Originally Posted by: Charlie
We continue to have alignment issues despite going through all the troubleshooting steps. The biggest issue is that much of the artwork we print for circle labels must be centered perfectly (for instance borders need to be uniform). So the question i have is whether inkjet or laser printers provide a more consistent feeds and is there a particular color printer that has exceptional consistency in its feeds. Otherwise we are going through way to many labels.
I'm sorry to hear about the alignment issues that you've encountered. I've had experience using a wide variety of both inkjet and laser printers and I've found that all desktop printers are subject to some degree of shifting that occurs as the material moves through the feed path of the printer model. The shift that occurs is typically minor but can appear more pronounced when printing round labels compared to rectangular labels, especially when attempting to print a border. There isn't one particular printer model that I'm familiar with that would rate as exceptionally consistent compared to other models, but there are some suggestions that can help alleviate some of the shifting and misalignment that occurs due to this kind of printer shift.
- Always use the manual feed tray on your printer model if it has one. In most cases, the manual feed tray dramatically simplifies the feed path through the printer model which can help reduce the amount of shift that occurs.
- Try adjusting the material type setting to a heavier, specialty material type like photo, glossy, thick, or heavy paper. This will slow down the material feed which can also have a positive impact on the amount of shift that occurs when printing.
- If at all possible, remove the border from your round label designs. The shift that's occurring is more than likely relatively minor, but a printed border tends to highlight even slight misalignment.
- If removing the border isn't possible, there are some adjustments you can make to the design that may help alleviate the issue to some degree. Increasing the thickness or the width of the border itself can make any potential misalignment due to shifting look less pronounced. Bringing the border in (leaving a small amount of white space on the outside of the border) can help as well. Basically anything you can do to bring the design closer in away from the edge of the label can have a positive impact on the printer shift that occurs as the material moves through the feed path of the printer.
If you do decide to look for a new printer, my biggest recommendation is to make sure that the printer model you're purchasing has a dedicated manual feed tray. Some printers only have a standard drawer tray, and the manual feed tray is definitely the best way to dial in a more consistent feed through the printer. In recent years my favorite inkjet printers have come from the Canon PIXMA series, while my favorite laser printers have come from the HP Color LaserJet Pro series. It's important to note though that these printers will still experience some degree of shift as the label sheets feed through them, and the suggestions listed above will likely still apply.
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I hope this helps. Please just let us know if you need any additional information.