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Greetings from very far away (and the biography of a very unlucky Roland)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Greg Mackinlay, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. Greg Mackinlay

    Greg Mackinlay New Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Hi everyone,

    I'm from Zimbabwe and i've been in the printing and packaging industry for nearly 14 years. Here's my experiences with our Roland SP-540i.

    This is going to be a bit of an essay, but the stories long.

    in 2008 we bought a SP-540i, the machine worked flawlessly for about 3 years. We use a bulk inking system and an eco-solvent ink from South Korea, we've been using it forever and haven't had any issues with it (aside from colour variances, more or that later).

    Anyway, one fateful day the operator of the machine topped the cartridges up with ink for one of our other machines (aqueous nano-resin ultrachrome). The reaction between that and the eco-solvent created a sludge that went hard overnight, and the machine was dead (dampers, heads, caps, and the pump too)

    So we called a Roland certified technician, however, this dude was simply no good. over the space of 6 months, he swapped the main board, power board and servo board out for ones from his clients that were non-functional (and left us with the dud parts) in addition he let a whole bunch of the covers and parts of the machine sit in a tray that had a puddle of eco-solvent in it. so those parts got liquefied.

    We complained to Roland about the guy, and nothing was done. We couldn't work with them any longer, so we had to work out our own solution. Dealing with the local agent bascially cost us 18 months of down time on the machine.

    Our IT guy did some reading, we managed to source some boards and heads, and we managed to clear the plumbing on the machine. The machine was up and running in about 3 months.

    Since then the machine has logged around 3182 hours (i think it should be a lot more, the counter may have been reset)

    The machines starting to run into end of life of some of its parts, and the operator who was using it, really didn't give the machine the care it needed, and as a result theres multiple things going on with it.

    The local Roland agents position is unchanged, so its now down to me to get the machine up and running in as good a state as is possible.

    here are some parts I've had to replace, and some plans I've had to make.

    Parts replaced:
    Scan motor
    Pump (twice)
    wiper motor (and the carriage,i basically had to rebuild the whole assembly)
    heads (thrice)
    all the bearings in the scan assembly
    head cables (twice)
    various boards

    Parts cobbled together:
    LED lighting inside the shroud to make it easier to see work as it prints
    the plumbing from the main lines to the dampers (they were old and hard, and there was an air leak)
    Intergrated a cooling fan into the back of the machine (it gets pretty hot here)
    Repainted a lot of the body panels (The Roland techie got solvent all over them and that took the paint off)

    It should also be said, that I've not had any Roland training, all i've learnt about the machine is from the school of painful expensive knocks.


  2. Greg Mackinlay

    Greg Mackinlay New Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Anyway today I found an ancient serial X-Rite DTP41 Manufacture date is 2000 :p I had it apart this afternoon and cleaned it out, gonna try and find a USB to Serial converter, and make some of my own media profiles
  3. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2005
    Lawton, OK, USA
    :welcome: 2 :signs101smilie: from OK :wavingflag:
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  4. Greg Mackinlay

    Greg Mackinlay New Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    I'm hoping that the DTP41 will let me account for the pigment differences with the Korean ink and the official Roland stuff. The colours are much richer in the Korean stuff. It should also help with over inking on some of the substrates we get around here (lots of stuff from Chinese suppliers that don't offer media profile downloads).
  5. Greg Mackinlay

    Greg Mackinlay New Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Got the DTP41 fired up today, but as with most things its not like a smooth simple affair.

    Versaworks see's it and it works perfectly to read back its ink density tests, but ProfileMaker crashes whenever I try to connect to it.

    So the USB to serial adapter I have must be good else Versaworks wouldn't see the DTP41, right? I'm suspecting ProfileMaker doesn't like running on windows 10 maybe? which is bit of a bummer, compatibility mode doesn't help matters. Are there any other ICC profile authoring programs that I can try that'll work with the DTP41? I had a look at Argyle, but damn that looks like some serious rocket science.

    That all said, just having the correct density adjustment for my media has made a huge difference to the quality of prints, I'll take a picture of my tests in the morning. Doing it by eye is enough to avoid orange peel, but the real game changer is using the DTP41 to map out how much ink its putting down when the machine tells the head to print 5%, 10%, 15%, etc... It's virtually eliminated all the flat spots in the colours that the machine reproduces (you know those 5% colours that just don't print, that kinda thing)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  6. SignsSupport

    SignsSupport Support & Tech Administrator

    Jan 16, 2017
    Ah! Such is life right LOL
    Just wanted to pop in and say a quick Welcome to Signs101. It's a great community with a lot of helpful info.
    Have any questions - just post in the forums and hopefully someone can assist. And likewise = We welcome you to chime in with any suggestions other members might have. Hope you enjoy your stay Greg MackinlayGreg Mackinlay


  7. FrankW

    FrankW Very Active Member

    Oct 19, 2008
    The current profiling software for XRite Devices is the i1 Profiler, it is available separately (without a bundled device) too. Be shure if buying it that the option for CMYK-profiles is activated.

    On the other hand, a spectro build in 2000 could have problems with accuracy when creating ICC‘s, this units are regularly certified for around two years only. And the DTP41 could have problems with thicker media too, because the media needs to be fed through the device.

    The i1 Pro 2 and the profiler are available in affordable bundles, this could be the best choice.