Select Labels / Tags / Ribbons
- This section is designed to
help you select the correct media and ribbon combination
for your labeling application. The first step in choosing
media is defining the requirements of your application.
Follow the steps and answer the questions below to
determine your label or tag needs.
- How to select
label/tag print method
- This breaks down into two
choices: Do you want someone to print your labels for you
off-site or do you want to print them in-house? There are
reasons for both.
- Imprinted by off-site vendor:
Companies select this when they need to print large
quantities of the same label or when they do not want the
additional task of printing their labels in-house.
- On-site printing: Companies
choose this method when they can justify purchasing a
label or tag printer to print their materials in-house.
This offers them great flexibility and makes them less
reliant on their vendors. Customers who print on-site
must decide if they want their media printed with direct
thermal or thermal transfer technology.
- How to
determine special label requirements
- Do you have any special
requirements you need to address with this label or tag?
- Do you want multicolored
labels: logos, background, floodcoat, colored artwork,
- Do you require a
tamper-evident or destructible label material for your
- Does your label need to
withstand harsh environments: moisture, humidity,
chemicals, oils, abrasion, UV light, etc.?
How to select
between labels and tags
- Labels: Labels will be
printed and applied to your product, case, carton, or
pallet utilizing the adhesive on the back of the label.
- Tags: Tags can be printed but
must be attached to your product by means other than an
adhesive backing. Tags are often hole-punched to be
attached with a wire or plastic tie-wrap, or they are
stapled directly to the product.
Once you have decided whether to
use labels or tags, you can select the appropriate material for
your application. Keep in mind the special requirements you have
listed above. Depending on these requirements, you will choose
between paper or synthetic materials.
- How to select
the right label
- What will the label be applied to?
There are several factors to consider under this
- What is the substrate:
corrugated cartons, plastic, metal, packaging films, wood
products, glass, etc.?
- What is the surface of the
substrate like: smooth, rough, grooved, dirty, recycled
material, curved, etc.?
- How long does it need to last
- How long will you store it before use?
- Is it perishable - Does it
sit in your warehouse for an extended period of time?
- How to select
- There are several factors to
consider when selecting the proper adhesive.
- Should the adhesive be
permanent, removable or repositionable? If the label
needs to be removed from its substrate, how long will the
label be applied before it is removed?
- At what temperature will the
label be applied? If the label is applied in a freezer,
the adhesive will perform differently than if it is
applied at a temperature of 65 degrees.
- What is the temperature range
the label must withstand throughout its entire life?
- Direct Thermal
vs. Thermal Transfer
- Direct thermal media is
similar to fax paper. It is chemically treated to produce
an image on the label when heat is applied from the
printhead. It is an economical technique to produce
labels that are not exposed to harsh environmental
elements or frequent contact scanning. Also, direct
thermal is not recommended if you expect to use your
labels past six months.
For resistance to harsh
environments, frequent scanning, and graphics appeal, the
combination of film ribbon and media (Thermal Transfer) is the
solution. With this technique, the printhead bonds wax or resin
from the film ribbon into the surface of the media to form an
image. Our label department can help you select the exact
combination of film ribbon and media to meet your specific
- How to match
ribbon (If you are utilizing thermal
- When you have decided on the
proper media material for your application, you need to
match a thermal transfer ribbon to your label stock (if
you are utilizing thermal transfer technology). In most
cases, you will choose between the following ribbon
- Wax: general-purpose ribbon
designed to provide superior print quality, using a
customized backcoating for reduced friction and increased
printhead life. (For use mainly with paper applications).
- Wax/Resin: Designed for more
demanding smudge resistant applications. (For use with
durable paper applications and lower-end synthetic
- Resin: Specially formulated
for applications requiring a high degree of smear and
scratch resistance. (For use mainly with synthetic
At Data ID Systems, we have been
providing bar coding and labeling solutions to our customers
since 1981. Our customer-focused philosophy is to thoroughly
understand your needs and provide you with the best product for
Please fill out the following
form and we will be
pleased to help you. That includes a quotation, specifications
and samples of the material. All the information you may need to
place an order.
Credit card orders gladly are
©1997-2002Data Identification Systems All Rights
modified: June 11, 2003