Hot stamp coders, aka hot fail, may have lost some of their luster over the past years as digitally programmable printers have come into favor. Those programmable printers include thermal transfer coders, high resolution inkjets and continuous inkjet (CIJ) models. In some instances though, manufacturers state that hot foil stamping is still head and shoulders above other coders for their application.
Some of the areas where hot foil excels include:
- Holographic marking for security on items. Consider that holographic foil begins as either silver or gold hot foil tape onto which a holographic image can be embossed. Now apply those principles to packaging. The image will remain the same but a special die cut enhances the security and intricacy of the stamp.
- Marking cosmetic cartons with gold product codes. Replicatiing both the reflective nature and shine of gold or silver in a print is an area in which nothing performs better than hot foil. Thermal transfer print technologies can be used for this but the resulting color is generally less vibrant in appearance.
- White printing on cartons or other packaging elements. Printing in white is a challenge for all inkjet printers. While these printers have the basic capability, the pigmented inks offer continuing challenges to daily production line operation. Thermal transfer print technology offers white print ribbon but because the “coat weight” is low, the ability to produce a strong, opaque white image on a black surface remains limited.
Trials with both hot foil stamping and thermal transfer printing often show that hot foil stamping can be superior in many applications especially when decorative print is needed.