Datamax-O’Neil Mark III: How to Clean the Printhead

by ScanSource Technical Services on August 1, 2011

in Barcode Printing,ScanSource POS & Barcode,Technical Knowledge Portal,Technology

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If print quality declines (symptoms can include unreadable bar codes or streaks through text and graphics),
the typical cause is debris buildup on the printhead which, left unattended, can lead to premature dot failure. Depending upon the supplies and printing parameters used, different cleaning methods are recommended.

Proper cleaning is critical. To maintain peak performance of the printer,
Datamax-O’Neil offers a complete line of cleaning products including
pens, cards, films and swabs.

Cotton Swab Procedure
If printing with direct thermal media or thermal transfer media with wax ribbon, clean the printhead as
follows:

  1. Turn OFF the power switch and unplug the printer. Open the printer. Wait briefly for the
    printhead to cool.
  2. Remove any installed media and ribbon. Using a Cotton Swab moistened (not soaked) with
    isopropyl alcohol, thoroughly clean the Printhead.

Cleaning Card Procedure
If printing with direct thermal media, thermal transfer media with wax/resin ribbon combinations, or if the Cotton Swab technique was not successful, clean the printhead as follows:

  1. Open the printer. Wait briefly for the Printhead to cool.
  2. Remove media and ribbon then place a Cleaning Card under the Printhead (part number 70-2013-01).
  3. Close the cover then press the Button to initiate cleaning.
  4. After the cleaning card has been run through the printer, reinstall media (and ribbon, if needed). Plug in and turn ON the printer. Run a few sample labels and examine them. If streaking is still present, use the Cleaning Film Procedure, below; otherwise, this completes cleaning.

Cleaning Film Procedure
If printing with thermal transfer media and resin ribbon, when printing with a Heat Value of 22 or higher, or when other methods prove unsuccessful, clean the printhead as follows:

  • Open the printer. Wait briefly for the Printhead to cool.
  • Remove media and ribbon then place a sheet of Cleaning Film under the Printhead (part number
    70-2087-01).
  • Close the cover then press the Button to initiate cleaning.
  • After the cleaning film has been run through the printer, turn OFF the Power Switch and unplug the printer. Open the cover and wait briefly for the Printhead to cool. Using a cotton swab moistened (not soaked) with isopropyl alcohol, clean the Printhead then allow it to dry.
  • Reinstall media (and ribbon, if needed). Plug in and turn ON the printer. Run a few sample labels and examine them. If streaking is still present, the Printhead may need to be replaced; see Section 4.2

Instructions also available for download.

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