A printer’s physical condition and operating environment are key indicators of its performance reliability during periods of high print demand. Other indicators, called wear factors, affect the reliability of thermal transfer printers over time and with heavy use of the printer.

Exterior Elements
Covers that are not secured as designed or left open while the printer is in operation affect printer performance. Dirt, lint, grease, oil and other contaminants enter the printer and affect its performance. This can result in dirty labels, marks on the rollers, and broken printhead pins. A loose and improperly connected interface cable can break wires, damage connector pins, and disrupt printer communications. A malfunctioning LCD display can be damaged or cause misprints if the operator overlooks the warning display.

Interior Elements
Dirt, grease, oil, or other detrimental elements inside the device can prevent the label or ribbon sensor from reading properly. In this case the label will not be printed and sent to the proper location. Failure to repair worn parts in a timely manner can result in faint prints, wrinkled ribbons, and printer failure. Using the wrong tool to remove label jams and adhesive residue can damage the machine and cause black spots on the labels.

Overall Print Quality
Printer settings including, printhead, label/ribbon combinations and volume ratings or a printer all contribute to the quality of printed output. Scheduled preventative maintenance is important for reliable performance. It is important to use the right repair tools to maintain your printer’s ability to produce quality output and avoid accidental damage.

Age of the Printer
The age of a printer can be the leading indicator for performance reliability. The older the printer, the greater the chance for worn parts and roller separation, it can also lead to sensors and printheads that are out of line. When the manufacturer’s warranty expires, repair costs go up and replacement parts can be expensive and even obsolete.

Different printers are rated for different print production volumes. Running a printer at a higher rev or longer than its rated time can cause motors to burn out, printheads to fail and print quality to fade rapidly.

It is important to perform proper and frequent cleaning to avoid permanent damage from media fibers and ribbon residue that is part of the printing process. Some media have highly abrasive surface materials and require higher pressure and heat to print. This causes added pressure and stress on the printhead. This type of wear over time can impact your printer’s output quality.

The thermal printhead is the most important and expensive part of a thermal transfer printer, and also the most delicate. Considered a consumable item. H. This is not a permanent part of the printer, but should be replaced after a period of time. The wear a printhead can handle depends on the environment, media type, settings, usage and maintenance.

Improper use and care of the printheads can cause many print quality problems. However, most problems can be avoided or easily corrected with proper installation and ongoing maintenance to maximize printhead life. Factors to consider to protect the printhead are:

  • A common reason for printhead failure is insufficient cleaning or use of the wrong cleaning solution. Cleaning should be scheduled regularly based on machine usage (inch, ribbon change, or print by day/week).
  • High temperatures, high pressures and poor quality ribbons can cause pen wear and tear, resulting in unscannable barcodes and degraded human readable text. Printed output on labels loses sharp, dark contrast and fast read speeds.
  • Do not use sharp tools or allow debris to accumulate. It can permanently damage the printhead and rollers. Also, when removing the printheads, care must be taken not to damage the image lines on the printheads.
  • Always use a thermal transfer ribbon that is slightly wider than the printhead to protect all printhead elements from abrasion.
  • Electrostatic discharge (ESD) can cause the printheads to lose dots. In more severe cases, this can destroy the entire printhead. When handling the printhead to clean or clear jams, use antistatic precautions to prevent this damage.

Investing in printer maintenance reduces your total cost of ownership and pays off over the life of your printer. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can save you trouble and money, whether you choose to repair your thermal transfer printer with your own staff or hire a professional service technician.

MPC3503 ( rent & purchase ) (5)
MPC3503 ( rent & purchase ) (6)
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