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JV3 Print Mystery - Block of Cyan missing...

Discussion in 'Mimaki' started by MarkH42, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    Yesterday, I noticed a color problem on a job we were printing, so I printed a test pattern and one-half of the cyan is simply missing. You may not be able to see it well in this small pic, but the right half of the CYAN block is fine, and the left half is completely missing. The area is so well defined, I find it hard to believe these are all clogged in a perfect pattern. Any ideas?? Test Print - Half Cyan.jpg
     
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  2. genericname

    genericname Active Member

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    Could be a lot of things. You have some trouble shooting ahead of you.

    Clogged hose, busted pump, dried ink on head, shorted connection at head, air in line...

    First step would be to eliminate the head as a factor. Switch your cables, and switch your dampers. If the problem travels, you know it's located within the dampers or the lines, and not the head.
     
  3. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    Troubleshooting - dampers swapped, trouble in same place

    I swapped the cyan dampers, then did another test print. The trouble stays in the same place and did not move to the other side as I had hoped. Any suggestions for the next step?
     
  4. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    Clarification

    I should clarify that I left the ink lines attached to the dampers and simply swapped positions. Unless I'm way off base, the fact that the problem stayed in the same place eliminates the lines, damper, pump and ink cartridge. You mentioned swapping the cables. Do you mean the ribbons that attached the print heads to the electrical board?
     
  5. signpost-boston

    signpost-boston Making America great, one sign at a time.

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    air in lines.
     
  6. genericname

    genericname Active Member

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    Yep. Just swapping at the head end of things won't be enough though, as it'll just give you a messed up test pattern, as the board will think it's sending a signal to print something that's an inch and a half away from where it is. Fully swap both of the data ribbons for your Cyan. Again, you'll narrow the problem down if it travels or not.

    Just a warning: It could be that the problem actually would have travelled when you swapped dampers, but that you didn't print enough for it to actually try pulling ink through the lines. I.E. that the ink used in your test was just the small amount of ink that was already in the head.
     
  7. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    Ok, I understand and I will swap the ribbons. Before I saw the reply, I did a strong clean and on the next test print about 5% of the lines showed. No idea what that means, but I started a head soak, thinking the head may have gotten clogged (again, before I saw the reply). Since I've started, I'll finish that, but then I'll swap the ribbons and report back. Thanks for the help - not sure what I would do without it, but it would be expensive for sure!
     
  8. genericname

    genericname Active Member

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    My fingers are still crossed for you; no guarantee that it won't still be expensive.
     
  9. gfxmarty

    gfxmarty New Member

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    Wow, you have some seriously clogged heads there looking at the test print. Lots of deflection going on. Have you ever taken the heads out and injected cleaning solution through them? That will help clear them up alot. I think the issue is either a clogged damper or a bad head cable as "Generic" said. I had the same problem with a damper once, it was fairly old and it had the smaller screen in it.
     
  10. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    GENERICNAME - I swapped the CYAN dampers. Then I pulled the ribbons out of the circuit board, and swapped them. When I tried to test print, it went through the motions, but nothing printed. So I swapped the ribbons back and got the same print pattern with the left half of the cyan missing. I tried again, swapped the ribbons and the test print yielded nothing - it didn't print a drop of any ink color, so I swapped them back again and got the same screwy test pattern. I am off in search of a syringe to try to draw ink into the dampers. I've never done this before, but I'll report back when I give this a shot. I am baffled at this point, but hoping it is a bad damper and/or air in the lines.
     
  11. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    At the end of my rope...

    I think I am over my head and need a professional to come look at this machine. I got a syringe and disconnected both CYAN dampers, pressed the syringe to the damper and pulled. On both of them, ink immediately was pulled into the syringe. This leads me to rule out a bad damper and/or air in the lines. But when I hooked it back up and did a test print, the yellow is now missing over half of the lines, and the cyan is in roughly the same shape it was, except the other half is now missing some lines. I think I'm going to call in the big guns......any last minute suggestions?
     
