cab develops and manufactures thermal transfer printers. On these, a special film is heated by the print head on selected spots. Color melts into the material to be printed. What benefits this method for printing labels? What other features are to expect from a label printer? Kristian Jakovcic, developer at cab, provides information to the Editorial cab Department.

-What are basics to observe when printing labels?
Jakovcic: Let me put it this way: Each print operation is individual. So are its requirements. Print volumes and widths matter, so do label sizes and print image quality. When printed labels are to be applied automatically to objects, cycle rates are an issue, whether objects are at rest or in motion and from which direction labels are applied. Depending on the use, resistances are required to blurring and scratching, direct sunlight and temperatures extremely high or low. Rugged work environments mean humidity, chemicals, dusts or oils.

-What about directives implied by industry, or State order?
Jakovcic: Labeling is regulated, whether on food, electronics, chemicals or pharmaceuticals, whether these are solid, liquids or powders.

-Which print method benefits for labels, and why?
Jakovcic: This can hardly be said in general terms. Each operation is individual. Digital printing is particularly effective with small label volumes printed multi-colored in different designs. Thermal transfer printing is first choice if variable data is to be added to preprinted multicolor labels. This method is particularly economical with large label volumes. There is no waiting for colors to dry, as is the case with inkjet. Proper materials provided, thermal labeling remains legible on goods during processing, inspection, picking, stock and transport. Other print methods are much more sensitive.

-More information about the latter, please.
Jakovcic: Inkjet printing based on other than pigmented ink will probably result in print images smearing in cases of contact, or when exposed to water or solvents. Laser printing does not smear. However, the intense heat of such units does not comply with label adhesives.

-Users see cost-effective operations a major concern.
Jakovcic: Absolutely! With cab printers processing label rolls, using thermal transfer method, users remain flexible even with large label volumes, as well as individual ones. There is no need of label sheets be reload over and over again. Waste is reduced.

-Industrial businesses demand industrious machines.
Jakovcic: cab printers are running with maximum print speeds of 300 mm/s. Several thousand labels per day can be labeled in high quality in continuous operation. Print resolutions up to 600 dpi, high contrast and print images razor-sharp in all areas are required to verify small batch numbers with the eye and micro codes with scanners. cab printers can do this. They are also particularly flexible. On MACH 4S devices, for example, retainers equipped with labels of different widths can be exchanged as required. The cover opens to the top. By this, no additional space is needed laterally in cases of maintenance or change of materials. EOS printers can be supplied with rechargeable batteries. Mobile printing is enabled when no power sockets are available.

By shanto

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