Print heads are the most common repair on a thermal printer, and it can cost as much as 30% of the cost of a new printer depending on the printhead resolution. Wouldn’t it be great to increase the printhead life to as much as 2 or 3 times the life that the manufacturer expected? First of all, your print head life expectancy print head is affected by these factors:
· Paper dust from the label
· Print speed and temperature settings
· Physical environment of the printer
· User damage
This dust needs to be removed so that the head is not scratched over time. Once again, cleaning the print head with an alcohol pad containing 95% isopropyl alcohol will remove the paper dust along with the ribbon residue.
The speed you select to run your labels changes the print head temperature. The faster you print, the higher the temperature required to maintain resolution. In your label creation software, you can select the print speed of the printer and the heat setting of the print head. If you are printing a few labels at a time or even large batches, try running at half the printer speed. That may be 5 or 6 inches per second, still very fast!
Just as speed controls print head temperature, that print head temperature controls print quality.
Here are some things you need to know:
• Direct thermal labels require higher print head temperatures. That will shorten print head life.
• Wax ribbons require lower print head temperatures than resin ribbons.
• Higher print head temperatures will give you better resolution, but too high will greatly shorten print head life.
• The higher the temperature - the more strain you will put on the print head.