Here’s a problem that occasionally is presented to our technical staff: An Evolis Pebble or Evolis Dualys printer won’t feed a card.
Most Likely Causes when a Printer Won’t Feed a Card:
- Printer needs a cleaning
- Cards sticking together
- Thickness gauge set too narrow
- Hopper not completely inserted
- Cards not loaded properly in hopper
- Worn card input roller
More details and suggested steps for resolution:
- Needs cleaning: As you use the printer, with each new card inserted, minuscule amounts of dust, lint, and card-manufacturing remnants go into the printer with the card. The printer transport rollers are sticky or tacky to the touch specifically so they can move the card forwards and back during printing. Over time, these contaminants adhere to the rollers which can make them slip on glossy card surfaces. Each cleaning of the printer should consist of using an IPA alcohol impregnated cleaning card, followed by an IPA soaked cleaning wipe, and then finally a pass on the print-head with an IPA alcohol foam-tipped swab. These items are included with a standard Evolis UltraClean Cleaning kit #A5021.
- Card sticking together: This can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common is static cling. Yes, the force of nature that makes your socks stick to your dress in a dryer, can make PVC cards stick to one-another. If the static bond is stronger that the force imparted on the card by the transport roller, then the printer won’t feed a card. Fortunately, you need only to break the static bond to get things going again. Handling the cards only by their edges, manually separate and shuffle the cards, then reinsert them in the card hopper. The mere act of separating them will dissipate the charge and the cards should feed normally.
- The card-thickness gauge is manually set, and is located just behind the top cover of the printer – between it and the card-hopper. There are a series of graduation marks on the gauge. Slide it right or left to set a thickness appropriate for your cards. We recommend setting the gauge to a thickness just a bit larger than your cards. So, if you’re using standard 30-mil cards, set the gauge to about 32-33. Setting this properly ensures cards will be pulled more consistently, should they have slight warping or are slightly thicker than normal.
- If the card input hopper is not fully seated, it can also cause mis-feeds or no feed at all. Remove the card hopper, check for and clear any obstructions, then re-seat the card hopper. Press down firmly to ensure it is seated fully.
- If the card hopper is not loaded properly, cards will not feed into the printer. Remove the card hopper, then remove and re-insert the cards to ensure they are placed properly. This is also a good time to check for any card static-cling issues, as in #2, above.
- Last, but not least, you could have a worn card intake roller. With age and use, the input and transport rollers of all card printers are subject to wear and degradation. The rollers will become hard and slick over time, making it difficult for them to do their jobs. They CAN be replaced, but the labor-portion of such a repair can be very high. This is because it requires the full disassembly and reassembly of the afflicted printer. Contact our service department for more information, should this be the case.
Need more info?
For more information about Evolis card printers – the Evolis Pebble or the Evolis Dualys, contact our ID-card experts toll-free at +1 888.485.4696 (from the US or Canada), or +1 704.535.5200 (elsewhere).