High-resolution and flexible
Thermal Transfer Overprinting
Thermal transfer overprinting (TTO) is the ideal solution for transferring variable data with very high resolution onto flexible packaging material such as films (polypropylene, polyethylene etc.), flexible aluminium, labels, papers, tyvek (medical industry) and gloss cards. Unlike other inkjet technologies, TT overprinters are in direct contact with the substrate, allowing better quality text, graphics and barcodes. This very clean printing process also ensures that the appearance/design of the packaging to be printed remains unchanged. Direct thermal transfer printing can be used to print simple date codes and batch codes, logos, product descriptions, ingredients lists, nutritional panels and fully compliant barcodes in superior quality.
Good to know – key facts about TTO technology
TTO printers need to be integrated into a host machine, which is usually an FFS (form, fill and seal) packaging machine
The two types of TTO machines are either continuous (printhead is static) or intermittent (printhead moves) printing depending on which host machine is used
TTO can be also used in combination with labelers, where small, variable text is printed on the label before the label is attached to the product
The printing resolution is 300 dpi using corner-edge print technology, allowing very good quality print of variable data
TTO is used to print dates, times, traceability info, barcodes, logos, ingredient statements, food critical information (allergies, calories …), how-to-use information as well as promotional messaging
How TTO works
Intermittent versus continuous printing
The packaging film is moving while printing. The printhead is static, printing on a rubber print roller.
The packaging film is standing still while printing. Only the printhead carriage moves, printing on a rubber print plate.
Advantages of the TTO technology
Variable data can be changed in real time for each print job without interrupting the production chain.
FIRST CLASS QUALITY AND DURABILITY
The thermal transfer printing process delivers high-resolution, sharp and clean print results that are resistant to damage from scratching or rubbing, frequent washing, and external elements such as oil, petrol and alcohol.
Products can be printed in all situations, either stationary or moving. The surfaces are modified in real time in order to align them to the printer.
Thermal transfer overprinting technology avoids the use of liquid ink that have a high environment impact and the need for drying and minimizes the space needed for stocks in the warehouse.