I'm sure most of you have seen posts like this many many times before, but I'm hoping someone can help out here.
In the attached pic 100_3596.JPG, you can see 3 cleaning test patterns, numbered 1-3. No.1 was printed first, then did a Powerful Clean followed by test print pattern no.2. Since it was worse than the previous one, I ran a Powerful Clean again with a follow-up test, no.3 with even worse results. Why is the test pattern getting increasingly WORSE after cleaning instead of the other way round? All of these tests were run within 5-10 minutes.
I originally wanted to calibrate the printer as I was getting regular banding every 15cm or so, but, as attached file 100_3597.JPG shows, even that isn't printing correctly.
I'm printing from an 18 month-old Roland Versacamm SP540i.
You never mentioned the last time you changed your captop. It is getting worst because you are sending more ink into a clogged head. Thus the partially clogged nozzles are now blocked completely. So one of two things will happen. The ink sitting in there will desolve the partial clog and clear out as in your magenta, or it will dry up in the nozzle creating a larger problem. So if you have not changed your captop - that is needed. If you have, clap the line, pour cleaning fluid in until it reach the top and reseat the head for approximately 2 hours. Do a normal clean and then check. Be sure to open the lines before doing the clean after the 2 hours.
What he said :)
Irv, as usual, is spot on!
Thanks for the quick reply., As you can probably tell, we're fresh in the large format printing business so we have a lot to learn.
The captop hasn't been changed yet, no.
These tests were actually done immediately after soaking the heads as described above (filling the caps and reseating the heads). Our supplier (who seems keen to wash their hands of our problems) simply says that the heads are damaged and need replacing. The different test patterns suggests they're not damaged, though, and it seems pretty early for a machine that's only 18 months old.
Will leave the heads soaking again over the weekend as you described and continue on Monday. Just a quick question - what did you mean by "Be sure to open the lines before doing the clean" and "clap the line"?
Thanks again for the help.
First - your problem will go away shortly after replacing your captop.
2nd - until you do - remove the lower panel under the control cover (5 screws - you have to move the head to get to the fifth).
- follow the captop lines down and use a clamp - clothes line etc - to prevent the cleaning solvent from flowing out of the captop
- fill the top and let it soak for at least 2 hours - the weekend is fine
- when you come in on Monday unclamp the line
- perform a normal clean to clean up the excessive cleaning solvent
- Do a test print and see if you are now moving in the right direction
You are not in need of new heads yet. However to clear them will take time. Captops are rated for 6 months and you are on your 18th month. They can and do last longer however you must take some steps for that to happen. Instead of taking time to clear the nozzles the easiest and fastest way is to fix this is to replace the heads - not the cheapest (ergo your dealer approach). Weekly cleaning solvent in your captop will help prolong the top. It may take a few soaks to clear all the nozzles, but they will over time.
HUGE improvement! (see attached) Thanks so much. I'll repeat the procedure a couple more times which should hopefully take care of the last couple of errors. Also ordered new captops. Now I just need to try sort out the banding issue.
I was a bit hesitant to use an online forum, but, after having no luck with our local supplier, thought I'd give it a go. Great decision. Really appreciate the prompt and spot-on advice from you.
Weekly cleaning, as Irv suggested, is very helpful. It only takes 5-10 minutes.
Looks a lot better and will improve with a few more times. You can do the soaks over night and use it in the day. You might have to use it in High Quality mode to cover for the missing nozzles. Also using it will clear up some of the other nozzles as the solvent ink is pushing through. The banding could be a result of the missing nozzles or calibration. So the question is whether the banding is consistently light, or consistently dark. That would indicate if the media is feeding to fast or too slow. Also do not rule out the wrong profile.
Results are just getting better and better. Still a few quality issues to work out, but if I use the High Quality settings, the results are great. Still some banding (light every 15cm), but improved with calibration (the colour profile is correct).
Also just received 2 new captops so I'll get those in ASAP. Thanks again!