For many label printer users, the main purpose of a thermal printer is to print barcodes for labelling and tracking purposes. Sometimes, though, the printed barcodes become unreadable and cause logistical headaches, such as product rejection. Unreadable barcodes can, therefore, be disastrous and potentially affect the bottom line of a business. Thus, to avoid the issue of unreadable barcodes, here are some ways that you can keep in mind prior to printing them.
Barcode Size and Orientation should be Correct
You are less likely to encounter readability issues when you have the correct barcode orientation. Check to see if the barcode alignment is in ‘picket fence’ fashion (left to right) rather than ‘ladder’ fashion (top to bottom). Consider size as well when making your barcodes. A smaller barcode is generally more difficult to print and read. Thus, make sure that your label printer is in high resolution when printing out smaller barcodes.
Conduct Proper Maintenance on the Printer
The likelihood of printing an unreadable barcode increases when you don’t maintain your printer on a regular basis. See to it that the key parts of your thermal printer, namely the platen roller and thermal printhead, are functioning as they should. Ideally, users should clean these two parts with the right cleaning wipe prior to installing new ribbons.
Verify if the Media Type is Correct
The use of an improper ribbon or media is another cause of unreadable barcodes. Always remember to check the printer’s manual to find out what is the correct media or ribbon to use. It may also offer suggestions as to which type of media works best. Alternatively, you can look for signs, such as unclear prints or ink smudges, which indicate the incompatibility of the media used on the printer.
Furthermore, before printing out batches of barcodes for production, it is ideal to perform trial runs to see if the printer is operating according to expectations. This way, you can make sure that your printer won’t produce unreadable barcodes.