Are You Using the Correct Label for Your Application?

If you’ve ever had problems with your labels, you know what a frustrating situation it can be for you and your customer. When businesses use the wrong label supplies, they’ll find labels falling off packages or fading too quickly. Sometimes, the labels are illegible when printed, or your data gets corrupted in the process, and you have to print the entire order again.

When these types of problems occur, they can often be attributed to using the incorrect label for the application. This can happen when businesses use the least expensive printing supplies when it comes to labeling needs.

What you might not realize is there’s a big difference between cheap labels and premium ones. That difference can have a significant impact on your business, including avoiding the situations above, or saving money by having to replace printheads less often.

Tri-State Business Systems recommends Zebra Technologies printing supplies for many reasons. Not only does Zebra produce top-of-the-line printers, but it also invests in creating the best printing supplies on the market. Zebra uses a 23-point inspection process for all of its labels, which are made from high-quality materials. Labels are put through a rigorous and extensive testing process, and no substitute materials are used to make them.

Zebra’s supplies provide optimal performance in its printers. They’ll save you money in the long run because they reduce the wear on your printheads and perform well in any application.

There are multiple combinations of adhesives and face stocks, and each combination has particular features and functions. Here are examples of the types of Zebra’s labels and what applications they are best used for:

Paper Labels:

Z-Perform Paper Labels are standard white labels on smooth white face-stock. They are mid-range labels that are available in thermal transfer and direct thermal. They are suited for most basic applications. However,

Z-Select Paper Labels are premium labels that are bright white, and ultra-smooth. This label is the most rugged of the paper materials. It is resistant to scratches, rubbing, and other disasters that accompany most shipping and packing applications. This label is also available in direct thermal and thermal transfer stock.

IQ Color Paper Labels also use a standard material, white smooth paper face-stock that can print colors on demand in designated areas. These also come in standard and removable adhesives. 

Polysynthetic labels:

If you require a label for a more rugged environment, polysynthetic labels are the best fit. Polysynthetic labels are often used outdoors in nurseries, garden centers, lumber yards, etc. They are also a good fit if you need something to withstand water, wind, snow, sleet, heat, cold, direct sun, and other environmental conditions. 

Polyolefin face-stock will withstand scratches and smearing. It can survive in temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and up to 6 months in the outdoors. You can select from material that is flexible or semi-rigid. It is used on rough surfaces, and the flexible version works well on curved (or any non-flat) surface. This product is only offered in thermal transfer.

Polypropylene is a white face-stock and is considered in the mid-range level of the synthetics.  It has less flexibility for the use of curved surfaces but will withstand scratches, smears, and temperatures up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Polypropylene will last 1-2 years in most outdoor or harsh environments.  Some people refer to it as “Kimdura” or plastic. It comes in a variety of adhesives, standard, high tack (very sticky), and removable.

Zebra’s Polyester labels are called Z-Supreme. They are the highest performing and most expensive of the materials. The labels are composed of polyester material (not paper) and are scratch and smear resistant. Its top feature is that they are very resistant to harsh chemicals making if valuable in chemical manufacturing plants, areas that are frequently wiped down with chemical cleaners or disinfectants. It is also resistant to temperatures of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and will last up to 3 years outdoors. It is thermal transfer only and is also available in white, silver material, and clear material. It also offers standard, high tack, and removable adhesives. This is also known as Z-Xtreme in a matte finish.

Next is Z-Ultimate, which, like the Z-Supreme, is also a polyester material.  However, this material has a glossy finish that has the highest scratch and smear resistance of any of the materials. It can withstand washing with mild chemicals and will also last up to 3 years in an outdoor environment. This product is thermal transfer only and is available in white, silver, and clear. It also offers standard, high tack, and removable adhesives.

The final synthetic label is a polyimide which is designed for very high-temperature environments (up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.)  This label is often found in parts of engines due because of its high heat tolerance.  This label is thermal transfer only and is available in a matte finish (white only), or in a glossy finish; white, yellow, blue and green.

Zebra has innovative solutions for every type of labeling need. Contact Tri-State Business Systems at 908-359-8001 so we can help you avoid having any problems the next time you need to print labels.