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Thermal Printheads … the small and mighty workhorses powering your thermal transfer printer

As a purchaser of thermal printheads, Gulton knows you’re aware that the average size of a printhead is about four inches long.  There are some that are three inches, some can be six inches, and some can even measure as long as eleven inches. As a general statement though, a thermal printhead is a small electronic component.

Don’t be misled by size though.  In terms of importance and power, a thermal printhead is a small and mighty component.  Printheads have the awesome job of making a thermal transfer printer print.

That’s right, without that small, inconspicuous component, your thermal transfer printer would not be able to function.

Thermal transfer printers create images by melting a wax or resin-based ink onto paper.  That ink is purchased in the form of a ribbon (ink spread evenly across the surface of a thin polyester film).  After it’s loaded into your thermal transfer printer, the ribbon is run through the space between the printhead and thermal paper.

The printhead is the literal brain of the printing operation.  It contains numerous resistive heating pins that melt ink from the ribbon onto the paper upon contact.  A microprocessor determines which heating pins are heated to form the image.  The size of the printhead will match the size of the printing medium being used, as the printhead must span the whole width of the medium.

You can see why quality is such an important consideration when purchasing printheads.  Your printer is relying on this small and mighty component to run the show, making sure your barcode labels, clothing labels, receipts, shelf labels, card printing, ticket printing and countless other thermal printed materials are durable and long lasting, as well as the highest possible quality.

Gulton manufactures all our thermal printheads to OEM specifications.  We’re the experts and can answer any questions you may have about thermal printing.    Give us a call at 1.800.356.0399 or email the President of Gulton, Inc., Joseph Digiovanni at jdigiovanni@gulton.com … we’re always available to help out!