Thermal printing is a high speed printing process that produces relatively little noise, two attributes that have seen its widespread adoption in the industrial sector for a range of logistical, freight, shipping and consumer labelling applications.
When compared to traditional dot matrix printers, thermal printers are also smaller, lighter and consume less power, making them a more cost effective option.
Leading national label manufacturer insignia offers a complete range of thermal printing labels for manufacturing plants, warehouses, distribution centres and other industrial environments that require a high volume, low cost solution for reliable label printing.
Thermal labels are typically printed using one of three techniques:
- thermal direct
- thermal transfer; and
- laser (inkjet) printing.
Thermal direct printed labels are suitable for applications, such as barcoding, that do not require a long life span, and are best used on items that are stored away from direct sunlight and heat. insignia's thermal direct labels feature a smooth top coat that resists moisture, protecting the print and printhead.
As distinct from thermal direct printing, Thermal Transfer printers utilise a thermal ribbon that is heated, melting a layer of ink that adheres to the printing surface. Thermal transfer labels from insignia are produced with an ultra smooth coating that is designed to create a permanent scratch resistant bond with the thermal ribbon.
This technology creates a permanent, crisp print, making it an ideal solution for labelling applications such as barcoding, warehousing and long-life product labelling.
insignia also stocks quality thermal ribbons for use with thermal transfer printers that are designed to meet the strict quality specifications of printer manufacturers, and have a special coating on the back of the ribbon to protect printheads. A wide variety of sizes and grades of ribbon are available to suit specific applications.
While Laser printing is not strictly speaking a thermal printing technique, insignia offers a variety of labels designed for use in both laser printers and thermal inkjet printers. The company's laser labels are designed for high speed, high volume laser and inkjet printers and copiers, and are compatible with major software programs.
insignia produces all three varieties of thermal printing labels in world class facilities, using quality raw materials. According to the company, there are three main properties that determine the quality of a thermal label. These are the:
- face stock
- adhesive; and
Described as 'the presenter', face stock is the medium that physically carries the printed information and decorative aspects of a label. As the main role of the face stock is taking care of presentation, insignia uses premium grade face stock for all blank thermal labels to provide lifelong print integrity and information readability.
As the name suggests, adhesive is the tacky coating that attaches a label to the product or packaging surface. Insignia produces blank thermal labels using premium permanent adhesive to ensure labels are easy to apply, and remain affixed for the life of the product.
Liner is the backing paper that carries a label and preserves its adhesive prior to use. Thermal labels from insignia feature a high grade silicone paper that is designed to provide optimal release qualities in all environments, and is suitable for high speed dispensing.
insignia supplies four main types of thermal printing labels, as follows by product code:
- AG23 - Supplied with a thermal transfer paper facestock and permanent acrylic adhesive, these labels are ideal for general purpose labelling. High adhesion level makes it ideal for recycled cartons.
- CA23 - Thermal direct facestock labels with a permanent hot melt adhesive. These labels are suitable for shipping and logistical, and short term food labelling or chilled product labelling.
- CE22 - Also featuring a thermal direct paper facestock and permanent hot melt adhesive, this is a non top-coated stock suitable for high volume short term shipping labels. It is not suitable for wet or cold room applications; and
- LA35 - These labels have a laser paper facestock, and utilise a permanent acrylic adhesive. They are designed specifically for dedicated use in laser and bubble jet printers, and photocopiers. Kraft backing paper eliminates curl issues.
LA35 labels have an application temperature range of +5 to +100°C, and service temperature range of -20 to +100°C.
All of these labels are described by insignia as 'on the shelf', and are ready for immediate despatch to ensure clients have a continuous and reliable supply. This assists in minimising inventory levels, even in the most unpredictable production environments.