Archive for the ‘resin thermal transfer ribbons’ Category

UL Recognition and Thermal Transfer Labels

Monday, April 26th, 2010

With a focus on premium products, I thought it would be a good time to discuss UL standard 969 for Marking and Labeling Systems. Applications that require a UL recognized label include electronics, building materials and appliances. This standard contains several categories covering different types of label printing. Category PGJI2 covers products intended to be printed by end users using thermal transfer ribbons. Because distributors don’t run across these applications every day, they can be somewhat confusing.

3 Most Common UL Recognition and Thermal Transfer Label Questions

  1. Is your ribbon UL approved?
    Any ribbon alone is not UL recognized. It is the combination of the label, substrate and adhesive that is tested and recognized by UL. Not only must the image remain on the label, but the label must also adhere to the surface that it is applied to.To determine if an IIMAK thermal transfer ribbon is UL recognized, you must provide details on the label stock you are using, including the manufacturer, spec number and a detailed description of the facestock and PS adhesive.
  2. Can IIMAK get a label UL recognized?
    Because of the complexity of facestocks and adhesives, media roll suppliers like FLEXcon, Fasson® and 3M® hold the UL Files and manage all testing (including the ribbon) through UL. A distributor can also hold a UL file if they are willing to invest in the rigorous testing procedure with UL. Realistically, it is more cost effective and timely for a distributor to use the UL file from their media supplier.
  3. How do I mark the ribbon so the UL inspector knows its UL recognized?
    IIMAK’s customizable private labeling can eliminate hassles during a UL audit at the end user. The label on the ribbon must include the IIMAK Product Name (i.e. SP330) and the UL File Number it is recognized under (i.e., MH16635). You should not use a UL or UR logo. It is the distributor’s responsibility to assure they supply the matching label stock that is UL recognized with that specific ribbon.

IIMAK’s SP330 is the most commonly specified ribbon for these applications. The new SP990 has been submitted to our media partners and we expect recognition within six months. When faced with a UL application, you can reference the Certification Directory at

But, it’s really much easier and faster if you just call your IIMAK account manager at 888.464.4625!