Solving: Bar Code Label Printers Burning Through Printheads

Solving: Bar Code Label Printers Burning Through Printheads

We have a biotech customer with 110xi4, 600 DPI, thermal transfer printers.  The customer uses resin ribbons to print on polypropylene labels.  The labels are small and require a significant amount of text.  When the customer contacted us about poor print quality, we took the traditional first-step and replaced the printheads.  While this generally solves the problem, we were concerned when the printheads were being replaced every month – after only printing 75,000 labels.  This reflected 25% of the projected printhead performance for this specific label so we knew we needed to examine this situation more closely.Solving: Bar Code Label Printers Burning Through Printheads

During an on-site visit, we discovered, in order to complete a legible label run, the customer was using the maximum heat setting on the printheads.  Using this maximum setting, the customer was literally burning through printheads.  At that point, we had the ribbons and labels evaluated at one of our testing labs.  We found no performance issues with either the polypropylene labels or the resin ribbons.  This led us to look more closely at the printer itself to see what was causing the print failure.

When we examined the printer, it was determined that the printhead mounting was bent which caused the printhead to be out of alignment.  We engineered a simple replacement bracket which fixed the problem and resulted in print that exceeded the customer’s quality specifications at the recommended low heat setting.  Since then, the customer has printed more than 500,000 labels without replacing a single printhead.

Needless to say, they are thrilled.  Here is what the customer had to say, “Thank you for sticking with us and finding a solution to our label printing problem.  Patrick Roofe, Tewksbury, MA.

If you have a legibility problem with your label printing process, it might not be your labels and ribbons.  Contact us to help you trouble shoot your problem.  We are here to help.

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