A barcode is the small image of stripes separated with spaces that is found on almost all retail store items, postal mail and identification cards. They are useful to identify a particular product, location or person. A technology that has drastically reduced several tedious and time consuming jobs like product identification, stock taking, etc, barcodes are made by special printers called barcode printers.
Technically speaking, a bar code symbol has five parts - a quiet zone, data characters, a stop character, a start character and another quiet zone. A barcode reader or scanner is used to scan/read the code. The reader uses a laser beam that is sensitive to the reflections from the lines and spaces. The reader translates the reflected light into digital data that is sent to a computer system for further action or storage.
According to a new study by Grand View Research, an international market research and consulting firm, the global barcode printer market will reach US $ 3.81 billion by 2020.
Rise in demand for mobile barcode printers will drive market growth during the period. The usage of bar-coded wristbands for identification of patients in hospitals and individuals in important events has multiplied the demand in mobile barcode printer market, the report noted.
On Indian perspective, as per India Barcode Scanners & Printers Market Forecast & Opportunities 2017, revenues of the barcode industry are likely to grow at a whooping CAGR of around 30 per cent during 2011-2017.
Types of Barcode Printers and usages
Barcode printers are of two types – Desktop Barcode Printers and Industry Barcode Printers. Both are made for different markets.
For example, industrial barcode printers are used in manufacturing facilities and large warehouses. They have large paper capacities, have a longer service life and can operate faster. For retail and office environments, desktop barcode printers are the most widely used ones.
On industry wise applications, barcode printers are used in general retail, healthcare, environment, warehousing and manufacturing. Under general retail, barcode printers are used for making retail tags, shelf labelling and price marking while for healthcare sector, they are used for patient tracking, lab specimen labelling and pharmacy labelling.
While for entertainment sector it is widely used for ticketing, barcode printers find usage in inventory labelling, pallet labelling and package labelling in warehouses. In logistics and manufacturing, these printers are used for postal and mailing, shipping and receiving and luggage labelling and pallet labelling, parts marking, product labelling and compliance labelling, respectively.
Some of the major Barcode Printer brands which are popular in Indian retail sector include: Argox, Bixolon, Citizen, Datamax, Godex, Intermec, Toshiba, TSC, TVSE and Zebra.
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