Automatic data collection systems require barcode printers to keep them functioning. You need to be able to print quality labels and ensure that your barcode printer functions correctly.
Frequent breakdowns will lead to unnecessary and costly downtime. By keeping your barcode printer in top shape, you not only prevent downtime, but you save money too. Our AIS experts have 5 top tips that you can use to extend the life of your barcode printer.
5 Top Tips To Extend the Life of your Barcode Printer
Before we list our tips, it is important to mention that you need to choose a barcode printer that is strong enough for the operating environment of your business. it is also imperative that you choose a model that is equipped to handle the volume of label printing you do. Once you’ve done that, the following tips will help ensure it lasts. Industrial barcode printers can work perfectly for 10 years or more once maintained properly.
- Keep it Clean: In a busy work environment it can be easy to overlook this, but your barcode printer will work best if the printhead and platen roller are kept clean. Make sure to clean them every time you install a new ribbon if using a thermal barcode printer. For direct thermal barcode printers, try to clean them after every two rolls of labels. If your printer is operating in a dirty environment, you might need to clean it every day.
- Care for your Print Heads: Print heads are expensive so it is a good idea to protect them as best you can. This means using the right labels and ribbons and avoiding adjusting the darkness settings. You should only use certified replacement parts. You should also make sure that the manufacturer’s cleaning and maintenance recommendations are adhered to. Never touch the print head element surface if possible.
- Use the Right Media: Use the right label and adhesive combination for your barcode printer as this will help to improve the quality of your labels and allow your barcode printer to run on lower energy settings. Cheap media can cause dust and debris to build up and this in turn can damage your printer’s heating elements. Find out more about the printer media supplies available at AIS.
- Pay attention to Print Head Pressure and Speed Settings: The manufacturer guidelines provide darkness and pressure settings for your barcode printer and you shouldn’t increase these. Doing so can shorten the life of your printer’s print head. You should only use the fastest print speeds when necessary. Lowering the speed, contrasts, and pressure settings to their lowest whilst maintaining the quality of your labels can extend the life of your print head.
- Be Careful Changing Labels: Never use sharp objects to remove labels from the roller or ribbons from the spindle. This can cause you to cut the rubber by accident on the platen roller and affect both print quality and the life of your barcode label printer.
You should always try to reduce friction and abrasion that can damage the print head. By properly maintaining your barcode printer and following the manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and changing media you can extend its life. You should also monitor print quality so that if any problems arise they can be addressed right away. For any additional help or advice on barcode printing or choosing the right label printer for your business, get in touch with one of our experts today.