TIPS FOR THERMAL TRANSFER PRINTERS USERS
Choosing a Printer & Accessories
When choosing a new printer, pay attention to the
ribbon's price - a ribbon roll for a small printer costs more then the
one intended for a medium/large printer, and so will the label rolls.
So do your calculations and find out how many labels are you going to print, a medium printer might be better for you. CALL US - we will help you do the math.
When printing large quantities - a worker that stands in
front the printer and rolls the labels manually wastes precious time! for
large quantities, an internal rewinder inside the printer is better.
for massive quantities or having a printer with no internal rewinder - use an external rewinder.
an external rewinder returns it's cost after approx. 60 hours of rewinding.
If your application requires the labels to be printed
individually - use a peeling device.
If you require printing and applying on a different location - call us - we have a professional label dispenser that will answer your needs.
Getting a better quality from of your printer
Use a ribbon that is fit for the specific label material
you are printing on.
eg. a ribbon for paper will not print well on Polyester.
Always set a nominal temperature & speed - aim for the
lowest temperature that give you a good quality. a High temperature will
worn you printhead faster. take in account that a lower speed equals a
higher temperature - lower the temperature if doing so.
When printing barcodes - a better quality is acquired by printing the barcode parallel to the printing direction.
Smart care of your printhead
The printhead is a very expensive part, to keeping it
from wearing you should use a proper solution for cleaning.
the cleaning should be done with the solutions recommended by the manufacturer only (usually 70% Alcohol applied with cotton wool). do not touch the printhead with sharp/metal objects!
Remember: a higher temperature wears the printhead
faster. aim for using the lowest temperature possible.
there are ribbons made especially for low speeds which keep a longer printhead lifespan.
Old or dirty media may hold dirt grains which can damage
the printhead - make sure you use a clean roll or peel off the first layer
of the roll.
Save! and be efficient
On several versions of the intermediate and large
printers - the ribbon can be used twice & more:
a ribbon cardboard core should be inserted on the ribbon collecting core, and the ribbon edge should be taped onto it using scotch tape. when planning multiple runs - the label should be designed for the save - e.g. texts should be printed with the printing direction, and gaps should be planned so that second run labels will fir them.
printing serialized barcodes & texts - it is recommended to print from the
end to the beginning (last number to first). this way, after rolling the
labels, you'll end up with the first number on the first label available.
Print and Roll: When
rolling up label rolls - you should turn the label 180 degrees on the pc
what shows straight on the screen - is rolled upside-down.
Printing from a database or a file:
Before printing, make sure you sort your database by the field which be more
convenient for you to search by later on, and then make secondary sorts.
e.g. first sort by Last name, then by First name and then by Company and so
on.. The labels should be printed on fanfold type paper (perforated foldable
paper), which allows looking for a specific label in a convenient way. all
printers have the ability to print on fanfold papers. using this type
of paper you will be able to peel & apply whichever label you want. unlike
using rolls where you have to use/unroll the other labels in the roll to
reach the one you want.
Printing large quantities:
When large quantity (20k and more) of identical labels (and even less
for large labels) are needed - check the option of ordering the labels at an
outside supplier - it might be cheaper.
When serialized or database printed labels are needed for a quantity over 50k - also check the option of ordering the labels at an outside supplier - it might be cheaper & quicker AND save on wear of the print head and setting up a label printing software for the external DB.
Label Dimensions: Choose
label dimensions as close as possible to the size you label supplier holds.
Specially designed label sizes require new die cut knives which cost a lot,
settle for a size your label supplier has die cut knives for. you can also
ask him for a list of die cut knives sizes.
Label Material: Every
Thermal Transfer printer can function as a Thermal printer as
well. Thermal paper labels, are more expensive then normal paper labels, but
are cheaper then the paper label + ribbon combination. the disadvantage of
thermal paper labels is their short lifespan and a very minor print
quality difference (they come out a bit bolder, which can sometimes be an
advantage). So, for applications where labels are needed for a short
lifespan - use thermal paper labels.
Other materials used in the label industry (from low to high cost): Paper, Chromo Paper, Polypropylene, PVC, Polyethylene, Polyester, Vinyl, Destructible Vinyl, Silver Polyester ,Kapton. When choosing the label material, you should take in account elements such as lifespan, environment (indoor/outdoor), possible chemical absorption, temperature, wear and others.
There are label types in the market which are called 2-ply and are designed for numerous applications.
for specific and special applications - you should advice with an expert.
Choosing Label Adhesive:
The usual materials come with strong, permanent glue. You can also order
stick & lift type of glue, which let's you apply the labels as they were
permanent, and lift them back for more uses later on, without leaving a
For applications where a fast lift of the labels is required - you can also use fast-lift adhesive-less tabbed labels.
for any questions - please call us
we will be more then glad to answer them