Imaging Spectrum Blog

Don’t Wreck Your Printer When Transporting to Events

The thing I hear and read most is, “I have been transporting with media for years.” Just because you have been doing something for years does not mean it is okay to do.

There is a frequent debate about whether to transport printers with or without media – ribbon or paper.  The real answer comes directly from the manufacturer of your printer who has always recommended transporting without media in the printer.

A couple of things to keep in mind that can happen when transporting media in the printer:

  1. The ribbon can contact the head and damage it or the head frame and cause ribbon snapping and/or paper jams.
  2. When the paper is in the printer during transport it can knock out the sensor that signals that paper is loaded. Your printer will never go to ready.

Here are Guidelines Directly From the Manufacturers

To ensure your printer is best protected during transportation to an event, check below to find your printer brand for instructions from the manufacturer.

From the Sinfonia Website

Do not ship or transport the printer with media (Ribbon or Paper) in the printer. Also, remove any paper slugs before transporting. Failure to remove the media may result in internal damage to the printer. Please look at the Sinfonia Photo FAQ for more information.


From the Head of DNP Tech

When carrying a DNP printer between offices, or when transporting the printer in your vehicle, and especially when shipping the printer, it is extremely important to take precautions to avoid printer damage.

Repacking instructions can be found in your printer’s User Guide containing important information including:

  • Always remove the paper roll to prevent mechanical damage from sudden jolts that can occur if the printer is accidentally tipped over or dropped
  • If you have a DNP RX1 or RX1HS printer: These printers have a “floating” print head that requires a print head pad to be inserted before the printer is moved, transported in your vehicle, or shipped.  Use this pad every time the printer is moved. The pad is supplied with the printer and replacement pads are available from your DNP reseller.

DNP highly recommends following these easy instructions to avoid printer downtime. As the saying goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


From the Head of Mitsubishi Tech

Media should always be removed from printers prior to transportation. This is something that is clearly stated in your Owners Guides. Please also refer to Mitsubishi Tech Support on-line videos for more helpful instructions regarding any printer issues you may have.


From the National Sales Manager of HiTi

Media should always be removed from printers before transport. The printers are not designed to have the extra weight of the paper and ribbon wearing on the paper path parts during transport. If the media is not removed, it is not “if” but rather “when” it will cause a problem.


There are enough problems that we encounter that we can’t control. Why would we want to create one where it doesn’t need to exist? We hope you found these tips helpful the next time you have to transport your printer to an event. Protect your investment!

Bill is the Senior Technical Specialist at Imaging Spectrum. Have a suggestion for future articles? Send your ideas to

Bill Vahrenkamp, Cr.Photog., leads technical operations at Imaging Spectrum.


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