When I visit my local supermarket, I see labels being printed on demand in three places. The first place is the cold meat section where labels are printed on the white butcher’s paper for ham, salami and other cold meats and related products. Next to this section, seafood is sold and the labels are printed on demand with a barcode so that payment can be made on checkout. There is a third section nearby. Containers of sushi are also prepared on the supermarket floor and these barcoded labels are printed from rolls and placed over the container.
All of these labels are printed on blank rolls, usually permanent white gloss labels. They are also for short term use only. In fact, their purpose is to make identification and payment easy at checkout. The barcodes are the most important part of these labels. There are no logos nor detailed product descriptions on the labels.
When it comes to manufacturing companies, especially those involved in food processing, there are often times when printed labels go through two passes. The first time is to print what is called a base stock with logos and other identifying company information. These are typically provided by a label printing company. Then the labels for food or other products are run through a thermal transfer printer which is usually done in-house by the manufacturer. Some labels are printed this way because the manufacturer has several kinds of labels but the common theme for all of the products is that they are produced by the same company. What differs is the product itself and the ingredients.
The Importance of Lamination or Varnish For These Printed Labels
The purpose of varnish or lamination in label printing is to protect the labels from moisture, cold temperatures as well as liquids on top of the label. Varnishes or lamination are typically used when the labels are for medium to long term use such as when the food products are refrigerated or even frozen.
“Thermal Transfer UV Varnish overcoat: A Thermal Transfer UV Varnish overcoat adds basic scuff and ink protection to your label. You will also have a nice gloss shine that will give you a premium label look. The advantage of the varnish overcoat is that it can be used on nearly any material / adhesive combination, giving you the ability to thermally print on a material that fits your exact needs. Mid-Range Thermal Transfer ribbons are used with thermal printable varnishes.
Thermal Transfer Overlaminate: Thermal Transfer overlams are available in both a Gloss and Matte finish. An overlam adds the ultimate in label protection and durability. Resin Thermal Transfer Ribbons are engineered for and provide the most durable print when using Thermal Transfer overlams.”
Basically, this all means that technology is available for you to have the use of high quality printed labels for your products and also save some money through this double print run process.