  12. genericname

    genericname Active Member

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    Wouldn't be uncommon to see some areas in the other side of the Cyan go, as you did switch the lines after all, but they should come back after a cleaning or two.

    What we're pretty sure of at this point is this: It's not the data ribbon, nor the lines, nor the dampers. That leaves the head, the capping station, lines to the pump, and the pump itself.

    Since you're getting a pretty good pattern from the rest of your test print, I'd doubt it's the pump, or the lines leading to it. Next step would be to inspect the capping station for damage around the area that seals to the print heads. If there's a cut in it, or it's worn away, it wouldn't seal properly, allowing air to dry the ink. Chances are though, you'd see some degradation to the other side of the Cyan head as well, were that the case.

    At this point, I'd think there may be a short on the head. Inspect it carefully to make sure there wasn't any ink that made its way to the circuitry of the head. If there is, clean it with a swab of cleaning solution, and let it dry before plugging it back in and giving it another shot.

    Oh, I just thought! Very likely that it's also a crack in the manifold, the little plastic spike that sits on top of the print head. This would create an air leak, not allowing the pump to do its job, and would be entirely localized to one size of the print head. Without using too much force, see if you can wiggle the spike on the manifold and observe with light to see if there are any small cracks in it anywhere. There shouldn't be much wiggle at all if it's completely intact.
     
  13. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    if swapping damper locations resulted in same issue, i'd say you cracked the manifold (black nipple that bridges connection between printhead and damper)

    last test to confirm, i'd say do a 99min nozzle wash followed by a fillupink, and see if the testprint improves.
     
  14. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    After the nozzle wash, I got back 6 lines in that block of cyan, then after a strong cleaning, it went to 13. I'm doing another strong cleaning and see if I pick up any more. After this, I'll inspect the manifold nipple, but if it is broken, then what??
     
  15. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    if you're recovering nozzles after strong cleanings/fillupink... then you've more than likely got an airbubble in the head itself, ideally... you're just vapor-lock'd which might clear up on its own by cleaning/cycling the ink or might be a sign of a broken manifold letting the air in and cutting off your inksupply between the damper/head.
    $45 replacement part, if just manifold and not $800 printhead.
    you ever replace a printhead? replacing the manifold requires the same procedure, removal/reinstall, in addition to swapping the manifolds via 2-tiny screws and 0-rings (oval-rings, lol) that hold it to the printhead.

    i'd say keep trying to flush the head first. AFTER making sure there isn't damage to the head itself, while you're at it.
    (carriage-out and slide it to wherever you can get a good look under the printheads with a flashlight. keep an eye out for dents/scratches to the head itself.)

    also noted that capping station seating or the pump still could be to blame, but unlikely if only half the head. 1 pump, 1 cap, refreshes 2 channels.
     
  16. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    BREAKTHROUGH! I was looking in the back of the machine and noticed a blue drop on top of the waste tank. I explored further and found a kinked and broken ink line, just after it came out of the ink cartridge bay. Blue ink residue is all over the place inside the machine, but doesn't seem to be interfering with anything else. So, as it was pumping, the vast majority of ink was going out of the broken line, with some residual making its way to the head. I'll be starting a power-down nozzle wash while I investigate where to get the replacement line. The kink seems to have occured when I was investigating a Y Current motor problem. When I put the face cover on the right side of the machine back on, I kinked the tube. The self-inflicted wounds are always the worst.
     
  17. genericname

    genericname Active Member

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    Holy crap are you lucky!
     
  18. MarkH42

    MarkH42 Member

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    Back in business

    I found a guy locally who happened to have some extra tubing for the Mimaki, which he gave me. I replaced the tubing for that CYAN damper and I am printing something now that looks great. I appreciate all of the help!! I dodged a bullet and only lost a day of work and production. Could have been so much worse!
     
  19. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    wow. congrats!
    just when you think you're narrowing it down, the solution is in the backtrack!
     
  20. shantibhai

    shantibhai New Member

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    there is a problem from the headboard or datacable, try interchanging to isolate prob.

    contact me okentinfo@gmail.com
     
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