Weber Packaging Solutions, Inc.

Been There, Labeled That -- Weber's Blog on Labels

4 Reasons to Use Go-Mark 100 Wax Ribbons

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jun 21, 2017 9:21:20 AM

What is the best ribbon to use in my thermal-transfer label printer?

Good question. 

Most people never stop to think about whether they are using the most efficient, cost-effective ribbon for their every-day labels. They just keep ordering the brand that came with their Zebra or Sato label printer.

But there have been many new advancements in ribbon technology that could help users save money on label costs and maintenance. So here are four good reasons to check and see if you are getting the best bang for your buck with your ribbons and how Weber's Go-Mark 100 ribbons might change your mind.

One: What are you labeling?

Most people that use thermal-transfer label printers from manufacturers like Zebra, Datamax and Sato are printing simple paper labels for bar code or shipping labels. These labels are mostly single use, applied usually to a shipping carton or envelope, and don't need to last more than a week or so. They get ripped off and throw away after the package arrives. Done.

Barring any extreme handling or careless shipment, standard wax ribbons work just fine for shipping and bar code labels. Depending on the ribbon, you get a dark black transfer of the text or image onto plain paper labels that are fairly durable. But beware; some wax ribbons don't print dark enough or transfer the ink from the ribbon correctly, making the label hard to read. Buy quality wax ribbons from a good source.

Weber's Go-Mark 100 wax ribbons feature a rich blackness for basic label printing applications such as shipping and product identification labels. The new ribbons are compatible with both coated and uncoated label materials, working well with flood-coated color labels, too.

If you need a more durable print on your label, say for a label that will endure abrasion or needs to last more than a week, you can step up to a wax/resin formulation ribbon that will last longer. But the price increases, too. If you don't worry about harsh treatment or longevity, stick with simple wax ribbons.

Also, be sure to pick a ribbon that fits the size requirements of your label. Don't use a 4-inch wide ribbon if your label printing area is only 2 inches wide. You can use a less-expensive ribbon by selecting a ribbon just slightly wider than the label width. For example, if you have only a 2" wide label,  use a 2.36" width ribbon instead of a 4.06" ribbon which is more money per roll. But remember, it is important that the ribbon be slightly wider than the label to protect the printhead.

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Topics: Printer Ribbons, Label Printers, Thermal-Transfer Ribbons, Go-Mark 100 Wax Ribbons


Getting The Right Thermal-Transfer Ribbons For Your Labels

Posted by Chris Erbach

May 16, 2017 8:47:13 AM

What is thermal-transfer printing?

A thermal-transfer printer is a non-impact printer. With thermal-transfer printing, a thermal print head applies heat to a ribbon, which melts ink from the ribbon onto the label material to form the image. A typical thermal-transfer ribbon consists of three layers: the base material or ribbon backing, the hot melt ink, and the coating on the print side of the base material.

Thermal-transfer printers are everywhere – from desktop units & industrial tabletop units to  automated print and apply labeling systems. Since different ribbons are made of various ink formulations, a thermal-transfer heat setting can be adjusted on the printer for the given ribbon/label stock combination. Zebra printers require ribbons wound with the ink side out referred to as coated side out (CSO). Datamax printers require ribbons wound with the ink side in referred to as coated side in (CSI). Sato printers can use either configuration.

How do you decide which ribbon type will produce optimal results and is best suited for your application?   Label material and the application environment/requirements will play a major role in determining the proper ribbon. In thermal transfer printing, the printer, ribbon and substrate work together as a printing system.

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Topics: Printer Ribbons, Label Printers, Thermal-Transfer Ribbons


Asset tracking RPCs with RFID labels

Posted by Chris Erbach

Mar 2, 2017 2:45:47 PM

Mission Impossible to Mission Accomplished!

We have all seen RFID labels and tags on products in stores. Usually they are on more expensive items that are small and are often targets of shoplifting. `

When you check out, the cashier rubs the RFID tag on a deactivation device that kills or zeroes the encoding. This allows the customer to walk out the door without alarms going off at the door.

