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Novel Approach to Thermal Transfer Ribbon Residual Security Problem

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Thermal transfer printing is a well-established, reliable, economical, durable, and quality printing method. However, the transfer ribbon residual image contains all the information of the printed matter (the “reverse” image of the printed information). This can be a tremendous security issue if the third-party gets hold of the used ribbon, especially if the printer is used for privacy-sensitive matters. The information can be safeguarded by destroying the ribbon in conventional ways such as shredding. However, such methods involve removing the ribbon from the printer equipment and processing it externally.

What we developed is a new heating head that is ideal for this application as it can be built into the printer or attached as an external unit of an existing printer. The heating head maintains a constant temperature suitable for melting the ink on the ribbon so that the original information is rendered unrecognizable. The startup time for the heating head from cold to operating temperature is a few seconds, a feature that is also attractive no energy is wasted while the unit is on standby. The construction of the head is unique and it is virtually free of heating surface abrasion problems.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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