Use thermal labels for extra info
We’re all about making labels you can apply to your products. But another option is to run our self-adhesive labels through a thermal transfer printer to add additional information- best before dates, sell by dates, batch numbers, and even lines of text to identify individual items.
How does thermal transfer printing work?
Using a special thermal transfer printing machine, heat is used to transfers the colour pigment of a thermal transfer ribbon onto the label layer (usually in the form of a roll label). It’s ideal for printing barcodes, bottling data and ‘best before’ dates. And compared to direct thermal printing (which we’ll be discussing soon) the print is of a much higher quality and lasts longer. However, it can only print one colour at a time – the colour of the ribbon being used.
Before you print your labels this way, you should perform a small test run to make sure you have:
- a sufficiently large font
- a suitable material
- the right temperature
Thermal transfer labels are often used on bottles, jars, glasses and classic address labels. You can use them to label food, equipment and other products.
If you’re printing EAN codes, best before dates or filling data on your labels, your best option is to have a professional label printer create high-quality roll labels to use as pre-printed “master labels”, and then to overprint time- and product-sensitive data with the thermal transfer printer.
You can print on polyethylene film, polypropylene film and various papers. It all depends on how many you need and how they’ll be used.
Direct thermal printing
With direct thermal printing, paper with colour pigments is fed into a specially designed printer. The print head then moves over the paper and heats it to create an image. As the paper is heated, a chemical reaction takes place and the paper turns black.
Unlike thermal transfer printing, direct thermal printing can only print in monochrome black. The print is also sensitive to UV radiation, and can quickly fade. (This is why you often can’t read old receipts.)
Can I use labels from PrimeLabels.com.au in my thermal transfer printer?
That depends. Some of our materials and finishes can’t be used for thermal transfer printing because either the stock or the ink is heat resistant. (Only one specific material can be used for direct thermal printing.) And you can’t use a protective varnish either, as it will burn under the heat.
When ordering thermal transfer labels you can specify:
- the required roll core diameter (25mm, 40mm or 76 mm
- the maximum roll diameter
- the number of labels per roll
- the winding direction
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team.