A barcode printer is an electronic device that is typically used for printing barcode tags or labels, which can be attached to objects that are shipped. The barcode printer uses direct thermal or thermal transfer techniques to apply ink labels. Although direct thermal printers are less expensive, the labels produced by these printers can become illegible if exposed to chemical vapors or direct sunlight. On the basis of printing type, barcode printer is segmented into desktop barcode printer, mobile barcode printer, industrial barcode printer, and others. They are typically used in manufacturing industry, transportation, government, healthcare, commercial services, and retail.
The global barcode printers market was accounted for US$ 3,122.4 Mn in terms of value in 2018 and is anticipated to grow with a CAGR of 7.4% from 2019 to 2027.
Marker Dynamics- Driver
- Rising adoption of barcodes in manufacturing industry is expected to drive growth of the global barcode printers market during the forecast period
Although after the economic crisis of 2008 growth of manufacturing sector as slowed down, it has continued to grow steadily at slower pace. A number of manufacturers around the world are incorporating automation and streamlining of manufacturing process, in order to reduce wastage and enhance the efficiency of output. This, in turn, adoption of barcodes has increased significantly, as each product or part in the assembly is assigned barcode which signed and recorded repeatedly at each workstation. As a result, this provides information on the progress of the product. This, in turn, has reduced production time significantly in the manufacturing process thereby driving the demand for barcode printers. For instance, various automotive manufacturing companies including Hyundai, Ford, Volkswagen, Bajaj Auto, etc. use quick response (QR) code, which is a specific matrix barcode or 2D code. It is readable by QR barcode readers or camera phones.
- Growing preference for accuracy and speed is expected to propel the global barcode printers market growth over the forecast period
Barcodes have simplified the usage of various commodities and supplies hassle-free to consumers. It has become standard formate to store and label product information. A barcode label attached to product can store the product’s manufacturing date, date supplied to the retailer, product count, selling price, etc. When the products are scanned, the information is retrieved and displayed on the monitor. This entire process takes only few seconds, which increases efficiency and reduces errors. This, in turn, helps retailers in maintaining the record of products and inventory. Major retailers around the world including Walmart, IKEA, Costco, Carrefour, etc. use barcode on their all products. Thus, growing preference for accuracy and speed is propelling the market growth.
North America region dominated the global bar code printers market in 2018, accounting for 35.6% share in terms of value, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe, respectively.
Source: Coherent Market Insights
- Availability of alternative solutions such as RFID tags is expected to restrain growth of the global barcode printers market during the forecast period
Although necessary information can be retrieved through barcode, new data cannot be added to them. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are similar to barcodes though it offers additional features. For instance, data can be obtained from RFID tags only when it is present within the scanning radius through a radio scanner that does require straight line as of sight like it does for barcode scanners. This system is very advantages, especially in theme parks and hospitals where time for tagging each person concerned is reduced when RFID tags are implemented on wristbands. Moreover, RFID tags find extensive applications in manufacturing units and logistic warehouses where every product is scanned. Thus, growing adoption of RFID is expected to hinder the market growth in the near future.
- Low compatibility with numerous operating systems is expected to hamper the global barcode printers market growth over the forecast period
One of the major drawbacks of barcode printers is that it is programmed to operate on a few users interface applications such as Linux and Windows. However, the number of operating systems has increased in the recent past with computer terminals used in different sectors have different operating systems based according to their necessities. This, in turn, is expected to restrain growth of the global barcode printers market in the near future.
- Incorporation of computer systems with barcode printers is expected to pose lucrative growth opportunities for market players
Barcode printers cannot store or process the information. Barcodes are formed in a separate computer system and all the information is connected with each barcode is stored on the system. Moreover, barcode printers are connected to computer through cable or wireless connection. Key manufacturers in the market are focus on manufacturing such barcode printers that function as both barcode printer and computer. This removes the need for separate systems and a standalone system can be employed to maintain and store barcodes and product database, scan required barcodes for quality checks, and print barcodes similar to the barcode printers. It reduces the cost of owning separate barcode printer and can be more beneficial for industrial applications.
- Adoption of barcode in business for asset management is expected to offer conducive business opportunities for market players
All types of business, from small-scale to multinational conglomerates, have fixed assets and IT assets. Computers, laptops, office furnishings, and other entities are assigned to employees. The management of these entities can be made sophisticated if barcoding is implemented within the business. This, in turn, would increase the efficiency at the time of audit. This system is quite common in large-scale businesses though not so in small-scale businesses. This, in turn, is expected to pose lucrative growth opportunities for market players in the near future.
In global barcode printers market, by printer type segment, Industrial printers sub-segment dominated in 2018, accounting for 46.8% share in terms of value, followed by Desktop printers, Other printers and Mobile printers, respectively.
Source: Coherent Market Insights
- Constant focus on product innovation is a major trend in the market
Key companies in the market are constantly focused on product innovation, owing to availability limited number of products. Major OEMs such as Avery Dennison, Printronix Inc., and Zebra Technologies have upgraded their industrial printer models, in order to enhance the global market presence. Introduction of wireless barcode printers in both desktop and industrial variants have made significant impact in the market. For instance, Printronix Inc.’s M4L2 desktop printer model and GoDEX International Co., Ltd.’s RT700iW industrial printer model are two such examples of wireless barcode printer.
- Wax ribbons are extensively used although they have low reliability
For printing barcodes, manufacturers often use three types of ribbons. Of these three types, OEMs prefer wax ribbons for printing as they are cheaper and easier to use. Moreover, these ribbons are preferred on a shorter run that requires less time. Other ribbons such as wax/resin and resin ribbons are costlier than wax ribbons, since high quality polymer-based resins are used for binding of the ink. Moreover, normal white colored labels are used as printing medium in all printing technologies.
- The Food and Drug Administration agency of US has started enforcing the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requirement from November 2018 making it mandatory for all manufacturers to include a unique serial number and 2D barcode on every prescription drug containers for sale and transportation. The EU Falsified Medicines Directive and other regulations throughout have also mandated similar barcoding with a deadline of November 2019.
Value Chain Analysis:
Key companies operating in the global barcode printers market are Zebra Technologies Corporation, Honeywell International, Inc., Toshiba TEC Corporation, SATO Holdings Corporation, Avery Dennison Corporation, GoDEX International Co., Ltd., Printronix, Inc., TSC Auto Id Technology Co., Ltd., Printek, Inc., Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., and Stallion Systems And Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
- Key companies in the market are focused on product launches, in order to enhance their product portfolio. For instance, in September 2019, Toshiba Corporation, introduced B-EX4T3HS thermal barcode printer. Also, in October 2019, Printronix, Inc. introduced ODV-2D Printer/Barcode Verification solution with inclusion of three major upgrades.
- Barcode printer manufacturers, under SAP Printer Vendor program, have launched products for SAP applications. For instance, in June 2017, TSC Auto ID Technology has introduced devices compatible with SAP.