Thermal transfer printers for adhesive labels are monochrome printers that use the heating of the print head to deposit the ink on the label, finally creating a high contrast message. These printers originate with the need to identify products through electronically readable codes: barcodes. Despite the different evolutions, thermal transfer technology is still used for barcode printers. An important part of thermal transfer printers is the ribbon (or inked ribbon) which defines a good sliding of the ribbon and the protection of the print heads.
The thermal transfer printers for labels available on the market are divided into:
● Desktop printers
Desktop printers are characterized by an essential and elegant structure, generally enclosed by a light and functional cover. They adapt to an office location and for medium-small commercial activities. They have limited technical characteristics for speed and print quality, they are easy to use.
● Industrial printers
Thermal transfer printers for industrial labels are characterized by large internal spaces for introducing rolls and ribbons. Printing possibilities vary from 4 "to 8".
The direct thermal printer, on the other hand, uses the same technology just mentioned without using the ribbon. The direct thermal printer uses "thermal labels" specially chemically treated, when subjected to heat sources they change color. However, thermal labels are very sensitive to temperatures and therefore are suitable for applications that do not require long durability. The print head, in direct contact with the thermal label, is able to print high contrast monochromatic messages quite similar to those printed with the ribbon.
However, due to their sensitivity to temperatures, thermal labels do not have high resistance over time.