RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology has become an integral part of various industries, streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency. RFID labels play a crucial role in this technology, allowing businesses to track and manage assets seamlessly. However, like any technology, RFID printing can encounter errors that may impede the smooth workflow. In this blog, we will explore some common issues faced when printing RFID labels with an RFID printer and how to fix them.
Restoring the printer to default values or to the last saved values can help if things are not working as expected.
Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
|Printer Stops at RFID Inlay
|The printer calibrated the label length only to the RFID inlay instead of to the interlabel gap.
|Manually calibrate the printer.
|The printer voids every label.
|The printer is not calibrated for the media being used.
|Manually calibrate the printer.
|You are using an RFID label with a tag type that is not supported by your printer.
|These printers support only Gen 2 RFID labels.
|Radio frequency (RF) interference from another RF source.
Do one or more of the following as necessary:
|The settings are incorrect in your label designer software
|The software settings override the printer settings. Make sure that the software and printer settings match.
|Low yields. Too many RFID tags per roll are voided.
|The RFID labels are not within specifications for the printer, which means that the transponder is not in an area that can be programmed consistently.
|Make sure that the RFID labels meet transponder placement specifications for your printer.
|Incorrect read and write power levels.
|Change the RFID read and write power levels.
|Printhead is openClose the printhead
|The printhead is not fully closed.
|Close the printhead completely.
|The printhead open sensor is not working properly
|Call a technician to replace the sensor.
|The media is not loaded or is loaded incorrectly.
|Load media correctly
|Misaligned media sensor.
|Check the position of the media sensor.
|The printer is set for non-continuous media, but continuous media is loaded.
|install the proper media type or reset printer for the current media type.
In thermal transfer mode:
|In thermal transfer mode, the printer did not detect the ribbon even though it is loaded correctly.
|Calibrate the printer.
|If you are using direct thermal media, the printer is waiting for the ribbon to be loaded because it is incorrectly set for thermal transfer mode.
|Set the printer for Direct Thermal mode.
|The barcode printed on a label does not scan.
|The barcode is not within specifications because the printer is set at an incorrect darkness level.
|• Set the print darkness to the lowest setting that provides good print quality. If you set the darkness too high, the label image may print unclearly, barcodes may not scan correctly, the ribbon may burn through, or the printhead may wear prematurely. • Slower print speeds typically yield better print quality.
|There is not enough blank space around the barcode.
|Leave at least 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) between the barcode and other printed areas on the label and between the barcode and the edge of the label.
Fine, angular gray lines on blank labels
|Ensure that the media and ribbon are loaded correctly and calibrate the printer.
Printer Stops at RFID Inlay:
If your RFID printer comes to a halt at the RFID inlay, the possible cause could be that the printer calibrated the label length exclusively to the RFID inlay rather than considering the interlabel gap. In such cases, the recommended solution is to manually calibrate the printer. Manually calibrating the printer ensures that it takes into account both the RFID inlay and the interlabel gap, allowing for a proper and continuous printing process.
If your RFID printer is voiding every label, several potential causes need consideration. Firstly, the printer may not be calibrated for the specific media in use. Additionally, using an RFID label with an unsupported tag type for your printer or having incorrect settings in your label designer software can lead to label voiding. To address this issue, it is recommended to manually calibrate the printer, ensuring it is set up correctly for the media being used. Additionally, check the RFID programming position or program position setting in your label designer software. If these settings are incorrect, make the necessary adjustments. To restore default values, specifically for the RFID programming position, can help rectify the problem and prevent voiding issues with each label produced.
If your RFID printer is displaying a "Head Open" message, it indicates that the printer head isn't fully closed, or there might be an issue with the printhead open sensor. To resolve this, make sure to close the printhead completely. If the problem persists, it's advisable to seek assistance from a service technician who can inspect and, if necessary, replace the faulty sensor.
If your RFID printer is indicating a "Media Out" message, it implies that there might be issues with the media loading process. This could be due to the media not being loaded or loaded incorrectly, a misaligned media sensor, or a mismatch between the media type loaded and the printer settings. To resolve this, first, ensure that the media is correctly loaded. If the problem persists, check the position of the media sensor and adjust it if necessary. Additionally, make sure that the loaded media matches the printer settings, especially when using continuous media. If all else fails, consider calibrating the printer to address any alignment or configuration issues.
If your RFID printer displays a "Paper Jam" message, it signals a problem with the media in the printer's path. In such a situation, it is essential to investigate and address the issue promptly. Begin by checking if the media is loaded incorrectly or if there are any components in the media path causing obstruction. Carefully inspect for any labels stuck to the platen roller and remove them if found. If the media is wrapped around the platen roller, take the necessary steps to untangle it. In cases where adhesive residue may be present, cleaning the platen roller can also be beneficial.
When your RFID printer indicates a "Ribbon Out" message, it suggests potential issues related to the ribbon. This could be due to the ribbon not being loaded, incorrect loading of the ribbon, a malfunctioning ribbon sensor, or if the media is obstructing the ribbon sensor. To address this, first, ensure that the ribbon is correctly loaded. If the problem persists, consider calibrating the printer to rectify any sensor-related issues. Calibration helps the printer detect and respond accurately to the presence and movement of the ribbon.
Barcode Does Not Scan:
If the barcode printed on a label does not scan, it indicates that the barcode is not within specifications due to the printer being set at an incorrect darkness level. To address this issue, it is recommended to set the print darkness to the lowest setting that still ensures good print quality. Setting the darkness too high can result in unclear label images, incorrect barcode scans, ribbon burn-through, or premature printhead wear. Additionally, slower print speeds are generally advisable for achieving better print quality. If the problem persists, it is advisable to check the printhead pressure and toggle position to ensure proper functioning.
Another issue could be not having enough space around the barcode. Make sure there's at least 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) between the barcode and other printed areas on the label and between the barcode and the label's edge.
Poor Print Quality:
If the Printing on a label has poor print quality, there are several possible reasons. It could be due to the media or ribbon not being designed for high-speed operation, the printer being set at an incorrect darkness level, using an inappropriate combination of media and ribbon for the application, or having incorrect printhead pressure. To address these issues, it is recommended to replace supplies with those specifically designed for high-speed operation. For optimal print quality, set the darkness to the lowest possible setting for your application, and if needed, manually adjust the darkness or print speed settings. Using the lowest darkness setting prevents unclear label images, incorrect barcode scans, ribbon burn-through, or premature printhead wear. Slower print speeds generally result in better print quality, and adjusting the printhead pressure as needed ensures good print quality.
Angled Gray Lines on Blank Labels:
If you notice angled gray lines on blank labels, it indicates a problem with wrinkled ribbon. In such cases, the solution is to ensure that the ribbon is loaded correctly. Loading the ribbon properly will help alleviate the issue of wrinkling, preventing the appearance of angled gray lines on the blank labels. Proper ribbon loading is crucial for maintaining smooth and consistent printing, and correcting this step should result in improved print quality without the presence of undesirable lines on the labels.