An on-demand label printer designed to make printing RFID labels as easy as with conventional labels has been launched by Sato UK.

The new machine jointly developed by Sato Germany and Sato Japan is based on the CL400e printer series to combine thermal label printing with RFID technology. RFID self-adhesive labels and tags with a thin transponder invisibly embedded are programmed using Sato software during the printing process, enabling label and printer talk to each other.

“The big difference is the way you can handle the software,” says Peter Jackson product support manager, reseller division. “Unlike other printers offering RFID capability, you don’t have to have a separate interface.”

He says the printer is ideally suited to situations where pallet loads are broken down into single secondary packs which would benefit from RFID traceability.

The RFID printer, at about £600 more than the CL400e, uses 13.56MHz technology labels and tags (ISO 15693 compatible), from I.Code, Tag-it, Texas Instruments and Philips up to 4-in wide, in rolls or fanfolds. Print function can be thermal transfer or direct thermal at speeds of up to 6-in/sec. In addition, conventional barcodes may also be printed.