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Incorporating barcode technology into your small to medium sized consumer goods business is a move for your future success. Success is in the details, and those details include accuracy and productivity to meet your customer’s demands while adhering to safety and health compliance standards.

Mobile Terminals and Computers: Imprint Enterprises

Over the past few decades, technology has continually advanced. Moving into the future and growing your business includes embracing this advancing technology. Zebra Technologies and Imprint Enterprises have the tools, knowledge, and expertise to help you move forward with the future of barcode technology, starting with printing barcodes at your facility.

A proper barcode label helps you and your clients ensure compliance standards and mandates are met. A barcode label provides information on what a product is and where it goes. 

Labels are used to track inventory, which is vital to supply chains, inventory management, transportation, asset management, sales, and more.

What’s Important to Know About Printing


When printing your own barcode labels, there are certain factors to consider. Printing requirements involve determining the parameters of your barcode printer setup:

      • How big of a label do you need to print?
      • How many labels do you want or need to print at any one time?
      • Will the labels be printed in a centralized method or a distributed method?
      • How many work areas will need printer capabilities, or will there be one printer room?
      • Does my company need to incorporate RFID printing capabilities?
      • Are there mandates my company must comply with?

Font Size Matters

Once you know how your company will be printing labels, the next factors to consider involve the font size on the labels and the size of the barcode itself. The smaller the font size, the higher the resolution the printhead of the barcode printer needs to be. Printheads come in 203, 300, or 600 DPI (dots per inch). The smaller a label needs to be, the higher the DPI resolution must be to accommodate the size of the label.

Compliance Matters

While you’re growing your business and building your clientele list, it’s important to know if there are specific barcode label industry compliance standards that your consumer goods company must adhere to. If labels are not done to specific standards, your company can be liable for more than just fines and chargebacks, there is a possibility of a legal exposure as well.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires using a unique device identifier (UDI) on barcode labels in food, beverage, and medical fields. The United States, European Union, China, and Brazil have specific serialization requirements for pharmaceuticals, with more countries joining to include this requirement. The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) created industry standards to improve efficiency and accuracy. ANSI and ISO are barcode label grading systems based on a letter or a numerical score.

The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) enacted in 2013 requires the use of 2D barcodes on pharmaceuticals throughout the U.S. supply chain by 2023. The FDA requires the 2D barcodes to enhance consumer protection by monitoring the movement of prescription drugs from manufacturing to dispensation. 2D barcodes must contain the National Drug Code, Serial Number, Lot Number, and Expiration date. This level of traceability improves recall capabilities and authentic validation of pharmaceutical products.

Compliance with mandates can also affect your businesses growth. Large retail chains such as Wal-Mart, Target, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and more have been requiring consumer goods to incorporate RFID technology into their products. RFID can provide a more automated, hands-off approach, reducing the amount of physical touch or individual scanning of items. There are many benefits to including RFID, including improved inventory accuracy, tracking, and loss prevention.

These standards play key roles in identifying, tracking, and tracing products as they move through supply chains across the world. Whether it is a simple traceability requirement or a complex regulatory compliance code, incorporating barcode technology can help your consumer goods company minimize fines and exposure.

A Printer for Any Function 

Barcode printers typically come in three varieties: desktop, tabletop, and mobile. Desktop printers are typically smaller and lighter than tabletop printers. Tabletop printers are more durable and can do more functions than a desktop, such as label rewinding and peel and present. If your company needs to print a thousand labels at a time and rewind them back into a roll (label rewinding), then a tabletop printer is the way to go.

Peel and present label printing is a method of sending a label job of, for example, a thousand labels to a printer where the job sits in a queue so that one label can be printed at a time, peeled off, and applied. Then it repeats until the queue is emptied.

Another option is using a mobile barcode label printer that can print barcodes as employees are walking around working. This is a good option for mobile workflows to minimize interruptions of walking back and forth to a centralized printing location.

