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Maxim are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of high-quality printers for customers in the retail, logistics, and automotive sectors, partnering with premium brands like Zebra, Printronix LLC, TSC AutoID, and Honeywell and Toshiba, to name a few.

What type of printer do I need for my business?
 

There are five main types of thermal and line printers, suitable for different applications and print volumes.

1. Thermal Label Printers

Thermal label printers are used to create high-quality adhesive labels for various commercial purposes and are ideal for high-volume label printing applications. Unlike inkjet or laser printers, thermal printers require no separate ink or toner. Instead, they apply heat to a thermal paper, which creates an image or text on the label substrate.

Thermal printers are popular among businesses for several reasons, including their relatively low cost, fast printing speed, variable capacity, compact footprint, and efficient printing process.

 

Applications:

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  • Shipping labels

  • Barcode labels

  • Stock inventory tags

  • Product labelling etc.

A thermal label printer opened up so you can see the mechanics of it

Want to find out more about our printer selection, or simply need to speak to an expert? 

2. RFID Printers

RFID printers use radio frequency identification technology to print and encode RFID tags for warehouse and retail applications. RFID labels, also called smart labels, contain a small electronic microchip and an antenna that is used to wirelessly store and transmit information, such as serial numbers or product details. RFID printers operate by encoding this data onto the smart labels and printing them out, where they can be used to track and manage stock in any industry where real-time data tracking and high efficiency are critical.

 

Applications:

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  • Inventory management

  • Asset tracking

  • Supply chain management

  • Theft prevention

  • Anti-counterfeiting

3. Desktop Printers

Desktop printers are low-volume, low-cost printers designed to print a variety of label types and sizes. These printers can be either direct thermal or thermal transfer, and modern versions support connection over USB, Bluetooth, Ethernet and Wi-Fi. They can also be fitted with different media handling options like their industrial counterparts, making them a versatile solution.

Their size and ease-of-use make them an economical, space-saving option for low-volume labelling applications.

 

Applications:

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  • Shipping labels

  • Laboratory labelling

  • Product labels

  • Receipts

  • Hospital wristbands

  • Inventory tags

  • Price tags

A dark grey desktop printer perfect for use in commercial environments, provided by Maxim Computer Services

4. Mobile Printers

Mobile printers are lightweight and portable direct thermal printers, allowing workers to print on-the-go. While most thermal printers require AC power, mobile printers utilise a rechargeable battery and wireless connectivity. This is especially useful for warehouse and distribution centres, where reliable, efficient picking is critical. They can be attached to forklift trucks, and can interface with the central WMS via mobile scanners, tablets and/or PCs.

 

Applications:

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  • Shipping labels

  • Receipts and invoices

  • Tickets

  • Picking and packing information

  • Price/Expiry Date labels

Not sure which printer would be best suited to your requirements? Our expert team can help advise you!

5. Line Printers

Line printers are high-speed devices, designed to print large volumes of text documents quickly and efficiently, making them ideal for use in large retail and logistics businesses that require regular high-volume printing. Line printers can print several lines of text at once, making them much faster than commercial printers, such as laser printers.

 

Compared to cheaper commercial printers, they are extremely durable and reliable. They also do not require traditional toner or ink, giving them lower running costs and a better ROI than alternatives like lasers.

 

Applications:

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  • High-volume text-based documents

a black line printer from Maxim Computer Services

How To Choose The Right Printer(s) For Your Business:

What do you need to print? 

The first consideration when selecting a printer is the type of label you need to print and the material you’re using. If you need to print small barcodes with lots of data, or very small text that must be legible, you'll need a printer with a high resolution such as 300dpi. This is often seen for electronic component labelling or laboratory vial labelling. For most applications like shipping or inventory labels, 203dpi will suffice. Consider the max width of the label that must be printed. Desktop printers and mobile printers, plus most industrial printers, typically have a max width of 4 inches. For labels approaching A5 to A4 size, you may need a printer with 6 or even 8 inch print width.

What quantity of printed materials do you require?

If you are printing relatively low volumes with low demand, then economical desktop printers are ideal. However, for larger volume, demanding applications such as end-of-production-lines, high-end industrial printers are required.

How often will you be using your printer?

If you need to print frequently, choose a printer designed for operating at speed for entire shifts or longer, such as the Printronix T8000 series or the Zebra ZT600 series. You should base this decision on the number of labels you need to produce on a daily or weekly basis, and how quickly these need to be printed. Other factors include the type of labels you use as some will wear the printer down quicker than others. For example, high-end synthetics with resins require more heat and pressure, which will wear the components faster. Durable industrial printers cope far better with this type of demand than your average desktop printer, which would have a high rate of failures and replacement.

What environment do you need the printer for?

The environment in which you plan to use the printer, including factors such as dust, temperature, and humidity, can affect the printer's performance. If you plan to use the printer in a busy warehouse, choose a metal-encased printer designed to withstand knocks and heavy-handed users. In dusty, humid environments, laser printers typically struggle and require replacing more frequently, so a Printronix P8000 can be a much better option for these conditions.

What is your budget?

Industrial printers come at a range of price points, with high-end, higher resolution and width printers having a higher price tag. Assess your business's needs and choose a printer with features that align with your requirements, then see what is available around your budget. Don't forget to factor in the lifetime cost of replacement print heads, rollers, and maintenance services.

Not sure which printer would be best suited to your requirements? Our expert team can help advise you!

Value-Added Services

Our team provide a wide range of value-added services to help you secure maximum uptime and value from your printers. These include competitively priced maintenance contracts, fixed-price repairs, and breakdown services, giving you all the hardware support services you need under one roof, without having to deal with multiple suppliers.

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