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Troubleshooting Thermal Printer

Troubleshooting Thermal Printer

  • February 12,2015.
Doyou want to know about various problems that can occur with thermal printer andthe tips to troubleshoot them?

A thermalimpact printer usesheated pins to burn images onto the heat-sensitive paper. Although, they arecheap and print relatively fast, they produce low resolution print jobs. Toprint, one has to insert a thermo-sensitive paper between the thermal head andthe platen. The printer will then send an electrical current to the heatingresistor of the thermal head in the printer, which in turn will generate heatin a prescribed pattern. The heat will activate the thermo-sensitive coloringlayer of the thermo-sensitive paper and give a pattern of color change inresponse. This printing mechanism is known as a thermal system or directsystem. The paper is impregnated with a solid-state blend of a dye and anappropriate matrix. The controller boards are embedded with firmware to managethe printing mechanisms in the thermal printer. The firmware has the ability tomanage multiple bar code types, graphics and logos.

Problemsthat can occur with thermal printer and tips to troubleshoot them are mentionedbelow:

·        Poor edge definition

·        Image is grayish or translucent

·        Streaks or dead spots in theprinted image

Pooredge definition

Pooredge definition is primarily an issue with bar codes. This can mainly happenwhen the ribbon and media are not compatible or in those cases when the printspeed is too fast. To fix the issue, you need to refer the compatibility of theribbon and media and as per the requirements make the necessary changes. Youalso need to reduce the print speed. Sometimes, the reason can also be that theprint head heat level is too high. If so, reduce the energy or heat setting ofthe printer.

Imageis grayish or translucent

Sometimes,you can see that the image is grayish or translucent, even though thecharacters are full. The reasons for this issue in the thermal printer can bemany like the print head energy level is set too high or if the print headpressure is too high or when the ribbon and media are not compatible. Theimmediate troubleshooting methods can be to reduce the print head energy. Youwill also have to reduce the printer pressure. Along with this, confirm thatthe ribbon is compatible. If not, then replace it.

Streaksor dead spots in the printed image

Ifyou notice the presence of streaks or dead spots in the printed image output,then it may be due to the poor coating quality on the media or may be becauseof the dirty or obstructed print head elements. It can also be because of thatthe preprinted ink is picking. So, as the method to solve, first you shouldensure that the media is of good quality. Also, clean the print head of yourthermal printer with a presaturated cleaning card or soft stemmed cotton cloth.You can also try by replacing the media stock.

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