I'm all stressed because I'm pretty sure this has actually gotten worse, not better since I tried to print yesterday.  The drop out is bad enough that it is causing banding. I recently had drop out issues related to droplets forming on the print head and replaced the cap top.  That fixed it then, but other employees have been printing banners the last few weeks and haven't reported any issues. I went to print decals yesterday and the test prints are bad.  I did manual cleanings, replaced both wipers, cleaned the rubber gasket on the captop and even went as far as holding a swab soaked with solution against the print head (not rubbing) hoping if there was any dried ink that I would be able to fix this.  Of course we are out of warranty but that doesn't seem to matter as I just stay on hold with Roland tech support and no one has picked up.  Can anyone tell me how to fix this?

I tried printing for a bit hoping that would be good enough but it didn't help either.

We used to have an Anajet t shirt printer and once those print heads started clogging, everything that tech support told me to do made it worse... then improved only to the point of where they were when I had called them 45 minutes earlier so then because it was improving they quit talking to me... so a little traumatized by that and now any drop out issues make me nervous!

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Many of us don't realize how small the nozzles are on the print head. A strand of human hair cannot fit through the nozzles and light just barely passes through. It is not a good idea to touch the surface of the print head. 

Based on the image it appears that the dried ink was pushed into the nozzles blocking them.

It may be time for another cap top as white causes their service time diminishes fairly quick. Post a picture of the captop may help in determining that.

For the most part 25% of the nozzles are blocked on all 8 channels (colors). Recovering that much can be a challenge. and costly.

I would recommend replacing the captop and performing a head soak immediately without powering up. This is suggested as to allow a pure concentrate of cleaning solution to break up the dried ink. If you power up the printer and it performs a cleaning cycle it will draw in into the captop and when you try to perform a soak the captop will have already been saturated with ink diluting the cleaning solvent.

The key is allowing the cleaning solvent to soften up the ink so it can be drawn out unblocking the nozzles.

Inobu 

Agreed with all stated thus far. At first it looks as if your head is exhausted. Further review looks like dry ink causing deflections. You show 7 channels on an 8 channel system. So if the last is white, yes the top needs to be changed again. Every 6 mos actually. You may be able to do some high quality printing, but you still may experience some banding and overspray due to the deflections. Anything requiring black will be trying at best.

Sorry my phone takes such poor photos.

I'm more than happy to replace the captop again if it will help this.

I got an email response from Roland and the first question was "have you done at least 3 powerful cleanings" which I hadn't because it stresses me out, but actually a powerful cleaning produced a clean test print.  So now I'm rather worried about keeping the print head from drying out while I get a new cap top.  I'm concerned about the rubber gasket actually as I noticed that it seems to be creased  I've tried to point it out in one place in the photo. It has a similar dent in the lower edge as well as if that corner had been laid down towards the sponge.

I wrote this long reply that got lost. Bottomline nothing to be determined until top is replaced. 

Top is the likely culprit and allowing air in to dry the heads

Possible cause of the top damage is that the flushing position is off and that is only corrected in the service mode. 

If using the machine no issue with drying heads, if not you could clamp lines and fill top with cleaning solvent - that can be done for a while with vigilent checking

I replaced the cap top yesterday afternoon.  Where I had been getting at least 30% drop out after a few hours, I ran a test print when I came in this morning and only had maybe 3 lines missing. I still don't know why the other one ended up with a gasket issue, but at least I have a dramatic improvement!

I think you should post an image of the test print for evaluation as it will dictate your next move. Sometime our eyes are fooled by the severity of the problem. 

The creases in the cap top can be the culprit. Based on the images presented and method of recovery you caught the problem it in time. I would venture to say it is going to repeat itself.

Address the captop ASAP to make sure.

Inobu

Just a thought if this is drying up while sitting there.  Is your automatic cleaning enabled,   I had a similar problem recently and found that the periodic cleaning was disabled on one of my printers. I cleaned the heads with a head soak and set the printer to auto clean every 10 hours.

Have you done a good manual cleaning as well,  make sure the wipers are clean and not gunked up doing more harm than good.

We have ordered a new captop and I did replace the wipers.  Is the normal setting to have it automatically clean?  I was thinking that we did have it set as occasionally I seem to remember using the printer next to it and having it wake up and clean, but when I checked it now it was off.  I went ahead and turned it on though, might help at least minimize dry out until the new cap top arrives.

If your periodic cleaning was off this could be the big problem.  This is what caused a recent issue with one of my printers.  

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