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Printing over 1/4 inch on Colorspan5465UV flatbed

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by THull, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. THull

    THull New Member

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    Jan 21, 2008
    Hey there. We recently purchased the Colorspan 5465 flatbed and are having a lot of trouble successfully printing on anything over 1/4" thick.

    We have tried...
    lining the back of the substrate to get more traction.
    cleaning the grit/pinch rollers
    printing at slower/less quality speeds.
    printing at lower/higher quality speeds.
    lowering the vacuum.
    Using 4x8 sheets.
    Using 2x2 sheets.

    The grit rollers keep slipping and spinning on most substrates over 1/4" and you can't even get media feed a calibration - we were trying 3/8" acrylic and 1/2" PVC.

    Sometimes even 1/4" scooterboard skips during the printing process and ruins the rest of the print.

    Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks and have an outstanding day!:thankyou:
     
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  2. gabeechman

    gabeechman New Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
    I feel your pain. I've had mine since July '07 and have had these problems since day one. The only really consistent board that I can get through the machine is 3mm pvc. 10mm pvc weighs around 33lb per sheet which pushes the 35lb claimed weight limit. I haven't found anything over 15lb that will feed consistently. Coroplast feeds well as long as the vacuum isn't too high, but make sure that your lamps are set somewhere over 10degrees or it will heat up and start warping everywhere. I've had tons of problems printing to any aluminum or aluminum composite. Like you said, it's as if the board is too slick and the rollers will not grip it. I've questioned whether there are higher tension pinch roller springs that would put more top side pressure on the board to help with this, but haven't received any response. I wish that I had an easy answer to your problems, but I'm having the same.
     
  3. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

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    Welcome from OK
     
  4. cartoad

    cartoad Active Member

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    Welcome, and I am really starting to wonder if I want a flatbed.
     
  5. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    Really?! Sounds like these things were never right from the git-go. If that's the case, it wasn't designed and/or tested properly before production. Can't imagine they'd really put something out in the market that was that shoddy...but then again Windows ME was in the market for a while, wasn't it?
     
  6. schurms

    schurms Member

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    Dec 8, 2006
    send it back..............................................
     
  7. THull

    THull New Member

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    Jan 21, 2008
    Techs are here now

    Thanks for the feedback. The service tech's are here now replacing the ink pumps and vacuum which also failed. I'll try and get some info from them and post anything new later. I'm lovin' it!:unclesam:
     
  8. gabeechman

    gabeechman New Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
    They've replaced all parts in my ink delivery system a couple of times, and each time that works great for a while. The newest pumps seem to hold up much better than the pumps from the middle of last year. That said, the most frustrating thing is the feed problems which I haven't seen or found a fix for yet. Maybe they've got some pointers that my techs haven't found and you can fill us in.
     
  9. gnemmas

    gnemmas Active Member

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    I almost bought this Colorspan. Luckyly talked with a buddy that have the UVX. He reported to me exactly the same feeding problem. When I mentioned this to the salesperson, he said he will put in writing that "satisfactory guaranteed, or will take it back". My buddy is using that $70k "flatbed hybrid" printer as a $20k roll-fed printed right now, only print on vinyls.

    The solution is upgrade to a "gantry", or a belt-fed system. Now that the big boy (HP) owned it, all user should band together and demand a free upgrade to their belt-fed unit or a class action is in order.
     
  10. gabeechman

    gabeechman New Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
    I agree with you gnemmas. I doubt that they will upgrade us, but with all the problems, extended warranties should be issued at the bare minimum. A little birdie tells me that HP will soon be coming around to all the 5400 owners to make hardware changes to the pieces and parts that they have deemed to be insufficient since taking over. Thull may be getting that spiel now with techs on site. Today my 5465 has be delegated the task of consuming 1120sq of vinyl since the boards that we have to print today are over 15lb. If I buy another flatbed, I will probably go with a Gandi. I like the dedicated flatbeds. Now you're only calibrating the bed or gantry travel instead of media travel. I haven't heard of major calibration problems from the router guys who have the same calibration parameters. Solvent is still the way to go in my book for anything but flatbed output since the ink price is much lower. For this reason, a dedicated flatbed doing well with what it does best and solvent doing its thing seems to be the answer for me.
     
  11. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    I had all the same issues on my first machine and they have since replaced that one with another brand new 5465. Problem is this new machine has been constantly plagued with problems only different ones from the first machine. When the machine is working everything is great but it's keeping the machine working thats the problem.

    I'll be at the ISA show next month looking into the gantry and belt machines out there.
     
