Barcode printer is defined as an electronic device designed specifically for printing of barcodes. The working principle and built of a barcode printer is slightly different from computer printers as it uses ribbons and labels working in tandem to get a barcode printed. Barcode printers usually don’t have programmable logic controllers on their own, but rely on an external computer system.
Growth in the manufacturing sector is reviving after the 2008 economic crisis. Automation and streamlining of manufacturing processes are being adopted by a large number of manufacturing companies worldwide to reduce time and material wastage, thereby improving efficiency and output. Barcoding is one such technique that is increasingly being adopted. This process has reduced production time considerably in the manufacturing process, thereby driving demand for barcode printers.
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Barcodes have become the de facto standard for product information storing and labelling. Retailers worldwide use barcodes for hassle-free recording of supplies and commodities and their sale to customers. Barcodes imprinted on labels are stuck to the products and they record information about the product count, date of manufacture, date supplied to the retailer, selling price, etc. When these products are scanned, the information is retrieved and monitored. This entire process, which is achieved within a matter of seconds, not only increases efficiency but also minimizes errors. This has helped retailers record their products and inventory on shop floors and warehouses.
However, threat of RFID tags as substitutes to barcode labels and low compatibility of barcode printers with different operating systems act as restraints in the global barcode printers market.
The market is categorically divided into six segments based on printer type, printing technology, consumables, application, distribution channel, and region. The printer type segment of the barcode printers market includes Desktop Barcode Printer, Industrial Barcode Printer, Mobile Barcode Printer and Others. On the basis of printing technology, the market has been divided into Thermal Transfer, Direct Thermal, Dot Matrix, Laser and Ink Jet. On the basis of Distribution Channel, the market is segmented as Direct-to-End User, Direct-to-OEM, Dealer/Distributor and Systems Integrator. On the basis of application, the market has been divided into industrial/manufacturing, transportation/logistics, retail, healthcare, government and commercial services.
- The Industrial Barcode Printer segment holds the highest market share of 46.1% closely followed by Desktop Barcode Printer in the Barcode Printers Market. The Industrial Barcode Printer segment is also expected to dominate in the forecast period with a CAGR of 8.3% due to a preference of sturdy and rugged barcode printers with higher productivity.
- Thermal Transfer segment holds the highest market share amongst all with 62.8% and is expected to improve further in the forecast period owing to very less cost involved, while Dot Matrix, Laser and Ink Jet printing technologies are least preferred technologies and are on the verge of being phased out.
- Dealer/Distributor is the most preferred supply channel and is expected to dominate in the future due to higher distribution efficiency, low supply costs and faster delivery times.
North America and Western Europe are the most promising regions for the growth of the market owing to higher preference of barcoding technology in different applications, while the market in the Latin America region is on a slow and stagnant growth due to low adoption of barcoding technology. The growth of the Barcode Printers market in APEJ region may also grow at a slower pace due to saturation and slow down of manufacturing sector in China.
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Major players identified in the Barcode Printers market are Zebra Technologies Corporation, Avery Dennison Corporation, Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., Toshiba TEC Corporation, and Honeywell International, Inc. committing a combined market share of over 50%. Other major players are SATO Holdings Corporation, Printronix, Inc. and TSC Auto Id Technology Co., Ltd. supplying to various end use industries and sectors.