Cleaning the printhead
This procedure is performed if you notice a streak on the card where ink was not transferred.
Note: Never use a sharp tool or a metal object of any kind to clean the printhead!Preparation
Before approaching the printer to clean it, replace a ribbon or clear a card malfunction, it is recommended that you extinguish all smoking materials, remove jewelry from fingers and cleanse your hands from oils and debris.
This reduces the risk of accidentally damaging the glass substrate of
the printhead and introducing contaminates to the media and rollers.
Please observe all established Electro-Static Discharge (ESD)
procedures any time the covers of the printer are opened or removed.
Fargo Electronics offers a Cleaning Kit (P/N 081518) which includes
alcohol cleaning pens and instructions for cleaning the glass substrate
of the printhead. If this kit is not available, please use the
following alternative procedure:
Cleaning the card feed rollers
- Open the top cover imaging assembly of the printer.
- If you observe dust and/or other particles laying on the top
surface of the ribbon, manually roll it up into the take-up roll.
Occasionally, dust may settle on the top surface of the ribbon and
cause print quality problems.
- To remove residue from the glass substrate of the printhead, use
isopropyl alcohol (99% pure) and a clean, soft, lint-free cloth. To
clean the printhead, wipe the glass substrate from front to back
several times with the alcohol-moistened cloth. Allow the printhead to
dry completely before using the printer.
Fargo Electronics offers a Cleaning Kit (P/N 081518) for purchase
which includes adhesive-backed cleaning cards. These cards can be used
for cleaning the gray or black card feed rollers during each ribbon
change or when the rollers are noticeably dirty. Use the following
procedure when using these cards:
Maintaining the cleaning roller assembly
- Remove the ribbon and cards from the printer. The cleaning roller
assembly can remain within the printer during the cleaning process.
- Remove the adhesive backing from the cleaning card.
- With the top cover assembly closed and with the exposed
adhesive-side of the cleaning card facing up, insert the cleaning card
into the card hopper so that the longest nonadhesive end of the
cleaning card enters the printer first. Be sure to insert the cleaning
card beneath the all-metal card input roller and above the card input
tray. This procedure will work best if the leading edge of the cleaning
card is fed slightly past the orange-colored card separator.
- Once the cleaning card is properly inserted into the card hopper,
run a self test. As the self-test sequence begins, you may need to push
the cleaning card into the printer to help it initially feed.
- Allow the cleaning card to feed through the printer until the
on-line LED flashes. Press the on-line button to completely eject the
cleaning card. Repeat this cleaning procedure if necessary.
- If the cleaning kit is not available, adhesive tape is also an
effective method for removing lint and debris from the rollers. Be sure
to use either clear tape or masking tape. Do not use duct or strapping
tape. These adhesives leave a gummy residue behind.
- Open the lid, and use the on-line and on/cancel buttons to rotate
the main feed rollers, while applying the tape. Alternatively, 99% pure
alcohol wipes can be used, but not for every cleaning, as this could
eventually deplete the tack from the roller's rubber. Do not use
alcohol to clean the cleaning roller assembly.
The cleaning roller assembly removes dust particles from card blanks
as they are fed into the printer. Cleaning this assembly will help
prevent contaminated cards from passing beneath the printhead,
extending the printhead's life and allowing for higher-quality output.
Refer to the following steps to clean the cleaning roller assembly.
Cleaning the platen rollers
- Remove jewelry from fingers and wash hands before servicing the printer to avoid damaging the printhead
- Open the top cover of the printer's imaging station.
- Remove the ribbon from the printer.
- Located to the left of the card hopper, the cleaning roller
assembly has been identified with a label. The cleaning roller assembly
is held in place by two magnets. Simply grasp the front edge of the
assembly bracket with your thumb and finger and lift it out of the
- To clean the assembly, use an adhesive cleaning card and feed it
back and forth between the rollers to remove the dust particles and
lint. DO NOT use alcohol to maintain the cleaning rollers, as this will
deplete the tack from the rubber.
Cleaning the exterior of the printer
- Remove both the print and overlaminate ribbons.
- Locate the two platen rollers.
- Use a piece of either clear adhesive tape or masking tape and apply
the sticky side of the tape to the platen rollers to lift and remove
- Use the on-line and on/cancel buttons to rotate the rollers.
- After the rollers are clean, replace the ribbon and close the top covers.
The printer has a durable casing that should retain its luster and
appearance for many years. Use mild glass cleaner or water and a
lint-free cloth to remove dust and lint from the exterior of the
printer. When cleaning, always spray the cloth first and then wipe down
the printer instead of spraying the printer directly. It is important
to regularly clean the interior and exterior of the printer at least
once a week, and more often when the duty cycle is high.
Cleaning the interior of the printer
As you use your printer, dust and other foreign particles will
accumulate inside the printer's case. These particles are attracted to
the underside of the ribbon by static produced during printing and can
cause voids on the printed image. Periodically, use the following
procedure to remove dust and other foreign particles:
- Open the top covers of the printer.
- Remove both the print and overlaminate ribbons.
- If you have access to a very small vacuum cleaner (most computer
stores sell devices just for this purpose), use it to vacuum out all
visible areas inside the printer. If you don't have such a device, use
a soft, lint-free cloth slightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol to
wipe out all visible areas inside the printer's cabinet. Be extremely
careful not to let any alcohol drip inside the printer's case.
- As an alternative method, use a can of compressed air and in a
sweeping motion blow air into the printer from the card hopper working
towards the card exit side of the printer. Use a lint-free cloth or
tape to remove any particles of debris remaining on the surface of the
- Once the cleaned areas are completely dry and free of foreign
debris, re-install the ribbons, close the top covers, and install
This section deals with the printer's internal and external maintenance
in regards to the unit's cleaning and general upkeep. It is a good idea
to clean the printer on a regular basis to ensure that the printer
consistently produces high-quality output. Be sure to disconnect the
printer's power cord whenever performing any type of maintenance
procedure unless otherwise directed. Cleaning of the printhead, card
feed rollers, platen rollers and cleaning roller assembly should be
done every 250 cards to maintain output quality.