Thermal transfer printers not only require printable labels but also ribbons. This allows for very heavy label materials to be used through the printer. They are generally larger in dimension than a direct thermal printer but are becoming significantly smaller as the years progress. They have an internal memory which holds the format fields (label and logo information). They are far more robust than a direct thermal printer and require a lot less maintenance. We have done hundreds of thousands of tests on this style of printer! As lots of these printers have been sold there is a huge range of label colours available which makes finding ‘out of date tags’ really easy.
What we found: the first thermal transfer printer Metrotest sold was sourced from the developer of this idea in Australia and was very large. We later moved on to the better quality Intermec PC4 Printer. We sold and used this printer until its end of line. We then moved to the Sato CG2 Printer which we believe is even better and has the advantage of being significantly smaller, low maintenance, and easy to operate.