ABRASIVE WEAR – Normal abrasive wear of the printhead’s protective coating occurs due to friction, regardless of the materials used or the maintenance performed. This abrasion may be more aggressive when the following conditions occur.
|Use of Direct Thermal Media for NonRibbon Applications
Direct Thermal media requires the paper surface to be in direct contact with the printhead elements. This increases friction and can cause a reduction in printhead life when compared to a similar application using ribbon. The quality of the media and its compatibility with the thermal printing is important.
|To minimize abrasion, be sure you are using high-quality Direct Thermal media from a proven supplier.
If applicable, you may want to consider using a Thermal Transfer media with a ribbon.
|The buildup of Paper Dust
Paper dust can collect on the platen at the outer edges of the media or ribbon, creating a grinding wheel effect. This can abrade the printhead glaze, which will result in printhead failure.
|Clean all paper dust buildup on the platen and printhead. Brush or blow the dust in the media path and clean the platen with a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol around the entire circumference of the platen.|
Excessive pressure increases friction on the printhead assembly, resulting in higher abrasion. Printhead pressure should be evenly balanced across the media. A balance of darkness and pressure should be used to generate an acceptable image on properly matched materials.
|Printers with a single moveable head pressure toggle should center the toggle over the media width.
Printers with dual-pressure toggles adjust both evenly over full-width media or reduced outboard pressure for narrower widths. This allows the pressure to focus on the narrow media more efficiently.
|Contaminated Labels||Consult a thermal printing supply expert – 877-456-3102.|
|Environment||Protect the labels from exposure to contamination.
If printer location is problematic, consider using a protective enclosure.
|Unapproved Printing Supplies
Some labels may be coated with chemicals or flood coats unsuitable for direct thermal printing.
|This is often characterized by a rapid failure of the printhead in the area of the flood coat. Consult with your label supplier if this failure is suspected.|
|Physically Touching the Printhead Element Surface
The human skin can cause contamination detrimental to the life of the printhead.
|Clean any surface with an approved cleaning solution before operating the printer. Consult the printer user manual for recommended cleaning procedures.|
Use of unapproved solutions to clean the printhead.
|Use only approved cleaning items for printhead cleaning.|
…of the printhead assembly.
|See your printer user manual for more information about how to prevent ESD when handling the printhead.|
…from the labels and/or ribbon.
|Ensure that any static brushes (if applicable) and printhead mechanism wiring are properly secured.|