction

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It uses radio waves to read information stored on a tiny chip.  RFID chips are small (or flat) enough they can be built into credit cards, travel cards, tags and labels.

RFID tags do not need batteries, the tag reader ‘charges’ the tag so it’s able to ‘beam back’ the data that’s stored on it. 

Using RFID you are able to fully automate data capture.  You no longer need to orientate labels so they can be scanned – simply move (carry or drive) the item past the reader and the data is collected.

RFID
RFID labels – barcodes and text combined with RFID

As with the picture beside, RFID can be combined with barcodes and labels to provide a human readable message as well as machine readable data.

RFID can be used in so many areas, for example: –

  • Keeping track of animals, eg microchipping
  • Tracking inventory, supplies and products
  • Preventing theft. Attach one to an item and they will set off an alarm when it reaches a certain point
  • Tracking of company vehicles or other valuables
  • Much faster and easier checkout in stores.

Advantages of RFID

RFID Label Printing
RFID Label Printing

Store lots of data on the chip

RFID allows you to store lots of data on the tag.  Because you’re storing data in electronic memory of the tag, you can store much more information than you can with a label.  This might include text, web addresses or even images.  

Update data on a chip

With electronic data you can change it.  That’s something you can’t do with a printed label unless you reprint and apply a new one. 

Read tags from a distance

Standard RFID tags can be read from a meter away and don’t need to be positioned to be scanned unlike barcodes

Using battery powered RFID chips (known as active RFID) the range can be boosted – with certain tags readable a staggering 2KM away! 

No need for ‘line of sight’ with RFID

Reading RFID Tags
Reading RFID Tags

RFID works using a tag reader and antenna.  The reader beams out a radio wave and receives information ‘bounced back’ from the tag.  As long as the reader is near a RFID chip, it can be read.  Unlike the barcode there’s no need to see the barcode. 

For example, Airbus uses RFID to keep track of aircraft seats and life jackets.  RFID chips tell them the expiry date and maintenance history in seconds, using a lightweight hand held reader.  No need to crawl under aircraft seats to scan codes.

Fully automate operations

With RFID, data can be collected without any human involvement.  Just moving tagged objects past a properly configured reader will collect data.

Secure data on the RFID Tag

Unlike labels that can be read by anyone, RFID data can be stored in encrypted format and decrypted when it’s collected.

Durability

If you embed tags into an item then they can be much more durable than an exposed (and therefore easy to use) barcode label.

Interested in RFID?  Contact us at info@expertlabels.co.uk.

Disadvantages of RFID

Signal Blockage

Sometimes a signal is blocked by certain liquids, metals, and other materials. This can prove to be a real issue.  In an automatic reading situation the RFID readers need to be positioned carefully to avoid blind spots.

RFID tags are more expensive than Barcodes

RFID tags cost more than barcode labels.  They are available off the shelf and cost around 16 pence per tag/label. 

However, the comparison of cost disappears if you are re-using tags. 

Imagine you are recording details about the contents of a plastic crate (batch code, item code and quantity, for example) and recycling the crate after use, the return on investment is paid back over time. 

Where assets are retained and RFID tags can be reassigned when assets are disposed of, then the benefits of RFID can quickly pay for the initial investment.

Deluged with data

With a mass of automatically collected data from RFID tags – you need to have robust IT infrastructure to collect, process and store the data.

Barcodes

Barcodes are comprised of a series of parallel black bars representing identification information. This is then read with a barcode scanner. However, today many smartphones are able to scan different types of barcodes. 

Barcode Types

Barcodes are practically free

Barcodes are printed directly onto plastic or paper materials, there’s a tiny marginal increase in ink use, but this is negligible. 

Barcodes are a universal technology.

They’re tried and tested and well understood.  Barcodes are in widespread use and barcode scanners are cheap and easy to buy and use.  Your supply chain partners are almost always going to be using barcodes.

Want to know more about RFID?

If you’re considering RFID in your organisation – email us at info@expertlabels.co.uk  and tell us what you have in mind.  We will discuss your project with you and help you decide if RFID will save you money and increase productivity. 

Useful Links

www.zebra.com/gb/en/products/rfid.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-frequency_identification

Dated: 6 Apr 2019

Simon Nicholson – Trainee Business Manager-!!??

