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Printing: Thermal Printers and Print Mechanisms

Printed receipts and documents are all around us in our everyday lives. BVM provides all types of thermal printers, including printer mechanisms for use in ticketing and vending machines, lottery terminals and ATMs, panel printers and kiosk printers to build into your product, receipt printers for retail applications, label printers, and battery powered portable and vehicle-powered mobile printers for printing up to A4-width on the move.


What is Thermal Printing?

Thermal printing involves a heat transferred from a thermal print head to a chemically treated thermal paper. As the heating elements form text and graphics, a thermochemical reaction takes place, so the text and graphics can be seen. Because there are only a few moving parts, thermal printers offer years of reliability, minimal maintenance and consistent operation. One of the most distinctive benefits is its inherently quiet operation.

A thermal printer comprises these key components:

  • Thermal Head: the print head generates heat which causes a thermochemical reaction and prints on the paper
  • Platen: the platen is a rubber roller that feeds paper
  • Spring: the spring applies pressure to the thermal head, keeping it in contact with  the thermosensitive paper


How do Thermal Printer Mechanisms work?

Chemically treated thermal paper is inserted between the thermal head and the platen. The printer sends an electric current to the heating elements of the thermal head, this generates heat. The heating elements used in thermal printers are usually arranged as a line of small closely spaced dots. The heat activates a thermo-sensitive coloring layer of the thermosensitive paper, which changes color where heated.



Thermal printers and thermal print mechanisms are small, light and consume little power, making them ideal for portable and retail applications. Commercial applications of thermal printers include petrol station pump receipts, information kiosks, point-of-sale systems, voucher printers, ticket machines, hospital cardiac monitors and more.




BVM are an appointed official distributor for Seiko Instruments’ printer mechanisms and portable printers for the UK and Ireland.

Want more help to find a solution, request ordering information or request an evaluation sample? Contact us or take a look at our design and manufacturing capabilities.

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