Barcode Scanners For All Applications

Problems with Barcode Printers

Are you having a problem with your printed barcode labels? We will try and give examples of all the faults and how to remedy them.

Barcode scanners not able to read your printed label

The most common cause of scanners not being able to read barcodes  printed on labels is caused by dead pixels on the Thermal Print Head. These dead pixels result in missing lines in the barcode. Clean the Thermal Print Head with isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth to remove any dirt from the print head. Never use any abrasive or sharp object to remove dirt or stuck labels as this will damage the print head. If the labels are still not printing correctly after cleaning then you will have to replace the Thermal Print Head.

Printed labels have sections where the print looks lighter or is missing

If you look at the printed label and part of the print is missing, smudged or light then follow the steps above to clean the Thermal Print Head or have it replaced.

Printed labels are too light or look dark and smudged

When looking at the labels and the print is dark and smudged or is feint then change the heat setting of the print head either higher or lower and re-test the print. This problem can also be caused by an incorrect ribbon type for the labels you are using. Ribbons come in three types – Wax, Wax Resin and Resin. Speak to your label supplier to find out which type of ribbon will be best suited to the label material.

Printer printing across two labels or skipping labels

The common cause of skipping labels or not aligning the print correctly on the label is the Media Sensor. The media sensor detects the gap or black line between the labels allowing the printer to “know” where the label begin and ends. Locate the media sensor and run a soft clean cloth over the sensor to remove any dirt from it. after installing the label through the sensor, press the feed button to test, after feeding one label the printer should stop. The problem can also be caused by having the size of the label incorrectly set in the software you are using on the computer. Having the label dimensions larger than what the physical label is can also cause misaligned print and skipping labels. If after cleaning and checking the dimensions you still have the problem then the media sensor is possibly faulty and will need to be changed.

Printer making grinding noises or is excessively noisy

The label printers use either belts or gears to drive the mechanisms that move the platten roller and ribbon take up spools. These do wear over time and need to be replaced. We suggest having your printer serviced every six months so that parts can be cleaned or replaced.

Contact us for further information on Barcode Label Printer servicing or repairs on 011 425 5439 or email