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A barcode printer ribbon is a type of material that is used with printers that print barcodes. A printer that can print barcodes has to have a metal or plastic strip called the ‘printer ribbon.’ This strap wraps around the wheels in the printer.

Barcode printer ribbon

Barcode printer ribbons are usually made up of polyester, which helps to produce sharp lines and dark bars. Sometimes, they are also made from other materials such as nylon, steel, copper, or aluminum metals. The machine prints by using heat on ink-coated stripes on the ribbon, so it sticks to the paper tape creating letters and numbers. These are used by most businesses because they can be scanned at checkout counters quickly for faster checkouts and better accuracy when processing purchases. One can use a printer ribbon with an inkjet, laser, or thermal printing system on receipt paper.

There are several types of barcode printer ribbons available:

– Wax/Resin Coated Polyester Ribbon

– Wax/Resin Coated Steel Ribbon

– Wax Resin Coated Polyester Type II and III Ribbons (Economy models)

– Nylon Resin Coated Ribbons – Also offers abrasion and chemical resistance for harsh environments. (Best choice for an environment that is moist, oily, and will have contact with food.) Also better suited for applications where there might be exposed to sunlight, such as outdoor applications.

– Wax/Resin-Coated Aluminium Ribbons – The best choice for outdoors and environmental conditions of high moisture and exposure to harsh environments. Typically lasts longer than a Polyester ribbon and offers the ability to print more (up to 10,000 prints per cartridge).

– Wax/Resin Coated Steel Ribbons – The best cost-effective choice for outdoors and environmental conditions of high moisture and exposure to harsh environments. Typically lasts longer than a polyester resin ribbon and offers durability with up to 2,500 prints per cartridge.

– Wax Resin Coated Polyester Type I & II Ribbons (Standard models) – These are the most popular ribbons used for low-cost applications that require printing clear barcodes on paper labels or tags. Typical uses include shipping room, warehouse, light manufacturing, retail backroom areas that do not need abrasion or chemical resistance. They can be printed at speeds ranging from 200-400mm per second.

– Wax Resin Coated Polyester Type III Ribbons – These are the least expensive ribbons used for low-cost applications that require excellent readability on paper labels or tags. Typical uses include shipping room, warehouse, light manufacturing, retail backroom areas where moisture or exposure to sunlight are not factors. They can be printed at speeds ranging from 200-400mm per second.

Depending on the type of printer, one has to make sure which printer ribbon is compatible with it. One should always check the manual before buying a printer ribbon to avoid any errors and wastage of money. If one finds that their printer is not printing well after replacing the old ribbon, then they may have probably bought an incompatible model of printer ribbon, or there might be an issue with the machine itself because printer ribbons don’t work alone.

The printer ribbon is consumable, just like ink cartridges. They need to be replaced or refilled when used out. One should always check what type of printer ribbon they are replacing because it might damage the printer if an incompatible one is installed in there. Printer ribbons can be refilled by trained technicians; however, the cost could be the same as buying compatible new pre-inked printer ribbons.

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