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VP-540 & Banding

Discussion in 'Roland' started by free_refil, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Hello,

    I hate to sound like a broken record, because I know it's an often touched subject, but I've read everything I can about banding and how to eliminate it, and I'm afraid I might be missing something. To be honest, with my job setup to unidirectional, the banding is nearly completely eliminated. I've been using this as a crutch to get by, and banding still happens every so often, but it's completely negligible and workable.

    Here's the deal. I've seen banding across many different media types, I do heat transfers as well as matte and glossy photo papers, the bandings spread across media profiles, and it's generally been a pain in my butt. Here's my normal routine for printing material.

    I pinch the media using only two pinch rollers on the outermost areas of the media, and use the long clamps to prevent head strikes on the edges when the print first starts. I ensure there is tension between the roll and the printer by winding any extra media back onto the roll and then moving a few inches of media out first using the arrow keys on the printer. I ensure the heater settings are manually setup to what the media should be. For instance, for IJ180cv3 I setup the printer to 109 and the dryer to 122. I do this to let the media heat up to normal print temperatures. I then go into the menu on the printer and perform the feed calibration. Here's the deal with this. I know how to perform it, and it's always off. I'll set it to what looks right, follow up with another test print, and it's off again!!! This is really annoying and I think it might be one of the reasons why I'm having this problem, but I can't pinpoint down what needs to happen from there...

    So, I continue to setup my job, and, let's say for IJ180cv3, I end up using a profile for Arlon DPF4560GTX media, because my printer supplier recommended it to us even though we're using 3M materials. It does tend to have darker and richer blacks. I've compared the two profiles (the Arlon one and the PGCT: Premium Cast Vinyl (ESM) recommended by Roland for the 3M, and the only two differences are the ink %'s, the Arlon profile providing more ink). So I stick with this profile for the deeper blacks. Under Printer Controls, I use "printer settings" for feed calibration, since I was supposed to have just performed this feed calibration on the printer, use "media settings" for Other Controls, and "media settings" for heat controls (which match what I manually put into the printer anyways). I've used "Media Settings" for feed calibration as well and still get banding.

    Banding banding banding..... See the attached pic. If y'all want more detailed pics let me know....

    I've performed the high detail bidirectional calibration, set that all up to what looks best, using the same setup procedures I just outlined.... NADA.... EXCEPT WITH ROLAND SPOT COLORS. Roland spot colors come out amazing, simply amazing, no banding AT ALL....

    I've performed a ton of cleanings, done my monthly service, replaced the wipers, the test prints from the cleaning menu are spot on, no misguided nozzles or clogged nozzles.

    Tried changing to the PGCT: Premium Cast Vinyl (ESM) profile with the IJ180cv3, same thing.... BANDING BANDING BANDING....

    Can anyone think of anything else before I call a tech out??? Any hints y'all use to prevent this issue? Something I'm missing? Please help! Thanks y'all!!!
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

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    Dec 10, 2009
    shop temperature being too low along with heaters not being hot enough might be causing this banding. because you said it goes away on unidirectional it means that the ink has extra time to dry and merge before the next pass is applied. I would try kicking your heater up and maybe slowing down the head speed. I had the same problems when the temp dropped and the humidity changed in the shop. hope I helped.
     
  3. txsurfer

    txsurfer Member

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    have you tried slowing the Head Speed Down? Overiding the Head Speed works on finer prints?
     
  4. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    The shop/printer/media are all stored and maintained at a nice ~74F room temp, so it's not a temp change. It's had the same banding problem since the summer... Right now the profile is setup to 760mm/sec, what should I slow it down to? The print heater is almost maxed out (I think it sits at 109 while printing, and max I can manually set is 112). Which is also odd to me as the media profile is set to 34C, which is 93F....
     
  5. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

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    lately I have been printing with pre and print at 50c and dry at 55c when I was printing static cling i had it slowed down to 275 but with that material you shouldnt have to go lower than 500. It might be time to have a tech check it out if that doesnt help.
     
  6. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    HOLY MOLEY, this is making a HUGE difference!!! Same settings all around, slowed head down to 475mm/sec, freakin' A!
     
  7. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Woops, may have spoken too soon. The document I'm working on is a gradient, from a bright red to a dark red. The print began at the bright red, and the first pic attached in the first post is a pic of what the bright red print quality was. The following attached is an overall shot so you can see what I'm working with as far as the document size and gradient, the bright red now, and the dark red towards the end of the document. It printed fine and with much greater quality at the beginning, but the further down the document towards the dark red, the banding began again.... Should I try lowering print speed even more? I'm at 475mm/sec at the moment...
     

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  8. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

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    it sounds like it is just putting down too much ink (for the environmental conditions) based on the banding moving to being isolated on the more dense color. your heater might be going out. you can check it w/ an infrared thermometer to see if it is getting up to temp. for the time being it looks like youre stuck with slow print times. you can keep the head speed at around 500 and change it to unidirection and hopefully that would clear the banding throughout the print.
     
  9. Tim Kingston

    Tim Kingston Member

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    Worth a try ...

    Hi,
    My suggestion is to take tension off the feed roll by unwinding a couple of feet before printing. During printing I unwind a bunch and then put the brake on, before the sheet gets tension again I make sure there is some unwound material. Works for me.
     
