If you are looking to print information on demand, thermal labels are what you need. There are two methods to choose from, and they both come with their advantages; thermal and direct thermal transfer. Selecting the right thermal option requires a matching application requirement that is compatible with your printer.
How does a thermal transfer label work?
A ribbon layer is placed on the top of the label, which is at the print head, and the label gets printed. The elements of the print head heat up and the carbon pigment found on the ribbon transfers to the label, creating the needed image.
Do thermal printed labels fade?
Thermal transfer printing is resistant to fading, smearing, and smudging. It is perfect for long-term labeling needs of six months and more and archival functions. The printing needs the thermal ribbon and the labels. The cost of the two items combined is almost the cost of a direct thermal label. Thermal ribbons create durable prints but with an extra hassle. Reloading the ribbon is a little challenging since it is covered in printing wax, and the roll has to be lined correctly.
Direct thermal is ideal for shipping. A direct thermal label can be printed today, shipped after three days, and discarded with the packaging after a week or two. There is no hassle of replacing the transfer label, and they have a more incredible reloading speed. So how long do direct thermal labels last? The disadvantage is the fact that they smudge and fade quickly. After six months, they become unstainable.
What are the advantages of direct thermal printing?
The printing costs are low since there is no need to buy ink, ribbon, toner, or printing materials as you only need the label. If you need high-volume short-term printing, direct thermal printing is ideal. Besides, they are easy to maintain.
What are the disadvantages of direct thermal printing?
They are not suitable for long-term printing since they smudge and fade quickly. When it comes to printing in color, they can be a disappointment since they only print in black and white. It is not flexible for logos or branding.
What are the advantages of thermal transfer printing?
Ribbons are used to print, and while the label passes through the printer, the print head heats the ribbon melting the ink on the surface. It is ideal for long-term bulk printing. The ribbon gives more excellent durability since the ink is absorbed into the material, ensuring it lasts longer. Thermal transfer can print in color, which makes them flexible in branding and logos.
What are the disadvantages of thermal transfer?
This type of printing is expensive since the high-end printers are expensive and have more consumable parts. They tend to be more challenging to repair and maintain.
Direct thermal and thermal transfer label experts believe that large companies need both types of printers. What one printer can do, the other cannot make them complement each other depending on the short-term or long-term needs and mass production.
Please contact Acro Labels Inc. at 1-800-35-LABEL for the best custom label printing available online.