An Option for Any Stage of Business

No matter what stage your business is at, Zebra has the options to support your growth. From just starting out to knowing your business will expand into the future, Imprint can help walk you through Zebra’s barcode printer options.

Starting Out Options

For consumer goods SMBs that are just starting out, the following printers are good options to print hundreds of labels a day:

Zebra Desktop ZD600 Series Thermal Printers

    • Durable with premium quality printing
    • Full-color touch display
    • Remote management capability with increased security measures
    • RFID option

Zebra Desktop ZD500 Printer

    • Print user-defined fonts, graphics, and custom logos
    • Operates in direct thermal or thermal transfer mode
    • Print linear and 2D barcodes
    • Print width of up to 4”
    • Print speed of 6” per second at 203 DPI or 4” per second at 300 DPI
    • Multiple connectivity options
    • Optional UHF RFID capabilities

Durable and Flexible Options

For consumer goods SMBs that are looking for options that provide greater flexibility and durability, the following printers some of the better options to print thousands of labels a day:

Zebra ZT111 Industrial Printer

    • Easy integration and backwards compatible
    • Printer Emulation capabilities
    • Operates in direct thermal or thermal transfer modePrint speed of up to 10” per second at 203 DPI
    • Three button keypad
    • Connectivity options include Serial, Ethernet, and USB Host

Zebra ZT231 Industrial Printer

    • Print speed of up to 12” per second at 203 DPI
    • Optional 300 DPI resolution
    • 4.3” full-color touchscreen
    • Optional RFID capability
    • Connectivity options include USB, Serial, Ethernet, and USB Host
    • Pair and print with compatible mobile devices
    • Operates in direct thermal or thermal transfer mode
    • Backwards compatible with Printer Emulation capabilities

Long-Lasting Options

For consumer goods SMB’s that are wanting professional and long-lasting solutions, the following are the best options to choose from to print tens of thousands of labels a day:

Zebra ZT411 Industrial Printer

      • Durable for harsh industrial environments
      • 3” full-color touch display
      • Industry specific configurability
      • Print speed of up to 14” per second at 203 DPI
      • Operates in direct thermal or thermal transfer mode
      • Connectivity options include USB, Serial, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and Dual USB Host
      • RFID option

Zebra ZT421 Industrial Printer

      • Durable for harsh industrial environments
      • Metal frame with bi-fold door for accessibility
      • 4.3” full-color touch display
      • Print width up to 6”
      • Print speed of up to 12” per second at 203 DPI
      • Operates in direct thermal or thermal transfer mode
      • Connectivity options include USB, Serial, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and Dual USB Host
      • RFID option

Barcode Labeling is an Interconnected System

Cartton rendering of people connected with lines and data points

When you incorporate a complete Zebra Technologies barcode labeling system within your consumer goods business, the process becomes more simplified which enhances operational efficiency. Every aspect of barcode labeling technology creates an interconnected system that can help your company thrive and grow into the future.

Zebra Technologies & Imprint Enterprises have over 30 years of experience each to help move your SMB consumer goods company into a technological future that is more efficient. Zebra is an expert in the barcoding technology field with their rigorous testing of their own products. Zebra has multiple R&D facilities to test their products and is one of the largest converters in the USA for barcode labels.

Imprint Enterprises is a Premiere Solution Partner with Zebra Technologies. Imprint is a company that grows with you, providing your consumer goods business with a total, competitively priced solution. Imprint builds a lifelong relationship with you and your company that is based on quality and trust.

With Zebra & Imprint, there are multiple options to suit your growing needs and your budgetary requirements. From just starting out to a long-lasting solution, Imprint’s specialists can help you determine what it will take to get you where you want to go. You can have a comprehensive barcoding solution that will decrease overall costs, increase efficiency, and achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Contact Imprint Enterprises today to discuss Zebra’s barcode labeling solutions that are best for you.