What is thermal transfer overprinting?
Issued by Pyrotec - Aug 8th, 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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Serialised coding is an excellent anti-counterfeiting measure and, because of this, several countries around the world have made it a legal requirement for their pharmaceutical industries.
The two primary inkjet technologies used in the packaging industry are continuous inkjet (CIJ) and thermal inkjet (TIJ) printing. When deciding which is best for a specific application, there are several operating features to consider.
Many South African brand owners don’t make optimal use of their packaging and labelling space. This is not only prime real estate where brands can communicate with consumers but also a mandatory platform for the pharmaceutical sector, for example, to clearly display dosage instructions and contra-indications.
Unlike other printing technology, continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers operate at low cost because they run for many hours before requiring a service.