Tip & How-To about Office Equipment & Supplies

Avoid buying a new thermal print head!!

Thermal printheads - white lines - - move your image!

Hi People,

I've been a printer engineer for many years now, before that i worked designing label formats and operating thermal transfer printers that produced over 2,500,000 labels daily. During my time operating thermal transfer printers I discovered that sometimes you can have a printhead that blows 1 pixel out, and no more will blow for 3 - 6 months! As sod's - law would have it, the blown pixel would be through a barcode or image, making the printer unuseable until the expensive (usually 300.00 - 1500.00 pounds) printhead has been changed. If you have many vertical white lines through your labels or tags, this might not work. Most makes of Thermal printers that have an LCD display will have margin settings and/ or image movement settings that you can change through the operator panel, you will have to consult your user manual. Simply move the image across the page until the white line caused by the blown printhead is in an unprinted area or sufficiently hidden between characters! In addition to this, if you are using software such as bartender, label matrix or similar, you should be able to edit the label image or label format on your Pc, and manipulate your label format in a matter of seconds, again moving or changing your data fields in a way that hides the offending white line between characters or in an unprinted area. I know this will not always work, but its worth a go as you could extend the life of your print head by upto 6 months.

By M.Schroder

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1 Answer

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First before you buy a new cartridge,try doing a 'printhead' cleaning on your machine.Sometimes the printheads need cleaning clogginl.

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Sounds like you have a "void" line. This is an area of the printhead that is not functioning i.e. not melting any ribbon so it leave a void which looks like a white vertical line. Could be that the printhead is just dirty which case you can clean it with Isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth. If the line persists, then the printhead is worn in that area and cannot be fixed except to replace the printhead. It's also possible that you may be able to move your text a little to the left or right so that the void is between the text. THen you won't even notice it.

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