Choosing the right media for your printers is critical. The right media will ensure you can print quality labels that stick to their designated surfaces and last without fading. The wrong media could result in poor quality, reduced life for your printhead, and may require you to re-print labels often.
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Without the right resources at your disposal, it can be difficult to know what is best for your printer and your operation. Here’s how to determine the right media for your barcode printers:
The application essentially means the type of labels you will be printing and most importantly, the type of printer you use. To ensure a long lifespan for both your labels and your printhead, it is important to match the media to your printer specifications, like print speed, resolution, roll size and thickness.
Thermal transfer printers require specific printer ribbons, such as wax ribbons, wax/resin combination ribbons, and resin ribbons. Direct thermal printing requires heat-sensitive paper to create readable labels and protect the lifespan of your printhead. Other printers may be able to use blank stock labels that you can customize to suit your branding elements and operational needs.
To ensure that your labels stay put on their designated surface, it’s critical that you choose the correct adhesive. Labels come in a range of adhesive strength, and you may need stronger adhesive if you are applying labels to a rough surface, or a surface that may encounter hazardous elements.
Also consider the shape of the surface on which you are applying your labels. Smooth surfaces may not require extra-strength adhesive, but curved surfaces may present a challenge for some lower-level adhesives.
Will your labels need to be easily removed and replaced, or are they meant to last indefinitely? Consumable products like produce will require labels that can be removed without leaving residue, while safety placards would present hazards and could potentially result in fines if they were removed or didn’t adhere properly.
Common adhesive strengths include:
- Permanent—works well for general purposes, but certain materials or surfaces may prove challenging.
- Removable—some of these can be removed and replaced again and again, while others can only be used once, but can be easily removed without leaving residue.
- All-temp—best for environments like cold or freezer storage, or outdoor labels on metal surfaces that can become hot if exposed to sun.
- Aggressive—for specialty applications that require an elevated level of adhesion. This adhesive is the most difficult to remove and lasts the longest.
Selecting Quality Labels
Beware of cheap, low-quality labels that aren’t designed for your application. Not only could you experience fines or chargebacks when your labels fail, but you could severely damage your printhead and reduce the lifespan of your printer itself.
Your industrial printer is a major investment, so it’s important to protect it with high-quality media. Not only will your printhead stay in good working condition, your labels will have a better chance of sticking properly to surfaces and staying there until they need to be removed. If you are still unsure about the best media for you, speak with a reputable provider, like the experts at Informs, who will be able to provide proper guidance on selecting your media.
Informs partners with Honeywell to provide high-quality, cost-effective labels that suit your operational needs. Interested in learning more? Contact Informs today!