Ribbon Breaking, Ribbon Jam Errors on the ZXP7, ZXP8 and ZXP9

Article ID: 52744929



  • Ribbon breaks during printing process
  • Ribbon wraps around the platen roller
  • Printer displays Error 5003 - Ribbon Jam
  • Ribbon sticks to the card


Applies To

  • Zebra ZXP Series 7 Card Printers
  • Zebra ZXP Series 8 Card Printers
  • Zebra ZXP Series 9 Card Printers
  • Adhesive-backing, Pre-punched, or Other Custom Cards



Ribbon will stick to the cards, break or "melt" and may wrap around the rollers causing printer to stall, giving ribbon jam errors



  1. Pause the Print Queue if there are jobs still pending
  2. If the ribbon is breaking, turn the printer off, open the printer cover and carefully remove the ribbon.
    Note: DO NOT throw away a broken ribbon. The ribbon can be repaired and reused Read More>>
  3. Remove any excess ribbon from the card path or print mechanism
  4. Re-install the ribbon, close the print cover, turn the printer ON, and check for these possible solutions:


Problem Resolution  
Ribbon breaking/wrapping around the roller

>>X offset is set too high or too low. This offset controls the image positioning of the image printed. If the image prints too close to the edge of the card, the ribbon gets sliced as the printhead meets this edge. Try adjusting this offset.

           ZXP 7 and ZXP 8 Read More>>

           ZXP 9 Read More>>

>>Image printed may be too dark. Whenever printing darker images or backgrounds there will be greater printhead heat applied to the card, causing the ribbon to break in some instances. Reduce the Color Optimization setting from the printer's Toolbox to correct this. Read More>>

Ribbon sticking to the card

Note Ribbon sticking to the card may break as well

>>Cards being used may already have an Overlay panel. This may apply to used or pre-printed cards. The ribbon will not transfer to a card with an overlay and will just stick to it. Avoid using cards already printed or make sure the pre-printed cards do not come with an overlay already applied to them. Contact the card manufacturer for more information.


>>Cards being used may not be compatible with your printer. Contact the card manufacturer for more information. Using adhesive-backing cards? Read More>> Using pre-punched cards? Read More>>


If this fails to resolve your issue, please contact technical support or your reseller for further assistance.

+ Product Codes

  • ZXP Series 7 Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 7 High Performance Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 7 Pro High Performance Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 7 with Laminator
  • ZXP Series 8 Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 High Security Retransfer Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 8 Secure Issuance Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 9 Card Printer