Food and Beverage
Printing of "best by" dates and lot numbers has increased as food safety becomes a growing concern among consumers. Expiration dates and lot number tracking is critically important in the event of a product recall. Images must remain legible for tracking information. In addition, other applications such as barcodes, part numbers and item numbers require durability. Printing barcodes on flexible packages is normally an integrated part of the assembly line process.
The inline thermal transfer printer prints directly onto the substrate, typically a bag or some other type of container. Wax and wax/resin ribbons are commonly used in this application for printing on plastic bags (polybags) and do not have to be specially designed for this operation.
In the case of food packaging using in-line direct packaging printing on polypropylene or other food and beverage bags, ribbons are specially formulated for compatibility with the substrate as well as printing at high speeds.