New Zebra ZT400 Series Videos

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, Midrange Repair & Parts has been creating videos showing various procedures on the Zebra ZT400 series of printers. New Videos should come up at least once a week, and as it has been a little over a month since our last post, there are 5 new videos already posted on our YouTube Channel.

New Zebra ZT400 Videos

Drive Motor Replacement

Printhead Replacement

Platen Replacement

Platen Coupler Replacement

Ribbon and Media Calibration

If there is a procedure you would like to see, please leave a comment or email ecommerce@themrpsolution.com and make a request, we can try and get the procedure filmed for you as soon as possible. Make sure to check back on our channel every week for new videos, and Like share and subscribe to it so you wont miss anything.

The MRP Solution’s New Video Series

The MRP Solution is not only a supplier of new and high quality used parts for printers, PCs, and other IT hardware, we are also a supplier of technical support to all of out customers.

In an effort to make support more accessible and easier to find, we have occasionally posted videos of common service procedures. Today we are proud to announce a new series of videos focusing on the Zebra ZT400 series of printers. The first video is a replacement procedure for the power supply of the printer. The videos to follow over the coming weeks will include common replacement and calibration procedures.

Please check the video out HERE, and be sure to like and comment on the video, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see all the latest updates to the series!

Zebra Thermal Printer Print Quality Troubleshooting

There are a few common issues/repairs on the Zebra thermal printers. The printhead and platen are both parts that wear out with use and can be damaged by well-intentioned but uninformed end users and improper maintenance.

One of the most common things to come across my bench is a platen that has been cut up by an end user removing media with a razor blade. Never use a razor blade to cut labels off of the machine. Another common issue with platens is uneven wear across the platen due to using media that is not the full width of the platen. This can lead to poor print quality due to uneven pressure across the printhead.

The easiest issue to diagnose is a cut platen, even if a cut is small it can lead to voids in print as the cut can cause a loss of pressure at the print line. To check for cuts on the platen remove labels from the machine and perform a visual inspection on the platen by rotating it manually (while the printer is turned off). If you are not sure if there is a cut or just a mark on the platen, apply pressure with a fingertip and drag your finger perpendicular to the mark, if it is a cut you should feel it open up under your fingertip.

To determine if you have uneven wear on your platen, open the printhead and remove the labels. Simply place a fingertip on one end of the platen, and lightly rub your finger from left to right, and back again, if you feel anything that feels like a ridge or bump, then odds are you have uneven wear on your platen.

It is also possible for your platen to wear out from use without a ridge or obvious physical signs of wear. If you find yourself adjusting the toggle pressure on the printhead, or turning your darkness up, it may indicate that the platen is worn down.

If any of these conditions are met in your printer, it is necessary to replace the platen, as the printhead may be damaged, and print quality will be affected. For instructions on replacing the platen, please check out the video we have on our YouTube channel.

Printheads and print quality issues are also a common issue on thermal printers. It is common for a user to buy a printer that has a wider print area than the media the user needs. When this happens, it is possible for the edge of the narrower media to cause wear on the printhead. It is also common for wear to occur when the printhead toggle pressure is too high, or there is damage to the platen.

Wear mark on a thermal printhead.

The first step in diagnosing this is to clean the printhead. Simply take a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, and wipe from left to right until the paper towel stops picking up ink from the printhead. Cleaning the printhead may solve minor print quality issues. The most obvious signs of wear are dead dots on the printhead, but often there are visual signs of wear as well, such as wear spots in the conformal coating of the print element. These visual cues can be obscured by ink buildup on the printhead, so be sure to clean it with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol before the inspection. Also, be sure to clean the printhead any time you swap out the ribbon or media, and any time you make contact with the print line of the printhead, as oils on the skin can reduce printhead life.

If you have dead dots or wear on your printhead, they can be replaced, however, a trained technician is recommended for this job, as the printhead may require mechanical alignment/adjustments to ensure proper print quality. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact MRP for more details.

Zebra ZE500 Series Print Engine

Have you ever had to replace a drive belt on a print engine? Did you need as many tools as a car repair shop?  Well, put your rolling toolbox away, and take a look the new ZE500 print engine from Zebra!

ZE500 print engines were designed to keep mission-critical print-and-apply applications operating with no interruptions. Built with the customer in mind and leveraging customer research, the design focuses on ease of use, integration, and servicing. The ZE500 series takes an innovative approach to OEM print engines where ease of service is key to the design philosophy.

Downtime costs money. Loss of productivity, late shipments, and ruined job scheduling are just a few of the issues that come up when print engines go offline. The ZE500 mechanical design simplifies and shortens maintenance and consumable replacement time – dramatically reducing downtime in your mission-critical print-and-apply application. A quick-change modular drive system and wide-open printhead makes cleaning and replacement simple, and reduces printer repair time.

