When considering the advantages of thermal transfer systems, there are some compelling reasons that make this type of package coding approach viable and strategically sound. Here are five of the more notable benefits to consider when comparing thermal transfer systems with other potential coding systems for your packaging operations:
- Durability: Thermal transfer systems use ink ribbons that can hold up to heat, chemicals, and abrasion without the risk of smudging and there is no need for drying time and limited maintenance requirements.
- Flexibility: These highly adaptable systems can code many things, including alphanumeric characters, graphics, and/or barcodes; perform with the ribbon or without by switching to direct thermal transfer (desk top models); and operate on continuously moving materials or intermittent motion materials. This versatility also applies to the amount of target material that can be covered as well as where it is installed. These systems can be used as an “over printer” within other packaging equipment, such as into a labeler or vertical form-fill-seal machine, or on its own.
- Quality/Productivity: The quality produced from such package coding systems is ideal thanks to uniform print speed . In terms of productivity, thermal transfer systems output high-quality coding at about 200 feet per minute.
- Technology: The systems are enhanced by ongoing technological innovation, which further enhances the benefits of durability, flexibility, quality and productivity while, at the same time, offering an ever user-friendly operation. For example, new coatings are being developed that can work on heat-sensitive direct thermal substrates to further the durability of the codes by making them resistant to oils, heat, and sunlight. Other innovations recently added to equipment include the use of a software-based set-up and operation to enhance usability and integration with other types of packaging systems as well as the availability of commercial ports, adjustable knobs, and quick-release parts. These innovations speed up maintenance and connectivity for greater productivity.
- Cost: The price for these units is widely varied to accommodate different needs and budgets, with pricing starting as little as $500 for a low-voltage desktop model and pushing up to $40,000 for highly sophisticated traversing systems that can be integrated within an automated packaging line to print multiple lanes while crossing the web stock.
In Review Here are the main points regarding the benefits of this type of coding approach:
- Thermal transfer systems are durable, flexible, and highly productive while still being able to produce high-quality coding capabilities.
- As a versatile machine, the systems can be integrated into a wide range of environments to handle various types of coding, materials, and types of production lines.
- Technology is regularly advanced on these machines, offering even greater usability, productivity, and flexibility for a higher value proposition than other types of coding systems.
- The cost is highly variable as there are numerous types of thermal transfer systems, depending on your need and budget.