Printer Issues

Don Lawson -

Printer Issues

Thermal Printers

Recommendation for Thermal Printers

All of the Medi-Dose and LiquiDose thermal labels have been thoroughly tested with the Zebra LP2844, GK420d and GC420d thermal printers. It might be possible to use other thermal printers, but unlike laser printers, every thermal printer we have encountered, even the ones listed above, has a very specific driver with very specific issues.  We have years of experience configuring and resolving issues with the three printers listed above, and we highly recommend you choose one of those three.

The recommended process for installing a Thermal Printer to use with MILT is:

  1. Connect the printer with a USB cable. If you intend to move this printer to a network port after the install, still install locally with a USB cable, then move the printer to the network and change the port to the IP Address.
  2. Turn on the printer and let Windows Update install the correct driver. If Windows Update is blocked, we recommend getting an exception to install the printer. If you can’t get an exception, download the latest driver for you model and version of windows directly from http://www.zebra.com.

 

Can’t Preview Thermal Labels

MILT uses custom paper sizes for thermal labels.  If users don’t have permissions to manage the thermal printer, MILT can’t send the custom paper size to the printer, and an error occurs when the user previews thermal labels. 

 

  1. If the process below fails, the user will need to be given temporary admin rights to this computer, and log out and back into Windows before they can fix the setting.

 

  1. In the Printer Folder, Right-Click on the thermal printer and choose Printer properties (not Properties at the bottom of the list, but Printer properties in the middle.)

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  1. Skip over this step unless the process fails, in which case you will need to restart with step 1 and do not ignore this step: On the bottom of the General Tab click Change Properties

 

  1. Select the Security Tab

 

  1. Select Everyone on the top half and Allow “Manage this printer” and “Manage documents” on the bottom half. Click OK to save.

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  1. Test by previewing a thermal label while logged onto the computer as the user.

 


Laser Printers

Recommendation for Laser Printers

Almost any laser printer that has a Windows driver can be used to print Medi-Dose and LiquiDose labels. If you do not have a printer now, we recommend the monochrome or color desktop laser printers from HP and Lexmark in the few hundred dollar range.

On the rare occasion that we have seen a printer that will not work well with our label stocks, it has been an expensive, high-volume, multi-function machine with many paper drawers and a complicated paper path. We have customers who are very happy with these types of printers, but the ones who are not happy with their printer, invariably have these expensive printers.

Issue: Toner Rubs Off

We see a spike in calls about toner rubbing off in the spring and fall. This is the time of year when the daily temperature and humidity fluctuations make it hard for the climate control systems in your facility to keep the environment stable. Laser printers use heat to sear a powered toner to the page. High and low humidity can cause the toner to not adhere well.

The good news is that every printer we have seen has an easy settings that allows you to adjust the heat of the fuser which will resolve this issue. The bad news is that every printer, even printers by the same manufacturer, has a unique Windows driver and hides this setting in a different place.

For almost all printers, if you go to the Windows Printer folder, right-click on the printer and choose “Printer preferences”, you will be in the right place to find this setting. The setting we are looking for is usually called “Paper Type” or “Media Type.”  There may be multiple tabs at the top of the Printer Preference screen that you have to flip through to find this setting. Once you find it, the default value is usually “Plain Paper”. Changing this setting to “Labels” or “Label Stock” will make the fuser hotter and adhere the toner better. If that is not enough, we usually try “Card Stock”.  If it is too hot you will notice that regular paper will brown a little when you print. If this happens, dial that setting back.

In rare cases, there are two other places where this setting can be found, and in even rarer ones, the values picked in these other places can override the one you set in the Windows driver. The first is if the printer has a physical screen where you can read and set values. Again, the setting will be called “Paper Type” and “Labels” would be our first choice. The second will be the internal web server on a network printer. If you enter the IP address of the printer in your browser you will be presented an interface with settings much like the Windows driver settings discussed above. Again, we are looking for the same setting and value.

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