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Valuejet 1304 CYAN misfiring

Discussion in 'Mutoh' started by Bozz282, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Bozz282

    Bozz282 New Member

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    Oct 15, 2012
    Hi guys,

    I'm hoping somebody can help me out :

    Scenario :
    My 1304 is nearly 1 year old (bought Dec '11) and 2 weeks ago had a brand new print head and maintenance station fitted (ouch) by a professional tech.

    Problem 1
    The day after the tech had been, I started printing in earnest and noticed that after each print, I had an error come up on the LCD display saying 'Current Error' (I'm sorry, I cannot recall the rest of the message and I know this is probably critical). I had to turn the machine off and restart it.

    Problem 2
    Another issue was that the media initial was not working well. Once I loaded the media, the head would travel along it to read it but it would return back to the maintenance station well before it got to the full width of the media. Sometimes it would report the media's width as being 980mm, sometimes less than 300mm when in fact the media was 1370mm wide.

    I cleaned the T fence and the above issues stopped so I presumed all was good again.

    Problem 3
    I ran a print yesterday (exactly a fortnight since the tech installed my new head and maint station) and got some hard banding. I ran a nozzle check which turned out not so good. K looks good, Yellow looks good, Magenta looks good but Cyan is not so good (please see photos attached)

    When printing a test (a block of each colour), I have hard banding in the Cyan going from right to left (the same direction as the print head travels whilst printing). The other three colours are fine - although the Black is banding vertically but I am putting that down to being 0,0,0,100% ?)

    What I have done so far :
    I ran several Strong Cleans but the Cyan is still not 100%
    I performed a head soak (firstly for a couple of hours and then over night) and still the nozzle check is not good.
    I use the cleaning solution from the MUTOH cleaning carts
    I have not touched the print head surface at all.
    In situ inspection of the print head looks ok, it looks level to the platen etc.
    I did notice that after the overnight soak, there were droplets on the printhead ?
    I checked the maint station for gunk....and all looks spotless (I clean it and the wiper very carefully....a new head is not cheap!)
    Ink is being drawn through the waste tubes below the maint station during a clean.
    The ink supply to the dampers do not have air in the tubes
    The cartridges (bulk system) do not appear to be bad (have no air in the feed etc)

    Any help or suggestions gratefully received !

    The images
    I have adjusted the hue on the Magenta and Yellow Nozzle check photos to help you see them more clearly.
     

    Attached Files:

    Tags:
  2. Bozz282

    Bozz282 New Member

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    Oct 15, 2012
    Just to add, the 'Current Error' and Media Initial issues have come back although they are intermittent.

    I read somewhere on the forum that the Media Initial problem can be caused by ink / dirt on the media and so, when I advance the media, the machine then successfully reads the full width of the media - I am assuming I have solved that mystery.

    I still can't fathom out the 'Current Error' though.
     
  3. mnapuran

    mnapuran Active Member

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    Plano (Dallas), TX
    Uh... wow. I have a 1304 that is over 4 years old and haven't had to replace the print head. I would get a hold of whoever serviced the printer and get them to fix these issues as part of the previous service. Especially if all this happened after they came out.
     
  4. mnapuran

    mnapuran Active Member

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    I will make one comment on the nozzle check.... we have had some issues with bad nozzle checks, and even a single color being almost black. This was typically due to running low on that ink color and having the line/heads get a bit dry.

    The pump would then pull the "dirty ink" from the maintenance station back into the line causing the print problems.

    The fix: I soaked a link free cleaning cloth in cleaning solution, folded it over and laid it on the maintenance station. The move the head onto the maint. station and drop it to the low setting.

    Let it sit like this as long as you can. Then remove, run a regular cleaning cycle, and then run another nozzle check. One time I had to do it many times before the head/lines were unclogged.

    BTW..I was told to replace the head when this happened... but a day of this cycle brought the head back to perfect and we've not had the same issue. We now check ink levels manually occasionally... especially before large jobs. The built in counter is just a guess and isn't terribly accurate.
     
  5. Bozz282

    Bozz282 New Member

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    Oct 15, 2012
    Hi mnapuran and thanks for your replies.

    I have done a few head soaks as you describe (including an overnight one) and so far, no luck.

    I can confirm that the ink levels are not low - I have a bulk ink system and they are all well topped up.
     
  6. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

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    Sorry but your nozzles have been blocked for such a time as to be unrecoverable.

