You rely on your thermal printer to reliably produce high-quality barcode labels and tags. Are you consistently getting the results you expect? Is the print too light? You could try slowing the print speed, but then you’re compromising productivity. The real problem might be that you’re not matching the supplies to your printer.

Imagine you’re driving a high-performance car. Would you fuel it with low-octane gasoline? Not if you want it to last.

You have hundreds of choices of media and ribbon combinations for your thermal transfer printer. You match the media to your application, like exposure to abrasives, moisture, and extreme temperatures. Are you also matching supplies to your printer? When you choose the appropriate supplies, you optimize the print quality and reduce waste—like downtime and the expense of replacing supplies and reprinting labels. You also prevent the printer from running at extreme pressure and darkness settings.

zt220-full-width-print-72dpiFor example, when you’re running your barcode label printer at high speed, you won’t get the best results with a ribbon that isn’t designed for that level. While you invest time in adjusting the settings, you might do better to first switch to a wax, resin, or wax/resin ribbon (depending on your application and needs) that is engineered for higher speeds. Zebra offers thermal transfer ribbons in varying grades to handle your printer speed. The 5319 Performance wax thermal transfer ribbon has been tested and approved for speeds of up to 8 inches per second (ips). If you need a wax ribbon to handle speeds of up to 12 ips, choose the Zebra 2000 High-Performance wax ribbon.

The total cost of ownership of your thermal printer is much more than the purchase price. You should factor in the supplies and maintenance to get an accurate TCO. When you use inferior supplies, you save money on one end, but spend at least that much (probably more) in printer downtime, unnecessary repair, IT time, and the expense of replacing those subpar thermal printer supplies.

Contact Informs to ensure you’re getting the right supplies for your thermal printer and applications, so you also optimize the TCO.