Print Hardware and Other Consumables.
To successfully print a barcode of any kind, you will need a BARCODE PRINTER, these can be categorized into two major groups;
1. Thermal transfer barcode printers (TT)
In this method, the print head transfers ink from a ribbon into standard paper. A RIBBON IS USED. A ribbon produces less friction than paper, so a print head lasts approximately four times longer when printing in thermal transfer (TT) mode than in thermal direct (TD ) mode.
Thermal transfer printers use ink ribbons made of wax, resin, or a blend of both. Matching labels with the right ribbon will get you the best print quality and durability.
2. Thermal direct barcode printers (TD)
In this method, the print head of the printer is in direct contact with treated paper, and NO RIBBON IS USED. There’s a coating on the label paper that turns black as heat is applied to it. Because of this, no ribbon is required.
Thermal barcode printers come in a variety of forms: desktop, mid-range, industrial, and portable. depending on the number of labels that are going to be printed daily.
Consumables for Barcode Printing
Consumables used for barcode printing work range from ribbons, barcode labels, and printerheads among other replaceable printer parts.
1. Ribbons | Thermal Transfer Ribbons (TTR)
Ribbons are used only with Thermal transfer printers (TT).
There are three kinds of ribbons depending on the label material in use or the longevity of the print.
The most common ribbon that is used on PAPER LABELS (Uncoated/Coated Paper, Most Synthetic Labels). The majority of its content is wax with a very small percentage of resin. It provides excellent print quality and is affordable and reliable.
A resin ribbon is required to print on polypropylene label stock (Polyester, Vinyl, Polyamide, Polypropylene). It will produce razor-sharp images and is often used with a 300 or 600-dpi printhead. These ribbons offer extreme durability against solvents and abrasions.
d. Near-Edge Ribbons
Near Edge Ribbons will only work in a Near Edge printer. Their specific formulation is designed to create crisp, clean, and sharp-looking barcodes on a variety of substrates(OPP/ Metalized PET, PET/Metalized PET, PET/LDPE, Polyethylene, Uncoated & Coated Paper, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polyolefin). These resin ribbons are often used in high-speed packaging applications to time stamp snack food packaging.
These ribbons will print a wide range of vivid and bold colors or metallic images. Most of these ribbons are wax or wax/resin formulas. They can be printed on white or color labels. Testing is required when printing white or other light colors on dark-colored labels or tags.
2. Labels | Barcode Labels
a. Labels for Thermal Transfer Printers (LTT)
b. Labels for Thermal Direct Printers (LTD)