    Mike the pump will always pull clean ink through the nozzles it is impossible to pull dirty ink as their is no pump from the drain tank back into the nozzles!

    Bozz282 get your tech back to rectify the problem.
    I have a VJ1604 that has been in constant use for 5 years and the test print only has 6 or so nozzles out over CMYK! It has had 1 maintenance station but on looking back it didn't need it.

    Are you up to speed on the true maintenance of these machines?

    1. The more they are used the less maintenance will be required (seems crazy but true). An idle Valuejet is a blocked Valuejet.
    2. (This is really important) Make sure the pump and all lines from the maintenance station are clear/unblocked and pulling ink through them (remove the cover and throw away).
    3. Clean round the capping station and make sure the wiper is clean regulary.
    4. Every week pour a little cleaning fluid onto the capping station (this will keep the pump from blocking).
    5. Clean around the print head with a swab and make sure the ramps either side are clean.
    6. As soon as a blocked nozzle appears, soak and clean as soon as possible, so as to clear ASAP because if left it will not clear!

    I wish I was told this when I had my printer installed as I would only have a couple of blocked nozzles now.

    SC
     
  7. Bozz282

    Bozz282 New Member

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    Oct 15, 2012
    Heyskull, thanks for your post.

    I just dont understand why / how the nozzles have been plugged so quickly considering the print head has only been in there two weeks. We have used the machine daily (not running all day and not running at weekends) and we run a cleaning cycle every 6 hours (we leave the machine on 24/7).

    As soon as I noticed there was a problem, I began soaking the head / nozzle checks / cleaning.

    1. The more they are used the less maintenance will be required (seems crazy but true). An idle Valuejet is a blocked Valuejet.

    We do leave it on 24/7 and have it clean itself every 6 hours. The machine is only idle at weekends as it is usually in use Monday to Friday.

    2. (This is really important) Make sure the pump and all lines from the maintenance station are clear/unblocked and pulling ink through them (remove the cover and throw away).

    I removed the cover to check exactly that and I can confirm that the waste lines are clear and are pulling ink through them on a cleaning cycle.

    3. Clean round the capping station and make sure the wiper is clean regulary.

    Since the new head was installed we have done this twice a week

    4. Every week pour a little cleaning fluid onto the capping station (this will keep the pump from blocking).

    Duly noted.

    5. Clean around the print head with a swab and make sure the ramps either side are clean.

    We do this once a week.....but have not been near the actual print head itself.

    6. As soon as a blocked nozzle appears, soak and clean as soon as possible, so as to clear ASAP because if left it will not clear!

    Honestly, I did. I discovered that problem when I ran a print and had the banding issue. I cleaned, nozzle checked, cleaned, soaked, nozzle checked, soaked etc etc

    I have now left the head in soak on the maint station and will be calling the tech on Monday morning. I fear that I will be paying out for the machine's second new print head within a year.
     
  8. mnapuran

    mnapuran Active Member

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    Your problem may have to do with your bulk ink system or the ink you are using.

    IMO, it's not worth the issues with aftermarket inks....
     
  9. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

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    Mike N
    I have been running non original and a bulk ink system for over 3 years now with no adverse effects.
    It is so easy for techs and original suppliers to blame inks other than their own machines.
    Mind you I would not use aftermarket inks until the original machine warranty finished.

    I recently had a call from granthams a UK based company who sell printers and ink.
    They are so sure of their new aftermarket ink they will warrant all wet parts (tubes, printhead, etc.) on the machine. This is a offer I have never heard of before from a company selling non original inks and would be maybe very difficult for them to honour claims that it was their ink that caused the damage.

    Worth looking at though.

    SC
     
  10. mnapuran

    mnapuran Active Member

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    Plano (Dallas), TX
    Well, I'll also tell you that no vinyl companies (in the US anyhow) will warrant their materials on failure with aftermarket inks as well.

    If you are happy, that's all that matters :)
     
  11. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    Sep 30, 2009
    you lost me at "fortnight".
     
  12. Bozz282

    Bozz282 New Member

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    Oct 15, 2012
    Hey there ProWraps, I'm certainly glad that all those folks that took an interest in your posts when you were having trouble did not reply with 'you lost me at....'

    I really do appreciate any help at all from anyone. However, if all that your help can amount to is a sarcastic comment then thanks, as long as it makes you feel good about yourself fella. It really didn't help me.
     
  13. jessign78

    jessign78 New Member

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Did you ever find a solution? I am having the same problem.
     
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