Well sad to say, it depends on what the company you are talking to sells. Also some technologies generate much more profit than others, so as they say.... follow the money!
GCB Solutions is one of the few companies that has all the technologies (TIJ, CIJ & TTO). We are interested in long term relationships with our customers and will often quote 2 or even three technologies so our customers can make an informed decision. If our customers have the most cost effective solution we have done our job as a supplier.
Keep in mind:
CONTINUOUS INK JET (CIJ): Higher cost of ownership, higher maintenance costs but lowest cost per application for ink. If your product volume is high and your line runs continuously (pun intended), this may be your best solution. Lower definition restricts small characters, barcodes, QR codes etc. Your volume needs to be high to make this technology cost effective.
THERMAL INKJET (TIJ): Lowest cost of ownership and unparalleled print quality. Lowest maintenance cost and ease of use. Prints down to 2 mm characters. Can be stitched together for print up to 4" wide. Higher cost per application for ink, but if your volume is not in the millions, this will be your best value. Factor in maintenance savings to get true cost! Solvent inks for plastics, metals and glass. Equipment takes up very little space. If your message is small cost per print will be negligible when compared to low maintenance.
THERMAL TRANSFER OVERPRINTER (TTO): Primarily for flexible packaging, this is the thermal transfer technology you are familiar with outfitted to work with just about any flexible packaging machine. Incredible quality and can print a very wide format. A hit with all bagged retail products that need a fair amount of information. No inks to mess with, uses thermal transfer ribbons. Reasonably priced and very low maintenance. Cost per print expensive, especially in wider formats.