ZE500 Printer Series - Printer Calibration, Label Registration Issues

Article ID: 88668167




Performing, Setting, and Troubleshooting Printer Calibration Issues

Applies To

Zebra ZE500 Print Engine


This solution is useful for

  • Calibration: consistent positioning of the label and the print


Symptoms addressed by this solution include

  • Prints, then skips a label
  • Print is overlapping onto next label
  • Print position is drifting up and down on the labels
  • Labels stopping in random locations
  • Not stopping at the end of a gap label
  • Not stopping at the end of a bar label
  • Can not set printer to print in journal mode



The printer by default is setup to calibrate to the labels on power up or after closing the print head and un-pausing the printer.

  • If the labels are not calibrating properly after power up or after head close a Full Media and Ribbon calibration maybe necessary to calibrate the printer to the labels.


See link for details on Full Media and Ribbon Calibration  Read More>>

It is important to have a good understanding of the media type being used in the printer.

  • Labels can be of non-continuous type: notched, gapped, or black marked. Or, they can be continuous: no notches, no gaps, no black marks. The labels can also be direct thermal (no ribbon needed) or thermal transfer (ribbon required). If you can identify the type of labels that are going to be used then that will be instrumental in setting up the sensors for proper calibration. If a driver or PC s/w is being used it is important to define the label type there as well.


Various label type information details  Read More>>

Printing a sensor profile printout can be used to troubleshoot calibration problems.

  • A sensor profile printout is a graphical representation printed out onto the labels showing  how the sensors are reacting to the labels and ribbon. This information can be used to troubleshoot calibration problems.   To interpret the results of the sensor profile see Sensor Profile on page 138 of the ZE500 User Guide.  Read More>>


From the Front Panel LCD of the printer press Setup/Exit and scroll until you see:

Sensor Profile

               Print +

Then press the PLUS (+) key to start this standard calibration procedure and print a sensor profile.

User-added image

The label sensors need to be positioned correctly for the label type being used.

  • The printer can detect gapped, notched labels or tags with the upper and lower media sensors. Make certain the sensors are positioned correctly. If the labels have black marks, the marks have to pass over the mark sensor. The SENSOR TYPE can be set via the LCD Display to WEB or MARK.


Positioning sensor information details  Read More>>

Positioning sensors for uniquely shaped label information details  Read More>>

  • If the labels have black marks on the underside then the marks need to pass through the mark sensor.  The Mark or Reflective sensor position is fixed.


ZE500 Sensor Locations:

User-added image

A cancel self test will print a single label which contains a listing of the current configuration parameters. The cancel test printout can be used to view such items as Media Type, Print Method, Sensor Type, Label Length, Print mode, Maximum Length, and a variety of sensor values. All of these items are relative to troubleshooting calibration problems.

Cancel Test to view current configuration parameters information details  Read More>>

Helpful Information

ZE500 Support Page (with videos)  Read More>>


+ Product Codes

  • ZE500 Print Engines
  • ZE500 Print Engines
  • ZE500R RFID Print Engine
  • ZE500R RFID Print Engine