Is it time to move to Linerless thermal labels?
Linerless labels are here but are they for you?
With the linerless revolution in full swing, we have a look at what the pro’s and the con’s are currently
The product is simply a continuous roll of direct thermal label with a silicon coating thus stopping itself from adhering to itself. They are available in a couple of different widths up to 4″. But because they are on a continuous roll you can design a multitude of various size labels by going from portrait to landscape etc. It may well be the case that your current printer can be converted to support the linerless media instead of having to invest in new hardware!
With the obvious pro being there is less waste with having no backing liner, so there is no waste to get rid of and more labels per roll it would seem this would be an obvious easy swap for your current set up.
Currently there are quite a few printer manufacturers at ‘market’ to choose from, there are different formats too, there are mobile, desktop and industrial. Plus just coming onto the market are inline applicators that seem to be working well in the logistics industry.
So what does it all boil down to?
The two main problems with linerless is as far as I’m concerned are these, one;- you need to be applying the labels at source, because of the fact there is no backing liner, you can get yourself in a sticky situation quite quicky if you are trying to print numerous labels at the same time then go on to apply them, so something like the mobile option and of course the applicator option would work well in the situation. But when printing numerous labels they have an auto feed facility so once the first label is printed and presented, the following label won’t print until the first one is removed which is something quite handy! Two;- supply issues, albeit these are getting better through acquisition of paper manufacturers and being used to convert the material, it has been difficult to get a constant flow of supplies to meet demand.
But as we are seeing the linerless revolutions has grown very quickly with companies fighting tooth and nail to add to their ‘green’ credentials, so this should balance itself out relatively quicky, one would of thought.
I think the linerless solution certainly has its place and is a welcomed move forward in the progress of being greener but I don’t think these will ever replace the need for traditional direct thermal transfer labels.
But whichever side of the fence you’re siting on, here at CLS we are to help, we have great relationships with the manufacturers of the printers and the media producers and can help you implement and even demo some options, to help you make a decision so please get in touch at www.cls.uk.com