Continuous versus Intermittent Overprinting
Are you looking for a Thermal Transfer Overprinter (TTO)? Which one does your application call for, continuous or intermittent printing?
Thermal Transfer Overprinting (TTO) is today’s cleanest, most effective way to print variable date codes, barcodes, text and graphics on flexible packaging film, labels, pouches, sheets, card stock and other materials. FlexPackPRO® ’s line of midpriced, high-resolution TTO coders and specialty systems leads the industry in performance, variety, and value.
TTO prints on flexible packaging materials and labels. It uses a thermal print head and a thermal ribbon. There are basically two types of overprinters; continuous and intermittent printing.
The type of printer you choose for an application is based on your packaging machine or labler. Here is a brief explanation of both types.
Intermittent printing occurs when the packaging film stops between the printer and the rubber pad:
- The machine signals the material to stop
- The printhead lowers the ribbon to the packaging film
- It heats up and melts ink off the ribbon as it sweeps across, creating the image
- The printing completes
- The film is released
- The printhead returns to its start position
A good example of intermittent printing is a traditional form fill and seal machine. These are used for packaging things like snack food. While each bag is being filled with nuts, chips, or other items, the film temporarily stops and the unit prints the info on the film.
In continuous printing the film doesn’t stop while printing (continuous flow lines). It keeps flowing over a rubber roller under the print head.
- The print head lowers the ribbon straight down to the film
- It releases ribbon ink onto the moving film
- Returns to position
Continuous models are often used on horizontal flow wrappers that individually wrap things like bakes goods, energy bars, and candy.
Some continuous applications require very fast printing. The print speed is automatically adjusted to provide clear consistency. The FlexpackPRO® can currently print up to speeds of 32 inches per second.
And our new standalone tabletop solution!
We are excited to announce a new take on our standard piece of equipment. It is a great solution for replacing costly labels. This tabletop TTO is perfect for short runs or unusually shaped bags or pouches. This often require variable data (different information in each package) to be printed directly onto the material (substrate.) A convenient foot pedal is used to operate the machine.
Have an old hot stamp machine that needs replacing?
We have a solution for you. The FlexPackPRO® 130i replaces your old, outdated hot stamp machine with a new high tech variable data TTO. It’s small footprint design will fit easily into your line and you will be up and running quickly. See our video below.
Which one do you need?
The type of printer you choose for an application is based on your packaging machine or labeler.
Some competitors models are built to do both continuous and intermittent printing from one machine. They do this to reduce the number of machines and models they need to have on hand. However, PaladinID recommends FlexPackPRO® machines because they provide separate units for continuous and intermittent printing.
A machine that does both is an engineering mistake that results in more complicated internal electronic issues. FlexPackPRO® product lines have far fewer service events and downtime.
Check out the full line of FlexPackPRO® TTO printers.
We also carry a full line of flexible packaging thermal transfer ribbons (in all sizes and formulations) and print heads.
Email or call 888.972.5234 for sample thermal transfer ribbons.
About PaladinID, LLC
PaladinID develops and supports high-performance bar code labeling applications. We work with our clients to “Make Your Mark” by providing the expertise and tools necessary to create an entire product label printing solution. Located in central New Hampshire, PaladinID has been serving Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New England, and beyond for over 30 years, and in 2017, became an RFID-certified company.