Selecting the Right Ribbon The packaging of your product is extremely important, it is a first impression and we all know how important those are. There is a whole science when it comes to packaging, from the way that the consumers place the packaging in their minds to the appeal that the packaging has on their emotions. As manufacturers we want the packaging to look good, but sometimes that extra shine that the film supplier said would enhance your packaging throws a curveball when it comes to printing important information such as lot numbers, date codes or even pricing. For example, at Diagraph we sometimes hear from customers that say “your ribbon was working fine until it just stopped working halfway through the roll. What happened with the last 300’ of ribbon?” The reason is usually simple. The ribbon formula has not changed. However, that new batch of film that you received from your film supplier may contain a bit more Silicone or Teflon to prevent the film from sticking on the roll or to make the appearance a tad bit shinier. These are instances when you want to inquire about the foil formula with your supplier. The good news is that you have options. In fact, Diagraph offers many different formulations of Norwood ribbon to allow us to offer solutions for most films. The coating and chemical make-up of the film is what drives the ribbon formulation. We offer wax, wax/resin, and resin ribbons and within each of these 3 categories we offer a number of formulas and colors. If you have a new film or want to know what formulation will be the best option for your film, our Norwood Ribbon experts offer free film testing. As if that wasn’t enough complexity for a simple 5 digit code, there is also the print head type that will determine which formula will work. Thermal transfer has 3 different print head technologies: true, flat and near. The most common of the 3 are near and flat and they are defined by the angle that the print head has relative to the actual substrate. Different formulas of ribbon are designed for the different print head technologies. A near edge ribbon cannot be expected to work on a flat edge printer and vice versa. So next time that the film supplier calls and says “We just got this new coating in and it will make your packaging sparkle and shine” ask for a sample of that film to be sent over to Diagraph to see if that “sparkle and shine” is something that can keep your thermal code sticking. We can help you proactively address any issues to ensure that you have the right ribbon for your new foil. At Diagraph, we are dedicated to solving your coding and labeling challenges. Diagraph has been assisting customers for over 120 years by improving production line efficiencies with simple, reliable and cost-effective coding and labeling solutions. Contact us to learn more about the Norwood ribbon line. Visit us at www.diagraph.com or contact us at 800.722.1125.