How many times has a cashier missed a tag of yours and you set off the alarm on your way out of a store? Awkward to say the least!

But there are other ways that RFID labels are being used in manufacturing and distribution these days.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an automatic identification method that stores and remotely retrieves data via an RFID inlay embedded in a label or tag. The components of an RFID label include:

  • a  protective/printable face stock
  • a layer of adhesive
  • the RFID inlay
  • another layer of adhesive
  • a removable release liner

Here is an industrial application that came up recently. Weber had a customer that was having trouble with missing shipping containers and asked us to help with the project.

Texas-based Mission Foods, one of the world’s largest producers of corn flour & tortilla products, was losing thousands of returnable plastic trays annually. This resulted in millions of dollars lost in revenue each year.

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Topics: RFID, Food Labels, Label Printers


Direct-Thermal Labels vs. Thermal-Transfer Labels

Posted by Chris Erbach

Feb 14, 2017 9:42:32 AM

You finally get that new label printer for your shipping department and you start reading the manual. You new printer is ideal for printing labels with bar codes and high-quality images. That's great. Hmmm... it prints in both thermal-transfer and direct thermal modes.

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Topics: Label Printers


HP Indigo is the way to go!

Posted by Linda Roser

Jan 25, 2017 9:11:37 AM


Digitally-printed labels save time & money on short label runs.

HP Indigo presses are used for printing labels, commercial literature, direct mail, photos, publications, flexible packaging, folding cartons and all kinds of specialty printing. The ability to print without films and plates enables digital production to create personalized short runs, changing text, images and jobs without having to stop the press. This print technology can produce products for a wide variety of applications with extreme precision and productivity. Weber Packaging Solutions has a couple of the HP Indigo label presses that have been consistently producing high-resolution labels for years.

In digital printing, an image is sent directly to the press using digital files such as PDFs and those from graphics software such as Illustrator and InDesign. These artwork files are created either by the customer, their agency, or an in-house Graphics Team like at Weber Packaging Solutions

This eliminates the need for a typical offset printing plate. The digital technology has a higher cost per page than the more traditional offset printing methods. However, digital pricing is counterbalanced by the cost-saving that occurs in avoiding all the technical steps and time needed to make film , printing plates, and press set-up time.  This print method allows for on-demand printing, short turn around times, and even  modifications on-the-fly of variable data on a label.

The Indigo technology is based on HP ElectroInk which uses small color particles suspended in imaging oil. The ink forms a very thin and smooth plastic layer on the media surface. The fact that these particles are so small ensures that the printed image does not mask the underlying surface roughness/gloss of the media, as can be possible with some toner-based processes, bringing Indigo printing closer in appearance to conventional offset lithography, whereby ink is actually absorbed into the paper.

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Topics: HP Indigo label press, Digital label printing


LA-6000 High-Speed Variable-Height Label Printer Applicator

Posted by Chris Erbach

Dec 7, 2016 9:21:10 AM


Meet the Weber LA-6000 Variable-Height Labeling System

Everyone loves to shop online. Great deals. Usually free shipping. Sales tax - maybe. And the number of shoppers is growing at an ever-increasing rate.

But someone has to ship all those products. And if you are a company that sells a wide range of packages, you can run into a bottleneck when trying to apply shipping labels to cartons as they fly down the conveyor of your distribution center. You need label printer-applicators that ccan keep up with demand yet be flexible enough to handle variable-height labeling.

Answering the demand for newer, faster and more versatile labeling systems, Weber has created the LA-6000 Label Printer Applicator to meet the requirements of distribution centers to label variable-sized cartons at ever increasing line speeds with accurate shipping information. This reliable and cost-effective printer applicator uses the tamp-blow method to print and apply up to 40 labels per minute to products that vary in height up to 19.68” (500mm).

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Topics: Variable-height labeling