What is thermal transfer overprinting?
Issued by Pyrotec - Aug 8th 2018, 09:38
Thermal transfer overprinting (TTO) is a digital printing process that offers an alternative to hot stampers and other traditional analogue printing techniques.
Thermal transfer overprinting works by creating high-quality and high-definition marks, codes and images by transferring ink onto a flexible substrate from a coated ribbon. This ribbon is covered with a wax-resin compound, or just resin, depending on the coding requirements.
TTO printheads have small resistors that swiftly and accurately heat the print area, transferring the relevant colour to the surface of the substrate. The fast on/off action is precise, ensuring that the heat causes no damage to the substrate.
Thermal transfer printers can be used for continuous or intermittent printing, making this technology suitable for an array of challenging applications including prices, date and time codes, barcodes, QR codes, logos, and ingredient or other mandatory information.
TTO technology is ideal for flexible substrates, including:
• Films (plastic or foil)
• Paper label stock
• Flat packaging
• Low-density polyethylene shrink-wrap and other delicate materials
The difference between TTO and direct thermal printing is that in direct thermal printing there is no ribbon used in the printing process. However, leading thermal transfer overprinting machinery is engineered to use only a minimal amount of ribbon, which reduces wastage and means that this technology provides your packaging and labelling line with an economical and modern coding solution.
The benefits of choosing this technology for your business include:
• Extremely high-resolution print quality
• The ability to code fast moving products in real time
• Optimum water-fastness, which is ideal for industrial label printing and coding
• Wax-resin compounds and full resins can be used on materials such as polypropylene to increase durability.
• Solvent-free printing
• Low cost of ownership due to the optimal use of ribbon
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The expansion of Markem-Imaje’s ‘Mark & Read’ camera and software system lets manufacturers tailor the level of code verification that best suits their application needs and budgets. As products go down production lines, users can now choose to simply check the code’s presence on packs or also include readability and data accuracy.
Baxter Foods wanted to use a number of different languages for the ingredients and nutritional information on its range of Jack Daniel’s barbeque sauces.
CimPak pallet labelling systems from Markem-Imaje are available in South Africa from Pyrotec PackMark.
We’re beginning to see a lot more development in the packaging sector when it comes to intelligent, smart or connected packaging.