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Barcode Print Quality - Getting it right!

Barcode Print Quality - Getting it right!

It's crucial to get to 100-per cent readability of the barcodes we print. Modern-day scanning technology has improved read rates but to ensure 100% compliance, a verifier can be used, such as the internal unit contained in the PX940v printer range from Honeywell. This will ensure an unacceptable barcode never gets applied to goods. All companies seek to avoid costs of fines for non-compliance to regulation and all the added expenses of returned shipments due to unreadable barcodes that can be incurred.

To ensure a good base from which to start, one should also consider the following key criteria:

• Barcode is formatted correctly
• Symbol is generated within the permissible size/dimensions range
• Acceptable media is being utilised
• ISO/ANSI Barcode Print Grade requirement

Practically speaking, numerous conditions can cause barcode readability to drop and unfortunately, these often mean that as the quality drops, it will continue that way until remedial action is taken. That is why it's important to identify quickly when an issue develops and remedy it. There are three most common causes of print quality issues, and these break into three key groups:

• The labels and ribbons (if using ribbons) has dropped below the minimum standard.
• There is an electrical or mechanical condition developed in the printer that is causing a failure to print to the minimum standard
• There has been a change in the settings or data stream.

The most common cause in a production environment usually involves electro-mechanical failures and top of the list easily remedied is the print head. For example, a PM43 printer such as a PM43CA1130040212 from Honeywell will use a customer replaceable 203dpi unit part number 710-129s-001 or a 300dpi 710-179s-001. The quality of the print also depends on an even pressure on the paper the platen roller 710-118s-002 should also be considered for replacement this is because if you run the same width label for a long time, it will create a ridge on the roller, thereby limiting the pressure that can be applied to the paper in the area you wish to print. At PLM Global we supply print heads and platinum rollers from stock. We also offer a fixed price repair service and a preventative maintenance service for clients who have either high duty critical usage printers. Rather than dispose of old print heads, why not return to PLM where they can be recycled professionally.

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