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HP Latex smoking (?) need help

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by nico, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. nico

    nico Member

    Oct 25, 2017
    Hey guys, I'm having issues with my printer, a HP Latex 110/310 (it's supposed to be a 310 but works with 110 software, nvm that...).

    TL;DR Machine is smoking heavily (it is supposed to be water vapor), I'm clueless and frustrated since I have no idea how to solve the issue and tech support has been no help - mostly because they are saying that it is external factors affecting machine/media (temperature, humidity).


    Every time I send a job that's 2ft or more the machine will start "smoking", a lot, I'm attaching videos which in my opinion don't even make justice to what's really happening, the camera has a hard time recording it (basically the room completely fills up with it, making it almost impossible to stay in, it is a small room).

    Had a meeting with the company I bought the machines from and they say it is "water vapor" which is caused by humidity affecting the media, but they are not suggesting any solutions really. Also humidity has been measured and it was at 54% at midday (which it is actually right in the middle of the range HP gives for the printers to work properly).
    Tech support is saying humidity could be changing drastically at other times during the day (morning and night) which would be the reason media is affected.

    If it is water vapor would it even be "safe" to breath this crap? it smells and even though it may be a placebo but when I stay in the room for longer than 3 mins when this happens I start feeling sick. so even if this is the case (that it is water vapor) how would I be supposed to work in the room after the giant cloud forms with just 2 feet or more being printed.

    Has anyone experienced something like this or know what may be causing it/how to solve it? I'm really clueless as to what to do and my tech support hasn't been very useful so far, to put it nicely...

    As always thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.


    Additional Context:
    I'm printing adhesive vinyl using standard (and downloaded) profiles with minimal adjustments (curing temperature and vacuum). At first I thought it was the media, but already tried with two other brands, 3M and Avery and it happens with them too.

    Now to be clear this doesn't happen every time I send a job, but mostly with prints that have a base color instead of being just letters printed on top of the media, just like the ones you'll see on the videos.
    I mostly print decals, labels and stickers, not even full prints.
    So again, i.e if I send a job that's only printing letters without a background color I can send more than 6ft at a time without the machine "smoking".
  2. AKwrapguy

    AKwrapguy Active Member

    Sep 6, 2014
    Anchorage, AK
    Ya that's a tough one. I've never heard of that before. Maybe try to get to get a photo or video of the machine? Try to find out where the source is. Most likely I would look at the heating unit to make sure there wasn't something up there. It could be maybe left over packaging or a piece of material that is stuck in there. Depending on how long you've had the machine and when this problem started, it could be that the machine wasn't setup correctly and I would look at getting whom ever did set it up down there to take a look. But grab a good flash light and look in the heater.
  3. jasonx

    jasonx Very Active Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    Looks like vapor to me. Do you have a minimum of 5 air exchanges an hour in your room?
  4. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    Looks like water vapor to me and when in a small space it can be noticeable. Sometimes we can even have drops of water forming in the heater part of our 310 if printing heavy saturated long prints, and you can see the same water "smoke" coming. I don't think it's harmful but if you have a small space I'd suggest you get a ventilator running when printing. Will get rid of the vapor easily.
  5. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    When it's cold here we get vapour coming off our 360s if it's a solid covering of ink.
    It looks weird but doesn't seem to have killed us yet.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. nico

    nico Member

    Oct 25, 2017
    thanks for the insights guys. Makes me feel a little relieved that other's have experienced the same issue since I have little experienced and had never seen or heard of it.

    any tips about how to deal with it taking into account that the machine is set at a very very small room and like I said it really is excessive, like you'll see a heavy "mist" cover the whole room in a matter of minutes, kind of constrained at the moment because of weather to keeping the room open to increase ventilation, at the moment the cold in the morning and afternoon definitely affects media and prints noticeably.

    hey jason, I'm assuming this is something you measure somehow but I don't really know how, I'm honestly a noob, I'm going to look into it.
    thanks for the help.
  7. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    To find the cubic foot size of your room, multiply the width, length and height. You want a exhaust fan that can change that amount of air 5 times an hour, so if your room is 3000 cubic feet, you want a fan with a CFM rating of 250 CFM

    A high quality bathroom exhaust fan might work, if placed directly above the printer, just make sure you vent it outside.
  8. player

    player Major Contributor

    Apr 24, 2006
    They rate the noise of bathroom fans in scons. Get the quietest one you can for your piece of mind.
  9. dale911

    dale911 President

    Jan 31, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    I would be interested in knowing what the room is like overnight or where your materials are being stored. Since it’s summertime and humidity is up, you may be collecting additional moisture in your backing paper that is drying out during printing.

    You would probably also be surprised at how much of your ink is made of water. When we do screen printing in our 3000sf warehouse with 20’ ceilings, a couple hundred shirts with only a medium sized chest print using water based inks wk fill the room with enough water vapor to make it looks like we were running a fog machine.

    I would suggest placing a dehumidifier in the room as well or a portable air conditioner. I don’t believe you probably have an air return directly connected to this room which is why the vapor is collecting. We run the portable ac everyday in our print room even with the central air running and remove gallons of condensate daily.
  10. szpion

    szpion New Member

    Oct 16, 2017
    I had that vapor once or two while printing static cling or scrim with wrong profile, after changing profile everything back to normal.
  11. jasonx

    jasonx Very Active Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    CannuckSigns gave you the calculation above. The site preparation guide for that printer specifies a minimum of 5 ACH. That would help clear the vapor from the room. On our bigger latex printers when printing PVC you can see the vapor but they require 10 ACH and that deals with it.

