Label Printers

Memjet spit explained – What is the “spit” when it comes to Memjet printers?

Memjet label printers are great and if you own a Memjet printer then you’ll be used to doing all you can to get the most life / value out of a print head. One thing you might not have known is that the printer will try and help you also.

For example the Afinia L701, L801 & L901 label printers have a feature known as “spit” which helps. This is designed to keep unused nozzles from drying up on your print head. If you spend all day printing red labels using only a small part of your print head then there are potentially 50k nozzles that aren’t getting used. What spit does is allows the print head to release a tiny amount of ink from each nozzle during printing so the unused nozzles don’t dry up. The next time you print a larger label those nozzles should still be good to print.

It’s hard to see the spit on certain materials but I’ve taken some pictures through a magnifying lens to show you.

Image 1 – This is the label we have printed. Looks fine even with a zoom?

Image 2: This image and image 1 both have the spit turned up high and you can really see the spit in image 2 under the magnifying lens. All of the little dots you see are caused by the unused nozzles releasing a tiny amount of ink to extend the life of the Memjet print head.

Image 3: This is with the spit turned off. You can do this if you need a really white background to your label but it could be to the detriment of your print head.

We at HD Labels tend to run ours with the Memjet spit set to low so it’s barely visible. You can set the printers to automatic and they will look after themselves but really it’s personal preference. To be honest we point this all out in demonstrations and most people don’t even see it. They will have had samples before the demo and no one ever asks “What are all the tiny dots on the print?”

Anyway, we hope that helps explain what the term “Memjet spit” is when it comes to label printers. If you would like any samples or to see your own artwork printed on our Memjet range please just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.


HD Labels Team

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