Thermal label printers are primarily used to print black and white, or solid color labels. They are extremely fast label printers that can print up to 14 inches per second at a resolution of up to 600 dpi. We at ForeFront Label Solutions will provide a breakdown below to help you determine if thermal printers are the right choice for you.
First of all, let’s breakdown the technology behind thermal printers. They essentially use a thermal printhead that applies heat to the surface being marked. There are 2 types of thermal printing technologies; Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer.
Direct Thermal: This technology will use a thermal printhead that applies heat onto chemically-treated media that is heat-sensitive. The heat sensitivity causes the media to react by blackening when it passes under the thermal printhead.
Thermal Transfer: This method uses a heated ribbon, and once it passes under the thermal printhead, the ribbon then melts onto the surface of the label, creating the image.
Direct Thermal printers do not require a ribbon, ink, or toner, and therefore are cheap to own over time as they have less ongoing expenditure costs. Additionally, due to the reduced components of the thermal printer, they require minimal maintenance and/or changeovers.
Finally, thermal printers can produce extremely clear labels that are excellent for labels that require scanning such as barcode labels and QR codes. They operate ideally with black and white labels or solid color labels, which also attributes to their speed and efficiency.