Saito offer free advice for the maintenance of their label printing equipment.
Label printers are an investment in efficiency and streamlining however like any piece of complex machinery they need to be cared for to ensure ongoing label printing quality and tp maximize equipment life.
One simple trick to assist with this that will definitely save money is to keep the print heads in your thermal printers as clean as possible.
This can be done in various ways but the more regularly this is done the longer your print heads will last and the better your printing results will be and you will have perfect barcodes for downstream applications.
So how do you keep your print head clean and how often should you clean it?
Saito recommend print heads should be cleaned at every ribbon change if running Thermal Transfer and at least twice a day if running thermal direct media on a daily basis. And why is this important? Because these printers generate images on the labels with the use of heat, carbon from ribbons and impregnated media builds up on print heads quickly, this can dramatically reduce the quality of print and also rapidly reduce the expected life span of print heads – these are expensive consumable items, the more care that is taken with cleaning them and protecting the more cost savings will occur.
Carbon build ups will be accelerated dependent on the quality of the ribbon used. The cheaper the quality the more pronounced and quick the build up of carbon will be, whilst this may seem a small point, consider this… build up will in effect block print head elements and in a short space of time can cause print elements to blow, this will flow through and produce white lines through your printed barcodes, a major issue at point of scanning. Once this occurs the only remedy is the purchase of a new print head some of which can cost many hundreds of dollars.
So how do you clean print heads?
1. Send your machine into Saito for a routine service and print head clean at no charge
2. Invest in a Saito print head cleaning kit that will give you the tools to keep your investment in top order
3. For you DIYers, a very soft cloth with a small amount of Isopropyl Alcohol rubbed across the print head face will do the trick. Please consult your printer manual for instructions on where your print head is located and how change to gain access to it.