There are three types of technology involved when we speak of a large format plotter: LED toner, Océ ColorPearl CrystalPoint, and inkjet. Although each comes with an individual set of variation when it comes to maintenance, inkjet is more likely to have a rapid change.
Here are the 3 ways to keep a large format plotter in pristine condition and avoid costly plotters repair services.
Change the Maintenance Cassette
The maintenance cassette is responsible for collecting an overspray ink. It is also the purging stop for the printhead during a system nozzle check. With several uses, the cassette will eventually be full and you will be asked to change it. Some people, however, try to avoid this process by making an improvised maintenance cassette cleaning.
It is important to note that recycling a dirty maintenance cassette can result in problems since it can bring a negative effect on the print head. In fact, a dirty cassette will not be able to clean it properly once the plotter makes its internal print head maintenance. That being said, it is less expensive to purchase a maintenance cassette instead of changing a damaged print head.
Print a Single-Colored File Every Week
This pertains to the smooth-flowing ink in the printer. It has been years since the last time a manufacturer for a wide format plotter made a design that is only for a monochrome printer. Now, all are color systems. However, there are still a lot of people who rely on a printer for their black and white prints. That said, printing an occasional color printer would be very useful, regardless if it is just a test pattern in order to maintain clear color lines and nozzles.
Keep it on
It should be noted that there is plenty of liquid throughout an inkjet large format plotter. The ink is always there inside the ink tanks, print head, and the plumbing system even if you have a pigment or dye printer. This means that putting the ink in a static condition is not a good idea.
This condition resembles a hard freeze. Majority of us will let a faucet dripping during an extremely cold night to keep the water flowing to prevent it from freezing and breaking the pipes. The same theory can also be used to an inkjet plotter. When the ink is not allowed to move and flow through the system, it will most likely start to solidify and may eventually dry up. The best thing to do to avoid this is keeping the power of the plotter on. This allows the machine to check itself and keep a small amount of ink away through the print head and make the nozzle clear.
Through regular maintenance and proper care of your large format plotter, the machine will provide you with the best results for a long period of time. It will also bring a significant effect on its total cost of operation. When you ignore the important and rely on a quick and cheaper way, you will only lessen the longevity of some components that are more expensive to replace.