Once you get past the learning curve, a new barcode printer can enhance workflow in a busy warehouse. Say goodbye to the endless hours spent recording numbers for inventory by hand or double-checking for mistakes. Barcodes enter accurate information into computers in a matter of seconds. Once you grow accustomed to the new addition to your warehouse, you won’t want to spend another day without the convenience it brings. You might wonder, however, “Do I need to protect my barcode printer?” The answer is likely yes, though it depends on your environment. Below we’ll review some signs that you need to purchase an enclosure to prevent your barcode printer from an early retirement.


A closeup of an industrial label printer.

Do I Need to Protect my Barcode Printer?

Is Your Warehouse Hot and Humid?

One good rule of thumb to remember: If your warehouse’s temperature and humidity level isn’t comfortable for you, you probably shouldn’t leave your barcode printer unprotected. Most label printers are designed for use in moderate environmental conditions. Humid, hot air is one of the biggest culprits of barcode printer malfunction. The barcode paper can curl and cause paper jams when the humidity rises. Moisture and heat can also destroy the hardware of the printer.

Is Your Warehouse Bitterly Cold?

Hot air is dangerous, but cold air isn’t much better for the health of your printer. Frigid temperatures can cause your barcode printer to malfunction or stop working completely. To keep your barcode printer safe, purchase an enclosure with a filtered positive pressure air management system that guarantees airflow and keeps moisture out. If you need to store your barcode in a freezer for easy access, you’ll want to protect it with a NEMA enclosure that has a heating upgrade.

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How Dusty Is Your Work Environment?

Whether you work in steel manufacturing or the baking industry, the amount of airborne dust emitted from busy machines can overwhelm a barcode printer. Most types of warehouse dust are different from typical household dust. For example, dust made out of flour and other food particles is sticky and thick, while dust from products like steel or concrete is rigid and full of chemicals. Airborne particulate can destroy print heads, which are expensive to frequently replace. To shield your label printer from the dust, purchase an enclosure with a particulate and fume filter, which will filter both fine particles and sticky residue. Over time, the enclosure will pay for itself thanks to the amount you’ll save on print heads.

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So do I need to protect my barcode printer? If you want to avoid downtime from a destroyed label printer, the answer is yes.

Are you in the market for a barcode printer enclosure? DustShield is here to help. The leader in industrial computer enclosures for production environments, DustShield has an extensive line of enclosures designed to protect LCD monitors, tower and desktop CPUs, and printers. Heavy-duty and delivered completely assembled, our enclosures suit a variety of applications. Check out our label printer enclosures that can protect your barcode/RFID printers. And if you can’t find the ideal product to suit your needs, we can design and fabricate a custom enclosure that meets your requirements. To learn more, please contact one of our enclosure specialists toll-free at 800-587-9557 or contact us online.