Thermal printheads provide
long operational life when installed and used correctly. The
following guidance notes will help to optimise printhead
life. Many of the recommendations are common sense
precautions and our experience over many years is that an
engineer new to thermal printing technology can expect
reliable printhead performance once the correct set up has
Handling printheads during incoming inspection and storage
Where possible, printheads
should be stored in the packaging provided by the printhead
manufacturer until required for production. When removing
printheads from the protective packaging, take care not to
touch the connector pins to avoid the risk of ESD damage to
sensitive internal components mounted on the printhead.
Also avoid touching the
printhead elements and tracks, as chemicals in body fluids
can contribute to surface corrosion after a printhead has
been in use for a while.
Be careful not to scratch the
surface of the printhead. Scratches will not only result in
poor print quality but, if sufficiently deep, may cause
heating elements to become oxidised.
Printheads need to be
stored in a clean, dry environment. If there is evidence or
risk of condensation anywhere on the printhead, the power
voltage (VH) must not be applied until the condensation has
Handling printheads during installation
When installing the printhead,
the operator must wear an ESD wristband.
Avoid touching the connector
pins to minimise the risk of ESD damage to sensitive
internal components and do not touch the printing elements
and tracks, as chemicals in body fluids can contribute to
surface corrosion after a printhead has been in use for a
Be careful to avoid scratching
the surface of the printhead. Scratches will not only
result in poor print quality but, if sufficiently deep, may
also cause heating elements to become oxidised
Care must be taken to avoid
damaging the ceramic substrate, print elements, tracks and
connector(s) whilst mounting the printhead onto a carrier
and/or inserting the printhead directly into the printer.
If the printhead has to be laid face down as part of the
pre-assembly procedure, ensure the work surface will not
cause any damage to the printhead
the installation procedure includes cleaning the printhead
elements prior to installation, use only ethyl alcohol and
apply it with a soft, lint free cloth. Alternatively, a
proprietary cleaning pen may be used.
inserting the mating connector(s) ensure the pressure is
axial. Any sideways stress may cause mechanical damage to
the printhead connector(s).