My BN-20 is 6 years old (CMYK+W) and lately my nozzle checks have been looking pretty bad on the black.  I just replaced the cap top and both wiper blades which didn't seem to help.  I also did an over night cap soak (sealed off the tubing) and made sure the top was still full of fluid when it was finished.  The attached pic shows nozzle checks after the soak and after normal, medium and powerful cleanings.  The picture isn't the best, but there isn't much difference in any of them.  The black just doesn't want to clear up and I'm getting "streaks" or "overspray" instead of sharp edges when I print black.  Just wondering if there is anything else that I might be able to try before getting a tech out and telling my daughter she'll have to skip a semester of college so I can pay for a new print head :-))))  Thanks in advance!

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Does not look like a test pattern from a +W machine

REplace white with CL cartridge if not using white

Show one test pattern not a bunch - hard to see what is going on

Based on what I can tell, you had a head strike when head was returning home, thus deflecting nozzles and possible completely blocking nozzles.

I think a head replacement is warranted, but I would do a 48 hour headsoak and if non of those nozzles move, then replace

Thanks Irving....Chose the white configuration back in the day and have never used it.  WAAAAAAY too slow on this machine to be useful so all it's doing is being used up for the circulation.  By CL...I guess you mean a cleaning cartridge?  Are you suggesting leaving a cleaning cartridge in place permanently since we don't use white?

I apologize for the horrible picture but the black is definitely the issue.  If I had a head strike, I wasn't aware of it and not really sure how long it's been like this.  Maybe it brushed some media that was bowed a little bit but would think all channels would have suffered but I honestly don't know what to expect.  I'm assuming that deflected nozzles are not recoverable?  I don't know how much a new head would cost but many here have said they're "expensive".  Is it worth replacing on a 6 year old machine?

All great questions, so here is the skinny

BN20 with white or metallic - replace with Cleaning cartridge or you will be replacing the special color every 6 months just because of the ink used in cleaning - cheaper to replace cleaning cartridge

ALSO, WH or MT will cause you to need to replace the captop every 6 months. 

Deflecting nozzles are from dried ink (recoverable) or head strikes (Oh Crap)

You can tell which by normal nozzle pattern - then ink - head soak and power cleanings can work.

A sideways Vee pattern means head strike, the point of the V points to the direction the head was traveling from. If it goes across the channels it was more significant. If it rides across all channels then usually it was more of a brush - as with heated banner material - not the case with BNs that do not have pre and post heaters.

BNs DX7 heads around 2400 plus install from Roland Dealer - or 1800 from 3rd party supply houses

Rolands usually pay for itself, so if you are making money you can tell by your use how long to recover.

BNs IMHO are the worst of the rolands, the hardest to keep up and repair, but I find a convenience and market for them. There are Rolands out there that people are buying and many here that are 4 generations older than yours.

Many thanks for all of that information!  Never considered using the cleaning cartridge in place of the white.  The prints we've been getting have been "OK" but not pristine.  We've also had issues with blobs of ink on the media when it starts to print sometimes as well as a good bit of ink on the stainless hold down clips.  Replacing the the cap top/wipers seems to have helped with the last two.  I'm not sure I'm picturing your description of the patterns.  For my black channel, some areas are totally blank and others look smeared.  But it's certainly worth taking another shot at a good long soak to see what I end up with.  The cleaning fluid is pretty cheap and I'm getting pretty good at getting to the cap station tubing!

Do a 48 hour head soak, follow by a powerful cleaning, follow by a nozzle test - post that one test.

I will either point out your head strike or say you have a chance to recover the head. Too many missing consecutively up and down or across or both equal banding. Deflection equal overspray.

Blobs usually is a cleaning issue or an exhausted captop not draining quickly. 

Here's the test after the 48 hour soak and powerful cleaning.  I'm not really hopeful at this point since the black channels are pretty much unchanged.  Thoughts?

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I would say head replace to correct

Look at the black how it forms a V going towards the left and nozzles are pushed into the other channel. You cannot correct those. The yellow on the right might have a chance with checking for air in the lines, but the black is a different issue

Was hoping for a better diagnosis but I really appreciate the help and guidance!  

With the BNs it kind of is what it is. Same head as the VS series, but more temperamental since it incorporates the cutter assembly. You see Karen's response, which I knew, but still offered options to verify. The only other user option you have is to do a head wash to push cleaner fluid through the system and then refill with ink. It might not get any better but you will know for sure. The cost is cleaning fluid and ink, which if it works is cheaper than a head.

UPDATE: Insurance paid off and we recently had the head replaced and got rid of the white in the process!  Not sure why it would matter, but I tried to print a car decal for our local high school Ive printed before but the reds are now too orange. I have printed the roland color chart in versaworks and can't find a good red.  Is there a source for another good chart I might be able to try as an option.  Taking wild shots at color isn't productive and wasteful.  I use Corel X8, the design is in RGB and I export to .eps and output colors set to native.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Ron,

We were told by Roland and our local tech that in order to "fix" this problem, we will need to install a new print head. Right now a print head would probably run about half the cost as to replace the printer al-together. We aren't real happy with this outcome. It sill prints colors fantastic, but any solid black or saturated black colors are horrid.

Ultimately the print head cap gasket was faulty and not caught in time to avoid the black nozzles from drying out. :( I wish I had a solution for you. But we are just living with it at this moment in time. We don't do a whole lot of bulk orders with this machine. Mostly one-up full color designs.

RGB, Roland Palette and Pantones are the ones I use. You cannot get around printing the color chart. You have to remember to check convert spot color. Having a color bridge has worked for me and if you use that with the spot colors from roland you can dial in the CMYK values in VW. Everything you listed sounds correct, but stuff I print with a BN and same on a VS always have a color shift so testing is a must.

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