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Are you a manufacturer or distributor who needs to print-on-demand labels for your business? Do those labels need to be sustainable in all types of weather conditions and various degrees of handling?

If printing on-demand labels is a requirement for your business, you want to be able to read the print to ensure deliverability. Ideally, it would be best to have something resistant to humidity, solvents, temperature, and tension. If you need to meet regulatory compliance or customer compliance, it is critical that your labels and barcode scan.

Armor Ribbons

You can enjoy labels that deliver when printing with a high-quality printer such as a Zebra or Honeywell and printing with Armor ribbons.

Many ribbons appear to provide quality printing, but they fail. When the label is not readable when the product is delivered, the entire shipment is returned. You may have saved a few dollars buying a cheaper ribbon, but it will cost thousands of dollars in fines and other costs. In the end, you lose money, and you could face legal ramifications.

As a global distributor of label printers, Imprint provides Zebra printers using high-quality Armor ribbons as part of their thermal transfer printing process to ensure labels will be easy to read when they arrive at their destination. Armor ribbons will save you money in the long run.

What Is Thermal Transfer Printing

Armor's three families: Resin, wax and resin and wax

Thermal transfer printers use ribbons. There are three types of Thermal Transfer ribbons: wax, wax-resin, or full resin. All three types have wax and resin but the ratios of wax and resin change as you progress through the durability scale. Even Armor's plain wax ribbon is “resin enhanced” to give better durability than a standard wax.

Thermal transfer printers use ribbons to create the image on the material. The ribbons are made of wax, wax-resin, or full resin ink that melts onto the surface of the print media (a label or other material) and creates a high-quality image that lasts, providing unmatched printing durability and quality.

Thermal transfer printing is perfect for long-term applications where the print media will be exposed to harsh conditions such as high temperatures, water, chemicals, and light. Or if it needs to last more than six months.

You can match different types of ribbons to various label materials for maximum durability.

Armor provides all three types of ribbons.

Wax Ribbons

Wax ribbons print on coated or uncoated paper stock. The least expensive of the three thermal transfer ribbons are also less durable than the other two.

Armor’s wax ribbon is more durable than most because it is “resin enhanced” to give better durability than the average standard wax ribbon. We use this enhanced product in 75% of all applications.

Armor ribbon and wax

Wax-Resin Ribbons

Wax resin ribbons are a popular choice. They are a bit more expensive than the wax ribbons but significantly more durable.

Wax-resin ribbons work great on a wide range of material types and provide a high-quality image suited for shipping labels, barcode labels, pharmaceutical labels, and shelf and bin labels.

Resin Ribbons

Resin ribbon is generally intended for use on non-paper, synthetic stocks and will offer the highest durability of any ribbon type.

The extreme durability offered makes pure resin ribbons a strong choice for labeling very sensitive medical applications, other regulatory applications, and chemicals.

Printing Problems

EdgeVue(tm) image

Manufacturers who use the wrong type of printing or printing ribbon can cause various problems for consumers and businesses.

  • What if you couldn't see the label on your car parts? Your mechanic won’t know what parts are needed to fix your car.
  • Expiration dates are missing on food products, so it ends up in the trash.
  • The printer ribbon's inferior print quality can lead to several causes that would shut down a line. Shutting lines down costs money and valuable time.
  • Products cannot be delivered due to smudged or blurred print and are returned.

These are just a few of the many problems that can be caused by inferior ribbon quality.

Who Should Use Thermal Transfer Printing?

Thermal transfer ribbons are more or a durable image than direct thermal printing on all label types.

If you have to meet regulatory compliance or customer compliance, it is critical that your labels and barcodes scan. You may face legal ramifications or fines if they are not scannable on delivery.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether printing with a thermal transfer ribbon is in your best interest.

      • Do you need to print on various mediums?
      • Do you need to include the UL symbol as part of the label?
      • Do you need to trace the product's life cycle from the manufacturer through use until destruction with a unique identification code?
      • Do you need to ensure deliverability?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a thermal transfer ribbon is your best option.

Thermal transfer printing with a ribbon does the following:

      • It gives you the ability to print on coated paper, synthetics, textile, or flexible packaging.
      • Passes all UL tests – the printed logo, UL, means that the components (printing material, adhesive, and printing ink) used for the labeling passed all UL tests.
      • Essential technical and or legal information is displayed on the name-plates and is required to remain fixed to the product and legible throughout its life cycle.

Provides traceability data to guarantee product compliance and quality throughout the product life cycle. Helping to ensure regulations are met to keep people and goods safe.

Thermal transfer ribbons also protect against premature printhead wear.

Top Quality Ribbons By Armor

Thermal Transfer is a robust, reliable, and competitive printing technology for marking barcode traceability data, serial and batch numbers, etc.

Using inks capable of withstanding handling, friction, heat, solvents, and other demanding environments for a long life-cycle provides the durability of secure traceability data.

All ribbons developed by Armor are tested on every thermal transfer printer available. Armor has the perfect ribbon for printing on rough, coated, plastic, synthetic, textile papers, and more.

All the requirements for print durability, fineness of characters, and printed information legibility for printing traceability labels are met with Armor thermal transfer ribbons.

Mike Hess, VP of Operations and HR at Imprint, commented, “Quality counts! People are paying fines every day because they don't purchase quality ribbons. You might think you are saving money by buying a $6 or $8 ribbon, but if you end up paying a $100,000 fine, you have lost money big time.”

Advantages of Using Armor Ribbons

In industrial environments, products are subject to significant stress. It is vitally important that the labels remain legible no matter what happens to the packaging. It needs to be delivered without errors, gaps, omissions, or deterioration. All messaging needs to be intact for delivery success.

Armor offers competitive ribbons for price-sensitive applications, standard ribbons for optimal performance, and specialized ribbons for highly demanding applications.

Armor ribbons are priced competitively, compatible with various printer configurations, and meet regulatory requirements in multiple industries, including distribution, household appliances, logistics, automotive, food processing, machine tools, health, cosmetics, electronics, chemicals (GHS Regulations), aeronautics, and textiles.


Deliverability Improves With Armor Ribbons

Three things are needed for a long-lasting label. You need to have a quality printer, template, and quality ribbon combined for success. At Imprint, we work with you to ensure your Zebra printer works correctly, your template is exemplary, and we supply Armor ribbons. When working with us and using Armor ribbons, you will have a quality image when printing labels to ensure deliverability.

Imprint uses Armor Thermal Transfer Ribbons to mark variable information on flexible packaging and labels such as barcodes, logos, expiry dates, batch numbers, and more. This data is essential to identify products, ensure traceability through varying life cycle stages, and provide vital information for the end-user.

You can enjoy improved deliverability and less downtime saving your business money with a minimal increase in costs by choosing Armor ribbons for your thermal transfer printing needs.

Contact Imprint for more information on Thermal Transfer Printing, Armor Ribbons, and how they can improve your printing.

For More Information


(855) 745-4464