Maintaining Your ID Card Printer for Optimal Performance

Recommendations for Optimal ID Card Printer Performance

Most of the ID card printers on the market today require a small amount of maintenance to run at their best. The most important thing to help keep your printer operating well is to keep it away from dust and dirty areas. The supplies used in the printer (cards and ribbons) also need to be kept in a clean area.

PVC cards and print ribbons that are kept in clean areas can also be damaged prior to printing. By touching the surface of the card or ribbon panels prior to printing, oils or lotions can be easily transferred to the card and/or ribbon and result in poor print quality during the thermal dye transfer process.

Newer models of card printers come with cleaner rollers. When the PVC card is pulled into the printer to receive the print job, it will pass over the cleaner roller. The roller will remove dust particles that may be on the card prior to passing into the printer and under the printhead. Changing or cleaning the cleaner roller according to the manufacturer suggested timeframe will improve the quality of your print jobs.

Cleaning kits from your printer's manufacturer are used to clean the internal parts of the printer. These kits consist of cleaning cards to help clean the rollers, cleaning pens to clean the printhead, and cleaning swabs to wipe other internal parts of the printers.

Evidence of a dirty printer includes:

  1. Spots on cards after they are printed
  2. Poor or non-feed of cards into the printer (due to dirty feed rollers)
  3. Poor registration of your colors in your card design (due to dirty internal rollers)
  4. Discoloration or strange colors on the printed card (ie: oil or lotion from your hands on the card or ribbon)