Wide-format printers, regardless of the brand, experience the same types of printing problems as those of smaller ones. Generally, most of the inkjet plotters are built on a basic mechanical platform. After running a survey on the most called issues from renting plotters technicians, here are the top three problems and suggested do-it-yourself solutions.
Like most plotters, these huge machines do not necessarily come with catch basket, which means the printed output rely on gravity and most likely just fall into a pile beside the machine. Other offices have allocated collection trays to catch the prints. Years of technological advancements have brought new models with output tray like Canon iPF850.
Here are some ideas on handling your output in case you are still using a model with no catch basket. Curled plans are the most common causes for paper jams and issues with stacking. It can be attributed to the way ink saturates into the paper, which is the most common cause of curling. If this happens often, you may consider using heavier paper stock instead.
Also, static electricity issues are common with LED plotters and it can be extremely frustrating especially when it happens often. However, this can be resolved by simply incorporating anti-static measures. It is best to work with an experienced service technician to get some advice on handling your unit. The use of flat stacking trays may also be effective but is space consuming. You may consider this option depending on the availability of space in the workroom.
If issues are becoming more frequent, you can look for newer models in the market. Some of the new models are now offering top-stacking units like Oce wide-format systems.
Compatibility is considered one of the major issues. Software compatibility must be dealt by properly performing upgrades. Most of the time, when manufacturers produce new models, they stop providing software support for the older ones.
The more adventurous users have tried jumping from the older OS to the newer platform, but this only proved to be a failure since manufacturers stopped driver upgrade developments for the older machines.
The only possible option is to try upgrading your printer technology through your current operating system. The good thing about new models for large-format printers is that they come in competitive prices. You can purchase another unit for your needs.
Dead and Worn-out Print Heads
Print heads are just like brakes on any vehicle; they need to be replaced. Print heads wear out overtime but if not cared properly, they may fail earlier than the expected timeframe. Huge machines like the plotters have a way of checking this problem on its own and an ability to send a message to alert the user. There are cases though where quality of the prints is suddenly deteriorating without any visible reason. When this happens, it is best to check the status of the print heads.
The top reason for dead print head is non-use of the plotter. Your printer’s print head is composed of microscopic nozzles, which makes them extremely susceptible to clogging when the ink dries after use. In order to avoid issues, regular check is necessary as well as calibrations.
Any problem from the printer could put a stop to your production. If issues are becoming more frequent, you may consider purchasing or renting plotters for your printing needs.