Thermal Printing Business Outlook and Business Recovery


Thermal printing is described as the method to produce an image on paper using heat. This has offered Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) techniques and propelled its adoption in different industry verticals.

These printers render legible and smudge-free images. According to the market database, this has supported the safety of the product or entity on which the image is printed. These printers offer notable advantages over conventional printers such as durability and faster output.


Mechanism and Technology:

The thermal printer consists of three key components which include a thermal head, platen, and spring. The thermal head is used to produce the heat to capture the required image. Platen acts as a rubber roller that feeds the paper on which the image is to be printed. Finally, the spring is used to apply the pressure on the thermal head to initiate contact between the surfaces.

A thermo-sensitive paper is inserted between the thermal head and the platen. The heat is produced by the combination of electrical and heating components in the design which helps to produce the final image on the required surface. Such a technique is termed Direct Thermal (DT) technology.

Another technique known as the Thermal Transfer (TT) technology is widely used in the market as well. Both the techniques make use of a similar print head that applies the heat on the surface. Thermal Transfer uses a heat-sensitive ribbon instead of heat-sensitive paper. According to the market database, the global market for TT technology is assumed to stay positive as it provides more durable and clear printed images.


Individual Printer Models:

The barcode printers have experienced a greater share in the market. They are frequently used in small, medium, and large businesses to label and track the products to be shipped. Point of Sale (PoS) printers are leading in retail and wholesale establishments. According to the market database, they provide fast authentication and data capture abilities.

Kiosk & Ticket type printers are observed at airports, smart railway stations, metros, and selected lounges. They provide the function to identify the customer and provide smart access at travel hubs. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) printers reutilized the unique identification of different entities. They are expected to be the fastest-growing due to the increased demand for faster tracking systems in smart cities and other operations.


Unique Format Types:

The classification is dependent on the volume and speed of printers. Industrial thermal printers are usually bigger and cater to high-volume operations. They facilitate printing faster images on surfaces depending on the application.

According to the market database, desktop thermal printers are mid-range entities that cater to retail and ticket functionalities. They are task-specific and instructions are given by the host system.

Mobile-type thermal printers are compact and lightweight. They are utilized in environments that require low volumes of operations and make use of wireless technologies which is expected to drive growth in this vertical.


Industry-Specific Applications:

The healthcare industry has begun to use these printers in different ways. According to market research tools, the application of smart labels has added significantly to the instant tracking of patients and medical equipment. Smart labels have shown to be beneficial in a critical emergency scenario and in case of supply constraints. Smart labels have also served in patient flow, trackbed utilization, and asset allocation.

Transportation and Logistics is another key industry that has employed these printers on a large scale. These are used for goods tracking and inbound shipment tracking services. They are expected to drive business recovery in this sector as there is an increased demand for digital supply chains due to COVID-19.

The retail industry has witnessed a greater share in the market. This is due to wide-scale applications at physical establishments and e-commerce tracking. Enhancements in digital facilities to provide contactless services to customers are expected to be a major contributor.

Growth Elements:

According to the procured market database, the COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for this market. This is due to different industry verticals that have started to move towards digital ecosystems. Such ecosystems require fast, reliable, and contactless services for faster business recovery. Increased demand for Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in automated identification and data capture ability is assumed to propel the market growth.

Improved penetration of wireless technologies such as 5G in different regions is expected to provide advancements in mobile format-type thermal printers. Miniaturization is another factor that has contributed towards an optimistic business outlook. For instance, direct thermal printheads are the smallest and lightest available components in the industry. They require less power and are more cost-effective.


North America Perspective in Thermal Printers Market:

According to the market database, the North American region has endured a greater share in the market. This is due to the superior manufacturing and research capacity offered by the region. The business outlook in this region is assumed to stay positive due to increased contactless tracking ecosystems. For example, in September 2019, a major U.S company launched a premium thermal printer. The printer is promised to deliver high-resolution labels along with improved precision and speed. It is reported to print 600 dots per inch and at speeds of six inches per second. The printer can also print labels as small as 0.51 inches wide.


APAC Region Analysis for Thermal Printers Market:

The Asia Pacific region is anticipated to be the fastest-growing industry. The region has access to low-cost manufacturing capacity and raw materials to create effective printers. Increased competition is observed due to price sensitivity.

Furthermore, investments by global key players to set up manufacturing plants have contributed towards the growth in this region. Greater government participation to implement improved public infrastructures is another growth factor in this region. For instance, the Government of India has launched an e-tolling initiative termed “FASTag”. This initiative makes use of RFID technology to authenticate individual vehicles automatically at country-wide toll plazas. The government has strived to achieve 100% e-tolling and made FASTag mandatory for all ground vehicles from 15th Feb 2021.


Europe & Rest of The World in Thermal Printers Market:

Europe is another significant region that has incorporated the application of thermal printers extensively. According to the market database, The region is a major developed hub for the food and packaging industry. This has led to enhanced demand for data capture and authentication abilities. Furthermore, the region has spent significantly to build smart transportation networks which are expected to further aid market growth.

Africa and other related regions are widely underpenetrated in terms of industries and contactless ecosystems. The G20 initiative to support industrialization in Africa and Less Developed Countries (LDCs) to implement sustainable development is a key factor to drive growth. Progressed operations of retail, transportation, manufacturing, and logistics are assumed to generate market growth.