Direct Thermal or Thermal Transfer Labels?

Direct Thermal Labels use Direct Thermal Printers that blacken the white label when heat is applied to its surface. 

 

Pros:

1. Requires No ink/ribbons (Up to 30% Savings when compared to Thermal Transfer)

2. Directs Thermal Printers are Cheaper than Thermal Transfer Labels (Up to 20% Savings when compared to Thermal Transfer)

3. Awesome for Shipping Labels, receipts, name tags and other barcode applications.

 

Cons:

1. When exposed to direct sunlight the label will fade. The label will only be unreadable when it is exposed to excessive sunlight over a long period of time.

2. When come in contact with harsh chemicals the label will fade. 

3. Direct Thermal Labels will Last approx 4-5 years, where Thermal Transfer will last approx 6-7 years. 

 

 

Thermal Transfer Labels use heat applying on Wax/Resin Ribbon which melt the ribbon onto the label. 

 

Pros:

1. Can withstand direct sunlight much better than direct thermal even though it will still reduce its shelf life.

2. Can withstand harsh chemicals 

3. Overall tougher application and last 1-2 year longer.

 

Cons:

1. Up to 30% more expensive in running costs when compared to Direct Thermal as Consumable Wax/Resin Ribbons is required (calculation in the example below)

2. Time wasting when changing not only when the labels are depleted but also the now the Ribbon. Label and Ribbon may run out at different time intervals which will increase changeover time.

3. High Replacement costs, all desktop printers have a life span of 2-4 years depending on usage. And Thermal Transfer printers costs more so more capital is required.

 

 

Our Recommendation

Which label that best suit your business can be categorised depending on its usage:

Shipping Labels - Direct Thermal

Address Labels - Direct Thermal

Product Barcodes <4 years shelf life - Direct Thermal

Product Barcodes >4 years shelf life - Thermal Transfer

Coloured Printing - Thermal Transfer (can change the colour of the ribbon)

Warehouse Labels - Direct Thermal 

Receipts - Direct Thermal 

Name Tags - Direct Thermal 

 

 Shipping Labels