How to Select a Direct Thermal Transfer Printer
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to buy a direct thermal transfer printer or a thermal transfer printer. Low operating cost is one important factor to consider. But this is just one of many factors to be looked at. This article is for people who are uncertain about the two types of printer and which type better suits their applications. Keeping in mind also some manufacturers also produce many dual mode thermal transfer printers.
A direct thermal transfer printer uses only a special heat sensitive paper to produce images. A heating coated thermochromic paper or commonly known as thermal paper. During the printing process, the paper travels over the heated print head at a selected speed. The coated paper area where the head is turns black producing the desired printed image. The most common color type is black. But multi-color types are also available. Two color direct thermal printers are capable of printing both black and an additional color. This is achieved by applying heat at two separate temperatures.
The design of a direct thermal transfer printer is usually simpler and have less moving parts and because they don’t use ink or ribbon and because of their simple design, they tend to be more durable and easy to use and often cost less to operate than inkket, laser and thermal transfer printers. Most mobile today use direct thermal technology.
One of the problems with using thermal papers is that the paper media images can be darken over time. If the label is exposed to heat or sunlight for over a period, the printed text or bar code may be unreadable. The thermal papers usually have a limited shelf life of one year. For these reasons, direct thermal transfer printing is not used for permanent identification applications. Some commonly use applications are use in hospital for printing wristbands, processing receipts at kiosks, shipping labels and pick tickets, name tags, visitor passes and many more.
So some other factors you may want to consider before choosing a direct thermal transfer printer are the label printing colors. Do you require more than one color labels? The types of print media you will be printing on, paper only, polyester or polypropylene materials. Remembering also that the thermal paper is very sensitive to heat and light so you do not want to use it for permanent identification applications.
Finding which model to buy is usually determined by the label usage per day. If you are going to print more than 1000 labels per day then it is best to go with an industrial printer. A small desk to printer is sufficient if you are planning to print only 100 to 200 labels a day.
When it comes to producing crisp shape printing images, thermal transfer label printer is the best option.
How to choose a Zebra thermal printer or a Datamax label printer.