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Thermal Printer Support

Whether you require a mobile printer to enable flexibility while on the move or an industrial printer to meet demanding high-volume printing needs, insignia has a rugged and reliable printing solution to meet your company needs. Our support technicians are always at hand to assist our customers with any printer enquiries, troubleshoot an issue or provide additional onsite team training. Additionally, our printer support hub is packed with buying guides, specification sheets, preventative maintenance tips and frequently asked questions.

General Thermal Printer Support FAQs

  1. Do I clean the rubber roller under the printhead?

    Yes, clean the platen roller using Isowipes (insignia item #2900241) available from our online Shop as this is a critical component for label feeding and print quality.

  2. How often should I clean my printhead?

    Clean your printhead using Isowipes (item #2900241) available from our online Shop. This should be done each time you change ribbon or label rolls (as a minimum) or if you are experiencing print quality issues.

  3. What does ‘DPI’ mean?

    'DPI' stands for Dots Per Inch. The DPI of a printer is a measure of the printer's resolution – the higher the number, the finer the print will be. 203 DPI is suitable for most cases, though when printing very small sizes or images and logos, something higher like 300 or 600 DPI may be more suitable.

  4. What do I do if my printer's film/ribbon breaks?

    Clean the printhead and platen roller using Isowipes. Re-thread the ribbon using the manufacturer's instructions (commonly attached to the printer) or follow the ribbon path arrows.

  5. What are the different types of thermal transfer ribbons?

    insignia stocks three types of carbon ribbons which come in a range of different formulations including Wax, Resin or a combination to make your label more economical, durable or provide a finer image on print.

    All insignia ribbons meet strict quality specifications for printer manufacturers and have a unique coating on the back of the ribbon to protect your printhead. Each of these ribbon types share their own unique benefits suited to different applications. Learn more

  6. What is carbon-side-in and carbon-side-out?

    Thermal ribbon rolls are available with the carbon-side facing in or carbon facing out. This terminology refers to the side of the ribbon that the ink sits on. You can identify which side is coated, as you will notice one side of the ribbon is shiny and one side has a more matte finish, the duller side is the side the ink sits on.

    This is the side that should face the labels when you place the thermal transfer ribbon on the ribbon spindle.

    Depending on the specific thermal transfer printer that you have, you will use either one or the other. The only difference between carbon side in and carbon side out is the direction that the thermal ribbon is wound. Different printer makes and models will specify which style of ribbon they require.

    For more information on which ribbon is suitable for your printer make and model, visit our website's ribbon page.

  7. How do I ensure longevity of my thermal ribbon stock?

    Storing your ribbon stock in the ideal environmental conditions will ensure the longevity of your Thermal ribbons. When stored indoors at room temperature away from high humidity and direct sunlight your thermal ribbons can last around 24 months.

  8. White lines are appearing through my print – what’s happened?

    Straight, vertical lines are often caused by an issue with your thermal printer's printhead. Using Isowipes (insignia item #2900241), clean the printhead especially where the line occurs and look for any debris on the head. Replacement of the printhead may be required if the problem persists and is affecting your print quality or barcode scans.

  9. My print becomes smeared simply by rubbing over it – what’s happened?

    There are a number of causes for this symptom. Most commonly it's the incorrect ribbon/label specification for the media/application. It can also be caused by insufficient heat/pressure from the printer settings or adjustment.

  10. Can a smeared barcode still be read?

    Quality barcodes are achieved when a printer is well maintained and is adjusted to the appropriate settings to produce a good result. If a barcode is not well defined it will not achieve a good scan.

  11. My print isn’t dark enough?

    Check the darkness or heat settings in the label software otherwise adjustment may be required through the printer settings if not controlled by software.

  12. There are white spots appearing on my print?

    If this is occurring, you should clean the platen roller and printhead. You can do this using an Isowipe, insignia item #2900241 available from our online Shop.

  13. Diagonal lines are appearing in my print – what’s happened?

    This occurs when the ribbon does not feed through straight with the printhead. Check the ribbon is threaded correctly. Adjustment may be required on the printer.

  14. What is a rewind unit?

    As labels are printed from your printer, a rewind unit 'rewinds' the printed labels onto another roll. This can be internal or external depending on your printer.

  15. Can I get a rewind unit for any printer?

    A rewind unit can be internal (if that is an option supported by the printer model) or external (utilising a standalone unit with its own power supply). A standalone external rewind unit will work with most label printers.

  16. Does any software come with the printer?

    Printers will generally have manuals and Windows driver available for download. Specific label printer software like BarTender is recommended to maximise the use of a label printer. For more information on BarTender barcoding and labelling software, please click here

  17. I switched to a new label and now the label comes out blank?

    Check your original label specifications are the same as the new label. The most common issue is changing from a Thermal Direct label (no ribbon required) to a Thermal Transfer label (ribbon required). Check the label and/or ribbon path is correct as per the manufacturer's instructions.

  18. Can thermal transfer printers also print thermal direct labels?

    It sure can! Thermal transfer printers can also operate as thermal direct printers, though thermal direct printers cannot print thermal transfer as it does not allow for the thermal ribbon required.

  19. Can I print in colour with my thermal printer?

    If you have a printer specifically for printing in colour. The Epson Colour Label Printer is a thermal direct printing option if you want to print colour labels.

  20. There are so many printers available – how do I choose which is right for me?

    There are multiple factors that influence which printer is right for you including printing volumes/output required, printing environment, usage, and budget. For more information, check out our Label Printer Buying Guide. Alternatively, get in touch and speak with one of our specialists on 1300 467 446.

  21. How do I know my ribbon is in the right way?

    Follow the manufacturer's instructions as to what ribbon is required (specifications) and the correct method for loading.

  22. What maintenance is required for a desktop printer?
    Dust, dirt and debris can accumulate inside your printer and cause print quality issues. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe the exterior of the printer and the paper tray. Use compressed air to blow out any dust or debris from inside the printer.
  23. How do I know my label roll is in the right way?

    Follow the manufacturer's instructions as to what label is required (specifications) and the correct method for loading.