Thermal transfer coders – that use heat transferred to the back of a ribbon that has ink on the front side to print variable information such as date, lot, manufacturing line information, bar codes and real-time data onto individual product packages.
- Mechanical Embossing Systems – which create marks by pressing or stamping a code into a package.
- Ink Jet Printing Systems – that print on primary packages and cartons by jetting ink through addressable print heads to create a range of data from simple date coding to logos, bar codes and serialization.
- Print and Apply Label Systems – which apply pressure-sensitive labels to shipping boxes. The labels are printed using thermal transfer technology, and normally contain bar coded tracking and content information.
While each of these methods has advantages that make them ideal for certain applications, recent technological advancements have allowed the entry of lasers into more traditional marking and coding applications, giving manufacturers another option for marking and coding.