When to Upgrade a Ribbon

05 March 2019

If you don’t promote wax/resin and resin ribbons you could be missing out. The payoff for selling premium ribbons is big. You can get better margins, lock-in business with a label solution and keep competitors out. But, do you know when to step up to a more durable ribbon? Here are three factors you should consider:

  1. Stock or Topcoat Change   
    When you upgrade to a more durable stock, reconsider the ribbon too. Wax often scratches right off higher-end synthetics, especially glossy stocks. The right ribbon/label combo will solve your customers’ problems and mean less hassle for you. 

  2. Abrasion  
    Bulky or heavy material like steel and lumber need to be handled with hoists or forklifts. This rough handling can easily scratch or smudge wax images. A good combo in these applications is a synthetic strength film like Valeron or Polyart and a wax/resin like PM250, PM255 or PM308.  

  3. Chemical, Outdoor, or Extreme Heat Exposure 
    All these conditions should be an automatic trigger to recommend a premium wax/resin or resin. For occupational exposure to chemicals, heat or outdoor elements, a wax/resin is most likely adequate. In situations where exposure is constant or image quality and readability are critical, a resin like SP330 is probably a better choice. Abrasion also comes into play here. If the image is scratched or smudged after exposure, the additional durability or a resin ribbon is usually needed. It’s a good practice to always TEST the printed label throughout the process. It’s well worth the extra time. 

When you understand the products being labeled, and the way they’re handled, you can spec the right label and ribbon combinations. Be sure to ask questions and don’t be afraid to sell prospects up to the higher durability ribbon when they need it. 

You can also leverage IIMAK's Technical Support for free print testing. We guarantee a 24-hour print test turnaround and will even provide generic printed test reports with printed samples. Contact your account manager for more information.