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Color Laser Printer Information

Technical Support

Label Characteristics

Labels (also called pressure sensitive materials) are multi-ply materials consisting of a "sandwich" of various combinations of face sheets (printable stock), adhesives, and removable protective backings (liners). The multiple layers can result in thick, difficult-to-handle materials.

The materials used in labels have a wide range of properties that can affect printing. The varieties of printable stock include paper, plastics, and even metal foils. Observing label design guidelines can prevent jams in the printer, or the label or adhesive melting if the sheet stops in the fuser during a paper jam.

Characteristics for All Print Materials

Your printer may accept a wide range of stock weights, but materials either too light or too heavy can cause handling and printing problems. Check your documentation.

Environment

Temperature and humidity levels can have a major impact on printing. Even small changes (such as from day to night) can greatly affect handling in the printer if the print material being processed is near the limits of acceptability. Print quality, on most materials, is not as sensitive but can also be affected.

All printing stock should be conditioned while still in the original wrappings. To condition stock, expose it to (store it in) the same environment as the printer before printing for 24-48 hours to let it stabilize at the new conditions. This time may need to be extended for several days if there is a wide difference in the storage or transportation environment and the printer environment. This exposure time may also need to be longer for thick stock because of the mass of the material. Early removal of wrapping materials may cause uneven moisture content that can cause curl, waviness, and other problems in the printed product. Curl is recommended to not exceed 3 mm (0.125″). Lighter materials, such as paper labels and some integrated forms, are more likely to have printing problems if curl is present.

We recommend printing in a temperature range of 18°C-24°C (65°F-75°F) with relative humidity of 40-60%. Many laser printers are designed to operate in a temperature range of 15.5°C-32°C (60°F-90°F) with relative humidity of 8-80%. Printing in an environment outside these recommendations may cause jams, feeding problems, reduced print quality, and cause labels to peel (delaminate).

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