  12. gabeechman

    gabeechman New Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
    I never had them replace mine, but it makes you wonder what they did with your's when they replaced it with a new one. Did they send it to THull and now he's dealing with your old problem?
     
  13. gabeechman

    gabeechman New Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
    Now I'm getting a Rt. Lamp overheating error with the lamps on low. Guess tech support should get ready for a phone call in the morning if they're reading these posts.
     
  14. justntym

    justntym New Member

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    Dec 13, 2007
    Montana
    Use a sled?

    I have been printing on 1/2" Omega board and Alumalite with minimal problems. The problem with some of the thicker materials is that they have a slippery surface. We place our material on a coroplast or foamboard sled so the grit rollers have something to grab. It feeds pretty well in production mode BIDI. It does require some babysitting because of warping on the material and potential head strikes. It also helps to put a roller of some sort on the material as it comes out of the printer (I drop a 54" roll of vinyl on top) so it keeps the substrate flat. This way, the grit rollers are holding in the back and your "roller" in the front is holding it down in the front so the only place it can warp is where it's printing.

    Also, the settings on your input and output tables is important. When I set-up for printing, I load the material and then feed it all the way forward and back to make sure it has no hang-ups. If it feeds smoothly in both directions, I know the print will come out fine.

    Seems like a pain of a work around but I think that's part of the trade-off with a machine that feeds the material through.

    I'm keeping my eye on the Gerber Solara Ion. It's a true flat bed and Roll-to-roll system. They have a lot of bugs to work out but I think once they get it, it will be a nice machine. Curious to see what they present at the ISA show this spring. The machine was supposed to ship in February but they had to delay for some issues.

    J
     
  15. ScottyDoo

    ScottyDoo Member

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    Welcome, and I feel your ColorSpan pain...I was in an hour long conference call yesterday with HP, our Rep and the owners of my company talking with them deciding our future with ColorSpan. We're ready to send our 9840 back and get another brand.

    Like SignManiac said, their machines are great when they run, but for us it just isn't reliable enough. We've had a lemon from the start. That's what you get for getting the 10th machine made. Early adopters always deal with more.
     
  16. Simon Belmont

    Simon Belmont Member

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    We had a 5445 (2 actually) then sent them both back and got the 9840. A much better machine, but like scottydoo said, its good when its working.
     
  17. THull

    THull New Member

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    Jan 21, 2008
    Colorspan feedback

    They finished replacing the ink pumps and vacuum and leveled the input and out put tables. the techs and colorspan rep said the rollers on the tables and the grit rollers should all be level. We printed one 4x8x1/4" scooterboard and it came out ok. We are running some 36" x 62" x 1/4" acrylic right now and it seems to be working out so far.

    An HP rep did contact me out of the blue to see what kind of problems we were having. Due to a lot of poor quality prints and the jets in our heads going out, he asked us to send him sample prints of the prime bars, auto calibrations and manual calibrations and they would go over them, work out the problem and more than likely have the techs come back out.

    It was real nice to get a call like that to work out your problem instead of practically being ignored like has happened in the past with these kind of problems.
     
  18. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    $80,000 printer and it's still not working 8 months later?!
     
  19. gabeechman

    gabeechman New Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
    I have the same problems that most have had with these machines. Don't get me wrong, when its printing, its awesome. Problem is, it seems to spend more time broken than fixed. It doesn't do what they originally said with regards to weight and consistency, but it does do lighter weight items with some consistency. This weeks troubles which started Wednesday evening appear to be a Right lamp aperture and a vacuum regulator. This is the $2,800 worth of parts that they shipped this week. In total, we've seen somewhere in the range of $25,000 worth of parts since the machine was purchased. Not saying that every single part has been needed but its how tech support has addressed issues as they have appeared. They just ship more parts and keep swapping. Its seems great except for determining what to do as I approach the end of the warranty period. Their pricing of the service plan is based on what seems to me to be a poor approach to tech support. They see tens of thousands of parts going out for the machines and charge accordingly for service plans.

    As end users, you will find that not many of us are happy about our purchase. I am probably not alone in that what keeps the machine in my shop is the fact that once the technician spends somewhere between 1 to 5 days working on it, it does awesome things. Problem begins the week after when it all starts to degrade away. By week 3 it seems to always end with more calls to tech support and more parts being shipped.

    Its just hard to spend a lot of efforts selling product off a machine that you have little confidence in it reliability and ability to do what you purchased it to do.
     
  20. Merritt Big Color

    Merritt Big Color Merchant Member

    All you guys are now part of the HP family. No worries they will fix all your issues make you money to buy more fire power...

    We are a very proud HP/Scitex Platinum partner.

    HP will turn all Colorspans coal into gold......
     
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