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Is Your Ribbon To Blame?

ribbon2They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

This is true when it comes to your label and barcode systems.

When you label a product or carton, you depend on the information on that label to be there when you read or scan it. If that label fails in any way, (the print on your labels rubs off, breaks down with exposure to chemicals, sunlight, moisture or other harsh environments) that valuable information is at risk of being lost. That can impact your production, traceability for warranty or recalls, compliance with industry mandates, and more.

To protect that information and wear/tear on your printer, it is important select the right type of thermal transfer ribbon that matches your label material, required printing speed, temperature settings and your printer.

There are basically three classes of thermal transfer ribbons: wax, wax/resin, and high performance resin.

The wax offers excellent bar code and print quality, engineered to run at lower head temperatures that extend print head life and wear / tear on the printer. This allows for printing at high speeds on paper and some synthetic label materials. Perfect for use in the Food industry, Shipping, Warehouse, Inventory Tracking and Retail applications.

Your label could be tough, but if the image doesn’t match it doesn’t matter. That’s on the resins.

The Premium wax/resin formulation combines the flexibility of a general-purpose ribbon with the durability of a wax/resin ribbon. Perfect for shipping, healthcare and pharmaceutical applications.

Resin ribbons are available in levels of durability. An economical resin ribbon is designed for use on a variety of synthetic label substrates and offers good smudge and scratch resistance. For harsh environment labeling applications where resistance to extreme abrasion, heat and/or chemicals is imperative, a high-performance resin is required. These demands are often found in electronics, automatic, aerospace and industrial applications.

If you are experiencing problems with print rubbing off your labels, washing off when exposed to chemicals, moisture, fading in the sunlight or your printheads are burning out, give us a call or leave us your comments. We will help you identify the problem and avoid costly performance issues later in the process.


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  1. I like it – nice job JB and Kathy.

    A lot of people don’t consider that each part of a labeling system has equal importance and the overall result can only be as good as the poorest performing part.

    Choosing the correct thermal ribbon will not only improve quality and increase uptime, it can often save some money too.

    Sounds good to me!!

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