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OMG....just found out how much for a technician.

Discussion in 'Mutoh' started by vinylink0331, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. I am having a major issue with our Mutoh VJ-1204 48in printer. I really need some help. I called Mutoh tech support and they said it would be a $500.00 initial fee and then $175 per hr. Whoa, not good. I have prints I need to get out ASAP.

    It wasn't printing colors properly the other day and we did a nozzle check and realized that cyan ink was not printing. The suggestions we have heard is to use a syringe to pull ink though the line. I have looked everywhere and can't find the area where I should insert the syringe. I can clearly see that there is no ink in the line. Where the cartridge inserts into the line, I dont see any ink in there either. I wonder if the problem is starting there? Anyways, I am going to post some pics. If anyone can tell where I should inject the syringe, please let me know. I am so afraid that I am going to mess something up, but I cant afford a $1000 tech bill right now. I just want to be sure on the location of where to suck air through the line. Also, how in the world do I get the dampers out?

    The first pic is where the print head is located of course, and the others are under the capping station. The two lines that run under and into the waste tank. I have heard I can remove those two lines and pull air through but I am not sure about that. Please let me know what you think.

    Attached Files:

  2. CL Graphics

    CL Graphics Active Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    on my mimaki you can take pull the cap station line off at the pump and pull ink there. I would say yours would be the same
  3. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    is your cyan cart empty but it just didnt trip the signal? try swapping out with new cart, and print a 2x40" cyan square and see what happens???
    the syphon trick will draw ink through- you need to pull out the dampers and attach syringe to base of each damper (where it plugs onto the head) and draw a suction. you'll need a peice of tubing to fit the damper port to the syringe. no needle of course haha!
    i wish you luck!
  4. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

    Feb 11, 2007
    you pull out one of the dampers and pull the ink from there. also, from the two lines on the bottom of the capping station.

    I bet your capping station is completely gunked up.

    Attached Files:

  5. Getting the Damper out?

    How do I get the dampers out. I tried removing the two screws on the front, like in the pic below, but the black casing still wouldn't come off. Will the gold nut unscrew from the damper? I am trying to be easy with it, I am scared to death that I am going to mess something up. Any suggestion on getting to the dampers would be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  6. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

    Feb 11, 2007
    The print head carriage has a hold-down bracket that clamps them down. You remove the bracket, then gently pop out the damper. They snap in. No need to disconnect the ink line (the brass nut) if your goal is to suck ink out of the bottom of the damper.

    In my opinion, it is unlikely that you would have a simultaneous failure of BOTH dampers of any single color. They share a common line to the cartridges and the dampers use a Y-Splitter to feed two dampers with one ink line...

    THEREFORE, if (still in my opinion) you have lost BOTH dampers, then your problem is NOT the dampers, but rather something that afflicts them both. IE... air in the ink line, collapsed subtank, or (like I originaly said) a bad/blocked maintenance station (causing the ink line to lose prime)

    Likely the rest of the colors will not be far behind if the maint station is bad.

    I lost most of my nozzles (posted in a different thread) two weeks ago and recovered them completely by pulling the maint. station and cleaning the heck out of it. One line on the bottom of the capping station was completely blocked and the other blocked alot. Using a syringe and cleaning solvent I was able to finally soften the ink-plug and clear the lines. It was a tedious and messy job. It was much easier to do on a bench than if it was still in the printer.

    For sure you can tell if this is your problem..
    1. Remove the top cover so ytou can see what you are doing! then move the head out of the way
    2. Use your syringe to squirt some cleaning solvent into the capping station head (to avoid a mess do not overfill)
    3. Pull the double tube (indicated earlier) from the drain cup and use syringe to suction one side and then the other. You should easily slurp the solvent out of the cap.

    If it is hard to pull then you have a block.

    Seriously Folks...

    Clean the capping stations regularly!

    Another rant.... not directed at the OP but to the general shop owner...
    This is where pricing your product exposes the weakness in a business plan (or a lack of a business plan). If you do not charge enough for your product to afford normal wear & tear replacement parts (print heads, capping stations, belts, motors, pumps,etc...) then you need to make some adjustments to your pricing scheme AND budget for the inevitable catastrophe.

