Sign & Digital Graphics

February '18

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The LED UV inks in EFI printers have undergone significant improvements in recent years, the company says. (Images courtesy of EFI) What kinds of preventive mainte- nance steps should shops perform to ensure excellent print performance? Conrad points out that good habits are healthy and it's a good idea to estab- lish good printer maintenance and clean- ing habits with your new printer. "Start by implementing a daily routine to keep your printer clean. Clean the printhead, print head cap, and wiper. Clean any ink spills or overspray in and around the printer. Adhere to the manufactures recommended automatic cleaning cycles and be sure to test-print something every day to keep the printhead from clogging, even if it is only a nozzle check. Take these simple steps and turn them into a habit and you'll enjoy many years of sat- isfying performance from your printer," he explains. Eicher says that steps for proper pre- ventative maintenance would include the following: • Maintain a clean working envi- ronment—Dust can cause nozzle loss and increased maintenance time. • Keep proper envi- ronmental controls (humidity and tempera- ture). This reduces the amount of static that can be generated from certain types of materials. • Follow routine maintenance procedures listed in the user manual. • Use cleaning agents and wipes that are recommended by the manufac- turer. What are the best methods for removing cured UV-ink? "Daily maintenance should help avoid this need, but if ink settles on surround- ing printer parts. Gojo wipes have proven to be effective," reports Currier, referring to the pre-moistened cloth-like towels. "Don't use blunt metal objects or tools to scrape off ink. Depending on where the ink has hardened using such tools may cause damage or leave scars on the printer," Conrad says. "It's best to use tools made of hardened plastic. Keep in mind, that the better the adhesion the more difficult it will be to remove so be patient. This is yet another reason why daily cleaning and maintenance of the printer is so important—to avoid ink residue and build up," he adds. Goodearl says that while cured ink can be removed, the very best strategy is to focus on preventing that by increasing the frequency of maintenance. Are there different maintenance steps required for different types of printers (UV-cure, textile, Latex systems)? "Yes, inks that are dried using infra- red, heated air or a hot platen versus those that are UV cured can usually be removed with simple cleaning fluid," reports Conrad. "Textile ink is often water based and unlike UV will dry in the nozzles if left for a period of time. Proper capping and maintenance, as defined by the manufac- turer are critical," Currier says. S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • February 2018 • 35 swissQprint's Carmen Eicher says that her company's print- ers, such as the Nyala LED, require little maintenance compared to competitive machines. (Image courtesy of swissQprint) • Maintain a clean working environment • Keep proper environmental controls • Follow routine maintenance procedures • Use cleaning agents and wipes TIPS

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