The innovation launched– a market first – means that manufacturers can now print codes with high resin thermal transfer ribbons at up to 600 millimeters per second (2 feet per second). This is nearly double the speed of any other comparable option. Maintenance is also reduced in this thermal transfer overprinting (TTO) application. Existing high resin ribbon users will improve their profitability with greater throughput, while more companies can benefit from the extra durable and crisp prints provided by this TTO option.
Missing codes on products result in costly shipment rejections or fines, while unclear data impacts safety and brand perception. Ensuring codes will not smear or disappear in hot factories, or rub off in transit, can be difficult on flexible film and foils, both of which are common packaging materials.
Hot temperatures, oils and solvents interfere with code adhesion. While high resin ribbons achieve the durability required in these challenging production and/or shipping condtitions, until now coding speeds have been limited to 300-400 mm/s (0.98 - 1.31 ft/s), adversely affecting overall throughput. Printheads have also tended to wear out quickly. The industries most commonly using high resin TTO printing are food and pharmaceuticals, e.g. for nuts, potato chips and antibacterial wipes.
The advanced design of the SmartDate® Xtreme Plus printhead means companies can produce crisp, high resin codes at up to 600 mm/s (2 ft/s), nearly twice the speed of the market’s next fastest coder using high resin ribbons. Production throughput no longer needs to be sacrificed in order to ensure high quality, durable codes.
As compared to other grades of thermal transfer ribbons, the high energy level required for printing with resin reduces the life of a printhead. Considering that many TTO suppliers do not offer printhead warranties, or charge extra for this, maintenance costs can be high. However, given all Markem-Imaje printheads, including the SmartDate Xtreme Plus, come with a 6 month, or 40 kilometer (25 miles) warranty, manufacturers can enjoy 60% more trouble-free coding than other comparable options, even in this challenging application. The printhead can be used in new SmartDate X65 coders or retrofitted into existing SmartDate X65 units.