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).
If you are trying to print cards with your Evolis Pebble printer and find it not functioning properly, some setup changes or adjustments may be needed. If you notice that all the lights are on (indicator lights above the main power button/light), follow the steps below to see if the problem can be fixed.
Verify Printer Set-up:
- Make sure cards are loaded into the card hopper, the card hopper is properly fitted to the printer, and there are no obstructions in the hopper or the card input path.
- Check the card thickness gauge and set it to a value just above the thickness of your cards. (e.g. – if you use standard 30 mil cards, set the gauge lever just above 30, to approximately 32 or 33).
- Make sure you have print ribbon remaining on the current spool, and that it is loaded properly. If you are unsure about the proper fitment of the ribbon, there is a manufacturer’s sticker on the inside of the ribbon cover that depicts the proper placement.
- Verify that the USB or the network connection is firmly attached to both the printer and the host computer or network jack or switch.
- Ensure the power connectors are firmly and properly seated at each of the wall-plug, the AC/DC adapter, and the printer. While doing so, also verify you have the correct power adapter – Evolis original-equipment AC/DC adapters are branded as either “Evolis” or “SwitchBox”, and have output power of 72w (24v @ 3A).
Verify Computer Set-up:
- Open the Windows “Devices and Printers” view (“Printers and Faxes” if Windows XP). You can find this link from Windows Control Panel.
- See if you have just one, or multiple instances of the Pebble printer listed (e.g. – “Evolis Pebble”, “Evolis Pebble (Copy 1)”, etc.). If multiple instances exist, the ones that are “greyed out” can and should be removed sequentially by right-clicking on each icon, then selecting “Remove this Device”. You should then be left with just one, functional instance of the printer/driver.
- Disconnect the power to the printer, or power off with a 2 second push of the printer power button.
- Clear the Windows print queue by right-clicking on the Evolis Pebble printer and selecting “See What’s Printing”. When the print queue view opens, if any pending or in-process print jobs are present, click “Printer” on the menu bar, and then click “Cancel All Documents”. Verify with “OK” if requested. Wait for all jobs to clear before closing the queue view.
- Determine which ribbon is in the printer and ensure the Windows print-driver is set for use of this ribbon type as follows:
- Locate then right-click on your Evolis Pebble printer, then select “Printing preferences”.
- Near the top of the “Graphics” tab, you will see a ribbon designation, and a drop-down box that allows you to set the ribbon type manually. Ensure this setting matches the ribbon you have loaded in the printer. The most common settings will be the R3011 ribbon, when printing full-color cards, or R2011 when printing black-only, monochrome cards.
- Reconnect or power-up the Pebble printer again.
Confirm the Results:
- Once again open the Windows “Devices and Printers” view (“Printers and Faxes” if Windows XP).
- Locate the Pebble printer, then right click on it and select “Printing Preferences”.
- Select the “Tools” tab, then click the “Test Card” button on the top-left of the screen.
- If a test card prints normally, you have verified that the printer is set up properly, and that Windows has been set up properly as well.
Verify the Software Set-up:
There are a variety of card-printer software packages available, so our advice here is limited and generic:
- Open the software program you use for card-printing;
- In your printer settings, ensure that you are directing card output to the Evolis Pebble printer;
- Verify that any document or page set-up options, including portrait/landscape orientation, margins, paper (card) size, and range / record selections have been made properly.
- If one card template or file is causing issues, try another to see if it works. If one works, but another does not, your problem is with the setup options of the non-working card file.
Following the steps above will usually resolve a Pebble printer issue when all the lights are on, If the problem persists, additional steps may be needed to reset the printer. Evolis printers purchased from Safe-Card ID come with free telephone technical support for the life of the printer. If you are such a client and need personalized assistance, we’d be happy to help you! Contact us toll-free at +1 888.485.4696, and have your customer or invoice number handy, along with the printer serial number for fastest service.
When cleaning the Evolis printers, it is good to clean the rollers at the same time that a cleaning card is used to clean the inside of the printer. Following are the steps to cleaning the roller in your Evolis printer.
1. Open the Evolis printer cover.
2. Remove the print ribbon.
3. Remove the cleaning roller from the printer.
4. Take a new cleaning cloth and eliminate dirt and dust on the roller by rubbing the cloth gently across the surface of the roller.
5. Place the roller back into the printer when it is dry.
6. Return the print ribbon back into the ribbon spindles.
7. Close the cover.
As always, our technicians are available for assistance at 704-535-5200; we look forward to hearing from you!
To keep your Evolis printer running smoothly, it is recommended that the internal parts of the printer be cleaned about every 1,000 prints. The cleaning light will light on the printer when the recommended cards have run through the printer and cleaning is due. Following are the recommended steps to clean the ID card printers.
1. Turn the printer on.
2. Open the printer cover.
3. Remove the print ribbon.
4. Close the cover.
5. Open a new Evolis cleaning card.
6. Remove PVC cards from the card feeder and insert the cleaning card into the feeder.
7. Adjust the card thickness to the maximum position.
8. Place the feeder back into the printer.
9. Press the green button on the control panel for a few seconds and the cleaning will begin.
10. The cleaning card will eject.
For more information about Evolis ID card printers, visit our Evolis Tattoo, Evolis Pebble, Evolis Dualys, Evolis Quantum or Evolis Securion product pages. For a free consultation regarding what printer would be the best fit for your application, contact us toll free at 888-485-4696.