Simon has recently joined our team in the role of Trainee Business Manager. He completed his degree in Sport and Exercise Management last summer. We would like you to get to know Simon a little better so we have asked him to state 7 facts about himself!

  1.   Grew up living in Newmarket, Suffolk with his parents and two siblings – he has an older brother and sister so is the youngest in the family!
  2.   Went to school in Bury St. Edmund’s, completing his GCSE and A-levels at St Benedict’s upper school.
  3.   Attended the University of Kent, graduating in 2018 having completed his undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Management.
  4.   An enthusiastic sportsman who plays for local football and cricket teams in Suffolk, as well as being a regular gym goer.
  5.  An Ipswich town supporter who tries to get down to Portman Road to watch games whenever he can.
  6.  Simon is a keen traveller who enjoys city breaks and exploring new places!
  7.  When he’s not busy playing sport, in his free time, he enjoys spending time out with friends and family, or chilling out at home with a good binge of a Netflix series.

We are thrilled that Simon has joined us and look forward to him taking the company from strength to strength.

QuickStock App Package-!!??

Stock control made simple with our QuickStock app package 

If your stock records are a chore, not to mention, badly out of date – perhaps we can help.  Take a low cost hand held terminal and use it to record your stock movements – in and out – and make your regular stock checks quicker, easier and more accurate.  Check out our latest industrial duty mobile computer with integrated barcode scanner.

Scan your new stock or inventory  into your warehouse or storeroom and automatically add it to your stock database. Scan it out when it’s sold or issued to a job.  Make the annual or perhaps monthly stock check faster and more accurate  and update your stock database as required.Scanner

We recommend tough terminals with barcode readers.

Whilst you can buy apps to run on smartphones – that use the phone’s camera, we recommend you invest in a durable, industrial grade Android mobile computer (that will cope with the rough handling the work environment throws up) with a dedicated, but integrated, barcode scanner to make the repetitive scanning of barcodes faster and easier.

A slightly higher price will quickly pay for itself in terms of productivity and fewer repairs.

Combine your terminal with a simple software application written and installed to work on the latest Android powered Zebra Technologies TC20 mobile computer. Supplied ready for action!

Pricing outline

Initial subscription. One off cost for installing to any number of units, £1750.00 plus VAT

Stock control application annual licence per mobile device  £375.00 plus VAT

Annual software support contract. Problem solving, re-installs, telephone support. Annual contract per subscribed application.  £375.00 plus VAT

Zebra Technologies TC20 mobile computer with comms and charging cradle – £495.00 plus VAT

Zebra TC20
Zebra TC20

With a total price for a single stock management terminal (including your software licence and a year’s support) just £2995.00 (plus delivery and VAT), you’ll quickly recoup your investment in fewer man-hours, up-to-date stock records that you can trust.

Please call us on 01359 271 111 for further advice and availability.  Take the first step in keeping your stock records up to date.

BarTender Basic-!!??

BarTender is a very powerful tool to use within your business.  Whether you’re a small to medium business or a large corporation, BarTender has different editions to suit your needs: BarTender Basic, BarTender Professional, BarTender Automation and BarTender Enterprise Automation.

Today I would like to concentrate on BarTender Basic.  Here’s a list of key features the Basic edition includes:

  • Design your labels and tags in any custom size, shape and colour
  • Include flexible fonts, graphics, barcodes and images
  • Print over a hundred different 1D and 2D barcode designs
  • Include serial numbers and simple sequencing labels, tags and cards.
  • Set up data entry forms that pop up at print time and prompt the user to enter information such as product codes or dates
  • Optimise print speed to any printer or marking device
  • You buy one licence for each PC you install BarTender on.

You will see that BarTender Basic has lots to offer.  You might even be thinking too much for what you’re needs are!  Don’t be put off by the long list of features, BarTender Basic can be used for printing a basic barcode label as and when you need to.  

But what happens when your company grows? You might find that you need to include different serial numbers or use data entry forms.  BarTender Basic is perfect for this. It’s the lowest cost edition of the software and worth every penny in our opinion. As your company grows, you need your label software to grow with you.  Buying new software as you expand is not only a waste of money but of time and effort too. Get it right from the start and allow BarTender to boost your business and assist with the smooth running of day to day operations.

