2 reasons for the resistor:1) it is easier to produce a stripe coding printer than a text printer.2) It doesn't matter how the resistor is soldered, the rings are always visible. (also from a distance)
They have pad printers that can print on curved surfaces, and have been printing a band plus text on diodes for 50 years now.I am guessing the diodes are rolled over the ink transfer medium ?
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via Egeo 16