Thermal printing (sometimes known as direct thermal printing) is a method of producing a printed image by heating thermal paper selectively as it goes through a print head. The heat-sensitive paper’s coating turns black in the heated spots, resulting in the desired image.
Thermal transfer printing, on the other hand, using a heated ribbon to create graphics that are both sturdy and long-lasting. This method is notable for producing smear-resistant and long-lasting prints. As a result, thermal printers have become popular for creating long-lasting labels and easily scannable barcodes, as well as till receipts, tickets, wristbands, vouchers, name badges, and other items.
Below are further facts about print and apply label machines:
Types of label printers: regular vs. industrial
A normal label printer is not very large and can suffice if you only need a few labels. Perfect for the workplace! However, if you need to print many shipping labels, an industrial printer is the better option for you as an online store.
Thermal label printing: direct thermal vs. thermal transfer
There are also two types of printing: direct thermal and thermal transfer. Direct thermal printing does not require ink because it employs heat-sensitive material. Thermal transfer printing makes use of a heated ribbon.
The text on your shipping labels will not persist as long because direct thermal printing does not use ink. Over time, the text will fade (e.g. due to sunlight). However, because shipping labels have such a short lifespan, this is not a major issue (from your shipping address to delivery to your customer).
Resolution & print speed
Where there is a need, there is also a supply, thus label printers are plentiful. This implies that there are many pricing points and levels of quality. It’s critical to make a trade-off between price and quality with everything you purchase. You can look at the resolution and print speed of label printers, for example.
The quality of your barcode, and hence the readability of your shipping labels, is dependent on the resolution. How soon your labels are printed is naturally determined by the print speed. A ordinary label printer, as you might expect, prints more slowly than an industrial label printer. Examine what your e-commerce business requires.
What are the benefits of a thermal label printer?
One of the most significant benefits of thermal printing is that it is not limited to printing on paper. Thermal label printers can employ a range of tapes and ribbons, as well as materials including plastic, nylon, polyester, vinyl, and even heat shrink tubing, depending on the printer you choose. As a result, thermal printers are extremely adaptable and versatile across a wide range of industries and applications.
Durability is another factor to consider in some thermal label printer applications. Labels printed with thermal transfer are significantly more durable than those printed with ink on paper. Thermal prints, on the other hand, are far more resistant to bleed, smudge, and fade due to time and the environment, especially if you use pure resin paired with laminated material.