Staff PCM

9 April 2021

Direct printing and thermal transfer printing


Some of the most popular technologies for printing tickets are direct thermal printing and thermal transfer printing.

Learn all about their features, advantages and which one suits you according to your application.

Direct thermal printing

It is made on bond paper with a chemical coating that reacts to the heat applied by the printer heads.

It is recommended for those who have a thermal printer for point-of-sale or mobile printing.


  • Fast printing with compact equipment.
  • Personalization of barcodes, QR or XML with previously programmed logos and legends.
  • On-site mobile printing.
  • No ribbons, ink or toner required for printing.

Recommended applications and uses

  • Point-of-sale terminals, portable terminals, automatic teller machines, scale printers, time clock, kiosk teller machines, equipment that provides information and diagnostic reading (optical, weight, blood pressure, etc).
  • Tickets for movies, events, concerts, parking lots, parking meters and casinos.
  • Airplane boarding passes, bus tickets, etc.
  • Pharmacies, insurance adjusters, traffic fines, gas stations.
  • On-site check-in at food and beverage retailers.

Thermal transfer printing

This is done by heating the ink on the thermal transfer ribbon so that it is deposited on the substrate when it is passed over it. This ink dries quickly to form data such as barcodes, text, etc.

It is recommended for those who have this type of printer, who perform processes where they must deliver more than one receipt or when the printed information must have a long life time


  • Fast printing speed.
  • Resists extreme temperatures, UV rays and chemicals.
  • Durability of information for 10 years or more.
  • Ideal for applications where variable printing is required.

Recommended applications and uses

  • Those who have a thermal transfer printer connected to computer equipment such as tablets, smartphones, laptops or PCs.
  • Businesses and institutions, laboratories, restaurants, fast food, etc.
  • ATMs, bank counters, bars and more.
  • Expiration dates on fried foods, medicines, etc.

Which of these techniques is ideal for you?

According to your needs, it will be the most suitable for your case:

  • If you are looking for greater speed, direct thermal printing is ideal for you because thanks to its technology it has a higher printing frequency.
  • If you need an option compatible with different substrates, we advise you to use thermal transfer printing.
  • If you want to save costs on consumables, direct thermal printing is the right choice, since it does not require ribbons.
  • If you are looking for greater printing durability, we advise you to use thermal transfer printing as it is compatible with paper or films of greater resistance.

At PCM we are ready to help you

We have all the technologies and products mentioned above:

  • We sell thermal rolls, thermal transfer labels and tapes in ribbons.
  • Bisphenol A free products to take care of the user's health.
  • Papers with sustainability certificates.
  • We have the inventory and production capacity to supply from very small orders to large volume orders.
  • Products with the best international quality.

At PCM we have more than 26 years of experience in the manufacture and conversion of paper products. Contact our consultants to learn about all the solutions we have available for your business.

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