Barcodes represent optical machine readable data attached to items. These are used for various purposes in different fields. Barcode printers are the components which print barcodes on labels. Thermal printers are the most efficient barcode printers which can print high-quality barcode labels. Zebra printers are one of types of barcode printers commonly used.
Thermal barcode printers make use of different kinds of ribbons. These include:
- Wax Ribbons
- Wax/Resin Ribbons
- Resin Ribbons
These ribbons are used for making general purpose labels using paper. Mailing labels, shipping labels, and grocery labels are made by a Zebra printer using wax ribbons. The cost of these ribbons is very less. These are used to make labels which do not require high durability.
These ribbons are used to create labels requiring high durability. Most of the barcodes are printed with these ribbons. A finer image can be produced on smooth paper or coated paper labels by using wax-resin ribbons.
Resin ribbons are used to provide labels with the highest durability. Labels created by these ribbons are smudge and scratch resistant. They are also resistant to heat, abrasion, chemicals, washing or laundering, high chemicals and so on. Warranty labels and labels which are subjected to chemicals and high temperature use resin ribbons. They are used to print glossy and smooth materials like polyesters. Different types of resin ribbons are used to create barcode labels. Resin ribbons are the most expensive ones of all types.
These ribbons mostly use black color. Sometimes red and blue colored ribbons are also used. Based on the type of labels required one can choose a wax or wax/resin or resin ribbons.