ESPO Printer Ribbon Breaks After a Few Slides – Printer Problem

Target Audience: Basic User, Advanced User, IT Manager
Article #: 10522


The ESPO is a microscope slide printer produced by Matsunami Glass. It is a thermal transfer printer that utilizes thermal ribbon to produce images directly onto the glass slide. Occasionally a situation arrises for users where the ESPO printer ribbon breaks during printing.

Situation and Symptoms

The breakage occurs after a few slides have been printed. Sometimes, the thermal transfer ribbon breaks after only a single slide has been produced.


A close inspection of the ribbon reveals that the ribbon breaks at or near the portion of the the image where there is a high concentration of characters or barcode. This suggests that the heat from the print head is causing the ribbon to melt and break.


First, clear the broken ribbon normally. Next, clean the print head according to the manufacturer’s directions shown on page 33 of the manual.

We found that adjusting the Thermal Head Resistance level as shown on page 26 of the Instruction Manual. While the manual does not provide any specific guidance on the best value to set, our customer has successfully reduced the number of breakages by setting the value to “1000”. The optimal value for others may vary based on the individual situation, including the nature of the content being printed.


Was this article helpful?

Related Articles