Elmark Packaging, Inc

Glossary of Labeling Terminology

Elmark Packaging

Not sure what type of equipment will meet your needs? Maybe you want to know more about the labeling technology on our web site. Below is a list of labeling terminology. Click the term to see the definition.

Types of Printing

Types of Labeling Equipment


Types of Printing

Thermal Transfer Printing
The thermal transfer process is accomplished in a thermal transfer printer by applying a voltage to the printhead that consists of 200 to 600 resistive heating elements per linear inch of printhead (dpi-dots per inch). The resistive material is covered by a thin coating or "glaze" that protects the heating elements from abrasion as the thermal transfer ribbon makes contact with it. 

The line of printhead elements is in direct pressure contact with the back side of the thermal transfer ribbon. The ink side of the ribbon is in direct contact with the receiver or label stock. This ribbon and receiver "sandwich" is driven by a rubber-covered platen roller under the printhead print line at a speed consistent with the heating cycle time of the printhead. 

Heat from the printing elements raises the ink to a temperature above its melting point. At this time the ink from the ribbon transfers to the receiver and adheres to it. Together, the ribbon and receiver continue to move from under the printhead for a short distance before separation of ribbon and receiver occurs. It is at this point that the image is formed. 

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Direct Thermal Printing
Similar to thermal transfer printing however a ribbon is not used. A special label stock is required. The direct thermal label stock is a heat sensitive film or paper material. The printed image appears as the label stock passes the face of the printhead.

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Non Contact Inkjet Printing

Continuous Inkjet 
Printers generate a steady stream of ink, deflecting drops electronically onto the printing medium. Continuous inkjet, the oldest inkjet technology, is used in high-speed production lines to print small characters on product surfaces. The process usually uses solvent-based inks.

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Drop-on-Demand Inkjet 
Printers use printhead nozzles that each eject a single drop of ink only when activated. Thermal inkjet and piezoelectric are the two most common drop-on-demand inkjet technologies. 

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Thermal Inkjet 
Printers use heat to generate vapor bubbles, ejecting small drops of ink through nozzles and placing them precisely on a surface to form text or images. Its advantages are small drop sizes, high printhead operating frequency, excellent system reliability and highly controlled ink drop placement. Integrated electronics mean fewer electrical connections, faster operation and higher color resolution. Originally developed for desktop printers, thermal inkjet is designed to be inexpensive, quiet and easy to use.

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Piezoelectric
Printing technology—commonly called piezo—pumps ink through nozzles using pressure, like a squirt gun. The printhead regulates the ink by means of an electrical current passed through a material that swells to force ink onto the paper. Piezo printheads require vacuum pumps and large ink-absorbent pads to keep nozzles printing reliably. Piezo mechanical stability is also highly sensitive to small air bubbles, and the system must be flushed with ink to purge trapped air, a process that wastes a lot of ink.

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Contact Printing

Hot Ink Roll Printing
Hot Melt Ink Rolls are specialized foam rolls that are friction loaded with a variety of Hot Melt Inks for use in Hot Ink Contact Coders. The ink is transferred to steel type and then on to the film surface. Elmark offers hot melt ink rollers that can perform from 200° F (93° C) – 325° F (163° C). With five different inks, eight different colors and nine different sized rollers, we are certain to have an answer for your application.

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Hot Stamp Printing
Hardened steel type is heated and pushed against a hot stamp ribbon which is coated with a pigment. The pigment is transferred on to the product surface. Hot stamp printing is a simple and cost effective method for lot and date coding. Hot stamp ribbon comes in various colors. Hot stamp imprinters are commonly used to lot and date code on label applicators or on the film on a flexible packaging machine.

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Types of Labeling Equipment

Side labeling
Typical application is a label on the side of a box or product. Elmark supplies both semi-automatic and fully automatic equipment for all side apply applications

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Top Labeling
Labeling a product from above. The label is placed on to product from above. Applications include clam shell containers, cartons, DVD and VHS cases, container caps or lids.

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Bottom Labeling
Labeling a product from below. The label is placed on to the product from below. Applications include meat trays, clam shells , bottles, cartons and cases. Bottom labeling applicators can be either semi-automatic or fully automatic.

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Top and Bottom Labeling
Labels are applied on a fully automatic labeling system. Products include any trayed product such as a meat tray or pasta tray, clam shell containers, boxes and cartons. Many times custom labeling systems are designed for top and bottom labeling applications.

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Wrap Around
Labeling around container. The label is wrapped around the container as the container is spun. This can be accomplished with a semi-automatic labeler or a fully automatic labeling system. 

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Front & Back
A front and back panel label can be applied with a semi-automatic labeler or a fully automatic labeling system. Applications include wine bottles, cans, shampoo bottles, cases and cartons.

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Print and Apply
Labels can be applied as the label copy is printed. Typical label applications include bar coding of shipping cases and pallet labeling.

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Custom Labeling Equipment
Labeling equipment can be designed to meet the exact needs of the customer. Custom Labeling solutions can be either semi-automatic or a fully automatic labeling system.

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Tamer Evident Labeling
Labeling of products to create a security seal or make it evident that the container has been opened. Tamper evident labels are applied to bottles, cartons, thermoformed containers, DVD and VHS cases and boxes. Tamper evident labeling equipment can be either semi-automatic labeler or a fully automatic labeling system.

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