What is thermal transfer printing?
Thermal transfer printing is a type of printing technology that uses heat to transfer ink from a ribbon to a substrate, resulting in sharp, detailed, and durable prints every time, on a large variety of materials. This is not to be confused with direct thermal printing that uses no ink ribbon and therefore needs special heat-sensitive materials to print onto.
Every industry has a use for thermal transfer printed durable labels and tags – we see them every day and probably don’t give them much thought: in the supermarket freezer, on hospital wristbands, chemical drums, delivery crates, the list goes on and on!
What are the uses?
Label use can generally be broken down into the following categories:
Identification: used to identify and distinguish products, ingredients, equipment, and containers.
Branding: Labels are a powerful marketing tool and can serve as a visual representation of a brand.
Compliance: Labels can help businesses comply with industry regulations, such as labelling requirements for hazardous materials.
Organisation: categorise and organise items for efficient storage and retrieval in a warehouse or storage yard.
Safety: contain important safety information, such as warnings, usage instructions, and handling precautions.
Quality control: track the quality of products, from the raw materials right through to the finished product.
Thermal Transfer printed labels are highly durable and long-lasting once printed, especially if synthetic materials are used, making them ideal for printed labels that need to last for a longer period of time, even in extreme conditions. Here are a few examples:
- - Product labels for items stored outdoors e.g. steel pipes
- - Chemical Drum Labels
- - Industrial labels e.g. on oil rigs
- - Pharmaceutical/laboratory labels
- - Warehouse shelf labels
- - Horticultural labels for plant pots etc
- - Labels for frozen/freezable foods
- - Synthetic product tags
What are the benefits of this process?
Speed: Thermal transfer printers are often faster than other types of printing technologies, which can help to improve productivity by reducing the time required to produce a label.
Versatility: Thermal transfer printing can be used on a variety of substrates, including plastics, this allows businesses to print on a wide range of paper and synthetic materials, improving their ability to meet the needs of their customers every time and increasing productivity.
Cost: Thermal transfer printing can be more cost-effective than other printing methods, as it requires fewer consumables and less maintenance, and the printers are fairly inexpensive to purchase. This can help businesses to improve their bottom line and increase productivity.
Customisation: Thermal transfer printing can be customised to meet the specific needs of a business, using software with the ability to print barcodes, serial numbers, or QR codes. This customisation can help businesses to automate their printing process, improve accuracy, and increase productivity.
If you are interested in getting started with thermal transfer label printing, or already have a system in place that you need ribbons and labels for, get in touch today to find out how Ashgrove can help you!