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Head Height XC-540 On Reflective?

Discussion in 'Roland' started by quikseps, May 28, 2007.

  1. quikseps

    quikseps Member

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    Mar 23, 2007
    Just wondering what the general consensus is on the head height setting when printing reflective material such as 3M 680, etc.

    I've been running the heads at high after getting a few "skim marks" on the material from it occasionally buckling up a bit. Although the print quality, especially on very small text and gradients is better with the heads on low.

    Any opinions out there????

    Steve
     
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  2. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

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    We've never changed our head height. It's on low by default. The only time we've had head strikes is while printing on banner material, with it loaded incorrectly. As long as it's in there straight, you shouldn't have any problems.
     
  3. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    I always have mine on the highest setting . . . Always !
     
  4. quikseps

    quikseps Member

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    Well, then maybe you've never had a ton of experience with reflective material....that's basically all I print here. When running 48" wide rolls you have to be VERY CAREFUL when initially loading and running the first job since even if its loaded correctly, sometime it has a tendency to "hump up" just a little on one end. This is due to the material reacting to the heat and pressure of the rollers I believe. Now, when I start the day, I let the first few feet of material heat up and relax at about 128 degrees, then roll the material back, flatten by hand and then lower the rollers. This helps but its not 100% idiot-proof.

    Another thing is that I can never run all the rollers since it wrecks the images. Normally I run the end two along with 2 more (sometimes 3 more if I can) strategically placed in between the rows of decals. If I could run all 7 rollers, most likely this initial material buckling wouldn't occur?

    I'd like to keep those heads low however but get nervous if I leave the machine.
     
  5. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    The head needs to go up anytime there is the possibility of the head meeting the media. As for the buckling of 3M 680, turn down your heat. Reflective reacts quickly to heat until adhered to a substrate.

    We all know that reflective is material expensive but you need to to do whatever you can to safeguard your equipment. If it means that you should sacrifice some vinyl, and factor that waste into your pricing, then so be it. No amount of media is worth placing the heads at risk.

    Another solution may be a full solvent conversion, allowing a better "bite" without as much (if any) heat.
     
  6. quikseps

    quikseps Member

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    Can't turn down the heat as most of the decals can't be laminated due to cost constraints and heat helps. Actually running "LESS" heat is more dangerous with reflective since the high-heat, if used correctly, especially when beginning to print helps the material lay flat.

    Can't go with a full solvent printer since the space I have these machines in cannot be isolated and vented. As it is when these XC-540's are running full tilt it stinks up the room a little.

    The dealer says an occasional glancing of the heads on vinyl isn't considered a damaging head strike, which makes sense although its nice to know I have that 2 year warranty. LOL!

    BTW...Nikkalite reflective is less problematic. I'm starting to use a ton of this and like it. Thanks to Randy at Beacon Graphics for sending me a sample roll. Three thumbs up for this guy....he's been incredibly helpful.

    Steve
     
  7. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    I guess you have no choice if there is only one way to go.
     
  8. signs2trade

    signs2trade Active Member

    im confused why you cant use all the rollers. if your die cutting after printing you should set a dry time which allows the print to dry before it rolls back to die cut
     
  9. quikseps

    quikseps Member

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    Those rollers place permanent track marks in the material right from the beginning. Just having those rollers in contact with the material prior to printing is enough to leave grooves which my customers and I don't like.

    And forget about running pinch rollers within imaged areas when cutting!

    I notice you also have an XC-540? What you're telling me is that when running reflective material or anything else for that matter, your printer does not leave permanent indentations on the media from the combination of the pinch/grit rollers? I find that amazing?

    Steve
     
  10. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

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    Actually, we print reflective regularly, and have no issues. The only time we've had head strikes is when the material is crooked from the get-go. If you are having the problem only at the beginning of the roll(or at the leading edge of the roll, should I say) let a couple of feet out to put some weight down the front of the material.

    Turning down the heat should have no impact other than longer drying time. This will most likely help with the problem, too.

    The only time the rollers leave marks in the media or on prints is when cutting. That's due to the back and forth motion. If they only hit the media as it's being fed out, no tracks at all.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Totally agree with Pro and CD.

    We generally have our head set high for most media. Turning down the heat has helped with every media that has a ‘Bunching’ problem. We usually use two pinchers also, but have never found the extra ones to leave any grooves except when we were using our CJ500. Nikkalite has proven itself to be full-blown crap in our shop. It’s in the same category as ‘Avery’ in my book…. regardless of what Randy says. AND B**L CRAP on occasional glancings isn’t considered damaging head strikes. If I punch you in the arm very hard one time…. it will hurt. If I punch you 20 times softly it will hurt, but just take a little longer to feel the full impact. That’s the kind of Rep support I like to hear my competition getting…… Sure, you can do this, this and that… and when you get the tech support guy out to fix it, he says…. Who in the world ever told you that ??
     
  12. mediaman

    mediaman Member

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    cdiesel,
    Print heat will have a tremendous impact on the scratch resistance of the printed graphic. Low heat settings can result in poor scratch resistance.

    Gino,
    I provided a sample to my customer who asked to try a particular product - careful how you react to a post. Quickseps complimented Beacon on our service and I don't think he quoted anything I said. What quote were you referring to when you said, "regardless of what Randy says"?

    Randy
     
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I must make an apology here... and a re-traction.


    From quikseps post, I read that to mean he got his information from Randy at Beacon Graphics about Nikkolite being a good product. After a rather short discussion with Randy and his hanging up on me… he requested that I retract my statement that this was on Randy’s say so in any way shape or form. Randy said the poster here is responsible for his own findings and he didn’t recommend Nikkolite to him in any fashion.


    Randy, I hope this suffices your request. I’m sure you can see why I misread this post, but again…. I am sorry you felt I was slamming you. I did not alter either post in any fashion and I did not highlight anything, but simply misread this completely. So I now understand… you don’t recommend this product as I thought or the OP thought. I trust no harm was done to you personally or your company.

    Gino

    However, the rest of my statements I still stand behind.
     
  14. quikseps

    quikseps Member

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    From the horses mouth...me....Randy never "recommended" Nikkalite. He was just nice enough to offer a sample roll to try and I'm very thankful he did since for what I'm using the product for, this material works well and saves me a ton of cash.

    If Randy never offered the sample, I'd be wasting $$$ on Scotchlite 680 or something else.

    At least Randy at Beacon offered it for me to test as opposed to forcing some $1100 per roll stuff down my throat and claiming "this is what must be used" as I'm sure some others dealers would.
     
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