  10. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Well, too much ink could be the issue, as I stated before I'm using a profile with higher ink %'s than the one recommended by Roland for this media... The next panel I've begun printing I slowed to 400mm/sec, and it doesn't seem to be much better. I know my heaters are working just fine, I have an IR gun that I've used to check them.... I know the print got better when I slowed it down, and slowing it down more doesn't seem to be helping, so I'll go ahead and speed it up for the next panel. It seems the slower it gets, the less of a dark band is visible, but the media overall appears to be streaky, perhaps it's getting too hot? I'll try my next panel at like 550mm/s or 600 and see how that runs...

    What is everyone else running as far as this media with the print and dry temps???
     
  11. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    My wife is DETERMINED to run the printer that way, but due to a different reason. She had a problem with lighter rolls being picked up off the rollers and smashing against the printer. If you put the media on the rollers correctly, this lifting won't cause any harm, but if you place the right roller too far right it'll run into the black portion of the printer body in the rear and wedge itself, causing it to jam up.

    I've told her the printer was designed to run by pulling media off the roll, it's made to pull the weight of an entire roll of media, and that by performing the feed calibration, you should be good to go... I'll try performing the feed calibration with the media slacked and run a panel with that method and see if it makes a difference...... Just hate to babysit the printer like that....
     
  12. Tim Kingston

    Tim Kingston Member

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    Just remember your wife is always right. Just kidding. Maybe. Haha!

    I hear ya, but I find if the collars are used, and the brake is on, the media doesn't wander for me. I know it does require you check it, but I usually unwind about 4-5 feet at a time so it isn't too bad. I like to check the sheet that often anyways, but that's just me.

    Riddle me this, aside from banging rolls and wandering sheets, using your wife's method do you eliminate the banding issue? If so, then you should be able to eliminate heat or ink coverage issues as a source?

    I agree that you should be able to get the feed calibration right but this method might at least help you indentify the root cause.


    QUOTE=free_refil;791789]My wife is DETERMINED to run the printer that way, but due to a different reason. She had a problem with lighter rolls being picked up off the rollers and smashing against the printer. If you put the media on the rollers correctly, this lifting won't cause any harm, but if you place the right roller too far right it'll run into the black portion of the printer body in the rear and wedge itself, causing it to jam up.

    I've told her the printer was designed to run by pulling media off the roll, it's made to pull the weight of an entire roll of media, and that by performing the feed calibration, you should be good to go... I'll try performing the feed calibration with the media slacked and run a panel with that method and see if it makes a difference...... Just hate to babysit the printer like that....[/QUOTE]
     
  13. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    I'm running another long panel today, albeit a different type of media and color profile, and I'll try her way. I'll do the feed calibration with slack let off the roll in the back, and print using the printers feed calibration setting and see how it runs.... Maybe that'll be the answer to our problems.... I sure would hate it if she was right the whole time.... Although she never suggested that would be the reason for the banding, she'd still rub it in my face... Will post back and let y'all know....
     
  14. jwright350

    jwright350 Member

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    Nov 17, 2010
    Gradients usually show the worst banding. Try a different dithering mode to see if that helps.
     
  15. stillhasdust

    stillhasdust Member

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    Have you done a bi directional adjustment?
     
  16. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Yes I have performed a bidirectional calibration on detail mode, didn't seem to help. I went ahead and redid the feed calibration and it does the same thing when I slack off media. I think I'm going to get a tech out because if you read through my post, unless y'all can find a flaw in the way I setup jobs, the printer has this banding on all types of media and profiles..... Very upset at this point...
     
  17. Tim Kingston

    Tim Kingston Member

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    Hi,
    Sorry to hear you are still having troubles. I take it you ran the whole job with the media slackened? That was my suggestion, not just during the feed calibration.

     
  18. Z$

    Z$ New Member

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    Jan 8, 2011
    I am currently having the same problem with the banding on the solid colors. currently I am printing a brown and the banding occurs every four inches. I've tried to pre-feed, and originally had the printer head down. the profile is also the one that came with versaworks. At first the material was giving me a hard time, but now the printer is doing it. I've used 3M, avery, and now trying oracal vinyl. any suggestions
     
  19. DCaptDan

    DCaptDan New Member

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    Too high of a heat setting can also cause banding. The ink dries before the dots spread out enough to blend together. Also possible the heads are physically out of alignment. If you know how to get into service mode check the bias vertical, and horizontal calibrations.
     
  20. free_refil

    free_refil New Member

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    Dec 20, 2010
    @Bearpaw - yes, I not only ran my calibration with slack, but the entire job with slack. I think next time I will try the profile for wrap vinyl with the RIPC designator in it. I had read to stay away from them, but they seem to be working better on the cheaper materials I'm using with the Economy Calendar profile. No banding at all.

    Hmm, there are other calibrations? Service mode??? Will have to look into that... I haven't been back to print on the IJ180Cv3 since my troubleshooting efforts.

    @DCaptDan - Too high of heat? I will try lowering the heat manually next time as well. Perhaps by 10 degrees or so at a time. This would be pre-heat settings, not dryer setting, right? Does dryer make a difference as much as pre-heat?
     
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