Ribbon Issues
Ribbon Issues

Ribbon Issues

For videos of some common procedures, go to zebra.com/zt400.
Issue
Possible Cause
Recommended Solution
Broken Ribbon
Broken or melted ribbon
Darkness setting too high.
  1. If necessary, manually adjust the darkness or print speed settings.
    • Set the print darkness to the lowest setting that provides good print quality. If you set the darkness too high, the label image may print unclearly, barcodes may not scan correctly, the ribbon may burn through, or the printhead may wear prematurely.
    • Slower print speeds typically yield better print quality.
    Access the darkness and print speed settings from the Home screen by touching
    Menu
    Print
    Print Quality
    .
  2. Clean the printhead thoroughly. See Cleaning the Printhead and Platen Roller.
The ribbon is coated on the wrong side and cannot be used in this printer.
Replace the ribbon with one coated on the correct side. For more information, see Determining the Type of Ribbon to Use.
Wrinkled Ribbon
Wrinkled ribbon
Ribbon was loaded incorrectly.
Load the ribbon correctly. See Loading the Ribbon.
Incorrect burn temperature.
  1. If necessary, manually adjust the darkness or print speed settings.
    • Set the print darkness to the lowest setting that provides good print quality. If you set the darkness too high, the label image may print unclearly, barcodes may not scan correctly, the ribbon may burn through, or the printhead may wear prematurely.
    • Slower print speeds typically yield better print quality.
Access the darkness and print speed settings from the Home screen by touching
Menu
Print
Print Quality
.
Incorrect or uneven printhead pressure.
Set the printhead pressure to the minimum needed for good print quality. See Adjusting the Printhead Pressure.
Media not feeding properly; “walking” from side to side.
Make sure that media is snug by adjusting the media guide, or call a service technician.
The printhead or platen roller may be installed incorrectly.
Call a service technician.
Ribbon Detection Issues
The printer does not detect when the ribbon runs out.
The printer may have been calibrated without ribbon or without the ribbon loaded properly.
  1. Make sure that ribbon is loaded correctly so that it can be detected by the ribbon sensor. Under the printhead, the ribbon should track all the way back, near the printer’s firewall. See Loading the Ribbon.
  2. Calibrate the printer. See Calibrating the Ribbon and Media Sensors.
In thermal transfer mode, the printer did not detect the ribbon even though it is loaded correctly.
The printer indicates that ribbon is out, even though ribbon is loaded correctly.
The printer was not calibrated for the label and ribbon being used.
Calibrate the printer. See Calibrating the Ribbon and Media Sensors.