Scenario/Symptoms:

EZ Flats Premium prints a label but does not apply it to the piece even though the piece is under the tamp and activating the Transport Exit Sensor (should be able to see orange light on sensor when tripped; IN2 on transport control board).  The piece will just sit there until the rollers stop, and an error will display on the Helm screen.  The error message will most likely be one of the following:  

  • Label removed from pad unexpectedly
  • Label appeared on pad unexpectedly
  • Label did not print in time allotted


CHECK THESE ITEMS IN ORDER.  If you make a change or fix something in one of the steps below, try to run some mail before proceeding to the next step.  Hopefully, you will resolve the issue before making it clear through this document.


1.  Is the machine being supplied with approximately 60 psi of air pressure?

  • Check air pressure regulator gauge that is mounted on the back of the machine. (EII Applicators have a digital pressure gauge on control box door that may be referenced)


2.  Only the printed label should be fed onto the tamp.  If blank labels are being fed after the printed label, there is an issue with the gap sensor that needs resolved.


3.  With the applicator reset and in an idle state (no air hissing sound), confirm that the SMC digital vacuum switch displays 0.0 ± 0.2.  If you see ± 0.4 or numerically higher, unlock the switch (if necessary) by holding down the blue button until the letters LOC appear, push either of the gray buttons until UNL is displayed, and then press the blue button. Once unlocked, you will be able to reset the switch to 0.0 or 0.2 by holding both gray buttons at the same time.  BE SURE TO LOCK THE VACUUM SWITCH BEFORE MOVING ON!  


4.  The leading edge of the next label that will be printed should be within 1mm of the peel bar on the SATO printer as pictured below. (1mm is less than 1/16 of an inch, and a dime is 1.35mm thick)  We want the leading edge of the next label that will be printed to be very close to the edge of the peel bar where the label would begin to peel, but it should not yet be peeled at all and still be completely on the label backing.



If the leading edge of the next label to be printed is less than 1mm from the peel bar, proceed to step 5.  If it is more than 1mm or if the label is already partially peeled, then follow steps below before moving on to step 5.  


NOTE:  These instructions are for the SATO LT408 printer ONLY.

  • Press the LINE button on the SATO printer display to make the display read OFFLINE
  • Using the arrow pad on the SATO display, select the top middle icon for USER MODE and press ENTER.
  • OFFSET should be set to -1.00, and PITCH should be 0.00.  If settings are correct, skip to part d below
  • OFFSET and PITCH are adjusted by the potentiometers located behind the small, black plastic door located on the bottom right corner of the SATO display as shown below.  


  • The door flips down from the top and hinges at the bottom.  There are four potentiometers recessed in each of the four holes behind the door.  PITCH is adjusted by the potentiometer second from the left, and OFFSET is adjusted by the potentiometer third from the left.  Potentiometers can only be turned so far in each direction before coming up against a stop.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO TURN THE POTENTIOMETER PAST ITS STOPS OR PERMANENT DAMAGE WILL OCCUR.  Potentiometers can be adjusted with a very small Phillips or flat blade screwdriver.  These adjustments only have to be made once as OFFSET should always be set to -1.00, and PITCH should always be 0.00.  Once these settings are correct, close the potentiometer access door and proceed to step d.
  • Press ENTER 3 times until PITCH OFFSET is displayed.  As the print moves down due to platen roller wear, the labels no longer feed out as far onto the tamp pad.  Label print position may be adjusted vertically in 1mm increments.  For example, adjusting from +01mm to +02mm will move the print up towards the top of the label by 1mm and cause the labels to feed out 1mm farther onto the tamp.  PITCH OFFSET usually needs to be set to +00mm when both Platen Roller A and B are new and will be adjusted up from there as the rollers wear (+01, +02, +03, and so on).  Adjust PITCH OFFSET until the leading edge of the next label that will be printed is within 1mm of the peel bar but has not yet began to peel away from the label stock backing.  It is ok for the label to be right at the edge as long as it hasn’t begun to peel.  After making a change, feed three blank labels before rechecking.  If PITCH OFFSET ends up at +05 or more, there is probably at least one of the platen rollers that will need replaced soon.  Depending on which roller you are checking, release the print head or the pinch gate and then gently rotate the platen rollers in each direction to gauge how much slack is present as a result of wear. New rollers should not rotate much.


5.  Make sure all settings in the SMC digital vacuum switch are correct.  Use EII Engineering documents 1006670 or 1006671 depending on which vacuum switch the applicator has.  BE SURE TO LOCK THE VACUUM SWITCH ONCE ALL SETTINGS ARE VERIFIED! 


6.  Straighten out one end of a small paper clip and clean the holes in the tamp pad.  Big paper clips do not fit and may damage the air holes.  There are three rows of air holes on an EII Applicator tamp pad.  Make sure the not to confuse the 8 tamp pad mounting screws around the edge of the tamp pad with the air holes that you should be cleaning with the paper clip.


7.  If applicable, check all settings in the SATO LT408 printer.


8.  If Input 2 on the transport control board for the Transport Exit Sensor was not checked at the beginning of this document, do so now and make sure it trips when the sensor is blocked.  Older machines without windows over the control board will need to have the left transport cover removed in the front to verify sensor is functioning.


9.  Feed a label onto the tamp and manually position it, if necessary, so that it is covering all air holes in the tamp pad and is not touching anything except the tamp pad.  Vacuum should be at least -50.0.  If not, there may be a leak in the tamp manifold.  Possible causes include a damaged or loose air fitting, or loose screws.  Avoid overtightening screws!  A tamp pad that no longer has a smooth clean surface for the labels to seal against may also cause this.

  • Feed a label onto the tamp using the feed button.  DO NOT MANUALLY ADJUST THE POSITION OF THE LABEL ON THE TAMP PAD.
  • EII Applicators should have approximately the same vacuum that was observed in the beginning of step 9 above when the label was manually positioned on the tamp pad (at least -50.0).  
  • You should see pretty consistent readings each time a label is fed.  Feed a few out and observe the reading.  If not, this may indicate a problem with tamp height.  If this appears to be the case, contact EII Support for instructions detailing this procedure.