Direct thermal labels do not use a ribbon. Instead the label surface is coated with a heat reactive layer which turns black when in contact with the heat from the printhead. This heat reactive surface will effectively cause the print to fade when exposed to sunlight, strong artificial light or indeed friction (cartons rubbing together in transit for instance) with the speed of fading dependent upon the intensity of the light or friction. For this reason direct thermal labels tend to be used for short shelf life products such as fresh food. Although there are no ribbon costs associated with direct thermal labels there are others cost implications as without the ribbon acting as a protective insulator between the printhead and the label, the printhead will wear more quickly requiring more frequent replacement.
Magpie offer a wide range of label shapes and sizes, for further information please contact the Magpie office