There are two different print technologies when speaking of barcode label printers, Near edge and Flat head and they are known by many names: barcode label printer, barcode printer, thermal printer, thermal barcode printer and probably some more names.
Is present in the full range of printers: portable, desktop, midrange and industrial. The most well-known technique is called Flat head or cold release. The print head is horizontal and the heating elements are located close to the center of the print head. As the ribbon passes the print head, ink is transferred to the label. Ribbon and label are travelling together to the end of the print head cooling body. This gives the melted ink time to cool and attach to the label before being separated from the ribbon substrate and for the label to exit the printer.
Is present in the industrial range: (EX4T1, EX6T1, SX8). Near edge is also called hot release. The print head is angled and the heating elements are located just at the edge of the print head body. As the ribbon passes the print head only the heat elements on the print head are touching the ribbon/label. The ink melts and hardens instantly and can be separated from the ribbon substrate and the label is ready to exit the printer.
Advantages of Near edge technology:
Near edge is able to print in higher speeds using hot release.
The possibility to save time and costs thanks to the ribbon save module.
The ribbon save module lifts the print head and pauses the ribbon when it is not needed, while the label is still running.
It is easier to print on different materials, such as fabric and enables easy printing on thick materials.
Print head lasts longer due to less contact with the ribbon/label material.
For more information about our barcode label printer solutions, please contact John Mälarström.