Welcome to the HD Labels frequently asked questions page or FAQ for short. Here we’re going to try and build a list of questions & answers for you to refer to when you need a quick answer. Perhaps out of our working hours. If there are any further questions you have feel free to contact us.
A: Dye based inks are water based and offer great quality of colour and print. They really vibrant! However they are not UV, chemical & water resistant.
Pigment inks are very durable and when paired with the correct material can even produce labels that meet BS 5609 certification. They often aren’t quite as vibrant as a dye based ink but it’s about getting the right balance for your solution. I would argue that the Afinia L501 with pigment inks looks great with a full colour.
A: Memjet is a print technology used by industrial printers. Memjet printers are more expensive to initially purchase but the running costs are very low and the quality is very high. Memjet printers print at either 6 or 12 inches per second at a resolution of up to 1600dpi in full colour. If you are mass producing digital labels then you should consider Memjet Technology.
The Memjet printhead is fixed and doesn’t move back and forth during printing. It’s 220mm wide with 70k nozzles so the material just spools out from the front of the printer at high speed as the ink is just released as the material passes underneath the printhead. Another term used for Memjet is Waterfall Technology due to how quickly the material is printed.
More Info: What is Memjet?
A: Memjet Spit is the tiny amount of ink that un-used nozzles release while a label is being printed. The nozzles used during the print obviously release ink but this spit is performed so the nozzles not being used don’t dry up.
More Info: Memjet Spit
A: Watershield ink is now available on a few of the Memjet label printers and it’s basically a more durable version of the standard ink that ships with the standard printer. It’s still a dye based ink and not pigment but it has greater UV, chemical & water resistance. It’s not 100% durable but it’s a massive improvement.
A: When you own a Memjet printer, extending your printhead life can only be a good thing. Here are some recommendations to help.
A: Duo ink technology was developed by HP and is available in the Afinia L501 & L502 label printers. It allows the printer to run both dye based and pigment based inks depending on what the user needs. Dye based ink gives increased vibrancy but sacrifices durability and pigment ink gives great durability.
You can have a set of dye inks and pigment inks. You can switch between them as long as you change the print head at the same time. They are then interchangeable.
A: Direct thermal printing is thermal printing but without using a ribbon. The blank labels that are printed use a coated material. When the labels run through the machine the heat sent through the print head activates the coating on the blank label and your printed content will appear.
Direct thermal is very low cost but the label will not last very long. It’s usually used for things like shipping labels and temporary labels as they only need a short shelf life.
Thermal transfer printing is the same process but with a ribbon added. You don’t need to have direct thermal labels either. Thermal transfer means that the print head transfers the ribbon onto the label during the print process. This makes the end label very durable and clear to read. Great for informative labels that need to last.
A: A Label Finisher is a machine that takes pre-printed labels on a continuous roll of material and then cuts them out to any shape or size needed. You can add lamination before the cutting and then the waste material is stripped and the labels are slit into individual rolls ready for application. There are two types of cutting mechanism used in label finishers. They either use knife or die cutting.
A: There are 3 forms of cutting that are available on label finishers. Laser / Dye / Knife.
Laser is very expensive but super fast. It needs extraction but does have a place in the market.
Dye uses a magnetic cylinder and the metal dye is made in the shape of your label so you can mass cut. There are semi rotary and full rotary versions avaialble. This is the most common way blank and printed labels are produced on mass. If you have large volumes of the same shape label or many variations of artwork but on the same shape label then a dye based finisher might be for you.
Knife finishing is a lot slower than the above but there are no setup costs and you can be cutting within minutes of even knowing the shape you want. No need to purchase dies! if you need to produce short run labels in many shapes and sizes then look at knife cutting.
We can guide you through the above if needed as it’s not always clear. We can show you the solutions and how they might work for your workload.
A: When finishing labels you can add a layer of laminate to the top of your printed material for a couple of reasons.
Laminate is a clear PP material, either matt or gloss and it’s applied before the labels are cut so the finished label shape can be anything.
A: A plotter cutter is basically a finisher that uses a knife to cut the labels. It doesn’t need a die and can cut any shape and size with minimal setup time and no costs.
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