Thermal Printing Methods

There are two thermal printing methods. The first method is direct thermal and the second one is thermal transfer. On this article we explain their differences.

There are two thermal printing methods. The first method is direct thermal and the second one is thermal transfer. Both of these methods use a thermal printhead that applies heat to the surface being marked.

Thermal transfer printing uses a heated ribbon to produce durable, long-lasting images on a wide variety of materials. On the other hand, no ribbon is used in direct thermal printing, which creates the image directly on the printed material. It is important to mention that direct thermal media is more sensitive to light, heat and abrasion. As a result the life of printed material is reduced. 

So the most important part in thermal printing is without a doubt the printhead. On the thermal transfer printing the ribbon plays a crucial role too but everything is about printhead. Thermal printer owners have to be aware of it and be aware that if there is something wrong with their labels the most common cause is the printhead. 

The maintenance of a printhead is not a big deal. Most of the times if there is something wrong, maybe the letters on the products are not very clear, you just have to open the thermal printer and clean the printhead. On the worst case scenario you have to change the printhead but again there are many available options and you can choose either original or compatible printheads.

Many companies tends to change their thermal printers because they are not aware of the simlicity of this process. As soon as they realize that their date coders print low quality dates on their products they just change their thermal printers which is tottaly wrong. This phenomenon results many unnescecary expenses to a company on one hand to buy a new thermal printer and on the other hand the staff spend a lot of time learning the new machine. 

To sum up, there are to basic types of thermal printing but the most importand part in thermal printing is the printhead. The maintenance of the printhead is an easy process and company owners should be aware of it in order to save unnecessary expenses. 


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Label Line UK has over 40 years of technical expertise of working with the leading manufacturers of label printers. We supply thermal printers, barcode printers, label printers, printheads, spare parts and all the consumables for all leading brands.

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Label Line UK

Webber road, Webber Estates Unit 10
Knowsley Industrial Park
L3 8HA
Phone : 01515462222
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Published on

Dec 02, 2014