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Expert tips for printer maintenance

A little bit of knowledge goes a long way and can transform your label printer lifespan. Printer maintenance is an important routine and for that reason our barcode gurus regularly update our Tech Tips sections. Learn how to care for your label printer, select the right labels and media, how to create BarTender templates or design labels and more. Can’t see the Tech Tip you need? Drop us a line - we are happy to help!

Did you know print head life is measured in Kilometres? Toshiba label printers have the longest parts warranty at 100km on industrial printers.

Source Toshiba Label Expert

Yes, you can purchase removable labels. If your application needs your label to be removed, it is important to tell your label maker so they can quote the appropriate adhesive. There are many different label adhesives available for different purposes.
Freezer grade labels use specific adhesives that do not freeze. It is important to tell your label maker that your label will be used in refrigeration as they will recommend a label type that will not absorb moisture (usually a synthetic label).
Direct thermal material refers to a label stock that has a leuco-dye coated on the label surface, which has a chemical reaction to heat (like receipts). Direct thermal labels are commonly used for freight labels as the cost per label is relatively low. However, for long lasting label applications a thermal transfer label is recommended.
Unlike labels that are rewound onto an individual label core (a roll of labels), fan-folded labels are flat packed and folded in a zig-zag format. Usually these labels are fed through the back of your label printer from a shelf or stand behind the printer.
Gloss or Matte finish refers to the physical appearance of the label – gloss labels are decorative and have a very shiny finish whereas matt labels are non-shiny. The finish of the label is important when using thermal transfer as some ribbons will print better on different label surfaces than others.
Perforated labels has a row of tiny cuts (made during label production) which allow you to tear away individual labels easily. Perforation refers to both the process of creating holes in the label and is usually made up of a row.

Generally, paper based labels are more common due to cost however it ultimately depends on your application. Paper labels are recommended for short shelf life applications or where there is no exposure to moisture or chemicals (harsh conditions). Often paper based labels come in more variations of size.

Polyester and polyethylene are synthetic (plastic based) labels that have broader capabilities than paper and are much more durable for applications such as outdoor storage or permanent asset identification (as the labels do not tear or degrade when exposed to harsh conditions).

Coated labels are paper labels that have a glossy finish applied during manufacturing. The coating process protects the inks against water damage. Uncoated labels have a matte finish and absorb the inks printed on the paper, often giving a dull effect.
Thermal transfer labels use a roll of ink (called a thermal ribbon) which gets heated and transfers ink to the label (hence it is named thermal transfer). The benefit of this print technology is the data has a longer shelf life, often permanent print depending on the ribbon selected. Direct thermal on the other hand does not use any thermal ribbons, instead the image is burnt onto the label (the leuco-dye in the label has a chemical reaction and turns black under heat). This is why when you scratch a thermal direct label a black mark will appear from the friction of your nail.
The adhesive is the sticky glue on the underside of your label. Options range from Hot Melt adhesives (rubber based adhesives that have high initial tack), acrylic adhesives (which have good UV and heat resistance properties) through to removable adhesives (where no glue residue is left once removed) or semi-permanent to permanent adhesives which have various properties to stick to difference surfaces. It is best to ask your label maker for their recommendation.
Yes, you absolutely can. Please refer to the BCP setting tool manual or the device specific operation manual. You will need to confirm the label printer driver port matches the port that is setup in the device.
Yes, you absolutely can with our additional connectivity options. Contact Toshiba or your dealer for information on available modules.
For best print results, and longer printer life, use only Toshiba recommended media and ribbons.
Yes, Toshiba label printers are able to emulate many print languages including ZPL, EPL, IPL, SPL, CPCL and more. This means if you have an existing label printer such as Zebra or Honeywell, you can drop the Toshiba printer straight in and understand your print commands without any changes required. Emulation is enabled in the device via the setting tool or from the front panel.
Yes, all of our printers come with free barcode and labelling software as standard.
No, Toshiba does not make colour label printers. There are often hidden costs with printing via colour label printers, including the patented labels and ink jet cartridges. It is most economical to purchase pre-printed blank labels (where your colour elements are pre-printed) and then overprint your variable data in a single colour. Toshiba does sell colour ribbons for single colour print.
Use caution when cleaning the thermal print head and ensure the device is switched off. Remove any jewellery. Wiat until the print head has cooled and then lightly clean with a nonabrasive Isopropyl alcohol cloth.
The platen roller needs replacing once your print becomes faint or uneven. This is often a result of lack of pressure between the platen roller and the print head. Toshiba recommend the platen roller and print head are changed at the same time to produce the best print results. Please refer the maintenance manual for your barcode printer for the correct procedure.
Print head life is measured in kilometres. Each print head has a different kilometre rating, please check with Toshiba what the recommended life is. Once you start to see pits in your print or lines appearing where the pixels have burnt out, this is the best indication your print head needs changing.
Please refer to the Maintenance manual to print a self-diagnostic report.
All Toshiba label printers have snap in print head parts. For best practice and procedure, please refer the Maintenance manual for you barcode printer.
Toshiba label printers come with a setting tool software which enables auto calibration.
Typically a Paper Jam error means that the media sensor selected is incorrect (transmissive, reflective or continuous sensors are available). Make sure the correct sensor type is selected in the print driver under the "stock" TAB also check that the media is loaded correctly. Reflective labels have a black mark on the back of the labels, transmissive labels have a gap in between the labels for the sensor to detect and continuous labels have no gaps or marks.
Operate your label printer in a stable, level surface in a location free from excessive humidity, high temperature, dust, vibration and direct sunlight.
That depends on your print requirements. If you need to be able to print remotely or on the move, Toshiba portable printers are the best option. If you would like to print in an office or print moderate volumes, Toshiba desktop printer is recommended. For highoutput or harsh environments such as a warehouse, we recommend Toshiba industrial printer.
Toshiba manufacturer warranty is 12 months from date of purchase.
When using Direct thermal clean the print head after every roll of labels. When using Thermal Transfer with ribbon clean the print head when you load a new roll of ribbon. Cleaning should be done gently with a lint free cloth with Isopropyl alcohol.
The ribbon should be wider than the label. Paper labels are abrasive and if the label is not covered by the ribbon it can damage the print head where the paper touches. The ribbon is too thin to stop the paper label abrading the print head unless it covers the label completely.
On balance, yes. With thermal direct there is no ribbon, so that cost is saved, however the ribbon (used in thermal transfer) has a special, low friction back coat that protects the print head. Thermal direct paper is very abrasive compared to thermal ribbon and the print head life will be considerably reduced without a ribbon to protect it.
There may be some dust or debris on the print head, try cleaning the print head, if it is doesn't disappear then it is likely a blown print head element, which cannot be recovered.
The ribbons are made with the ink on the inside of the roll (inside wound - Face In), or on the outside of the roll (outside wound - Face Out). This is because different makes of printers have different winding paths from the spool of ribbon to the print head.
“Near edge” and “flat head” refer to the heating process and the positioning of the thermal printers print head. Toshiba invented near edge technology, and the benefits of this technology include high speed printing with less wear and tear on your print head, enabling a significantly longer print head life cycle. Whilst Toshiba specialises in Near Edge technology, Toshiba also offers a range of flat head printers to suit users or all kinds applications and budgets.
All Toshiba ribbons are put through strenuous testing to ensure the best in class printing across every ribbon type. Toshiba ribbons are compatible for other thermal printers, including brands such as Zebra or Datamax. To ensure you get the ideal ribbon for your application contact one of our Ribbon Specialists. Toshiba 1300 794 202.

