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Cutter maintenance

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by ApexVinyl, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI
    So I've been curious for several years....

    Wouldn't some of the rotational areas on a cutter have to be lubricated at some point?


    And what about the drive belt for the cutting head? That belt reminds me alot of a motorcycle belt and other equipment belts. For how fast that thing moves and works, it doesn't need any wax or anything for long life?

    My biggest concern on my old d140 is how one would know if the bearings on the drive rolls and pullys are starting to go out... Other than pulling off all the belts and feeling the rotational resistance by hand. Would the cutter start acting up early on?


    I suppose coming from a mechanical background and knowing that nothing is maintainence free I would think cutters/printers wouldn't be an exception.


    Has anybody had bearings go out or snapped/stretched a belt?
     
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  2. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    I have a D610 that I literally ran the rubber off the pinch wheels. No maintenance other than blades and cutting strips.
     
  3. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the bearings. I've been doing this for almost 30 years and have only had to replace the bearings on 2 plotters that I can remember. And those were due to too much pressure on the grit shaft by the belt from the motor. Someone did it by feel rather than using the correct gauge to set the tension. Most bearings are sealed and if you oil them you can damage them.
    Technically the bearings in some blade holders have gone out, but most manufacturers consider blade holders to be consumable items.

    I've had to replace 2 belts as well, one on a printer where the belt was run out of alignment and rode up on the pulley and was chewed up. The other on a cheap plotter - I couldn't really say what caused that problem. Belts on quality plotters like yours have steel cables embedded in them. Unless they get abused, should last well beyond most other parts.

    Motors are the thing replaced most under normal wear items. Obviously head crashes or other "out of normal" operations can do weird stuff, but that's a whole other post.

    It's good that you're thinking of it, but I think you're overthinking it. Keep the dust and adhesive off, replace blades, blade holders and cutting strips as necessary and you should be good for quite some time. I think if you get 5 years out of any computerized piece of equipment, you're in good shape. Most quality plotters should last 10+ years with little more than regular maintenance. Beyond that, it's probably wiser to invest in newer technology if it comes to a major repair.

    Good Luck
     
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  4. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Kaukauna, WI
    Impressive to say the least. Several years ago when I was weighing the pros and cons of cutters I just couldn't help to come to the fact that summas really just didn't have any discernible negatives to speak of. Top of the market as far as technology and operation. My Summa D I bought new and just got the used T and after a couple bumps in the road its running very well. The D has never given so much as a hiccup.

    Granted I blow them off and keep them wiped/covered when not in use and I run calibration tests at least once a week.
     
  5. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI
    Thanks for the reply!

    I have problem with overthinking this stuff, I'll admit it. Its the homespun mechanic/engineer in me. I like to take care of my stuff :). But I agree, I think just basic maintenance and cleaning should be the ticket. My SummaD is coming up on replacement within a year or so and I'll probably just get a new S2T to replace it. I figure like you said, 5 years is average, more is better. I'll probably keep the next new one about eight years or so if it makes it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  6. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Member

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    My Summa S blew a capacitor on the board one year in under warranty. Had to ship the whole thing to Boston. Been rock solid with just the cutting strips replaced a couple of times in 9 years of continuous use. Rollers getting close to needing service but that's it besides occasional calibration.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Ive been very lucky that I haven't had a major issue like that yet. One of the reasons I bought another cutter just in case my primary goes down. I'd even have enough work for three but I'm just gonna hold my horses for a while and buy a new summa to replace my old s class. 9 years is a good amount of time to get out of equipment. It's safe to say summa is good to go :)
     
  8. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Pinch wheels on current 12+ year old graphtec just this year. Did it myself. I did have a motor go out on my first graphtec (24") in the early 90's but they sent me a loaner until mine was fixed no charge.
     
  9. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Kaukauna, WI
    I was running a Ce6000 up until about 3 months ago and it was great. I am was contemplating getting a new Graphtec 9000 within the next year or so to replace my D120 but Flexi19 doesn't support it, at least not yet. I'll most likely get a Summa T2 to go with my other summa T. Graphtec and summa have always been top of the heap for me. My pinch wheels have a flat spot from some dope leaving them down for a few weeks while it was in storage (me) so those need to be replaced. Not the fault of the cutter obviously. I bet I would have never had to replace them if I hadn't done that :/.
     
  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    you can buy pinchweels on ebay for a few bucks. Ours had a flat spot also... Think we spent like $15 and it took a few minutes to replace them all on our graphtec. I'm sure its not as good quality as OEM parts... but it's worked perfectly for us, and beat paying the $30/40 for each wheel our supplier wanted.

    Search for your summas service manual. It should have a list of everything you should grease/libricate - The graphtec lists about 5-6 different parts, as well as the grease to use. You likely dont need to, but changing the grease doesn't hurt.
     
  11. ApexVinyl

    ApexVinyl Premium Subscriber

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Kaukauna, WI

    Hey yeah, I saw there was aftermarket ones from a few sources but do you know the dimensions of the stock summa ones in order to match them up?

    As far as lubing I looked through the manual several times in the maintenance section and no mention of lubrication so apparently it doesn't need it.
     
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