Understanding the Essentials of Label Printing Performance

The factors limiting your output capacity and how to manage them


  •   Executive Summary
  • A breakdown of the label printing process
       -  Performance printing, where and when
       -  External factors affecting performance
  • Printing Process Stages and Their Impact
       -  Label Design
       -  Print Engine (Multithreading)
       -  Printers and Consumables
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix

Executive Summary

Automation, modernization, performance... The production lines of the 21st century have turned efficiency into an art form, and yet, the labeling process often lags behind, needlessly slowing down the production pace. Labeling operations try to improve their efficiency by modernizing the hardware infrastructure, and all too often, they fail to achieve the desired results due to a fundamental error in approach. Label printing is an intricate system of data manipulation, and in order to maximize its efficiency, it needs to be approached from the ground up. An efficiently organized printing system strictly controls the data flow between the labeling applications and the printers, resulting in drastic increases in printing speed and flexibility.

In order to truly understand label printing performance, serving up some basic information or common questions and answers is not adequate. Simply updating or upgrading a system is usually not enough to improve the performance of a high-throughput label printing operation, as it's commonly being held back by a data transfer bottleneck. The approach to printing efficiency begins with the optimization of data, its distribution, and culminates in the expansion of the data transfer channels.

The printing process is composed of a handful of linear stages, and each of these stages can represent a bottleneck in high workload conditions. Because of this, even the most fiercely supported and advanced enterprise-level printing operations can struggle with an "invisible cap" on their output capacity. Buying better and faster printers, investing into top-of-the-line infrastructure and IT systems, work process reorganization, and similar measures do little or nothing to improve the capacity, if the printing data and automation are mismanaged or poorly organized.

This white paper aims to dispel the mysticism of label printing performance and break it down into its key components. It will provide a comprehensive view of the printing process, its stages, and the bottlenecks which determine the output capacity of the complete operation. It will explain how each of the stages determines the total capacity of the printing system, and show how adjustments to an individual stage can drastically affect the performance of the complete operation.

An optimized labeling system will deliver unparalleled printing performance, and most importantly, a scaleable operation which can be upgraded or expanded with traditional hardware measures. Once the data transfer bottlenecks are removed, an additional thermal printer adds to the total capacity of the system, finally allowing it to be scaled to fulfill the needs of the production line.

Download: English version