Understanding Packaging and the Basics
Packaging Insight is a resource to help our customers understand the terminology used in the various packaging industries. We hope you find the information on these topics both informative and useful. As always we are committed to the success of our customers. If you have a question or need information on a product or topic not mentioned feel free to call us 813 242 6995.
Direct Thermal Print or Thermal Transfer Labels for Barcodes?
So should you choose direct thermal print or thermal
transfer labels to print barcodes?
There’s a misconception in the industry around
these technologies: many people believe that direct thermal
(because it has no ribbon) is a less expensive option than thermal transfer.
But don’t be caught up there: it’s critical to first
understand which technology is more efficient for whom.
The bottom line: The cost difference between the two is
negligible — until you start looking at what happens to your product after it
leaves your factory floor. Before you buy any equipment, make sure
you know the pros and cons of both technologies.
At first glance, it seems cheaper to not require a ribbon in
your direct transfer labelling system. But “whether you save on ribbon costs”
is the wrong question to ask when you’re assessing this technology.
Think about these things instead:
Your label’s edges and the texture of your paper wear down
the print-head faster — especially when printing barcodes in the easier-to-read
“picket fence” orientation. Bottom line: you’ll buy print-heads more often with
direct transfer barcode printers.
Beyond 6 months, direct transfer print will turn yellow, and
the print will fade to grey because the print contrast in direct thermal
systems is not as good as thermal transfer systems. Bottom line: if your
product has to last longer than 6 months on a shelf, you’re risking label
Major heat, humidity, sunlight and friction from contact
(such as frequent scanning or abrasive transportation) will rub off a direct
transfer label. Bottom line: if your product’s barcode is in contact with
rubbing, or condensation, direct transfer labels will not work for you.
The criticism of thermal transfer barcode printing is not
actually about the quality of printer — rather the quality of the installers.
For instance, what your product’s package will experience environmentally, over
time, indicates which ribbon will adhere to your product’s packaging film.
you have that match right, you can enjoy the typically overlooked benefits of
thermal transfer label systems.
1. The smooth, waxy surface of the thermal transfer ribbon
creates less friction when applying your barcode to the product. Bottom line:
manufacturers working to a deadline can enjoy a higher print speed — especially
when printing and applying the barcode label (because the ribbon protects the
print-head). Bottom line: Print-head life is frequently doubled with thermal
transfer compared to direct thermal barcode printing.
2. The ribbon’s film applies a wax or resin onto the surface
of your product. Bottom line: a thermal transfer barcode is highly resistant to
any chemicals, humidity, UV sun rays, abrasion and climatic changes that your
packaging may encounter on its journey through the supply chain.
3. These labelling systems can typically work at higher
speeds. Bottom line: if your production line is fast, you will achieve a better
result with a thermal transfer labelling system.
Quick thumbnail guide:
The last thing any company ever wants to hear is that the
new equipment they’ve just bought doesn’t actually suit their purposes — or
won’t, in 6 to 12 months’ time. So don’t get caught up in a simplistic
comparison that leaves you paying more, or with more headaches, than needs be.
Here’s a quick guide…
Transfer: suits companies with perishable goods (less than 12 months)
because the label doesn’t need to last a long time.
Transfer: suits companies whose products need to endure friction, changes
in temperature or dampness and last more than 6 months, i.e. “long-life”
If in doubt, ask for guidance. Getting the right help to
choose fit-for-purpose equipment — the first time — means you’ll avoid the
awkwardness, and disappointment, of discovering hidden costs now, and later.
On Friday, March 23rd, the Pulp and Paper publication
confirmed the $50 per ton linerboard increase that had previously been
announced by all major corrugated manufactures. Key reason behind the increase
are the growth in demand for corrugated relative to capacity constraints,
declining inventories, and ever-increasing transportation costs due to fuel and
the nationwide driver shortage.
While we understand that increases are painful,
we cannot ignore material costs when commodity prices fluctuate.
Parts for Industrial ITW Mima Stretch Wrap Equipment
Quick Pak Inc is ready to help make sure you get the right
ITW Mima parts shipped when and where you need them. As a factory authorized
and trained distributor of original machine parts for ITW Mina, ITW Liberty,
ITW Wrappers and ITW Muller industrial stretch wrap equipment, we have an
extensive inventory of parts available for immediate shipment.
Parts are available for ITW Signode Spiral Grip, ITW Cobra,
ITW Raptor, 3.3 Series, 4.4 Series and ITW Octopus stretch wrappers.
Please call us at 813 242 6995 or email us at:
email@example.com for assistance in placing your order, requesting
manuals, checking availability or confirming pricing. Our friendly and
professional service team is eager to help.