Up until now, you’ve been printing barcode labels using thermal transfer (TT) printers. However RFID technologies and printers are becoming more commonplace in the industrial supply chain, with TT printers and RFID printers coming together to print and encode labels simultaneously. You might be thinking RFID is here to replace barcode, but both identification techniques will be used alongside each other for years to come.
As the transition to RFID will happen gradually in the overall supply chain, barcodes will remain alongside RFID. This ensures parts can always be identified. If RFID readers are not available somewhere along the tier, barcode scanners can instead be used. Adding a barcode to an RFID label also ensures there is a backup solution in case a tag gets damaged and is no longer readable. In addition to these factors, the costs for adding a barcode are low while simultaneously providing high-value benefits.
With over 20 years of experience in the label industry, ALT Technologies not only supplies labels, but knows the process of printing and encoding as well. Non-variable information which needs to withstand all sorts of difficult environments can be printed by ALT. However, variable information such as barcodes is usually added to a label during the customer’s own production process using thermal transfer printing.
We work with trusted suppliers to bring you the usual barcode label for your supply chain process along with the option of RFID integration. In addition, ALT can supply the right thermal transfer ribbon and has the expertise to compare RFID printers. We can advise you on the printer brand and type that would best suit your needs.
Thermal transfer printers apply a heated printhead to an ink ribbon instead of directly on the label material. The heated printhead then melts the ribbon and the ink to the label, which creates the printed image or text. RFID printers can print text or barcode using the thermal transfer printing process and encode the label’s RFID tag at the same time, meaning RFID label integration does not need to extend production time.
As the industry intensifies the utilization of RFID technology, RFID printers are getting more and more enhanced to prevent errors and maximize efficiency.
New printer features are presented by various suppliers. Take for example ´tag detection´: RFID printers with ´tag detection´ software use smart technology to find the exact antenna position to ensure every tag is separately encoded and there are no RFID´s with duplicated data.
Another possible printer feature is the ability to store multiple label settings. In case it is expected that the printer will be used for various RFID labels, this feature assures efficient transitions in the production line.
ALT is able to advise on the many RFID printer options, taking the customers’ needs into account.
By doing so we will also take the type of RFID label into account, as well as the detection of the labels on the roll and easy dispensing.
At ALT, we have been testing processes to find which thermal transfer ribbons work best on various label materials used in challenging, industrial environments. It is hugely important to select the right ribbon for each application, as there are different qualities which withstand different conditions, depending on the label material chosen. Melting point, durability, image quality and print lifespan are all factors we assess when choosing the ribbons for your solution.
We supply high quality TT ribbons worldwide and we have the experience to tailor your RFID and barcode label solutions.
Having worked with many different materials and tight specifications, we know what works best in harsh environments and on difficult substrates.
Our printer suppliers always follow the latest printing standards, ensuring strict label regulation compliance. ALT ensures your label requirements are met and caters to durable solutions.
ALT Technologies offers reliable partnerships in RFID encoding TT printers, drawing from years of experience in this field. As efficiency becomes even more important in today’s supply chain, it’s imperative that we continue to cater to your needs every step of the way. If you would like to speak with us about your RFID printing and encoding needs, please do not hesitate to contact us.