    Make sure your venting outside and not venting to the room next door or you will just cycle the vapor air back into the room.
  12. papabud

    papabud Lone Wolf

    Mar 7, 2016
    Toledo, OH
    i have never seen mine "smoking" but i have noticed a slight haze in my print room.
    the machine cooks a lot of water out during print. the water vapor will kill the painted surfaces in your heating unit.
    i would suggest taking apart the heating unit and giving it a good cleaning.
    could have extra moisture collecting there
  13. nico

    nico Member

    Oct 25, 2017
    hey dale, really appreciate the detailed answer, helps a lot so thank you.
    okay so first thing I'm located in south america it's currently winter here, so temperatures during the night are dropping to around 30 ºF, substrates are stored inside the printing room which first thing in the morning although cold does a decent job keeping the temperature at a decent level compared to outside imo, it stays closed at all times and during the first hours I bring the temperature up to at least 60 ºF before printing.
    that being said, since winter started I can see humidity affecting media: edges of vinyl look wrinkled and while printing media this, will bend sometimes excessively, which has caused other problems I haven't been able to solve so far and my tech support hasn't been much help: printing quality is off and often cuts will be off too (graphtec FC8600) which apparently is due to the same weather and conditions inside the room. it's been weeks already and I still haven't been able to solve it.
    I was going to install an A/C but was advised against it, since temperature inside the room is already being controlled with a portable heater, also was told this wouldn't help to regulate humidity which seems to be the main problem.
    You are right I do not have an air return connected to the room, nor a dehumidifier which I'll be definitely looking into, thank you again for all the info.

    If i'm being completely honest I'm definitely in a paralysis by analysis state, I've been hesitant to invest in equipment to regulate conditions inside the room because well I'm just starting out, there's definitely not "spare money" and there's just the thought in the back of my head that even after installing problems will persist, I realize this probably is a big mistake of mine, but i.e tech support told me that A/C wouldn't help unless it was on during the night because that's when the media is being affected, now that is definitely impossible at least in my case mainly because of safety (also consumption), there's nobody at the workshop from 8pm until the next morning.

    also this is the perfect description to what's happening:

    "fill the room with enough water vapor to make it looks like we were running a fog machine."

    Make sure your venting outside and not venting to the room next door or you will just cycle the vapor air back into the room.[/QUOTE]
    right, thank you guys very much.

    thank you, machine is relatively new 7 months, but will look into it.
  14. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Orland Park, IL
    It is vapor.
    I have my printer in a 2500 sq ft shop with 20' ceilings. I never had any issues with the excessive heat because of the high ceilings. One day I was printing and I opened my overhead door came back in the shop and saw "smoke" coming out of the printer like crazy. I was very worried but figured out that it was the temperature change that happened when I opened the overhead door. It was cold outside and my printer was giving off a lot of heat which kinda caused a hot air meets cold air type of "weather storm" in the shop.

  15. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    I've come to the conclusion that my computer runs on magic smoke. I know this for a fact, because I came in one day only to find the magic smoke profusely leaking out of the back of the CPU.

    After that, it never ran again.

    Word to the wise: don't let the smoke leak out of your electronic stuff.

  16. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    I'm in a nearly identical setup as you. Printers in an uncontrolled garage... I use a heater to heat it up an hour or two before printing.

    In our winter months there was tons of vapor. It got so thick I could barelly see in the garage.... Heating it up beforehand helped, but there was still vapor .

    It didn't cause any quality issues though... Was just an annoyance. I can't leave the garage open while printing due to nosey neighbors, so I just let it be .a dehumidifier might work... You can get a decent sized one that should work for a small space for $1-200. Get it at a store with a return policy... I'd it doesn't work and solve your problem, return it in a week .
  17. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    This happened to me today, freaked me out.

    I've had a 315 for over a year, nothing like this ever happened before.

    Don't think it has anything to do with what happened today but figured I document it.

    I accidentally deleted the printer setup in FlexiPrint when trying to delete an old job, added it back in and sent the next job. Walked into to printer room about 5 minutes after job stated to find it filled with smoke, I thought it caught on fire there was so much smoke.

    Once I realized the machine wasn't on fire I turned on the exhaust fan, (which is left over from the solvent printing days) the room cleared out.

    When I added the printer back into FlexiPrint, there were a bunch of settings I didn't remember changing before, but it was a hassle trying to figure out the little things I had done to make it how I had been printing. I don't see how this could have made my printer a fog machine, but the coincidence was too much to ignore.
  18. MachServTech

    MachServTech Very Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    North Carolina
    As a technician here's my 2 cents:
    The lower end 300 Series are designed for low volume printing and don't have the fans to deal with high levels of ink load. That doesn't mean you can't print large volume...it just means the printer will have a harder time dissipating the water vapor efficiently. Also, you will need to increase the PM service frequency. More humidity = more service calls.

    The carrier for the ink is water. A great deal (80%?) of the ink is composed of water (I think everyone knows this). The water vapor flashes off and has to go somewhere. If you are in a 50% humidity environment at the right temps you will see the water vapor. It is the owners' responsibility to provide a print environment that is non-condensing and turns the air in the room frequently. Just like a car, these printers will run in poor environments deserts, jungles, hidden sea caves, but just like a car if you put them in those situations they break down more frequently.

    Water vapor condensing on circuit boards is No Bueno.
  19. MachServTech

    MachServTech Very Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    North Carolina
    I think you are just putting down a ton of ink load with the unintended "profile" you were using.

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Try cleaning all your vents. Sounds like your machine is creating too much moisture inside of the printer. The fans are not properly pulling the air out before it condenses.

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