Your mission critical print-and-apply applications need to operate, uninterrupted, 24/7. Sealed front panel buttons and electronics enclosure that are dust resistant, robust, fan-less construction which prevents debris from being drawn into the print engine, and an all metal construction ensures optimal long term performance, even in harsh conditions. The ZE500 is optimal for production lines, warehouses, shipping docks, and more. With the ability to print in nearly any orientation, adapting it to your operations is simplified as well.

For more information please call us at 708-597-4222, and check out the full list of features and options below.

www.themrpsolution.com

Standard Features

  • Available in right and left hand configurations
  • Resolution: 203 dpi (8 dots per mm); 300 dpi (12 dots per mm)
  • ZebraNet 10/100 Print Server (Internal)
  • Rotatable front panel display (0,180)
  • 16MB SDRAM memory, 64MB Flash Memory
  • Embedded ZebraLink WebView™and Alert features
  • Real Time Clock
  • Applicator interface – provides status and control signals for applicators
  • Communications via serial RS-232, IEEE 1284 bidirectional parallel interface with auto detect, and USB 2.0 port
  • Full function graphic front panel and large multilingual back-lit LCD display with user programmable password protection
  • Thin film print head with E3 Element Energy Equalizer
  • Dual media sensors, transmissive and reflective, selectable through software or front panel
  • ZPL or ZPL II programming language, selectable through software or front panel
  • XML-Enabled Printing – allows XML communications from today’s enterprise systems for barcode label printing
  • 32 bit 133 MHz RISC processor
  • Zebra printer driver for Windows 7, XP, Vista, 2008, and 2003 operating systems
  • Advanced media counters

Optional Features

  • ZebraNet 10/100 External Print Server. Class B digital device, approved for residential, commercial, or light industrial environment use only. Degradation in performance could occur if used in a heavy industrial environment.
  • ZebraNet b/g PrintServer- supports advanced wireless securities through an internal integrated radio card.
  • Additional fonts available
  • Deported display (HDMI Cable up to 2 Meters in length).
  • UNICODE
  • WGL4 through Swiss 721
  • Firmware Support for Downloadable TrueType Fonts
  • ZebraLink™ Solutions- Software
  • ZebraDesigner™ Pro – An intuitive, easy-to-use software program for creating complex label designs (option)
  • ZebraDesigner™ Offers basic features for simple label design
  • ZebraDesigner™ for XML – Easy-to-use label design software that enables printing on XML enabled printers
  • ZebraNet™ Bridge Enterprise – Centrally manage Zebra printers from a single PC screen anywhere on your global network.
  • ZebraDesigner™ Driver – A powerful printer driver compatible with Windows/XP/2003/2008/Vista/Windows 7
  • Zebra Setup Utility – an easy to use, Wizard driven printer configuration tool.
  • ZBI 2.0™ an optional, powerful programming language that lets printers run stand-alone applications, connect to peripherals, & much more.
  • ZBI-Developer™ programming utility makes it dramatically easier for programmers to create and test complex ZBI 2.0™ programs and distribute them to the printer.

ZebraLink™ Solutions- Networking

  • ZebraNet® b/g/PrintServer
  • ZebraNet® 10/100 PrintServer (external)

ZebraLink™ Solutions- Firmware

  • ZPL II – Universal language for Zebra printers. Simplifies label formatting and enables format compatibility with existing systems that run Zebra printers.
  • XML-Enabled printing – direct connect integration for bar code label printing, eliminates license fees and print server hardware and lowers customization and programming costs.
  •  Web View – Connect and control Zebra bar code printer’s via the printer’s Web interface using a common Web browser.
  • Alert – Printers equipped with ZebraNet™ print servers provide alerts via any email-enabled, wired, or wireless device to minimize downtime.

Bar Code Symbologies

  • Bar code ratios: 2:1, 7:3, 5:2, and 3:1
  • Linear bar codes: Code 11, Code 39, Code 93, Code 128 with subsets A/B/C and UCC Case Codes, ISBT-128, UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC and EAN 2-or 5-digit extensions, Plessey, Postnet, Standard 2-of-5, Industrial 2-of-5, Interleaved 2-of-5, Logmars, MSI, Codabar and Planet Code
  • 2-dimensional bar codes: Codablock, PDF417, Code 49, DataMatrix, MaxiCode, QR Code, TLC 39, MicroPDF, RSS-14 (and composite), Aztec

Communications Specifications

  • USB 2.0 port
  • High-speed bidirectional parallel interface, IEEE 1284:Compatibility mode, EPC, Nibble mode.
  • High-speed serial interfaces: RS-232C with DB9F connector
    – RS-232C with DB9F connector 
    – Configurable baud rate (300-115,200), parity, data and stop bits
    – Software(XON/XOFF) or hardware(DTR/DSR) handshake protocols
  • ZebraNet 10/100 Print Server
  • ZebraNet b/g Print Server (optional)
  • Applicator interface with DB15F connector +5V I/O and +24V to +28V I/O versions available

Operating temperature:

  • Thermal Transfer: 40° to 104°F (5° to 40°C)
  • Direct Thermal: 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C)