Do Thermal Ribbon Villains steal your Money?
We see many villains in the thermal transfer ribbon industry. Our top three villains plaguing the city are: Static Cling, The Wrinkler and the Power Eater.
The movement of the ribbon through the print path will cause an electrical charge to develop onto the plastic base film portion of the thermal transfer ribbon. This static cling will attract and hold dust and debris to the ribbon’s surface. This dust and debris gets deposited on the printhead burn line… Poof the Static Cling Villain just destroyed your printhead or ruined your print job. Now we are shutting down the production run to clean or replace the printhead.
How to stop Static Cling… Our Hero… Static Dissipative. Thermal transfer ribbons are made by coating thin layers of ink onto a plastic base film. This plastic film is a natural insulator and is prone to static build-up. Seek out the ribbon formulas that are specially designed to dissipate static electricity. These static dissipative ribbon formulations have the ability to safely bleed-off or dissipate the static charge. Your printhead is saved and the city is safe again.
The Wrinkler: This ribbon villain is a destroyer of printheads, ribbons and labels. When the wrinkler is in action your ribbons begins to wrinkle and soon stops printing. Why is the Wrinkler so involved? There are many reasons (the ribbon is too wide for the label, the tag stock is too thick, the printhead pressure is to tight and or tilted, the printhead is mounted incorrectly, heat has caused the label adhesive to ooze, supply and rewind spindles are out of sync, to much heat…. And the number one reason the Wrinkler activates…. A Poor Quality backcoat.
The backcoat is a specially formulated chemical coating used to protect the print head from the ribbon. The backcoat is part of the ribbon and comes into contact with the print head. The purpose of the backcoat is to provide smooth travel and excellent heat transfer of the ribbon ink. A poor quality manufacturer will skimp on the backcoat. The roughness of a poor quality backcoat will destroy your printhead burn line and will cause the ribbon to unwind at an uneven pace. The wrinkle will appear when the rough backcoat catches part of the ribbon while unwinding. High quality ribbon manufacturers will use a synthetic add on to the backcoat for printhead protection. You can defeat the Wrinkler with proper backcoat protection.
The Power Eater. This ribbon villain causes increased power usage due to a poor ink formula. The poor ink formula requires higher printhead heat and increased utility bills just to melt the wax, wax/resin or resin formula. You end up with a slower print jobs, bigger utility bills, and more printheads consumed.
To provide a baseline against the Power Eater your wax ribbon should print at 12 inches per second, with the printhead heating to 150 degrees for uncoated tag facestock. Our recommended thickness of wax ribbon formulations is 7.2 µ. (Microns)
How do you stop the Ribbon Villains? The correct ribbon formulation for the correct application will stop the Ribbon Villains. Remember: Matching your application to the correct ribbon ink is a formula to increase your bottom line and you will have saved the metropolis.
Ganson Engineering, Inc., 2901 W. Clarendon , Phoenix, AZ 85017
Tel 800-434-9011, Fax 602-277-8785