Once printer and barcode scanner (reader) are settled, it is important to determine what label and ribbon type to be used. With label, there are 6 types that are widely used:
1. HVS (or known as WF - Wood Free) - The first type of paper base label, which usually comes in as sheets instead of roll. This is suitable for printing hospital label, address or notes.
2. Direct thermal - Another paper base label, this one uses heat to print out barcode, hence no ribbon required to print. Due to its nature, the print out only last about 12 months. This is suitable for receipt printing.
3. Semi coated (Semigloss) - This is also paper base label, which can be torn. Its surface would be smoother compared to HVS label, hence it looks glossier too. Due to its material, this label could be easily damaged by fluid such as water or alcohol. Usually this is used for indoor usage or warranty label, since it cannot be peeled off as a whole.
4. Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate - PET) - A film base label, which means cannot be torn. This is suitable for outdoor usage as the label could withstand heat and fluid.
5. Yupo (Synthetic Paper) - Similar to Polyester, this is a film base label but stronger and slightly thicker. Due to its characteristics, this type is suitable for outdoor usage or industrial environment.
6. Nylon - This is a special type that is completely different compared to the other labels. It is designed for fashion industry usage, where it could be found at the back of collar or on the side.
As for ribbons, it is used in thermal transfer printers by melting the ink (coated on 1 side of the thin polyester backing). This is done when printhead releases heat, which makes the ink released from the roll and glued to label. Direct thermal printers do not use ribbons as the heat goes straight to heat sensitive label, which will change colour once heated.
In general, there are 3 types of ribbon:
1. Wax - this is the most basic ribbon type, where it will work best on paper base label. Due to its characteristics, label must not exposed to chemical / oil, which will remove wax easily from the label.
2. Wax Resin - this would produce finer image on paper base label and more durable compared to wax. Although, it can only withstand incidental exposure to water / moisture.
3. Resin - this type is designed to be used with film base label, where the ink will slighlty dissolved into label's surface. This means the print result can withstand exposure to the sunlight, water and also scratch resistant.
For more information, please contact us and we are more than happy to discuss your queries.
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