Click here for your free BarTender trial or call us on 01359 271 111.

Label Printing Services-!!??

Label Printing Services

Are you looking for printed labels in small or large quantities, with text or data printed to your specific requirements. Perhaps for mailshot address labels, barcode labels, batch labels, product serial numbers, offer codes, etc. Sometimes having someone else to do your label printing makes good business sense. Save buying printers and software and stocks of labels, and have us print your short run label jobs.

Many sizes of labels are available in various materials to suit all applications. We can provide standard paper labels with permanent or removable adhesive, waterproof and tearproof materials for outdoor use or for more demanding environments and many others.

More than just Barcode Label Printing

We work with our customers to provide a wide range of different printed label requirements such as

  • Barcodes
  • Product names and descriptions
  • Part numbers
  • Lot numbers
  • Batch numbers
  • Serial numbers
  • Mail shot addresses
  • Asset ID descriptions and barcodes
  • Complex sequential numbers
  • Variable information from databases
  • and many others

If you know what you need, get a quote by clicking here.

If you have some questions or would like further information – talk to one of our experts – call 01359 271 111 or email us now at info@expertlabels.co.uk
Alternatively have a look at our our guide on the following pages  http://expertlabels.co.uk/services/barcode-label-printing/

Biodegradable Labels-!!??

We are all trying to become more environmentally aware and Expert Labels can help. We are currently supplying more biodegradable labels than ever before. The market for these has really taken off!

These biodegradable labels are still more expensive than paper or standard plastic labels.  Let me give you a rough idea of cost – for any quantity up to 1,000 labels:

Matte biodegradable paper £200
Gloss biodegradable paper £225-£250
Gloss biodegradable plastic £250 – £275
Clear biodegradable plastic £300

Over that the cost per thousand labels goes down.  If you think this meets your budget, request a sample or a more detailed quote and we can help.

Get Quote

Our biodegradable labels work on par with the more traditional label, with the added benefit of them being completely biodegradable!

We can supply the following: –

  • Biodegradable semi gloss paper labels (FSC certified by the Forest Stewardship Council) are suitable for a wide range of  promotional and industrial label uses and we can offer these plain or full colour printed. This material is printable by most printing methods including thermal transfer.
  • Biodegradable (FSC certified) matt white thermal transfer printable labels are ideal for situations where label presentation is less important (i.e. warehouse labels, outer case labels and labels for  in-house identification). This material is printable by most printing methods including thermal transfer.

 

  • Biodegradable and compostable white high gloss film labels are available, with a print receptive top coating.  These labels are great for food items including fruit and vegetables, drink bottles and healthcare products and can be printed in full colour to a high standard. All the labels are compliant with the European Food Regulations for direct contact with dry, non fatty food items.  The adhesive used is acrylic based and biodegradable.  The labels are water and tear resistant.

 

  • Biodegradable and compostable clear gloss film labels are available, with a print receptive top coating.  These labels are also especially good for food items and healthcare products and can be printed in full colour for a high quality presentation.  All the labels are compliant with the European Food Regulations for direct contact with dry, non fatty food items.  The adhesive used is acrylic based and biodegradable with good initial tack and adhesion and the labels are water and tear resistant.
  • Biodegradable loop lock labels and tags – made to degrade in contact with light and oxygen but tough and durable – tear resistant.  Can be made to your exact specifications.  These tags are designed to degrade within 18 months.

For more information on any of our products or to place your order please click the chat button in the bottom right or contact a member of our team today.

Making your product beautiful with Swing Tags-!!??

Swing tags, or swing tickets, come in all shapes, sizes, thickness, colours and materials. Choosing the right ticket for your product can feel overwhelming, but that’s where we can help! Read on to find out more about swing tickets and how we can help you.

Swing tags can really set the tone for the product you’re selling.  From rustic and charming to elegant and luxurious, your swing tag can be made to suit your product and strengthen your product awareness in the marketplace.

