Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are Smart Labels?
A. Smart Labels are thermal labels, originally developed by SEIKO Instruments Inc. for their range of Smart Label Printers, introduced in the late 80's. The labels are made from chemically treated paper, which turns black when heat is applied. Thermal printers use a unique print mechanism composed of rows of tiny pins that are heated and then pressed against the paper to create the image. Print quality is measured in dots per inch (dpi). The ratings of most thermal printers are either 200 or 300dpi.

Q. Which printers use Smart Labels?
A. The principal brands of label printers using 'Smart Labels' are SEIKO Smart Label Printers, DYMO LabelWriters and BROTHER QL (QuickLabel) Series.

Q. Why can't I use regular thermal labels in these printers?
A. You can't use ordinary thermal labels in these printers because (1) the each printers comes with its own software and the labels sizes are pre-programmed into the software and (2) the manufacturers use a variety of marks (eye-marks) on the back of the label that the printer uses to detect the end of one label and the beginning of the next.

Q. I understand that compatible labels are now available for Smart label Printers.
A. Yes, Chevron began manufacturing compatible SEIKO Smart Labels some years ago and now offer low-cost compatible labels for all the popular labels sizes for SEIKO, DYMO and BROTHER labels printers.
Q. What is a Thermal Transfer label?
A. A thermal transfer label is simply a plain paper or plastic label that needs a thermal transfer ribbon to creat the image. This material is the modern equivalent of 'Carbon Paper', still used to make copies of hand-written documents such as receipts and invoices. The printer uses the same technique as described above, but heats the back of the ribbon to cause the transfer of the print image to the label. The ribbon can be coated with either wax, wax-resin mixture, or pure resin, depending on the quality required and the expected lifetime of the label.