Barcode Printer Servicing and Repair

Ever since leaving the Aircraft Industry I have been involved in the world of Barcodes. Repairing and sales of the different barcode scanners, barcode  printer and mobile computers.

Today I received a small Direct Thermal printer that was badly in need of a good service. These printers work hard, almost continuously churning out printed labels.

Testing the Barcode Printer

First thing – plug in and power on the printer, print a few labels and look at the print quality. This particular printers print was not bad but the condition of the printer was the problem. Covered in dirt and paper dust. These barcode printers have quite a few moving parts and gears that get affected by the dirt. Below is a photo of the printer taken just after testing.

Barcode Printer Before Service

Barcode Printer stripping and cleaning

The next step is the stripping of the printer to wash all the plastic covers in this case. I have a little secret formula of soaps that I use to wash the covers of printers and the scanners. First some soaking in my mixture and then a good scrub.

Dirty barcode printer covers

Barcode Printer covers washed
The covers after a good scrub

The Main PC Board Cleaning

Its unfortunately not only the covers that get dirty over time. Dust and grit collect on the PC Boards which can cause chaos and shorts between components eventually. This can result in costly repairs or replacement of the Main Board.

Dirty and dusty PCB

Believe it or not, but these boards can be washed. I use distilled or deionized water and small brush to wash and clean the boards. Care should be taken to properly dry the boards before connecting them again.

Washed and dried pc board

Assembly and Final Testing

Once all the covers, little bits and PC Boards have been washed and properly dried, come the task of re-assembly. All the gears and sliding parts are greased with a light grease and the different assemblies are put together.

Once the whole printer is assembled its time to have a good look at the Thermal Print Head. The print head should be cleaned with Isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth. Care should always be taken not to touch or scratch the surface of the Print Head.

Now that we have the complete and clean Printer ready, the testing begins. I normally print about a 100 labels, its important to also note that the media sensors are working and detecting the gaps in the rolls of label. Once all the tests have passed – the printer is ready to get back to work at the client.

Serviced barcode printer
Ready to return to service

If you have any questions regarding the servicing or repair of Barcode Label Printers contact me or leave a comment below.

Email: or 011 425 5439

Author: Henry Norval

Just a Benoni boy that came into this world in June 1963 at the Glynwood Nursing Home. Benoni Junior, Benoni West and Willowmoore High were the schools I attended. Spent 16 wonderful years maintaining the Mirage F1CZ and F1AZ in the SAAF and the old Atlas Aircraft. Been repairing and selling Barcode Scanners, Barcode Printers and Mobile Computers since 1996. Am I an expert in the Auto ID Field? wouldn't say so but have learnt a great deal in 23 years.

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