Swing tag
Swing Tags can make your product stand out

The first thing you will need to think about is what style of swing tag (or swing ticket) will match your products.  If you’re a vintage clothing shop, a brown craft card with jute string will give a rugged and down to earth vibe.  A high end gift shop might want a more finished and classic tag such as a thick, crisp white card, custom shaped with a nickel eyelet and a beautiful ribbon.  Both of these could be printed both sides with a colour or even a foil effect.  The possibilities are endless!  Once you have decided on the material and print colours, you can choose from many stringing options such as elastic, ribbon and string.

Fancy adding a final touch? Eyelets are a truly eye catching detail to add to your swing tag.  Choose from nickel or brass to make your ticket really stand out.

 

Need your swing tag to be tough and functional? No problem.  Waterproof PVC or our superbly robust Tyvek are brilliant options.  Again, both of these materials can be printed both sides and strung to suit your needs.  Many of our customers choose to use a brass or nickel eyelet to strengthen the drill hole and a strong cord or elastic stringing.

Swing tag

We can also provide health and safety tickets for you.  This can be anything from warning messages to maintenance tags.  We can provide these tags on bright coloured card, PVC or Tyvek and with washered drill holes to minimise the chance of tearing.  We also hold all of the standard health and safety symbols and graphics you may need.

Call us today on 01359 271 111 to discuss how we can help you with your swing tag requirements or email us at info@expertlabels.co.uk.

 

QuickStock – Stock Labels-!!??

QuickStock Labels

Expert Labels can provide synthetic (plastic) stock labels with a delivery time of typically 3-4 days.  The labels are available in plain gloss white and plain matt silver and are waterproof, chemical and solvent proof. They are durable and tear proof PET material with a high performance permanent adhesive and are suitable for thermal overprinting. These labels are excellent for use outdoors and can even withstand elevated temperatures up to 145 degrees C.

* Please note all prices are exclusive of delivery and VAT

Gloss White PET – Mid Range / Industrial Printer

 

Size  mm Ref Labels Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll
25 x 13 23750 11000 3 £55.29 6 £41.89 12 £34.96
34 x 19 23751 7500 2 £80.01 4 £59.43 8 £49.77
38 x 19 23752 7500 4 £57.75 8 £47.04 16 £42.58
38 x 25 23753 6000 4 £59.56 8 £48.05 16 £42.76
51 x 13 23754 10750 2 £82.03 4 £60.65 8 £50.88
51 x 25 23755 6000 2 £79.08 4 £60.06 8 £49.81
51 x 32 23756 5000 2 £81.27 4 £60.34 8 £50.47
72 x 32 23757 5000 3 £80.08 6 £65.03 12 £57.33
76 x 51 23758 3125 2 £92.75 4 £71.13 8 £60.55
102 x 25 23759 6000 2 £118.27 4 £95.26 8 £84.59
101 x 51 23760 3125 2 £117.91 4 £94.89 8 £83.57
102 x 152 23761 1100 2 £117.63 4 £95.38 8 £84.71

 

Gloss White PET – Desktop Printers

Size mm Ref Labels Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll
25 x 13 23780 4750 3 £39.83 6 £25.61 12 £18.96
34 x 19 23781 3250 2 £56.74 4 £37.90 8 £27.44
38 x 19 23782 3250 4 £37.49 8 £26.80 16 £21.07
38 x 25 23783 2500 4 £37.38 8 £26.71 16 £20.97
51 x 13 23784 4750 2 £59.46 4 £38.11 8 £28.07
51 x 25 23785 2500 2 £56.63 4 £37.00 8 £26.74
51 x 32 23786 2000 2 £56.56 4 £36.93 8 £26.26
72 x 32 23787 2000 3 £49.67 6 £34.89 12 £27.47
76 x 51 23788 1400 2 £76.73 4 £54.50 8 £43.61
102 x 25 23789 2500 2 £74.41 4 £53.06 8 £41.55
101 x 51 23790 1250 2 £72.65 4 £51.30 8 £40.18
102 x 152 23791 500 2 £78.20 4 £55.17 8 £44.28


