XiIII Plus Series -- Resolving Print Quality Issues

Article ID: 44414368

Details


 

Symptom

Symptoms addressed by this solution include

  • Light print
  • Faded image
  • Partially missing print
  • Broken bars or lines in a barcode

 

Applies To

Zebra XiIIIPlus High Performance Printers

Cause or Overview

Incorrect printer settings, use of incorrect media or ribbon, and dirty media path are the leading causes of this issue.  Also, the file type being sent to the printer can contribute to print quality issues.

Solution

A printer self test label can be used to determine if the given print quality issue is seen from the printer itself and to test any changes made on the printer as you are troubleshooting the issue.

To print a self test label to check the print quality, use the Pause Test.  Read More>>

Adjusting printer darkness:
 
The darkness level can be set directly on the printer, through the printer's LCD.   There is a Zebra Setup Utility can also be used to change the printer's darkness setting.   Read More>>
 
Software and driver settings can over-ride the darkness level set on the printer:
  • If your application is printing through the Zebra Designer Driver Read More>>
  • If your application is printing through a 3rd party driver, contact that vendors technical support.
  • If you are using ZPL code in your application Read More>>
To view the printer's current ZPL configuration Read More>>

 

Print Head Cleaning

  • A dirty print head can result in poor heat transfer and a poorly printed image.

 

Print head cleaning details (you can use 99.7% isopropyl alcohol and a q-tip)  Read More>>

 

Adjusting the Print Head Pressure

The print head pressure can affect the printed image quality.

  • not printing evenly across the label - unbalanced print head pressure
  • ribbon wrinkle - unbalanced or excessive print head pressure light print - too little pressure

Print head pressure adjustment details  Read More>>

 

Media and Ribbon Combination

The type of labels and ribbon (if used) impacts the quality of the print. Consult with your supplier for details. Make sure the ribbon and media combination you are using is acceptable for the print speeds you intend to use. 

Also, slowing the print speed often improves print quality and if higher speeds are required you should discuss options with your supplier. 

Strip Plate

The strip plate is adjusted at the factory to keep the ribbon from wrinkling and assure optimal print quality.

The strip plate adjustment can affect ribbon wrinkle and print darkness. For the majority of applications this factory setting will work. In some cases, depending on the supplies used and the application, it may become necessary to adjust the strip plate to optimize print quality and/or eliminate ribbon wrinkling. Check the loading, pressure adjustments, and spindle tensions prior to adjusting the strip plate.

Click here for Strip Plate adjustment details  Read More>>

Print Speed

The printer operates at the selected speed in terms of inches/mm per second.  Because print quality is effected by print speed, media, ribbon ( if thermal transfer ), and printer operating modes, it is important to run tests for your application to choose the optimal print speed setting.  Slowing down the print speed can also help if the print is too light.
The print speed can be set through the printer's LCD display.   The Zebra Setup Utility can also be used to change the print speed setting.   Read More>>
 
Software and driver settings can over-ride the darkness level set on the printer:
  • If your application is printing through the Zebra Designer Driver Read More>>
  • If your application is printing through a 3rd party driver, contact that vendors technical support.
  • If you are using ZPL code in your application Read More>>
To view the printer's current ZPL configuration  Read More>>