Thermal Transfer Ribbons – Limited Capacity?

We’ve written before about the issues with the Thermal Transfer ribbon supply chain and why prices have been steadily increasing of late.

A new post on the VDC Research Blog, suggests that things are not going to be getting back to a normal capacity situation until sometime in 2013.

The problems are largely caused by the fact that manufacturers of thin PET film (used as the liner on which the various coatings on the ribbons are applied) have been diverting their production to more profitable applications such as LED displays.

Tom Wimmer, at VDC, suggests that price increases and shortages of Thermal Transfer ribbon is likely to cause some users to switch over to Direct Thermal labels, especially for large volume labeling jobs such as for printing shipping labels.

You can read Mr Wimmer’s post here.

Here at Winco ID we are in a good position to help our clients through this interesting period.

  • We have longstanding relationships with some of the major ribbon manufacturers. This allows us access to supplies and also to some of the best pricing.
  • Because of our experience in some of the most demanding labeling jobs, we have become really good at identifying opportunities to use less expensive ribbon formulations, while still meeting all the requirements of the finished label specs.
  • We can also supply high quality Direct Thermal label material, which we have done for many years.

How can we help you improve your labeling operations?

Update – July 2013.

Hmm, two years have passed and we seem to be shipping thermal transfer ribbons to our clients with no problems. Sure the prices might have increased a little, but there has been no noticeable switch to direct thermal or other printing technologies.

There are still lots of good reasons to get your thermal transfer ribbon from Winco ID though!!

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