Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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34 • August 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS lar and effective maintenance routine," he adds. "There are also useful videos and webinars available for viewing at Roland DGA's page." Maintaining Printheads Richard Martinez, technical service support for Mimaki USA at the Corporate Tech Center in Suwanee, Georgia, says that maintaining the printheads is the most important thing on a digital printer. "This why it is important that the cap- ping station be adjusted correctly when it is installed and that the proper daily/ weekly maintenance be performed by the end user. A lot of times problems arise because the maintenance is not being done." He adds that the environmental con- ditions that the printer is in can also be important when it comes to maintenance. "In both the installation and the opera- tor's manuals are guidelines and instruc- tions on how and where the unit should be set up. The major items mentioned are that the printer should be in a controlled environment where the temperature, relative humidity and power meet the required specs needed. It's also impor- tant is that the floor is level and strong enough to keep the printer stable, and that there is no direct sunlight on the unit. Also, make sure the HVAC system does not blow directly onto the printer." Martinez explains Mimaki printers include a sheet that can be placed by the printer explaining the proper daily/ weekly maintenance requirements for the unit. "This information is also in the operation manual. These maintenance procedures should be explained by the dealer tech to the end user when the unit is first installed. These procedures only take about 5-10 minutes per day to complete." Keeping the Printer Clean Jason Stone—tech services manager at Salt Lake City-based Regional Supply, a distributor that repairs and performs maintenance on printers—says that one of most important maintenance issues to consider with wide-format inkjet printers is keeping them clean. "I can't stress this enough," he says. "I can't tell you how many times I have gone out on a ser- vice call that could have been avoided if the customer would have just simply kept their machine and the environment clean. Taking the time once a week or once a day, depending on how much you use your machine, to thoroughly clean your machine can save you thousands of dollars on costly repairs in the future." Stone says shops should make it a priority to clean around printheads, cap tops, and wipers once a week or daily. "This is done with a cleaning solution (specific to your inks) and a swab or lint- free cloth. If you have a large build up of ink around your printheads at some point that ink is going to drip off and ruin your print, or a piece of lint will stick to the ink and cause smear marks in your prints." Roland DGA Knowledge & Training Manager Tom Klein cleans the framework around the printheads on a Roland TrueVIS VG-540 eco- solvent wide-format printer/cutter. It is recommended that you use a solvent-based cleaning solution. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA) Any printer maintenance program should include regularly wiping down the platen to keep it free of dust and contaminants. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA) Cleaning Printheads Stone points out that different print- heads require different cleaning proce- dures. "Most solvent printheads you only want to use a swab and cleaning fluid to wipe around the printhead and never the bottom of the print head where the nozzles are. You risk permanently clog- ging nozzles if you do so. On the other hand some UV-cure printheads require you to wipe the bottom of the printhead to clean the nozzle plate. You do this with the proper cleaning solution and a lint-

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