Ribbon is breaking when trying to print a card on Zebra Card Printer

Article ID: 25347854




Ribbon is breaking when attempting to print cards

Applies To

Symptoms addressed by this solution include:

  • Ribbon breaking at the beginning of a print job
  • Ribbon sticking to card
  • Printer goes through motions of printing although nothing gets printed, then breaks your ribbon


Cause or Overview

This could be caused by having the incorrect ribbon type selected in your printing preferences, the X-offset for the printed image may be incorrect, or in some cases the print head resistance is too high causing the print head to burn through the ribbon.


Tips for preventing the ribbon from breaking.

If your ribbon is breaking while printing a card, there are a few things to look at.

  • Check that the printer driver has the appropriate ribbon selected. If a different ribbon is selected on the driver other than what you are using in the printer. Go into the driver (printing preferences) and change the setting to the correct ribbon. (Non- iSeries only)
  • Another reason your ribbon may be breaking is because the "X" offset is set too low or too high, in other words the printing is beginning too close to the left side of the card, or ending too much to the right side so when the print head goes down to print on the card, the ribbon gets sliced because the print head and the edge of the card knife the ribbon. In order to eliminate this problem, increase or decrease the "X" offset value. I recommend a minimum of three digits up/down depending on the circumstance. 

    For example: X-offset = 06...increase X-offset to 09. If the "X" offset is to high...EX:X-offset = 20...decrease X-offset to 17. 
    Do not increase or decrease the value by more than 5. 

    These changes to the X and Y offsets can be made in the driver under "Device Options."  For more information click the following link.  Read More>>
    For ZXP7, ZXP8 and ZXP9 Printers Read More>>
  • You can attempt adjusting the print head resistance as if this is set too high it will burn through the ribbon.  Click the following link for information on adjusting print head resistance (ZXP1, ZXP3, and P Series Card Printers only)  Read More>>
  • If ribbon appears melted onto card, the print head may be damaged. Do not try adjusting. Immediately contact your re-seller or Zebra technical support.
  • If ribbon is breaking and nothing is being printed on the card, contact your re-seller or Zebra technical support

+ Product Codes

  • Card Printers
  • P100i
  • P110i
  • P120i
  • P330i Card Printer
  • P430i Card Printer
  • P630i Card Printer
  • P640i Card Printer
  • Performance Class Card Printers
  • Security Class Printers
  • Value Class Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 1 Standard Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 1 Standard Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 Professional Card Printers
  • ZXP Series 3 with Security Enclosures
  • ZXP Series 3C Card Printers (China Only)
  • 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 High Security Retransfer Card Printer
  • ZXP Series 9 Card Printer