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The difference between thermal and thermal transfer barcode printers

June 8, 2013

Barcode printers are a type of generating device commonly used in labels and barcode production equipment. They have thermal and thermal transfer printing modes. So, what is the difference between thermal and thermal transfer barcode printers?

1. Different printing supplies

Supplies for thermal printers: Thermal paper. Thermal paper is coated with a layer that reacts with heat and discolors, similar to a photographic film. However, this layer of coating discolors when exposed to heat. This characteristic of the heat-sensitive coating is used to generate heat. Sensitive printing technology; (Note: Thermal printers can only use dedicated thermal paper)

Consumables used in thermal transfer printers: label paper, PET, PVC, water mark, tag, and other label media, and can also be printed using thermal paper;

2. Different shelf life

The media printed by the thermal printer does not last long, generally six months! (Specifically depends on the storage location, luminosity, temperature and other circumstances determine the actual shelf life);

The media printed by the thermal transfer machine has a longer storage time, generally more than two years (depending on the quality of the label paper and ribbon used);

3. The cost is different:

The cost of thermal machines is lower, and the cost of consumables is lower; the cost of thermal transfer machines and the cost of consumables are higher than the cost of thermal machines;

4. The use of different

Thermal printers are suitable for companies that do not require high bar codes in supermarkets, clothing stores, logistics, and retail trades;

Thermal transfer printers are suitable for manufacturing, automotive, textile, telecommunications, food, electronics, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, utilities, retail distribution, transportation and logistics, government agencies, and more enterprise;

In contrast, thermal printing does not seem to require a ribbon, which is economical. In fact, thermal printing requires the use of a thermal paper medium, which is much more expensive than ordinary paper. In order to save money, some users try to buy the cheapest media on the Internet or cheap sellers. This approach may save a limited amount of money, but inferior materials may reduce the life of the print head, affect print quality, and often lead to higher total costs. The builder hereby advises the user to look for the printer manufacturer’s designated brand when purchasing the print media separately so as to avoid unnecessary losses.


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