Solving Print Quality Issues or Color Printing Issues on Card Printers

Article ID: 06894540

Details

 

Issue / Question

Why do spots appear in the print?

Why is the print not centered?

Applicable To

P330i, P430i and P100/110/120 Card Printers

Resolution / Answer

Below are the things to be mindful of which could contribute to problems:

  • Supplies - We recommend using Zebra cards for optimum print quality. However, when using third-party cards, make sure they meet the specifications required by each Zebra Card printer. Cards need to be clean and free of dust particles. Although Zebra ribbons have a long shelf life (under ideal temperature conditions), the use of old ribbons may cause print quality problems.
  • Configuration - Additional configuration to the printer settings may be needed to adjust print quality, this includes driver settings and printer commands.


Solutions

Problem

Example Resolution
Light print


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Extremely light or "washed out" print


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  • Make sure the correct power supply is being used.
    • Value series printers should have the power supply with an output of 24V. Any power supply with lower voltage will not have enough power to heat the printhead nor operate the printer properly
  • Printhead may need alignment.
Very dark print


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Light or spotty black text, barcodes, or images


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White or colored spots on print


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Yellow spots on card


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  • Mostly visible on white areas. This is due to contamination on the card, most likely the card surface has been touched and the fingers left oil residue. Use new cards following proper card handling recommendations.
White horizontal lines


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Blurry letters or images


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Image gets cutoff, is not centered, or there are white margins on the edge of card


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NOTE Procedure for making these changes is labeled for a ZXP Series 3. However, the commands and location of these settings are rather similar to the Performance and Value Class printers.
Ribbon wrinkle


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Printing one or two panels/colors


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  •  Incorrect ribbon is being used or printer failed to recognize the ribbon. Card printers use i-Series ribbons only, make sure you are using the correct ribbon and it is installed correctly. 
 
Printing half of card black (usually on P330i and P430i printers)


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No print, blank cards coming out  
  • Make sure you are using cards that meet printer's specifications. Contact your card manufacturer if you are not sure.
  • When using adhesive backed cards, make sure you are printing on the PVC/printable surface
  • Printhead data cable may be disconnected. 
  • Printhead may be damaged.
 
Ribbon breaking during print  
  • If ribbon is breaking at the beginning of any color panel, the printhead is printing too close to the edge of the card. Adjust the X offset.
  • If ribbon is breaking at the end of any color panel, the printhead is going past the edge of the card. Adjust the EC setting.
  • For more information, refer to the article Adjusting the EC, X and Y Offsets on ZXP Series 1 and ZXP Series 3.
NOTE Procedure for making these changes is labeled for a ZXP Series 3. However, the commands and location of these settings are similar, if not the same, as the Performance and Value Class printers.

 

NOTE It is important to understand that some of these issues are solved by firmware updates.
All printers' latest firmware version can be found at Zebra.com, Support & Downloads.


For more information on how to view the current firmware on your printer, refer to the article Checking Driver and Firmware Version for Zebra Card Printers.

To update the firmware ZXP Series 1 & 3, refer to the article Updating the Firmware on the ZXP Series 1 and Series 3 Printer.

To purchase card supplies, including cleaning kits, you will need to contact a Zebra Card Reseller. 
For more information, refer to the article Where to Buy Zebra Card Printers and Supplies.

If you have any questions or if these suggestions do not help you resolve the issue, please contact Zebra Technical Support.

+ Product Codes

  • P100i
  • P110i
  • P120i
  • P330i Card Printer
  • P430i Card Printer
  • 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)