That depends very much on the application, before we can answer that let’s look at the 3 grades of ribbon available:

WAX ribbons are the cheapest grade which print well on very rough papers, such as vellum, as well as gloss labels.

WAX RESIN is a combination of wax and resin. Wax resin ribbons generally have much better scratch and smudge resistance than wax, and are often used where there is some chance that the label might be abraded in some way. Wax resin ribbons work well on matte transfer and glossy labels stocks, as well as most synthetics labels such as PE, PET or PPE.

RESIN ribbons come in several varieties for special applications. Standard resin is often used when the label/ribbon combination must endure a harsh environment or extreme abrasion, such as plant pots at a garden centre or goods in a builder’s yard. Resin ribbons are normally used with synthetic labels and together provide a very robust labeling solution. Toshiba Genuine ribbons come in a variety of sizes and grades, to suit any application or printer. We offer free label testing to design the ideal solution for you.

What is the “best” ribbon? The best ribbon is the one that works well for you at a price that is acceptable, however, many users buy ribbons on price alone and often don’t realise how this reduces the look of their product after it has been through several stages of the supply chain. Call us for more information on 1300 794 202.

It depends on the application. Thermal direct is economical however the labels are sensitive to UV and fluorescent light which can fade over time. Thermal transfer labels will not discolour in UV light, and are ideal for labels that need to last longer in the field such as retail clothing tags, chemical labels, garden tags, product ID codes, date and batch coding, etc.

BarTender includes over 400 preformatted, ready-to-use barcode components based on 95 barcode symbologies and more than a dozen barcode standards. It also includes a large number of sample compliance label designs.

You can see a full list of supported barcodes under "Barcode Support" in our articles section.

Unfortunately, there is no tool to convert documents designed in other software packages. Software applications for designing and printing barcode labels vary greatly in terms of features and methods used. The use of closed or proprietary document file formats makes support for any import feature practically impossible.

Instead, we focus on providing BarTender users with powerful document design features, such as Intelligent Templates™, template background images and BarTender components. These features combine to make BarTender the most powerful label design package on the market.

Yes, BarTender can integrate with your ERP system. Through the use of the Integration Platform, BarTender can fulfil the role of being the ERP's bar code / text / RFID label printing engine. Therefore, effectively extending the features and capability of the ERP with a dedicated document design and management system, combined with powerful printing features for rendering highly optimized print jobs in native print language for any make or model of printer. Choose from a wide range of Integration Methods, such as file triggers, web service requests, database triggers, TCP/IP – serial connections.

BarTender also offers a full .NET SDK that allows you to directly control BarTender from other applications. The SDK contains several APIs that allow you to control the BarTender Print Engine, Librarian, and the BarTender System Database.

Yes, BarTender offers full support for GS1 compliant SSCC labels in the Professional Edition.
BarTender is sold exclusively through Toshiba’s network of knowledgeable resellers and integrators. You can get your free Bartender 2019 license by clicking here
You are able to move your license three times. Each of these is considered a "Significant Activation". Including your initial activation, you have a total of four Significant Activations. If you need to move your license after all four activations have been exhausted, please contact Toshiba for assistance.

The latest version of BarTender is supported on 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows Vista and above. A full list of operating system and BarTender compatibility is available.

If you're looking for detailed hardware and software requirements and specifications, contact us for more information.

BarTender can be used with any printer that has a Windows printer driver, including laser and ink jet printers.

Seagull Scientific is the world's largest developer of Windows printer drivers for thermal printers, supporting over 3000 models from over 100 printer companies.

BarTender can always be downloaded You can download the most recent version of Bartender 2019 license by clicking here

Ready to start saving? Let’s talk.

Contact your label printer specialist on 1300 794 202 to see how we can transform your labelling experience.

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