In this method, the printhead transfers ink from a ribbon onto standard (less expensive) paper stock. The thermal transfer printer offers high resolution printing, and if the correct ribbons are used can provide a extra long shelf life, in applications where the imaging needs to be readable for years. The thermal Transfer also brings greater consumable costs because it utilizes a ribbon. Although this adds to the cost of the operation; it should be noted that the ribbon provides a shield, if you will, against the printhead which offers a much longer life than that of direct thermal printing.
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