Ribbons for printers

Ribbons for printers
"By using the right ribbon, your labels will remain legible and stay intact even in adverse environmental conditions"

The choice of label printing material and consumables is crucial to ensure correct printing, durability and optimal labelling. With the right printer ribbon, you can increase printing efficiency, improve the performance of your printer and extend its life.

When selecting the right ribbon, consider these five key aspects:

  1. Prineter type: Your printer needs a ribbon according to its characteristics.
  2. Labelling surface: It may be curved, rough or have traces of chemicals, water, etc.
  3. Working environment: Consider environmental conditions, whether indoors, outdoors, sunny or sunless, wet or cool.
  4. Resistance required: Analyse whether the labels must withstand chemicals, oil, washing, etc.
  5. Desired duration: Determines whether the labels will be temporary (for transport) or must be readable several years after printing.

Taking these factors into account when choosing the ideal ribbon can be tricky. For this reason, Tecnipesa's technical team is in continuous training to advise you on the choice of printer ribbons and labels. Contact us and we will study your needs in detail.

What is the Ribbon?

The printer Ribbon, also known as thermal transfer ribbon, is a synthetic ribbon that, by means of the heat applied by the printer’s printhead, adheres the intended information to print to the surface of the label.

By means of the thermal ribbon, it is possible to print on all types of labels as long as they are not made of heat-reactive material. Ribbon rolls are available in different widths and lengths, as well as in a variety of colours to suit different needs.

These thermal ribbons can be made of different materials depending on the needs to be covered. Thus, thermal transfer ribbons such as wax ribbon, resin ribbon or a mixture of these two materials, known as mixed ribbon, are available on the market.

Which printers use ribbons?

Ribbons are used in thermal transfer printers, while direct transfer printers do not require the use of ribbons. These thermal printers are widely used in sectors such as logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and food.

For example, in the logistics sector, thermal printers are used to label products and packaging, facilitating the identification and tracking of shipments. In the manufacturing industry, they are used for product marking, inventory control and supply chain tracking. In the healthcare field, they are used for sample identification, labelling of medicines and tracking of medical devices.

Some examples of thermal printers using ribbons are: Zebra ZT510, Brother TD4420TN, Sato WS4 or Honeywell PD45S.

Ribbon tapes: wax, mixed and resin

When it comes to choosing the right type of ribbon, you need to consider the durability of the label, the type of application and the material you are printing on.

Here are the different types of ribbon and what to consider when choosing them.

Wax ribbon

This type of ribbon is ideal for paper or cardboard labels, as well as some synthetic labels with low gloss. 

It is recommended for ephemeral applications, such as the transport of goods, as it has a short life span.

It is an economical and basic option for thermal transfer printers.

Resin ribbon

Resin ribbon tape is the strongest option. It offers extremely durable print quality on any type of surface. 

Resin ribbons are able to withstand extreme temperatures, dust, water and even contact with chemicals. It is especially useful in industries with high temperatures, such as electronics, chemicals and security labelling.

It is the perfect choice for synthetic labels that require long life and must coexist in the most extreme environments.

Mixed ribbon

The mixed ribbon is composed of a mixture of wax and resin, offering slightly more strength and durability compared to the wax quality.

It is mainly used on synthetic materials and paper labels that require a longer life.

It is a suitable choice for activities such as warehouse labelling or product traceability, as it withstands friction and moisture well.

Which ribbon does your printer need?

Once the quality of the ribbon has been selected according to the labels and their application, it is important to consider which printer it will be used in. Therefore, do not forget to check:

  1. Type of winding: Depending on the make and model of the printer, the ribbon can have an OUT winding or an IN winding. The outer winding has the ink on the outside of the roll, while the inner winding has the ink on the inside. How to know what type of winding your printer needs.
  2. Mandrel size: The mandrel is the roll on which the ribbon is wound. Depending on the printer, the mandrel may or may not have a notch, and may or may not be thicker or thinner. Make sure you know the mandrel size specifications of your printer to select a compatible ribbon.
  3. Roll length: Some printers allow the use of larger rolls, while desktop printers usually have limited capacity for smaller rolls. Check the roll size limitations of your printer to ensure you purchase the correct length.

Here are some of the things to consider when selecting the right ribbon for your printer. Remember to consult the specifications of the printer and, if in doubt, count on our advice to ensure a compatible and optimal choice.

Which ribbon to choose? A ribbon for every need

No matter what the sector or the characteristics of your business.
There is a ribbon to suit your needs.

  • High print quality for barcodes
  • Excellent price/performance ratio in high print volumes
  • Compatible with paper labels
  • Highly resistant to staining and scratching
  • Compatible with paper and synthetic labels
  • Very good print quality at high speed
  • Excellent print quality
  • High resistance to staining and scratching
  • Ideal for printing at high temperatures
Printed on matt paper ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪
Printed on coated paper ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚪⚪⚪
Printing on synthetics ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫
Cold printing (0º) ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫
Hot printing (90º) ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫
Small characters ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫
Resistance to rubbing and smearing ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫
Resistance to alcohol, petrol and grease resistance ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚪⚪⚪
High temperature resistance 60°C | 140°F 150°C | 302°F 180°C | 356°F
Maximum print speed 16 ips (400 mm/s) 15 ips (380 mm/s) 10 ips (250 mm/s)
Printing temperature ⚫⚫⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪
  • Shelf labels
  • Pallet labels
  • Shipping labels
  • Labels for boxes and bags
  • Paper hang tags for bags
  • Labels for food products
  • Bottle labels
  • Labelling of blood and IV bags
  • Labelling of medicines
  • Appliance labels
  • Labelling of construction materials
  • Outdoor equipment labels
  • Cosmetic labels
  • Labels for car interiors
  • Tyre labels
  • Medical identification wristbands
  • Laboratory labels
  • Labelling of meat product packaging
  • Cosmetic labels
  • Labels for specification plates
  • Chemical labels

We are your supplier for ribbon tapes

"Thanks to the durability and strength of our ribbon tapes, your labels will remain legible and stay intact even in harsh environmental conditions"



Do you have doubts about which ribbon tape you need and want to try it out before deciding?

Contact us and we will tell you all the details.

Contact us

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