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Archive for September, 2010

New Tagless Printing Video: Pad Printing Machines in a Factory

September 28th, 2010 | Author: Stephen
Here is a great new tagless printing video from Inkcups Now!

This video showcases the ICN-B100 pad printing machines. Many times people have seen pictures of pad printers, even diagrams that show how to pad print. We figured that while those were somewhat informative, we would show you how these machines are used to make apparel labels in an actual factory setting.

In this manufacturing facility, these employees are printing tagless t-shirt labels. As you can see the speed in which the worker places and removes the t shirt is remarkable and really shows off the capability of the ICN-B100. The speed of the machine can be adjusted to suit the worker’s needs. The shirts are not fully sewn together for easier access to the neck labels.

The tagless t shirt label dries instantaneously to the touch. Notice the worker simply removing the printed t shirt and stacking it on top of the other printed shirts. At this rate the employee can print about 20 shirts per minute!

This particular company just removed all of their heat transfer machines to make way for the ICN-B100 pad printer. Please note that there was nothing wrong with their heat transfer machines, this company just did the math and realized that tagless labels are the more cost effective method.

What do you think? Have you tried both pad printing and heat transfer? Which one do you prefer?

Printer used in this project:
Type: One color Pad Printer
Brand: ICN-B100
More info: ICN-B100 Pad Printer page

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Heat Transfer is Dead

September 23rd, 2010 | Author: Stephen
Tagless t shirts (Click to expand!)

Tagless t shirts (Click to expand!)

Throughout the years many things have come and gone. Dinosaurs ruled the earth millions of years ago but became extinct to make room for human beings. Computers are being developed and replaced by more advanced versions that are faster and offer better technology. Even disco, yes disco, was once the most popular form of music widely celebrated but eventually faded away to make room for rock n roll.

Ok, those were all bad examples. The point is that things, no matter how remarkable, will eventually be replaced by something better, something more advanced. In this case thermal transfer labels are slowly fading into extinction. These thermal (also known as heat) transfer labels are being replaced by pad printed labels, also known as tagless labels.

Sure, heat transfer sounds fantastic! If someone who was not well educated about printing, purchased a heat transfer machine, they may be satisfied, even downright happy with their process. If they had all of the facts however, they might not be so satisfied after all. There is a reason why the whole apparel industry is making a huge swing from heat transfer to pad printing machines.

The number one reason is cost. Why establish a business if you’re not going to try to make the highest quality product at the lowest production cost possible? The idea is to maximize profit! It is nice to think that purchasing heat transfer labels are a great deal, you can get 12,000 labels for $1,200. What most people don’t know is companies that sell heat transfer labels require the buyer to purchase a minimum of 12,000 labels, possibly more! Ordering 12,000 labels are great for a big business, but not for a small business that may want to change their label more frequently. Better yet, 1 can of ink for a pad printer is only $70 and that one can of pad print ink will create 100,000 tagless labels. Which method do you think is more cost effective? You do the math!

Another problem with heat transfer is the ink sits on top of the material which means that you can actually feel it rubbing and scratching against your skin. That’s uncomfortable! Another result of the ink sitting on top of the material is that it chips and cracks fast under any stretching or shrinking of the material! It only takes 5-10 washes to begin seeing the results of wear and tear. This is unacceptable by any standard considering the alternative.

Pad printer inks are absorbed into the material, meaning the tagless label has a soft hand touch, you will not feel it. Tagless labels are more durable, if the material shrinks, so does the label. Tagless labels can withstand 50 industrial washes before seeing any signs of wear and tear.

Most recently the heat transfer industry took a big hit. Phthalates (a chemical in heat transfer ink) were deemed hazardous to one’s health, especially to children! Too much exposure to the chemical could cause infertility, birth defects, and in some cases cancer. A law was passed to remove Phthalates from all forms of ink.

Heat transfer ink had to be reformulated from the ground up without phthalates. Unfortunately the reformulation has affected the adhesion quality of the ink. Users found that the ink would not stick to the material and when it did stick, the ink would chip and crack faster than before.

Pad printing machines are emerging as the industry standard for tagless labels. The cost is much lower and the quality is much higher. Heat Transfer is out the door as tagless labels are on their way in!

Click here for a FREE tagless consultation with an expert!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is heat transfer dead? Share your thoughts below!

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