The base layer in a print and apply (P&A) ribbon is a key component of ribbon structure and is typically seven times thinner than a human hair. It must resist heat while being thermally conductive. These factors create significant manufacturing challenges. Poor quality base layers with inconsistent thickness and insufficient conductivity result in poor print performance, increased head cleaning and excessive printhead wear. They are also more susceptible to ribbon wrinkle resulting in poor code quality.
This not only has cost implications in the printing process itself but also in terms of reprints that may be required to ensure labeling meets ever more stringent bar code requirements such as the increasingly mandated GS1-128 specification.
The three types of thermal transfer ribbons in the Markem-Imaje Label MI range address basic to complex P&A applications. Each of the various ribbon types offers a high print finish and variations on heat tolerance, bar code quality, rub resistance, material versatility and speed versus energy performance.
- The Premium selection is for use on all kinds of self-adhesive materials, including coated and glossy papers and synthetics, which require particularly high levels of rub or solvent resistance. Typically used in applications such as shipping and inventory, pharmaceutical and outdoor settings.
- The Performance range provides ribbons for top-end print performance on high quality, coated and standard papers, ensuring durable codes and full bar code compliance. Common applications are cosmetics, healthcare and electronics.
- The Prime choice is designed for entry level applications printing on coated or uncoated papers and targets, existing print and apply labelers, and desktop printers looking for a cost-effective way to ensure reliable code quality.