Direct Thermal Printing and Thermal Transfer Printing are two of the most confused terms in the printing industry. Although these two sound the same and perhaps produce the same high-quality products, they differ in more ways than one. They are quite similar because both of them use heat to ensure that printing is done on whatever surface is used. However, a print ribbon is used to transfer an image on a surface in the Thermal Transfer Printer Technology. Direct thermal printing does not use any ribbon at all. It directly applies heat on the ink so that it is transferred to the surface of the item being printed on.
Which one is the best technology in printing product barcodes?
Both Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer Printing processes can be used to create barcodes for products. However, the direct thermal printing method may be more sensitive to heat, light, and abrasion, which radically reduces the life span of its printed material. When it comes to barcode printing, it is often best to go for thermal transfer printing technology where possible because it produces accurate, high-quality images that extend the lifespan of the barcode in every product. They are engineered to print on items with high tolerance to heat; allowing it to be less sensitive than the other processes.
How do I choose between the two?
The choice of whether to use Direct Thermal Printing and Thermal Transfer Printing depends on the type of printing that your business requires. Both processes can be good for certain applications, but one or the other may be better for particular industries.
For example, if you are an owner of a start-up business and you want to print barcodes onto the labels for products you sell, direct thermal printing might be your best option. It can produce the printing that you want for a lower cost. It does not require the use of ribbon or toner, so there is no recurring cost for material. It is also very easy to use, so you don’t need to be an expert to handle direct thermal printing machines.
On the other hand, Thermal Transfer Printing is ideal for a business that needs to print a high volume of items. Although it requires the use of a ribbon, it proves to be more efficient than its competitors because it can help produce a significant number of printouts with very little to no breakdown of quality over time.
Depending on your business needs, Direct Thermal or Thermal Transfer Printing may be perfect for you. However, keep in mind the other industrial printing methods commonly available for in-house printing: thermal inkjet and continuous inkjet technology. By doing careful research, you can choose the right print method for your product which will allow your labels to be accurate and suitable for your industry.