A few years ago we switched from Zebra ZD420’s to Zebra ZD621’s. The main reasons we switched were for the speed and the label cutting. The labels on the 420’s sometimes wouldn’t tear and it was causing constant alignment problems with people pulling too hard. When the 621’s work, they work well. They’re just really finicky. Sometimes they just won’t print. Sometimes they just won’t cut. Usually a computer restart, a printer power cycle, or a label alignment fix most of the problems. The fix is simple, but the end user having to fix it week after week, possibly multiple times with different machines is starting to wear on people. I don’t blame them. Mantra lately has been, "Can we get the old, slower printers back?'.
Does anyone have experience with these? I didn’t originally set these up, so I’m not sure about some of the choices that are in place. We currently are using Seagull Scientific Drivers rather than Zebra Drivers. I’m wondering if that could be part of the problem? From what I’ve read, people tend to like the Seagull Drivers better than the Zebra’s. Does anyone have any advice on this?
Thank you so much for those taking the time to answer.
What you describe is not normal, and sounds more like a problem with the host (computer) you have them attached to, or the software driving the printing.
Anyway, the printers themselves are workhorses that should run trouble free for years. I can’t speak to driver issues since we print via iPads, not windows, thus no drivers involved. But I’d start by seeing if you’re letting the PC or printer go to sleep, and disable it… that kind of thing can wreak havoc for usb printing.
And what system/app are you printing from?
We’re using Ministry Platform as our church database. Check in uses Chrome as the interface, so we’re printing from there. The OS is Windows 11 ran on Lenovo Tinys. Ministry Platform does require a print service that needs to be installed when I’m first setting up a check in kiosk, but that didn’t have issues with the ZD420’s. Could it be Chrome? The kiosks are set not to go to sleep. They’re only turned on when there’s an event.
A typical problem that we see is a printer decides to quit working, but people continue to check in using the kiosk. Someone figures it out and usually will shut the kiosk down rather than troubleshoot. We generally have multiple check in kiosks running at the same time.
At the next event, after the computer boots, it will spit out all the unprinted labels.
Another big problem is alignment. The printers have optical sensors that can sense the label edge, but for whatever reason, they lose their ability to see it. It then proceeds to print across multiple labels. You can get it back on track by doing a forced alignment, but once again, simple fix, but it’s happening again and again.
I’m just curious about Seagull Scientific vs Zebra drivers. Any Ministry Platform guru’s out there? Does MP require the Seagull driver or does it matter? Does MP have a preferred browser it likes to run in?
It would be nice to point at one particular printer and say that’s the problem child, but it could be any of them. Then you could have a week where they all work perfectly. That’s what makes this so frustrating.