TSG prides itself on designing labels and tags to match the applications workflow processes. Specialty materials, adhesive and coatings allow us to cater to your exacting needs where most of our competitors do not have the expertise to do this. The advantage we have is many of our employees previously worked for specialty label manufacturers and this combined with the workflow and equipment knowledge puts us in a unique position to address even the most difficult applications. Please allow us to analyze your needs, you won’t be disappointed.
Labels and Tags
Wristbands/Form label combinations
At TSG we always strive to consolidate systems. Form label combinations typically allow for two different substrates to be combined in the same printing process to streamline workflow. These can be incredibly cost effective when comparing to an existing system.
Wristbands are lumped into this category being that in essence this is a product that in recent years have consolidated systems and follows a patient through the healthcare process from cradle to grave (no pun intended) Systems consist of printers dedicated to wristbands only with a variety of different products ranging from soft touch to plastics.
Inlays come in many shapes and sizes based on the requirements of the application. In all cases these are UHF (ultra high frequency) and conform to not only FCC and industry standards but are also designed into different chip set categories. Antennas are married to the chip set via a substrate and in many cases encapsulated based on the ruggedness properties needed.
If UHF will not conform to the application we also have LF (low frequency) and HF (high frequency) tags and pills to address near field applications.
Although not a big seller (we are not a credit card company) we primarily supply these for applications like trade shows and some systems applications. A good example would be our Sani-track card for hand hygiene monitoring. We have embedded a UHF Monza 5 inlay and chip set in the card. These can be customized like any other substrate and in many cases badge holders are used for specific vertical markets.
We address applications within primarily 4 areas. Labels are an integral part of any system and in the majority of cases the most the most costly. Labels are a residual purchase and therefore setting up the most efficient design and technology is imperative to the cost effectiveness of a system. TSG specializes in this area.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal Labels
Thermal transfer and direct thermal labels are ideal for on-demand applications, especially those calling for variable data, barcoding, or human-readable numbering. Thermal transfer labels require a ribbon when printing. Thermal transfer printers apply heat to the thermal printhead, which transfers the image through a wax and/or resin ribbon to the label. Thermal transfer ribbons come in various colors, so you are not limited to black print. With thermal transfer labels, the image is crisp, durable and fairly scratch resistant. If you need a label that lasts a year or longer, use thermal transfer labels. Some examples of thermal transfer labels are: asset tagging, inventory identification, laboratory specimens, outdoor and freezer applications.
Direct thermal printers apply heat to the thermal printhead, activating the direct thermal media. Through a chemical reaction, the label turns dark where the heat is applied. With direct thermal labels, there is no ink, toner, or ribbon consumable – the only supply needed is the direct thermal labels. Direct thermal labels are less costly because you don’t have to buy a ribbon. The downside to direct thermal labels is that they are not scratch resistant and will start to turn when exposed to lighting, making them hard to read. Use direct thermal labels for short term applications and when you want to print without a ribbon. Some examples of direct thermal labels are: shipping labels, name tags, receipts, pick tickets and visitor passes.
What is the difference?
The difference between a thermal transfer and a direct thermal label, quickly and forcefully draw your fingernail across the label, like you are striking a match. It may take a couple of times depending on the media. If a dark mark appears, it is a direct thermal label. You can also use a lighter to determine the difference. If when placing the lighter behind the label it looks like an explosion of black you know you have direct thermal.
Ribbons are an integral part of the printing process. Without the right marriage between the label substrate, printhead heat, speed and pressure your imaging will suffer. At TSG we are experts in aligning the right ribbon product with the proper label material. Resin to wax ratio is vital when establishing not only indelibility but print contrast as well. Being that we set up printing systems for a living we are extremely well suited to align all of the printer settings for the optimal imaging. If you have any issues with your existing set-up give us a call, I’m sure we can help.