An important RFID+ certification topic :
What is direct thermal printing?
What is thermal transfer printing?
What are the advantages of each?
Photo : Steve Hull with an open SATO thermal transfer printer (Can you notice the black ribbon in front of the labels?) at RFID Journal Live! 2007 in Orlando Florida
Listen to the podcast here:
Show Notes (below)
Steve Hull, RFID Product Manager with SATO, explains the difference between direct thermal and thermal transfer printing. SATO printers are used by suppliers of Wal-Mart, Target, BestBuy and the DoD (Department of Defense) for their RFID mandates.
The topic covered by Steve is important for those who want to get the CompTIA RFID+ certification. A question on thermal transfer vs. thermal direct could show up in the exam.
So basically, there are two types of paper stock:
1- Thermal transfer printing
The printer uses a normal label media (e.g. paper) and a ribbon. The print head supplies heat. The heat is transferred to the ribbon which contains ink. The heated ink then transfers to the label. Et voilà! The advantage is that the label stock is more economical. It will last longer and is heat and scratch resistant.
2- Thermal direct printing
The labels themselves are heat sensitive. They turn black when heated by the print head. (Ever try to iron a crinkled up fax made from the older style fax paper? A colleague of mine once did. It turned completely black.) The advantage to this method is that no ribbon is necessary. That means you don’t have to look for one.
Links to topics discussed in the podcast :
Academia guarantees that you’ll pass the CompTIA RFID+ when you take their course
Here’s a practice RFID+ exam question taken from the CompTIA RFID+ website :
Placement of a passive ultra high frequency (UHF) tag on the bottom of a metal container loaded on a pallet will cause which of the following read results?
A. The tag will only be read if the bottom of the container is oriented to the antenna.
B. The tag can only be read by a hand-held interrogator.
C. The tag will be read regardless of orientation to the antenna.
D. The tag can be read by a dock door portal interrogator.
Here’s another practice RFID+ exam question taken from the CompTIA RFID+ website :
Which of the following is a required characteristic of an Electronic Product Code T (EPC) ultra high frequency (UHF) Gen 2 RFID printer?
A. RFID printers are unrelated to RFID interrogators.
B. EPC UHF Gen 2 systems are pre-programmed and do not require a printer.
C. All RFID printers also contain integral RFID interrogators.
D. All RFID interrogators systems also require an integral RFID printer.
Find more CompTIA RFID+ Sample Test Questions
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