Thermal Transfer Ribbon: supplied by Obeeco LTD - Obeeco - Processing & Packaging Equipment

Thermal Transfer Ribbon: supplied by Obeeco LTD

Thermal Transfer Ribbon

Obeeco is Ireland’s leading supplier of thermal transfer ribbons. We help manufacturing companies improve their printing process, increase efficiency and produce high-quality prints that are durable and long-lasting.

What is a Thermal Transfer Ribbon Printer?

A thermal transfer ribbon printer is a digital printer that uses a special type of ribbon to print onto the material. It produces a permanent print that is scratch-resistant, fluid-resistant and very durable. A thermal transfer ribbon printer is a high-quality option compared to other printing methods.

How Does a Thermal Transfer Printer Work?

A thermal transfer ribbon printer will use a heated printhead to melt the ribbon directly onto the material. These printheads usually have around 12 dots per 1mm of printhead, ensuring that it produces a print with high-edge sharpness – which is very important when printing things like a barcode or QR code.

Flat-head vs near-edge thermal transfer printing

Depending on which type of Thermal Transfer Ribbon Printer you have, it will either use near-edge or flat-head technology. In flat-head thermal transfer printers, the heating element presses flat against the ribbon. In near-edge technology, the print head is positioned at a 45-degree angle.

Both technologies provide high-quality prints, but with near-edge printing, the printing process is much faster. At Obeeco, we supply high-performance thermal transfer ribbon, suitable for both flat-head and near-edge thermal transfer printing.

Benefits of Thermal Transfer Ribbon printing

The benefits of thermal transfer ribbon paper outweigh any other type of printing technology.
With thermal transfer ribbon printing, you can expect:

  • High-speed printing that doesn’t compromise on quality.
  • Low-maintenance printing.
  • High-quality finish.
  • Fine image detail.
  • Fluid and moisture-resistant.
  • Abrasion resistant.
  • UV resistant – depending on the type of ribbon.
  • Able to print onto a range of different materials.

Thermal transfer ribbon printing is a superior form of printing labels, offering high-speed printing and a better output of printing quality.

What is Thermal Transfer Ribbon?

Thermal transfer ribbon provides the source of ink that is then melted onto the printing material. It is activated by the heat of the printing head and produces a sharp print that is resistant to moisture, chemicals and external elements that may affect its quality.

At Obeeco, we supply up to 50 different colours of Thermal Transfer Ribbon, sourced from leading European manufacturers.

Thermal transfer ribbon types

We supply three different types of thermal transfer ribbon, ensuring that you can achieve the desired quality and durability for your printing needs.


Wax thermal transfer ribbon is the most economic option. It is usually used for printing onto paper or card, and it can be used for both coated and uncoated paper material.

The benefits of this type of ribbon include:

  • Low printing temperature.
  • It can be used for printing at high speeds.
  • Moisture-resistant.
  • High abrasion resistance.
  • Suitable for matt paper and semi-gloss paper.
  • Lowest cost of the ribbon options.

This type of wax thermal transfer ribbon is generally used for shipping labels, carton labels, retail tags, etc.


Wax-resin thermal transfer ribbon uses a combination of wax and resin. It is considered to be the middle option of thermal transfer ribbon types and offers a durable printing finish that can withstand scuffing.

The benefits of this type of ribbon include:

  • Smudge and scratch resistant.
  • Moisture resistant.
  • UV resistant.
  • Long lifespan of finished label.
  • It can be used for printing at high speeds.
  • Able to produce finer images on coated or gloss paper.

This type of wax-resin thermal transfer ribbon is generally used for drum labelling, bin labels, high gloss paper, etc.


Resin thermal transfer ribbon predominantly uses resin and is considered to produce the most durable and long-lasting prints. This type of ribbon is able to withstand the harshest of elements without losing printing detail.

The benefits of this type of ribbon include:

  • Mechanical durability.
  • Smudge and scratch resistant.
  • Moisture resistant.
  • UV resistant.
  • Able to withstand high temperatures.
  • Able to withstand corrosive elements.
  • Produces a sharp image.

This type of resin thermal transfer ribbon is generally used in outdoor labelling where high durability is essential, it can also be used for high-gloss paper and synthetic materials.

Thermal Transfer Ribbon sizes

Depending on your labelling needs, you should select the size of ribbon that best matches the size of your label width. This ensures that you get the most out of your product and reduces the amount of ribbon waste.

It’s also important that you ensure your printer is able to handle the width of the ribbon and fit its core size. Smaller printers can usually handle a half-inch core size, but the more industrial and manufacturing-type printers can handle larger 1” core sizes.


What is the difference between direct thermal printing and thermal transfer printing?

Direct thermal printing does not use a toner, ink or ribbon to print onto materials. Instead, it uses a heat-sensitive media that passes under a thermal printhead. Direct thermal printing is not as durable as thermal transfer printing, it is usually more sensitive to heat and light and fades over time – think of an old receipt in your wallet, the ink on the paper will usually fade in 3-6 months.

Direct thermal printing is usually used for making labels with a short lifespan, e.g.) best before dates or shipping labels. A thermal transfer ribbon printer creates labels with a longer lifespan using a special type of ribbon that produces long-lasting, durable prints. This method is a much more high-quality option and suitable for printing onto a wide range of materials.

Thermal transfer ribbon supplier in Ireland

Obeeco LTD is a leading supplier of thermal transfer ribbon throughout the Island of Ireland. The thermal transfer ribbon is sourced from reputable European manufacturers and is of a high-grade, high-performance quality.

For over 40 years, we have helped manufacturers improve their shelf performance and create sustainable printing solutions that improve their labelling efficiency, reduce costs and improve their printing performance.