A thermal transfer printer is the most common type of technology used in barcode printing. It works by a printhead heating a ribbon made of either wax or resin, or a combination of the two, and then transferring the image on the thermal paper. The printhead is controlled by the printers logic and graphics control, from printer commands most commonly sent from a computer based barcode printing software application.
Thermal transfer labels are high quality, easily scanned, attractive, durable, and made to last for a very long time. In some cases thermal transfer labels may be more expensive to produce than direct thermal labels, but they still remain as the most popular barcode printing technology.
Direct thermal printing uses a chemically treated paper that turns black when heated under the print head. There is no thermal transfer ribbon ink involved; direct thermal printing is completed by simply applying heat to the paper. This type of printing is simple, affordable and portable, and is commonly used on store receipts and tickets. Since the paper is chemically treated, rather than using a thermal transfer imaging process, the direct transfer labels are much more susceptible to fading over time and can be damaged by direct sun light. However, when it comes to sales receipts and retail pricing tags, longevity and durability are generally not an issue.
In choosing the right type of printing technology for your needs, you will need to determine how long you want your labels to last and what will be the environment of the printed labels. For more affordable printing in a retail environment or for basic shipping labels, a direct thermal printer would suffice. Of course, if you are printing on synthetics or need longer lasting and more durable labels, thermal transfer will be the better choice. It might be a bit more expensive, but thermal transfer printing quality is unmatched and will provide you with great looking labels that last a long time.
If you are unsure about choosing direct thermal or thermal transfer printing, your safe bet is to choose thermal transfer. Thermal transfer printing is a bit more complicated than direct thermal because it uses a thermal transfer ribbon, but is your best choice for printing reliable trouble-free barcode labels.
About The Author: GoDEX International is an engineering company that specializes in designing and manufacturing barcode printing products that lead the industry in the value price, high performance category. GoDEX has offices in the USA, Europe, Taiwan, and China and its products are distributed world-wide.
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