TTO Ribbon Price Comparison: Finding the Best Value

Thermal transfer overprinting (TTO) ribbons are used as ink sources by a wide variety of industrial marking equipment. Ideal for quickly printing on flexible packaging, thermal transfer overprinters create labels and mark flexible materials by applying heat to a thermal ribbon.

A heating element within the machine’s printhead melts a dry layer of ink on the ribbon then transfers it to the substrate. Digital technology enables the printer to form this ink into a pre-made code that is legible and easily read by a barcode scanner.

Thermal transfer overprinting is a versatile marking technology that can fit into many coding solutions, including:

  • Print-and-apply labelers

  • Vertical form, fill, and seal machines

  • Horizontal form, fill, and seal machines

  • Pouch-filling machines

  • Thermoform/tray-sealing machines

Of course, for any of these technologies to be successful, one must use the right ribbon for the job. Today’s market is filled with different ribbon types that excel in specific applications. Furthermore, quality shifts from brand to brand, and it isn’t always reflected in the product’s price. 

To help your company find the best ribbons at the best value, we have compiled this TTO ribbon price guide. By examining the offerings from both name-brand companies and aftermarket alternatives, you can narrow your ribbon options and discover which choice is best for your operation.

TTO Ribbon Option 1: Videojet®

Videojet has been a major name in the world of industrial printing since the 1960s. Today, they operate internationally, with offices established in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. 

As a supplier of industrial marking equipment, Videojet’s hardware portfolio is vast, with a range of inkjet printers and thermal transfer machines. However, the brand’s name recognition and global reach does not necessarily translate into great value.

Although their DataFlex thermal transfer printers work well, it is quite expensive to buy compatible ribbons. To demonstrate, here is a quick sample of Videojet’s TTO ribbon prices:

  • Black TT ribbon, 55 MM X 1000 M, 10 case: $358.03

  • Black TT ribbon, 110 MM X 600 M, 10 case: $429.64

  • Black TT ribbon, 30 MM X 1000 M, 25 case: $497.91

  • Black TT ribbon, 30 MM X 1000 M, 10 case with chemical resistance: $1,080.78

  • Black TT ribbon, 30 MM X 1000 M, 25 case with chemical resistance: $1,583.19

While it is true that TTO ribbon prices will fluctuate depending on ribbon type, name brands like Videojet generally overcharge customers to capitalize on brand awareness. This pattern is repeated in our next example. 

TTO Ribbon Option 2: Markem-Imaje

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Markem-Imaje is a part of the Dover Corporation, an international conglomerate that manufactures industrial products. Like Videojet, Markem-Imaje has a global presence through which it sells everything from laser etching machines to large character valvejet printers. Another similarity to Videojet is its variety of TTO models and ribbon offerings. 

Within Markem-Imaje’s ink portfolio are TTO ribbons that are:

  • Compatible with both flathead and near edge printers

  • Compliant with regulations set by the FDA and the RoHS 

  • Solvent-resistant

  • Light-resistant

  • Water-resistant

Although Markem-Imaje’s offerings are diverse, their prices are more of the same when it comes to brand name companies. Looking through Markem-Imaje’s TTO ribbon prices reveals the same steep numbers as charged by Videojet. Fortunately, there is a price-effective alternative for savvy customers: aftermarket ribbon manufacturers.

TTO Ribbon Option 3: Aftermarket Sources

The modern printing and marking market is filled with aftermarket options that match the quality of their original equipment manufacturer (OEM) counterparts. For decades, companies like InkJet, Inc. have employed expert chemists and engineers to develop high-performing printing consumables that are compatible with competitor’s machines and more affordable and capable of producing better results. 

Here at InkJet, Inc, our chemistry team regularly creates inks that work in printers from Videojet, Markem-Imaje, Domino, and other high-profile companies. Amongst these offerings are formulas for continuous inkjet printers, cartridges for thermal inkjet printers, and a variety of TTO ribbons, including:

  • Wax-thermal ink ribbons for flathead printers

  • Wax/resin-thermal ink ribbons for both flathead and near-edge printers

  • Resin-thermal ink ribbons for both flathead and near-edge printers

Across these three categories are individual ribbons that excel with specific substrates and applications. These ribbons produce the same great results as those from Videojet and  Markem-Imaje but with a significant price reduction. When considering bulk purchases, these savings can even equal hundreds of dollars per order.

Looking for the Best TTO Ribbon Price?

If you’re using OEM ribbons to power your Videojet or Markem-Imaje printer, there’s a good chance that you are overpaying for your ink. Aftermarket alternatives offer a way to obtain great marking results at a fraction of the cost. At InkJet, Inc. we understand both the industrial printing market and the chemistry behind the ink. We know that the competition is overcharging for their products, and we know the actual fair price. Contact us today to learn how much you could be saving.

For more information on TTO ribbon prices or to inquire about specific aftermarket products, contact InkJet, Inc. online or by phone at 1(800) 280-3245.