There are three common types of barcode printing technology: Dot Matrix, Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer. In this text we focus on Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer.
Every label and ticket printer needs labels or tickets to print. To guarantee optimal performance when printing labels or tickets, specific label material, and sometimes ribbon, is required. The label usage and application are other factors to keep in mind.
Direct Thermal printing
The choice of print technology is determined almost exclusively by the application. Direct thermal is used when you want the label to last up to 12 months, indoors, and with normal use. Direct thermal labels should not be exposed to daylight during a longer period of time, since this gradually worsens the labels print quality. Also, as heat blackens the label at 80°C, it should not be used in applications with excessive heat. A premium label, however, can be stored many years under ideal circumstances (no direct sunlight, +20°C and 60% relative humidity). When printing using the direct thermal technology, the print head has direct contact with a heat sensitive paper. When the heated print head touches the paper, the heat sensitive top layer of the paper turns black.