    Add up all the jobs you have done this year. Divide the cost of maintenance by the $$volume and you can come close to estimating how much more you need to charge for every job. If you gross $75K in sales, and your maintenance is $1500 then you need to up your price by 2%. That $79.95 just became $81.55! Once a week take 2-3% of gross sales and move it into savings. Then when your emergency happens you have the bankroll to fix it. Maybe it is $1500, or $5000... whatever! Just do the math and adjust your prices and your life will be easier.

    ALSO! Have a business continuity plan (or disaster recovery plan) for each of your critical business processes. What if your printer is down for two weeks? Have you already got a business relationship with a third party vendor to step into the breach and save your bacon (thanks Chris!)? What if your RIP PC fails? What if you lose or break your USB dongle? There are a million problems that can take you out of production and most of them are predictable.

    The time to solve your emergencies is before they happen... Your printhead WILL fail. You do not have to join it.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  7. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    FYI, I just paid a plumber to fix an issue at my house and their hourly rate was $244.00. Plus a $30 dispatch fee and parts.
  8. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    And it's generally not because they are expensive, it's generally because those kind of guys are equipped to fix anything that you throw at them the first time, and have the tools to do it. Hopefully your tech would be the same way, and they normally have a heck of a drive. I know my tech's are at least 3 hours from me one way. If he's there for two hours, he still has to be paid for the other 6 he drove, plus gas and mileage.
  9. Romy

    Romy New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Our techs are only $135 per hr- except in NYC (where everything costs more!) Anyhow, the travel is only $40 an hour and since we have a network of techs spread we can usually find someone close to you!
  10. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Houston TX
    one note as far as printer paranoia. two main things when working on the printer. don't drip ink onto the heads or down the data ribbons. this will lead to zapping the electronics. so work cleanly and precisely and turn off all the power to the machine, etc.

    two... don't twist the dampers onto the head adapter. it can weaken and or break off the adapter nipple. just solidly push straight down.
  11. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

    May 23, 2008
    That's unbelievable! Doing plumbing at your house is NOT like if they were working at NASA, with rocket fuel, they should not charge anywhere near that much. Here in my part of Texas the plumbers get $75-85 an hour, plus driving time and parts.

    I replaced my own water heater, got it at Sears, brought it home, spent about one hour changing out the old to new (let it drain out while I went to Sears), saved at least a $150 installation fee.

    Now the Roland tech is $175 an hour and one hour away, so it's $350 just for him to show up and say something like, It's a blown fuse".

    That's why I have requested the service manual for my printer from a member of Signs101, and he graciously sent me a copy. When I have an Issue with my printer, I can spend all day working on the printer way cheaper than having the tech visit me. Hopefully I can become a pretty good tech myself.
  12. Thanks for all the input. I still haven't got it fixed but about to sit down with it as long as it takes. We have been concentrating on other work we had with cut vinyl. However, I might need some digital prints if I can't get this thing fixed today. I'll post later with an update.
  13. Stealth Ryder

    Stealth Ryder Very Active Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    $1000.00 to $2500.00 plus parts is normal to get a tech to your location. Please consider Airline Ticket Cost, Rental Car Cost, Hotel Cost, Tech Salary Cost, Meals, etc... If I buy an Airline Ticket today to leave tomorrow morning going to either the west coast or the east coast from my location I am looking at 800.00 to 1200.00 for the ticket alone... It is very expensive to travel on a days notice...
  14. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    sometimes its worth the money to get a service tech in there... if not to save you potentially doing more damage to your printer, then at least to have a guy there in person to show you the ropes on how to diagnose printing issues.

    if you end up going that route... plan ahead and have a list of questions you need answered, make the guy work for his money. Service costs suck, but if you can also turn it into employee training then you'll be getting a decent bang for your buck!
  15. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    :signs101:If nothing else, all the free advice you've just received should merit a premium membership.

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