How To Maintain Your Thermal Label Printer
April 05 2022

How To Maintain Your Thermal Label Printer

Posted By | Nate Walz
Posted On | April 05 2022

How To Maintain Your Thermal Label Printer

Label printers require maintenance and if done correctly it will ensure you retain perfect print results every time. Remember that the best time to perform maintenance is when you are replacing the labels or ribbons in the printer. If you are operating in an extreme environment with high heat, dust, and dirt then you should increase this frequency.

Taking care of your label printer can also save you a lot of money in the long term as it reduces the need for repairs and replacement parts. Our sales and service experts have come up with 5 quick and easy tips to help you maintain your label printer.

5 Thermal Label Printer Maintenance Tips

  • Clean the print head and platen roller: The print head is the most important part of your label printer and also a delicate component. Use a solution of > 90% isopropyl alcohol and a lint free cloth. The platen roller sits directly underneath it. Our experts recommend that both of these components are cleaned every time your change ribbons or label rolls. This little cleaning tip only takes a minute but can save on costly repairs. It is important that you remember not to touch the print head directly and that you use the recommended cleaning solution.
  • Check your setting and use the right label media: Labels come into direct contact with your print head so it is important to use good quality labels that are matched to your printer type. Poor quality labels can cause your print head to fail prematurely. Another downside to using labels that aren’t suitable is that you will have to compensate for the poor printing quality by using excessive darkness and heat settings. This in turn will cause damage to the protect layer on the print head and reduce its lifespan.
  • Set up a maintenance contract: Performing cleaning and maintenance yourself with our tips will help reduce downtime but it is also recommended that you set up a maintenance contract with your label printer provider. Certified technicians will then make sure scheduled maintenance is carried out and any repairs will be done according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Maintenance contracts can be tailored to suit your business needs and can include things like 24 hour support, free substitute printers during repair times, employee training, and more.
  • Keep surfaces, accessories and the interior clean: Keep the interior of your label printer clean too. You can use an approved compressed air spray to remove dust and residue. Spray some air on the media sensor as well, as build up of dust on this can lead to printer errors. Clean installed accessories too including the label cutter and the outside surfaces of your label printer. If your label printer operates in a harsh environment you may need to do this more often.
  • PAUSE self test: If you find that your label printer is missing print outputs or there are streaks on your labels it can be an indication of a defective or clogged print head. When this happens try cleaning the print head and doing a PAUSE self test. Your label printer’s user manual will provide instructions on how to perform this test. The self test prints a nozzle check pattern and will verify if there is a problem with your print head.

There are a large number of thermal printing options available to businesses and if you are not sure what to choose, Walz Label and Mailing Systems in Illinois has experts that are happy to provide you with the help and advice you need to choose the best label printer and labels for your barcode printing needs. Contact us today for more information.

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