Need some help? Find basic troubleshooting techniques right here.

  • Why is the printed image so light?

    There are many possible reasons why the image is not printing dark enough. Here are a few things to check:

    • Energy SettingCheck your printer's energy settings. Increase the energy setting gradually until you get the desired darkness.
    • Speed SettingCheck to make sure the print speed is set per the ribbon's specifications. Lower the print speed to match the ribbon's specifications.
    • SubstrateIf the printed image is still too light, check the label's compatibility with the ribbon. The label must be designed for use in thermal transfer printers. If it is not a thermal transfer substrate, it will not print properly. Varnishes and floodcoats radically change the surface of labels, making most unsuitable for thermal transfer printing. Here is an example of thermal transfer ink printed on a non-compatible material:

    non-compatible material example

  • Why is the printed image so dark? Why is it spreading?

    The printer's energy setting is too high. Lower the setting.

  • Why are ladder barcodes printing so dark? Why are they spreading?

    Check the print speed. Printing ladder barcodes at high speeds is very challenging for thermal transfer printing, even under ideal circumstances. Some label and ribbon combinations cannot print ladder barcodes at high speeds. Check with your TTR supplier for recommendations on appropriate label/ribbon combinations for this type of printing.

  • Why are there voids or streaks through the printed image?

    If there is a continuously printed line or streak in the direction of printing, the printhead needs to be cleaned. Follow the printer manufacturer's instructions for printhead maintenance and/or cleaning printheads.

    If there is a continuous void in the direction of printing, first clean the printhead per the printer manufacturer's instructions. If this is not successful, the printhead's heating element may have burnt out. Consult the printer manufacturer about replacing printheads.

  • Why is the ribbon wrinkling?

    It may be one or a combination of the following:

    • Ribbon is too wide for the labelThis causes one side of the ribbon to travel faster than the other. Make sure the ribbon is just a few millimeters wider than the label.
    • Tag stock is too thickAdjust the printer's head tension, or consider using a thinner tag stock.
    • Printhead pressure is too tight and/or tiltedLoosen the printer's head tension slightly. Make sure pressure is adjusted evenly across width of printhead.
    • Printhead is mounted incorrectlyFollow the printer manufacturer's instructions on printhead installation. Make sure printhead is facing the correct direction and the printhead elements are level with ribbon and label surface.
    • Heat has caused label adhesive to oozeClear any residue in print path.
    • Supply and rewind spindles are out of syncAdjust ribbon tension on supply and rewind spindles.
    • Too much heatLower printer's energy settings.
    • Poor quality backcoatThis is common for ribbons supplied by inferior TTR manufacturers. Purchase from a trusted source - like DNP!
  • Why won't my ribbon print on a floodcoated label?

    Printing on floodcoated labels is complex due to variations in the tint used to produce the color. Each tint has its own unique surface energy, which impacts the receptivity of the label to thermal transfer printing. If you are having trouble finding a compatible ribbon for your floodcoated labels, please let us know.

  • Why are pictograms not included on your Safety Data Sheets (SDS)?

    Pictograms express hazards inherent to a material. In it's finished state, DNP's TTR does not pose any health hazard. Therefore, pictograms are not required.

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