The most efficient in personal, printed labels do come from the newer, label printing machines, but there are a few different types of machines that perform different variations on the label printing task. One of the most common types of label printers is the direct thermal kind that utilizes a heat-based program in order to maximize the accuracy of printed label production. The only problem with such a process is that the direct thermal printed label only has a year of full existence, before the label starts to fade, which does make it a replaceable process that must be done every year. This is more than okay for the companies that readily plan for labelling during their yearly inventories, but is not efficient for companies who plan to have their printed label last more than twelve months. They are also highly recommended for printed label operations, like shipping procedures, where the label is not needed after the package reaches its destination.

Thermal transfer is another kind of printed label processing, and usually includes the ability to produce direct thermal printing, but can perform other operations, so that the ink stays clear and bold for much longer periods of time. This process is very integral to many companies that wish to have their labels last for longer periods of time. The ability of printing for the thermal transfer is quite different, especially since the appliance of heat is not a direct process, but is instead diffused through the ink, and then indirectly placed upon the paper. The thermal transfer is thought to be a permanent process, but is recommended to be replaced every five years or so, so that the printed label does not fade, which is not as big of a problem, when compared to its direct thermal counterpart.

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