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opinions on plotter tracking

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by visual800, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    My first plotter was a VE GRC-61. that thing would track 30' I am not lying. (Damn I miss that machine) Since i had to get a new one I got the VE Q30 which is a graphtec, this damn thing wont track over 8-10' without getting all wompous and what not

    The machine is level, the media rollers are true. I did email signwarehouse tech support and they said send back pics of the blade holder while machine is in go mode? ( what the hell??!!) What are they getting at and what can I do to get this thing to track better should I add another friction wheel? It has 2 and I dont like that I dont see why 3 are not on it

    on the pics below this is the start of a 6' cut and the end of it...this is insane!
     

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
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  2. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Are you prefeeding the media or just running it and letting it pull off the roll?
     
  3. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    started out as letting it pull off the roll but then when it got back started to unroll it, its getting worse
     
  4. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

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    I wonder if they are insinuating that your knife pressure is too high and it is fighting against the rollers? That's kind of a weird request...
    Some models have wheels that taper and push down and to the side, and that's supposed to eliminate the need for a middle wheel. Having said that, I also prefer to have 3 wheels on a 30" machine- more on a 54" plotter.
    The first thing I look at is the grit rollers and make sure they are clean, and I'm sure yours are since its a new machine. Second, I make sure that the pinch wheels have even pressure. They may both be set to "high," or "low," but it's a possibility that they are off a little. That can be tested by seeing how much force it takes to pull a 3" wide strip of material under each roller using a spring scale and compare the readings.
    It could also be related to the material. Some cheap stuff doesn't have consistent thickness over it's entire surface.
    I have also had distortion in prints that lead to bad print to cut registration.
    Another thing that has given me poor results is cut order. If the machine is cutting in the order that paths were created instead of optimizing the cut order for less media movement, the constant back and forth motion wears a track in the media and it loses it's grip. If there is a sorting, or cut order optimization option, that may help. Other wise re-drawing the paths in an order that would minimize movement may help.
    Good Luck!
     
  5. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    One question I have is are you sure you media is square?
     
  6. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    media is square, using oracal 651 and 751 i cut medium not fast aint no sense in wide open. blade pressure is good enough to cut i dont run blade down as hard as I can. its defintiely pulling to left of the machine i guess i need to see how to control the friction wheels on it
     
  7. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

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    I just saw the pics you posted and the first thing I noticed is that the material is punched. I would recommend getting your wheels as far away from the holes as possible. If they ever ride on top of the hole pattern there will most likely be slippage. Another drawback of running that punched material is adhesive ooze. When that stuff gets onto the wheels or into the knurled grit roller, not even premium film will track well.
     
  8. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    The outer wheels should have opposing tapers to hold the media flat. It is possible that you have 2 of the same wheels installed. Roland actually has left and right part numbers for the outer wheels.

    Never say never. Those wheels were put on by a human.
     
  9. slappy

    slappy Very Active Member

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    i had the same issue on my ioline.
    it was only though when i would cut reflective, like a 10' stripe, which makes me think that the material is just to heavy to pull forward cause i could cut a 30' of 651 fine, but relective, it would shift almost 3/4"

    what i did yesterday when i cut my reflective, i set the production manager to only cut in 1' incriments and that is so far what has worked the best for me.

    i had a thread going here with some other advice also... might want to read that also
     
  10. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Use the prefeed option and it'll be much better. Just tell it how many feed, let it do it's thing and then go.
     
  11. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

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    that is a good point and could be the cause
     
  12. All-SignZ

    All-SignZ Active Member

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    In the second pic you posted why is only half the pinch roller on the media? I have never tried to cut anything with the pinch rollers like that but maybe that is part of the problem. When we get 15" punched vinyl we always put the pinch roller just inside of the punches.
     
  13. All-SignZ

    All-SignZ Active Member

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    nevermind, just read the explanation in the first post... That looks like the media isn't in there square, prefeed it and if it tracks to the left like that then feed back to the middle and adjust the media to the left a bit. I assume you did that so yea maybe these other guys are right, maybe you have 2 left side rollers.
     
  14. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    i ALWAYS show me first I never just cut and it will take about 5-7 times of trying to show me before i cut it and it makes it. as far as the "tractor holes" dear God I wish they woudl do away with those and quit kissing Gerbers a**! lol

    I keep my grits clean no doubt my machines are immaculate im talking clean to the point of being new looking. this is just the damdest thing, pretty soon im gonna have to order 24" materials to cut something 12" tall
     
  15. chrisphilipps

    chrisphilipps Active Member

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    Are the levers on the back of the pinch rollers set to the same tension? I believe that down is high pressure, try setting then both to this position and see how it tracks.
     
  16. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    signwarehouse tech support said:

    [FONT=&quot]If the material ends where it started, then the cutter is tracking correctly. If the tracking was off, it would not end in the same place it started. [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]

    while I can agree with that i do NOT think it would happen on every roll of vinyl
     
  17. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Are you lining up the leading edge to a line on the platen? If so you need to do an accurate manual squaring of the roll. Went through this with our Roland. Never assume the roll is square from the factory.
     
  18. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    How do you recommend doing this?
     
  19. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    yea, except I can track straight for 100ft on my Gerber.
     
  20. Scott Reynolds

    Scott Reynolds Active Member

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    I still have an old VE 61, I get up to 50' (1/4" +/-) ... And no, Im not lying either. I pull the slack from the roller under the cutter and match up with the vinyl in front of the cutter. Its a good way to quadruple check the set up. If you off just a TINNY bit, this will show it.

    Another good test for you is to check square that way, do a test run, then recheck your square the same way. This will tell you if your losing your square during the cut run.

    Did any of that come out right?!?! :Big Laugh
     
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