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When should I replace my printhead?

When should I replace my printhead?

A common misconception is that the life expectancy of the printhead is based on the number of printed labels. The life expectancy of the printhead is actually based on the following factors:

  • Amount of ink / Usage
  • Environment
  • Customers Quality Expectations

How Much Ink Can be Used Before Changing the Printhead?

The general rule of thumb is that the printhead will need to be replaced between every 6 to 10 ink cartridges. In the event you may not have production print jobs for a week or longer. It is suggested that an operator make a habit of printing a small run of labels or printing a color bar pattern during extended periods of down time. By doing this the nozzles will stay hydrated even during quiet times and still allow for successful quality printing when it comes time for production printing.

Can the Environment Affect My Printhead?

Printheads can be affected by the environment as well; it is strongly encouraged that printers be kept in an air conditioned and dust free environment. Customers in facilities that are not air conditioned or have a lot of dust circulating in the air will need to clean their printhead more frequently. Humidity is another factor – dry environments can decrease the life expectancy of the printhead tremendously.

We also encourage keeping label material in an air conditioned facility. If you keep label material in a warm / hot environment the high temperatures can affect the coating on the labels and can lead to poor print quality in addition to unusable label material.

Printhead Expectations.

Customer expectations in regards to quality differ. The decision to replace the print head is always up to the customer’s quality expectations. It is important that customers always keep a backup printhead in stock in the event the printhead needs to be switched out due to poor print quality, reaching its end of life, or unexpected technical errors.

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