The Laser Advantage
Prolific printers increase opportunities for profits
By Erik Cagle
Labels produced on laser printers have several elements working in their favor. They are more advanced than their impact printer brethren and cost less than thermal-transfer labels.
Many office desktop laser printers can handle laser label sheets. More offices are switching to laser printers, if they have not already done so, and they seem to be taking the torch from impact printers.
Among the many applications for laser-printed labels:
• Health care--patient record labels that are inserted into wristbands.
• Retail environments--pricing labels on store shelves.
• Bar codes.
• Shipping labels.
• Product identification labels.
• Garment tags.
• Address labels.
Tom Ainsworth, marketing director for Continental Datalabel, Elgin, Ill., recognizes the value of laser-printed labels versus impact-printed labels.
"It's an evolving process," Ainsworth said. "When organizations update their computers, they are purchasing laser printers in lieu of impact printers. Because of this technological advancement, the labels are being redesigned to follow the new breed of printers."
The reformatting required when making the transition from an impact to laser printer, Ainsworth noted, is justified by the improved technology, enhanced label designs and faster, cleaner printing offered by the laser printer.
Laser printers come in many styles, from the $300 model hooked up to your home computer to the $60,000 continuous laser printer at the office, according to Jerry Rivaldi, president of Kieran Label, Santee, Calif. His company does label configurations for the entire spectrum of laser printers.
The mechanics of laser labels are of the utmost importance, according to Rivaldi.
"One of the critical things is to understand the application; how the label is going to be used," Rivaldi said. "Secondly, what machine will it be printed on, because that has a major bearing on which materials are used and how it is configured.