1) What is the lifespan of your thermal transfer ribbon when not in use?

How do you ensure its longevity?
Thermal transfer ribbon can last up to approximately 24 months (2 years).

This is only possible if it is kept indoors at room temperature.

Do not expose it to places with high humidity, direct sunlight, or other harsh conditions.

2) Are thermal transfer ribbons only available in black colour?
Black thermal transfer ribbon makes up 85-90% of the market.

While it is in high demand and commonly used, there are also white, red, blue and other coloured ones.

3) What is the right ribbon size for my label?
The ribbon is not sized the same as a label.

There are three important factors you need to keep in mind:

(i) Width – The ribbon width must be closest to but wider than the label width.

For example, if your label width is 38mm, you would want to choose a 40mm ribbon width. With this, you are providing enough space for the ink to fully form your desired image on the label while minimizing the amount of unused ink.

Plus, a ribbon width that extends past the edge of the label would also prevent damaging the printerhead made by the label.

(ii) Length – Generally, ribbon length depends on the thermal printer’s capacity. Depending on the model type, the desktop thermal printer able to fit 70 meter, 90 meter, 100 meter or 300 meter ribbon.

Industrial printers have larger capacity to fit 300 meter, 450 meter, 600 meter and 900 meter.

Larger ribbon capacity means less time is wasted on changing out ribbons between print jobs, maximizing efficiency.

(iii) Core size – The ribbon core size is determined by the printer’s model. The printer can either fits 0.5” core or 1” core.

There are newer printer models which can cater to both sizes.

4) Is my thermal transfer ribbon coated side in (FI) or coated out (FO)?
To determine this, simply stick a piece of tape on the outside of your ribbon roll.

Peel it off.

If the ink sticks to the tape, your ribbon is coated side out (FO).

If the ink does not stick, the ribbon is coated side in (FI).

5) Must I match my ribbon for my printer based on the brand?
All the ribbons supplied came from the same sources, regardless of their brands.

Hence, you do not need to match them with your printer based on their brands.

For example, Zebra ribbon is not made to be used solely on Zebra printer.

Likewise, TSC ribbon is not made for TSC printers only.

They are all similar.

The matching depends on the ribbon type, ink coating side, and core size.

Ribbons, however, may differ in terms of qualities.

Of course, the best ribbons are most compatible with your labels and produce the best quality printing for your application.