“Remo is the man. We had a mishap when unloading the machinery and spare parts were on site a few days later.” – Andrew Hefele, Mmmunchy Crunchy Orchard
The oldest and most prevalent method of applying a code to a label is the Hot Stamp Coder. Brass type are loaded into the typeholder, which then heats up. A temperature controller regulates the heat temperature. The Hot Stamp Coder uses a ribbon that has ink and resin bonded together. Once the label stops a signal is sent to the coder which activates a pneumatic solenoid to fire the typehead out. The brass type press against the ribbon and then against the label. The force of this leaves an impression in the paper and the ink from the ribbon.
Once finished, the code is immediately dry so no smudges will occur. It also means no one can remove the code without defacing the label which allows it to be tamper proof. The downside is that the holder gets hot, and so changing codes means either requiring the purchase of a second typeholder to load the new code in, or allowing the holder to cool before the changeover. For simple date codes, the new code can be loaded in the morning and then the coder is turned on. A roll of ribbon can provide several thousand codes so the cost of a code is a fraction of a cent.
Ink Jet Coding is a relatively new style of coding that has hit the market based from the popular HP technology. The ink is applied from a cartridge rather than an ink reservoir. This design allows for a very inexpensive code. The cartridges provide up to 100,000 prints if stored properly and there is little to no clean up after use. This is the most economical unit we offer.
The disadvantages of the Ink Jet Coder can be found in the common error of smudging if the label material or construction do not allow adhesion of absorption of the ink into the label. Film labels do not allow any absorption so the code could be rubbed off at any time. In conclusion, an ink jet coder cannot apply a vertical code in the format of the labeler, only horizontal.
The Thermal Transfer Coder provides the best code clarity and allows not only text or numbers but also logos and bar codes to be applied. This makes it to be the most expensive option we offer.
A Thermal Transfer Coder utilizes a ribbon and has a 2" by 2" area. Codes are built on a PC and then saved to a thumb drive. The thumb drive is then inserted into the coder and the user can select from a list of codes that it is currently running. Dates and times can be programmed to pick up the new date automatically from an internal clock. Codes can also be turned vertically or horizontally to work on any label material. The unit and its ribbon are more expensive but the flexibility and quality speak volumes.