Satin Silver PET – Mid Range / Industrial Printers

Size  mm Ref Labels Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll
25 x 13 23766 11000 3 £52.51 6 £37.27 12 £32.49
34 x 19 23767 7500 2 £76.02 4 £55.75 8 £46.10
38 x 19 23768 7500 4 £53.87 8 £43.27 16 £38.01
38 x 25 23769 6000 4 £55.52 8 £44.27 16 £38.98
51 x 13 23770 10750 2 £77.97 4 £56.90 8 £47.11
51 x 25 23771 6000 2 £75.85 4 £56.20 8 £46.12
51 x 32 23772 5000 2 £77.14 4 £56.49 8 £46.69
72 x 32 23773 5000 3 £74.62 6 £59.85 12 £52.29
76 x 51 23774 3125 2 £109.86 4 £87.28 8 £76.22
102 x 25 23775 6000 2 £110.29 4 £87.70 8 £77.20
101 x 51 23776 3125 2 £109.86 4 £87.28 8 £76.22
102 x 152 23777 1100 2 £109.59 4 £87.72 8 £77.21


Satin Silver PET – Desktop Printers

Size  mm Ref Labels Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll Rolls Price Per Roll
25 x 13 23802 4750 3 £38.44 6 £24.40 12 £17.75
34 x 19 23803 3250 2 £54.82 4 £36.08 8 £25.80
38 x 19 23804 3250 4 £35.59 8 £25.12 16 £19.47
38 x 25 23805 2500 4 £35.49 8 £24.99 16 £19.36
51 x 13 23806 4750 2 £57.39 4 £36.32 8 £26.33
51 x 25 23807 2500 2 £25.10 4 £20.06 8 £18.06
51 x 32 23808 2000 2 £54.68 4 £35.20 8 £24.67
72 x 32 23809 2000 3 £47.12 6 £32.68 12 £25.37
76 x 51 23810 1400 2 £72.77 4 £50.90 8 £40.19
102 x 25 23811 2500 2 £70.63 4 £49.63 8 £38.36
101 x 51 23812 1250 2 £69.02 4 £48.03 8 £37.10
102 x 152 23813 500 2 £61.47 4 £44.93 8 £37.14

 

To discuss any needs your company may have please contact a member of our team who will be more than happy to help.

Desktop Barcode Label Printers-!!??

Desktop barcode label printers are smaller printers suited to printing fewer labels.  Being made with plastic cases, these printers tend to be best suited to office, laboratory and hospitality situations not factory or warehouse settings.

 

Zebra

GK420t
  • Print speed: up to 127 mm (5 “) per second
  • Print method: direct thermal/thermal transfer
  • Quick and easy ribbon loading system
  • Durable plastic construction

 

GK420d Zebra GK420d barcode printer
  • Print speed: up to 127 mm (5 “) per second
  • 203 dpi print resolution
  • Print method: direct thermal
  • Smallest footprint in 4-inch thermal printer
  • Durable reinforced plastic construction

 

GX420t
  • Print speed: up to 152 mm (6″) per second
  • 203 dpi print resolution
  • Print method: direct thermal/thermal transfer
  • LCD user interface
  • Variety of connection options

 

GX430t Zebra GX430t
  • Print speed: 102mm (4″) per second
  • 300 dpi print resolution
  • Print method: direct thermal/thermal transfer
  • Bluetooth as standard
  • Offers clear printing of 2d barcodes, fine text and complex graphics ideal for high-density data on small labels.

 

ZD410 Zebra ZD410d Barcode Printer
  • Print speed: 152 mm (6″) per second
  • 203 dpi print resolution
  • Print method: direct thermal
  • Super fast printer. Ultra compact
  • Easy to use, operate and troubleshoot

 

GC420d
  • Print speed: 102 mm (4”) per second
  • 203 dpi print resolution
  • Print method: direct thermal
  • The GC420 integrates easily with other Zebra printers
  • Compact and space saving. It will meet a wide variety of printing requirements. This is Zebras most affordable desktop printer

 

ZD500
  • Print speed: 152mm (6”) per second (203 dpi)
  • Print speed: 102mm (4”) per second (300 dpi)
  • 203 dpi (300 dpi optional) print resolution
  • Print method: Thermal transfer printer / Direct thermal printer
  • Multi-position transmissive + full width reflective sensor
  • High quality print and quadruple connectivity options

 

For more information on any of the printers please contact a member of our team who will be more than happy to help.