Familiarizing Yourself With The Different Types of Printer Ribbons

From the time when the first typewriters were created and mass produced, printer ribbons had always been an essential component of every office supply stockroom. Come to think of it, the typewriter is probably the first ever printer used in businesses of the olden days. It is from this revolutionary office machine where modern day printers have actually evolved and the simple typewriter ribbon from decades back had paved the way for different types of printer ribbons being used these days. Let’s take a look at the 3 most popular printer ribbon types: dot matrix printer ribbons, point-of-sale printer ribbons, and thermal printer ribbons.

Dot Matrix Ribbons

Dot matrix printer ribbons were the first types of printer ribbon cartridges introduced to the market. They are made for impact and dot matrix printers and were initially available as purely black printer ribbon cartridges. With the advent of color dot matrixes printing however, multi-color dot matrix printer ribbons are now obtainable. The printing process involves a multi-pass method, with the print head striking a particular primary color with each corresponding pass.

Point-of-Sale Printer Ribbons

POS printer ribbons are another type of ribbon cartridges made exclusively for point-of-sale systems and could vary depending on the nature of business operations. Nylon POS ribbons are the most common and widely-used versions and are applicable to ATM, receipt and barcode printers as well as cash register machines.

Thermal Printer Ribbons

A lot of POS systems these days use thermal printers so thermal printer ribbons are manufactured especially for these systems. Ribbons for thermal printers vary depending on the range of print media that a specific printer can work with. Thermal wax printer ribbons are well suited for paper printing or even light contact printing on synthetic material.

Thermal resin printer ribbons on the other hand, are a more resilient type used primarily on synthetic material and work best with media that come with a glossy finish. Thermal printing procedures that require direct abrasion and higher levels of chemical heat also make use of thermal resin printer ribbons.

There are also thermal printer ribbons made with both resin and wax. This particular type is also used for printing on synthetic material, although the level of abrasion could be more limited.

Printer ribbons are available in both OEM (original equipment manufacturer) printer ribbon cartridges and compatible printer ribbon cartridges. OEM cartridges are after-sales supplies sold by the manufacturer of the printer itself and are often referred to as original or genuine cartridges. You are assured of optimum printer performance and excellent print quality with OEM printer cartridges, considering that manufacturers make sure they adapt their ink formulation to match the distinct characteristics of each printer model. This is the reason why you will specifically come across Epson printer ribbons or Star printer ribbons when you do an online search for printer ribbon cartridges, for instance.

In contrast, compatible printer ribbon cartridges are non-branded cartridges made by producers other than the original printer manufacturer. These usually cost a lot less than OEM cartridges although there is no assurance that compatible cartridges can meet the standards set by the original equipment manufacturer in terms of print quality, performance and page yield.

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