Thermal paper is one of the most popular and commonly-used papers in the world. Many retail businesses can’t get enough of thermal printers and thermal papers. From proof of delivery documents, invoices, pick lists, to payment receipts, thermal papers are used for a wide range of printing needs.
Also known as audit rolls, thermal papers are special fine papers that are coated with a material that changes color when it is exposed to heat. This coating allows for inkless printing. When the thermal paper goes through a thermal printer, the print head activates the thermal coating and causes it to form a high-definition image.
So, what’s so special about this kind of paper? In this post, I’ll show you the top five reasons thermal papers are a favorite for many businesses.
Table of Contents
1. Faster Printing
Thermal printing has few movable parts, therefore it’s faster and more reliable compared to ink printers. Traditional printers are slower because they use ribbons to transfer ink to printing paper.
Because heat is used for this type of printing, it doesn’t require ink or ribbons. As a result, thermal printing heads produce images in milliseconds. This increase in speed ensures that your customers don’t have to wait in line for a receipt, for instance.
2. Cheaper Printing
In thermal printing, unlike other printing methods, thermal paper is the only consumable required. In other words, thermal printing has few moving parts, so you won’t have to consistently buy items like toners. Besides, thermal paper is cheaper than most other types of printing paper. Thus, you won’t spend much on printing.
Traditional printing often experiences periodic jams. If you are using such a printer, you’ll need to be ready for delays and to take care of constant maintenance costs. Thermal paper is also a low cost commodity. You can buy thermal paper in bulk through sites like Pos Paper Roll.
3. Clear Printing
Ribbons and ink cartridges often leave marks and smudges on printouts. Sometimes, printouts are full of drippings, blurry, and hard to read. With thermal papers and thermal printing, you can count on smudge-free printing. In addition, printing done on thermal paper lasts long, so you won’t have to worry about losing data.
This kind of printout is especially helpful if you have to confirm purchases and present records for audits.
4. Mobile Printing
Before thermal printing, it was virtually impossible to have lightweight printers on the go. Now, with the advent of thermal papers, it’s possible to have mobile printing units. These mobile units are now used across a wide range of sectors including retail and hospitality sectors because they are flexible and fast.
As a business, this is an excellent solution. You don’t have to keep your customers waiting in line at the cashier. You can have a number of mobile units that make the process smooth and convenient.
5. Printing Lasts Long
Unlike bond paper or carbon paper, the printout on thermal paper lasts long. Aside from the fact that you will not experience jams with thermal paper, it is durable. You wouldn’t have to worry about receipts fading in no time. In fact, you can expect content printed on thermal paper to last up to seven years after printing.
Common Uses of Thermal Paper
Without a doubt, the thermal paper has several benefits over its competitors: carbonless paper and bond paper. Popular uses of the thermal paper include:
POS and Credit Card Receipt
Because thermal printing doesn’t involve the use of ribbons and ink, they are perfect for POS and credit card receipts. You’ll be able to get rid of wait lines and treat your customers better. Besides, thermal receipts last long so they come in handy if any purchase needs to be verified or for auditing purposes.
It’s more than likely that your ATM receipts are made of thermal paper rolls. That’s because thermal paper printouts are fast, reliable, accurate, and sharp. Also, thermal printing doesn’t make a lot of noise so it’s perfect for business environments.
Equipment in hospitals, including ECG machines, ultrasound machines must produce sharp and accurate records. A little smudge or blur in printing can compromise a person’s medical records. It’s for that reason that thermal printing has become increasingly popular in the medical field.
Because thermal printing is fast and accurate, it is an excellent choice for printing large volumes of tickets. Another reason that makes thermal papers a favorite for ticketing needs is that printouts are sharp, accurate, and scannable.
From amusement center tags or tickets, cinema tickets, airline tickets to lottery tickets, several kinds of tickets are printed on thermal papers. That’s why thermal papers are a favorite of ticketing agencies.
What About Bisphenol A (BPA)?
We’ve been looking at the benefits and common uses of thermal papers. But one question that always comes up anytime thermal papers are mentioned is regarding the chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA). The chemical is commonly used as a developer in thermal papers because it is efficient, cheap, and easy to access.
However, BPA has always been on the radar of environmental agencies. The chemical has been banned for use in baby bottles and food containers because research shows that it can be an endocrine disruptor. Some research has also linked BPA to an increased risk of conditions such as breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
As mentioned earlier, BPA is present in thermal papers, and consequently present in most of the receipts consumers handle. That’s why the EPA, FDA, and other environmental organizations are recommending a shift away from BPA to other alternatives such as BPS and urea.
Some manufacturers, instead of using the alternatives, have come up with an even safer option: BPA-free paper. This thermal paper is produced from an entirely different compound that doesn’t have the effects of BPA paper. The only challenge is that many manufacturers and distributors charge you more for BPA-free paper.
Clearly, the thermal paper has several benefits for your business. But make sure that you go for BPA-free thermal paper that’s affordable. You’ll surely be glad you did.