When it comes to professional labels you have two main options: you can choose from direct thermal labels and thermal transfer labels; each of these have their applications and they come with various advantages. To make an informed purchase, you have to understand how they work and what their recommended applications are. It is important to know what you intend to use the labels for so that you choose the most suitable ones. Using unsuitable labels can cause you lots of hassle down the road but it can be avoided with a bit of research.
What You Should Know about Direct Thermal Labels?
A chemical layer is applied to a paper and heat activates it; this is a direct thermal material that can create the required image and that enables you to print the information you need on blank labels. The most common uses of direct thermal labels are in retail, logistics and in fields where the label will not be exposed to high heat or moisture after it has been applied. There are synthetic materials that can be used for labelling in frozen food sectors or other environments that are exposed to moisture.
As far as the applications of direct thermal labels are concerned, it is worth mentioning that these are suitable for:
• Applications with a short to medium life
• Retail and logistics
• Environments with a high level of moisture
• Packages that are subject to rough handling during application.
Numerous businesses prefer these types of labels because of the various advantages they offer: they are easy to use, they are available at an affordable cost, they can be printed with most types of printers, they do not require the use of a ribbon, they provide clear images that can be read and scanned, they can be made of paper or a synthetic material, they are the best choice for 1D and 2D barcodes and the quality of the printed image is premium. These labels can be used in various environments as long as you do not need them to last for more than 12 months for they are known to fade away over a certain period of time. Also, it is useful to know that they can discolor when exposed to high temperatures.
When to Use Thermal Transfer Labels
Thermal transfer labels can be printed through a thermal transfer printer, they require the use of a ribbon to be printed and they are recommended for outdoor uses, environments with a high level of humidity. It is recommended to use such labels when you have to print barcodes, ingredients or dates. When shopping for such labels you should also consider the capabilities of the printer to be used as well as the ribbon requirements.
If you are wondering when to use thermal transfer labels you should know that they make an excellent choice for the following situations:
• Applications that require a long-life
• Applications where direct thermal printing is not an option
• Outdoor labelling and environments with high level of moisture.
You can use such labels inl laboratories, for identification purposes and for keeping tracks of your inventory, in industrial and chemical settings and in warehouses. With these labels the quality of the print is excellent. It is useful to know that they are the best option for printing small characters, they are suitable for barcodes, they can be printed on a variety of papers as well as on synthetic materials, they are resistant to chemicals and humidity. Transfer labels are a popular option these days for they are more stable and durable than direct thermal labels, they are designed to last and they can be printed at a higher speed.
These labels come with the following drawbacks: not all printers are compatible with thermal transfer, you will need ribbons in order to print such labels and this means a higher printing cost. Also, due to the use of the ribbon the setup time is longer and the ribbons need to be changed. Another aspect you should keep in mind is that the print quality is compromised when ribbons wrinkle. Ribbons come is all sorts of sizes, colors and grades, the most popular of them being resin, which is ideal for industrial and chemical applications as well as environments where durability is required, was resin, which has an adequate chemical resistance and wax that comes with a shorter shelf-life application and is suited for environments with low chemical exposure.
Are Thermal Transfer Labels A Better Option?
Thermal labels are now widely used in all sorts of environments; if you need professional labels for your products you have to decide between direct labels and transfer labels. It is important to be aware of the pros and cons of each so that you can make the best choice for your particular environments. Should you have more questions about thermal labels, how they are printed, what their lifespan is and so on, you should not hesitate to contact specialists in this field.
Individuals who are new to purchasing labels for their business are advised to do their research so that they know exactly what they spend their money on. Although cost is an important aspect when making this decision, it is worth mentioning that you should choose the type of label based on the specific thermal labelling requirements. For example, thermal transfer options are more durable but also more costly to print, being popular in environments that are subject to extreme conditions.
You can use direct thermal labels that are suitable for a variety of applications and that are more affordable than transfer labels. What matters is that you do your homework and you know exactly what you need and how much money you can afford to spend on labels. It is equally important to find a reputed supplier, one that will guide you every step of the way and inform you about your options so that you know what you purchase.