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Genuine vs. compatible: Which ribbon is right for you?

In today’s market, the print quality of labels is crucial to the success of any company. Monitoring and maintaining the printer, cleaning it regularly, and replacing parts as necessary is one of the best ways to ensure print quality.

However, in addition, ensuring that the correct ribbon and label material is used throughout the process is paramount. This is something that is often overlooked until there is a problem. So what’s the difference and how can organisations ensure print quality and consistent performance?

Genuine Ribbons

Genuine ribbons are used with thermal transfer printing and are specifically made by the manufacturer of the printer being used.

Although these ribbons can be expensive, they provide a number of key benefits such as a long print head life, alleviating downtime, a reduction in the time and costs associated with reprinting as well as lowering the total lifetime cost of the printer.

These ribbons will have gone through thorough and stringent testing on a vast array of self adhesive materials to ensure compatibility. In addition, testing with the print head to ensure maximum life expectancy at various temperatures and speeds is also carried out prior to use.

Compatible Ribbons

Compatible ribbons are also used with thermal transfer printing. Consumers must be aware of ‘non-branded’ thermal transfer ribbons provided by many manufacturers. Although these ribbons are offered at a competitive price, some will be of excellent quality and others of inconsistent quality. We therefore recommend the testing of the ribbon and self-adhesive material. Self-adhesive materials can also be branded or non-branded.

It is important to find a supplier who has tested the compatible ribbons with an assortment of materials to expertly match your criteria. These ribbons are available in wax, wax resin and resin and offer resistance to smudging, scratching and solvents.

Do you need a recommendation for genuine or compatible ribbons? Tweet us @PRISYMID or contact us on on +44 (0) 118 936 4400 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.