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Thermal Print Head Maintenance Tips

The thermal print head is the main component in your label printer that transfers the heat to create the image on the paper. Without regular maintenance and cleaning, this device will fail much sooner than expected. There are a few quick and easy steps you can take to extend the life of your thermal printer’s print head and keep your label printing quality high.

The most important thing is to remember that your print head and platen roller (roller directly underneath the head) are sensitive devices. They both need to be cleaned often with a lint free non-abrasive cloth and isopropyl alcohol. You also need to make sure that you are using the proper labels and ribbons for your machine and lowering the energy settings so that your thermal printer is not applying unnecessary pressure on these components.

Over time residue builds up on the print head Thermal Printhead Maintenance and platen roller due to the constant friction between them and the ribbons, labels or paper. This residue can wear down the protective layer that covers the printing elements. This can cause poor print quality and even damage the print head.

Keeping the print head clean and properly aligned can help extend its lifespan. This is a lot like the tires on your car; if you don’t rotate, balance and care for them they will wear down faster than if you do.

It’s a good idea to clean the print head before changing a ribbon and after every roll of labels. This helps ensure that the image on your labels stays consistent and clear.

When performing these cleanings, always turn off the printer and unplug it. This will avoid any accidents like electric shocks or burns to the sensitive parts of the printer. Always use a lint free cloth or cleaning card to avoid leaving behind fibers in the mechanism. Also, be careful to not touch the print head with anything other than its edges; even the slightest contact can cause damage.

One of the most common causes of a poorly performing thermal print head is that it has become misaligned. This means that it is applying more heat to the label than needed and can cause the image on the label to fade or look blotchy.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix and a very inexpensive part to replace. If you have tried everything and your print head still isn’t working correctly, it may be time to talk to the experts. They can help you save money and improve your label performance by identifying ways to lower the power of the printer and increase efficiency. They can also recommend a new platen roller to reduce the amount of stress on the print head. This will allow the thermal print head to last longer and reduce your downtime and costs for repairs and replacements. Contact GO2 Partners today to schedule an appointment.