System ID offers the most complete and comprehensive line of barcode printer ribbons in the industry. We carry and stock manufacturer branded barcode ribbons by (Zebra, Datamax, Sato, Intermec, Cognitive, TEC, Sony) as well as a more economical barcode ribbon brand (Black Tie) that offers compatible ribbons for all of the printer manufacturers above and many more. If you are printing on thermal transfer barcode labels, System ID is your source for the right ribbon for your application.
Barcode Ribbons come in three formula types: wax, wax/resin & resin. Depending upon your application needs and the material you are printing on, it is critical that you pick the correct barcode ribbon type for the best print quality and durability. Below are some general guidelines to follow.
Wax: Wax-based ribbons are predominantly for general purpose labels and are the most economical. Wax is typically used when printing on paper barcode labels or tags.
Wax/Resin: Wax/resin ribbons provide improved smudge resistance. These ribbons are priced substantially lower than pure resins. These ribbons are typically used when some abrasion is possible or the ribbon is used on low-end synthetic films like polypropylene, Kimdura, polyolefin and vinyl.
Resin: Resin ribbons provide the most durable image currently available. These formulations usually require increased print head temperatures. Resin ribbons are typically used when barcode labels will be exposed to harsh chemicals, high heat or long term or extreme outdoor conditions and are used on the toughest synthetics, such as polyester or polyimide.
Ribbons and Print Heads
Barcode ribbons play an important part in protecting the print head of your barcode printer. The print head is the most expensive consumable part in a barcode printer. Despite a smooth appearance to the naked eye, print media (especially paper) can have microscopically rough texture that will slowly damage the print head. The barcode ribbon protects the print head from direct contact with the paper media and prevents this type of wear.
Unlike some barcode labels, barcode ribbons are specific to the printer they are manufactured for. Some manufacturers wind their labels differently (wound out or wound in) and some manufacturers use various sized cores to make their barcode ribbons specific to their barcode printer. For this reason, manufacturers can typically charge a premium for their branded barcode ribbons. Compatible barcode ribbons can take out the expense of the manufacturers mark up. Try System ID's Black Tie brand to find quality compatible ribbons at bargain prices.