The Zebra ZT410 Series UHF RFID Printer is a rugged and reliable RFID printer that encodes and prints on RFID labels saving time and money. If your application is need of an RFID printer, the Zebra ZT410 is a great choice, but like many RFID printers - setting it up can be a tedious process if you do not have previous experience calibrating printers.
In order to make the process easy and get the application up and moving quickly, this video walks you through the following:
- Turning the printer on
- Placing the ribbon in the printer
- Placing the RFID tags in the printer correctly
- Correct positioning of the laser
- Calibrating the printer
[Audio Transcription Below]
First, we are going to set up the Zebra ZT410 printer with all of the necessary components to print and encode our tags. Then, we are going to walk through the process of calibrating printer for a specific tag.
In order to properly setup your printer for use with RFID tags, you will need the following components:
- Tags – Today we are using the Smartrac Dogbone tags with the R6 IC.
- Printer Ribbon – we are using the Zebra High Performance Resin ribbon.
First, you will want to connect the printer to power and turn it on. The ZT410 has a power switch on the back of the printer.
Loading Ribbon and Tags
Next, we will install the printer ribbon. The installation of the printer ribbon differs from printer to printer, but for the ZT410 printer, the ribbon will spool from its position here, underneath the printer head, and up to the ribbon roller. Simply tape the ribbon to the ribbon roller and roll it back a few times to make the ribbon sit tight against the print head.
Now we will setup our tags to feed through the printer. The tag reel sits on the rod in the far back of the printer, and this piece needs to be moved so that it sits tight against the reel. The tags will then feed underneath the shelf here, and will need to be fed into this gap here.
The yellow guide here is used to keep the tags from sliding, and the laser beneath the tags is used for calibration. Once this is done, the tags can be fed on through to the printer head.
Before we close the print head and perform a printer calibration, we will need to position the calibration laser. Typically, the laser will need to be positioned so that it lines up with the part of the tag’s inlay that has the widest surface area. This will differ from tag to tag, but here are some examples.
For paper faced tags, the laser can typically be placed anywhere on the left side of the tag. The laser will be able to tell the difference between the tag itself and the gap in between the tags.
For poly-faced tags, where the inlay of the tags can be seen, the laser will need to line up with the widest part of the inlay. This way, the laser can tell the difference between the inlay and the gap in between each inlay.
Once the ribbon and tags have been loaded into the printer and the calibration laser has been set, we can close the print head and move on to calibrating the printer for these tags.
Calibrating the Printer
Next, we will configure the printer to work with the tags that we have selected.
Pressing the “Home” button brings us to the main menu of the printer, where we can configure the printer’s settings. The menu can be navigated using the directional buttons here, and options can be selected using the “OK” button.
First, navigate to the “Settings” menu option and press “OK” to see the printer settings. Press the “right” button until the Media Type setting is on the screen, and press the up button to choose the Gap/Notch option. This allows the printer to use the calibration laser to find the length of the tags by finding the area in between the tags.
Next, press right again to get to the Print Method setting and select the Thermal Transfer option, since we are using thermal transfer ribbon to print images onto our tags.
Once these settings have been set, we can perform a quick media calibration by pressing the pause button on the printer. This function will feed the tags through the printer and will use the calibration laser to find the tags. Once this calibration is finished, press the “Feed” button a few times and ensure that an entire tag is fed through each time it is pressed. If only part of the tag or more than one tag is fed through, this media calibration will need to be tried again. If the problem persists, the full media calibration functionality found in the printer’s Tools menu can be used.
Once the media calibration is finished, we can perform an RFID calibration. First, from the home menu on the printer, navigate to the RFID icon and select “OK”. Press the right button to select the RFID Calibrate option and select “Start” to initiate the RFID calibration process. Once the calibration is complete, your tags are ready to be encoded.
That concludes our video on setting up the Zebra ZT410 printer. Thanks for taking the time to walk through these steps with us. For information on all things RFID, check out our blog or our RFID resources page. And as always, if you have any questions at all, send us an email or give us a call.
To read more about RFID printers, check out the links below!