Why Regular Maintenance is Essential for Thermal Printers

Maintaining your warehouse hardware is an integral part of maintaining productivity, reducing downtime, and minimizing repair and replacement costs.

A barcode label printer is just like any machine, without proper maintenance it will eventually fail, and replacing a broken or malfunctioning machine can be a costly endeavor. It is therefore important to do everything you can to extend the life of your machine for as long as possible. To keep operating optimally, these printers should be maintained and serviced at regular intervals. This maintenance should pay special attention to the print head, platen roller, and sensors. It is also essential to make sure that debris and dust is regularly removed from the machine.

If a label printer is not regularly maintained and serviced it can have serious adverse effects on the machine. For example, dust can accumulate in the machine, trailing onto the media and under the print head. This will cause friction which can blow pixels in the print head. As a result, you will find blank lines running through the print. Any barcodes that are printed once this happens can be difficult to scan and may give back errors.

Another common issue is when the platen roller is not maintained, which can also affect the print quality of the machine. As the label media runs directly over the platen roller, any cuts, nicks, or gashes in the roller can cause faded areas or dead spots in the print. A worn roller can also result in unbalanced pressure, leading to poor quality printing.

On the print head it is not unusual for a build up of residue from the print process to accumulate. The print head of a thermal transfer printer however is very delicate and should never be touched directly, as oils from the hand can have a corrosive effect on the print head. You should also never scrap or scratch at the print head with a metal tool to remove print residue, as this can damage the surface of the print head.

When cleaning the print head of a thermal transfer printer, it is important to use a swab with isopropyl alcohol, or a dedicated manufacturer specified cleaning pen, and always ensure any material being used to clean the machine is anti-static.

An experienced technician should therefore regularly service the machine to avoid these issues.

At Cradle technology Services we have a dedicated and knowledgeable team of technicians that can help with all end-to-end hardware support, service and maintenance. We also offer printer cleaning kits which contain all the materials you need to maintain your machine at top performance. Contact us today.