HOW TO CHOOSE A LABORATORY PRINTER: A BUYER’S GUIDE

Our experts let you know how to choose the right printer for your laboratory.

In laboratories and bioscience facilities, efficiency, accuracy, and reliability are of the highest importance. Whether you’re documenting patient test results, logging critical data from diagnostic equipment, or managing sterilisation records, specialised laboratory printers can significantly impact daily operations and long-term success.

But with so many options available, how do you choose the best laboratory printer to suit your specific needs? In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing a lab label printer for those in the bioscience industry. 

Identify Your Laboratory Print Use

Before exploring the specifics of printer types and features, it’s crucial to understand how you’ll be using the printer in your laboratory setting. 

While some printers are tailored towards inventory management on a larger scale, others, like those provided by Able, are designed for printing data from specific pieces of test and measurement or diagnostic equipment. Common uses include: 

  • Printing patient test results
  • Sterilisation records
  • Test equipment data
  • Data logging

Understand the Types of Laboratory Printers

Laboratories often require printers that are portable, versatile, and capable of seamless integration with existing equipment. At Able, we offer several types of printers to meet these diverse needs:

Standalone Portable Printers

These printers, such as the AP1300 and AP1310 Series, are ideal for on-the-go printing. They can be powered by batteries or mains electricity and connect to host equipment via Bluetooth or data cable, offering flexibility and convenience in various lab settings.

Panel Printers

For applications requiring a more integrated solution, panel printers like the AP1400 and AP1200 Series can be incorporated into specific equipment setups. Whether built into the test equipment or housed alongside it in a portable case or kiosk, panel printers offer complete print units that seamlessly integrate with host equipment.

Print Mechanisms

In some cases, laboratories may require printer mechanisms that are fully built into host equipment. Able provides a range of print mechanisms tailored to different applications, ensuring compatibility and efficiency in various laboratory environments.

Explore Different Printer Types

When choosing a laboratory printer, it’s essential to consider the print technology that best suits your needs. Able offers three main types of printers:

Thermal Printers

These printers apply pressure and heat directly to thermally reactive paper rolls, eliminating the need for ink. Ideal for fast printing of data records, labels, and barcodes, thermal printers offer low maintenance and good image retention. Specialised paper rolls can extend image retention up to 25 years, making them suitable for long-term record-keeping in laboratory settings.

Impact Printers

Using ink ribbons, impact printers offer better standard retention properties than thermal printers but require more maintenance. While they may not be as low-maintenance as thermal printers, their durability and reliability make them suitable for specific laboratory environments, including applications where image retention is critical.

Linerless Printers

For added versatility and environmental sustainability, consider opting for linerless printing solutions. Linerless label printers offer several benefits in laboratory settings, including:

  • Flexible content: Linerless labels can accommodate varying lengths of print, making them suitable for printing lengthy test results or data records.
  • Less packaging: Without the need for a liner, this method of printing reduces packaging waste, contributing to a cleaner laboratory. 
  • No liner to discard: Eliminating the liner reduces clutter and waste in laboratory spaces, enhancing efficiency and organisation.
  • Economic and environmental benefits: Linerless printing not only saves costs associated with label liners but also promotes eco-friendly practices in labs.

In addition to these benefits, linerless printing offers specific advantages in laboratory settings, such as easy repositioning of labels and the ability to accommodate lengthy printouts without limitations. 

For further information on linerless labels and their advantages, check out our recent article: ‘Linerless Labels: What are They & What are the Benefits?’. 

In Summary

Choosing the right laboratory printer is essential for ensuring accuracy and reliability in your laboratory operations. By carefully considering factors such as print use, printer types, print technologies, and linerless printing options, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your laboratory’s unique requirements. 

With Able’s range of portable and versatile printers tailored to the demands of laboratory environments, you can find a solution that meets your needs and helps you achieve your lab’s goals. By investing in the right printer, you can streamline your printing processes, enhance productivity, and drive efficiency in your laboratory operations. Get in touch with our team today for more information.