Printers & Systems

The Importance of Regular Cleanings for Your Datacard Printer

Whenever you purchase equipment for your organization, you’re investing in your level of productivity. You also want it toCleaning Your Datacard ID Card Printer last more than a few weeks or months. The key to making this a reality is the proper use and care of the equipment.

Take a Datacard® ID card printer, for example. Regardless of whether you purchase a direct-to-card printer or a reverse transfer/retransfer Datacard printer, you’ll want to pay attention when it comes to your machine’s cleaning regimen. When you don’t pay attention to this standard modus operandi, you’ll more than likely run into trouble.

From cards being printed with visible defects to premature printhead failure (a very costly piece of the printer to replace!), you’re sure to experience problems. The good news is that all of these can easily and affordably be prevented with one thing: a regular cleaning.

But how does a printer end up getting dirty in the first place? Well, there can be a single reason or a combination of reasons, including:

  • the static from plastic cards loves attracting airborne dust and dirt
  • a pigment ink of monochrome ribbons can cause contamination within your printer
  • your hands carry their own collection of dust, dirt, and/or natural oils

By making your printer cleanings a regularly scheduled task with Datacard’s specifically-engineered cleaning products, you’ll reduce the contaminants within the system that can be transferred to cards. Regular cleanings will also protect your printer against printhead damage or failure, extending its use and ensuring high-quality cards.

When Should I Clean My Printer?
The Datacard card printer family has several types of cleaning systems requiring different cleaning methods. To help set a regular cleaning schedule, just follow these simple rules of thumb:

Cleaning Your ID Card Printer
For color ribbons, the ideal time to begin the cleaning cycle is when you’re replacing the ribbon to reduce printer downtime. Since all color ribbons include a cleaning card and new roller, initiating this means that every ribbon replacement will result in one cleaning cycle. All color ribbons come with a cleaning card and new roller.

For monochrome ribbons, Datacard also recommends a scheduled cleaning between these types of ribbon replacements. Because monochrome ribbons generate a higher output and stay in your printer longer, cleaning your printer after each will ensure higher printer productivity. These ribbons also include a cleaning card and new roller.

Cleaning Your Printer’s Printhead
Occasional debris built up on the printhead can lead to card quality issues, such as white lines appearing on finished cards. If not cleaned, the printhead will eventually fail. Entrust Datacard offers isopropanol cleaning swabs specifically designed to clean the printhead. Cleaning the printhead is also a good opportunity to perform a cleaning cycle (refer to cleaning cycle instructions below) and remove all contaminants from the print rollers.

How to Clean Your Datacard Printer
A printer cleaning cycle has two basic steps:

  1. Change the cleaning sleeve or cleaning tape (this depends on the Datacard printer you have).
  2. Run a printer cleaning card.

It’s important to remember to keep the cleaning roller spindle so you can reuse it for future cleaning.

If you still have questions about cleaning your Datacard ID card printer, just call one of our friendly, knowledgeable ID Professionals at (800) 321-4405. We’re here to help!

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