Ribbon Errors on Avery Printers [Error 5008]

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Many thermal bar code printers are capable of functioning in one of two modes: printing with a ribbon (thermal transfer) or printing using a special chemically treated paper (direct thermal).  Mistakes in setting up these different modes of printing can result in errors.  On the newer Avery printers, including the 64-xx series, AP4.4, AP5.4, and AP7.t, problems involving the print mode appear as error 5008.

 

The 5008 error is basically the detection of a ‘no ribbon’ condition.  In other words, the printer does not detect the presence of a ribbon in the machine.  Resolving the problem depends initially on which print mode you intend to use for your application.  Here briefly are some things to look for.

 

If the printer is being used in direct thermal mode, the printer of course is using no ribbon, so this error is actually extremely rare.  The usual cause for this error is attempting to run the printer in direct mode with the ‘ribbon save’ device activated.  ‘Ribbon save’ is a function that is available on the 64-xx printers as well as the AP7.t that causes the print head to lift up when it is not printing, and stops the ribbon motor.  To resolve this ‘no ribbon’ problem, follow these steps:

 

1)      Press the ONLINE button to acknowledge the error,

2)      Locate the Ribbon Autoecon function under System Parameters, and make sure that it is set for ‘thermal printing’ (that is, direct mode, which switches off the ribbon end function),

3)      Return the printer to normal Online mode. Printing should resume normally.

 

If the printer is being run in thermal transfer mode, this error is often the result of a problem with the ribbon tension.  As a rule, this simply means that at the start-up of a print job, the ribbon is not sufficiently taut.  Solving this problem is simple: Press the FEED button to acknowledge the error.  The LCD display will read ‘OFFLINE     x JOBS’.  Adjust the ribbon and make sure that it is taut.  Press the ONLINE key to resume printing.

 

In other cases, error 5008 is simply a warning that the printer has run out of ribbon.  In this case, press the CUT key and then the FEED key.  The LCD display will read ‘OFFLINE     x JOBS’.  Install a new ribbon in the printer, and then press the ONLINE key to resume printing.

 

One further note: Print drivers for the Avery-Dennison models being discussed here do not have a special setting for print mode.  In other words, it is not necessary to select either thermal transfer or direct thermal in order for the printer to function correctly.

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