5 Successfully Tips to Get your Printer in Perfect shape for Production Boost
Summer holidays are now behind most of us and time has come to make your printer roar.
If you cleaned your printer at regular intervals and you ran a preventive maintenance ahead of a shutdown, your printer should be up and running when you return. In most cases, wide format printers will work fine if it has not been used for up to a week. After all, the clean jobs are completed every day…
However, this is pure theory. Some people say that they stored their printer in the backroom for over a year and it printed perfectly as quickly as they turned it on (Probably the same people who say they can eat bunches of junk foot without getting fat). Others say they need to use their printer at least every couple of days to avoid clogging the nozzle due to solvent ink evaporation.
Anyhow, as the peak season approaches, you definitely want to avoid frustration resulting in losing precious time in lengthy deep cleaning processes and potential damage to the system.
Here are some tips to ensure your printer is in perfect shape for the production push:
1/ Plan Your Holidays Ahead
It’s seems obvious but prevention is better than cure. Luckily some printers have an automatic maintenance feature that works while you enjoy some Mojitos on a paradisiac island. If your wide format printer doesn’t have that feature, enable your “best friend manual mode”. Ask your best mate to run a weekly cleaning routine. But if you are reading this post you probably missed that advice and straight to the next one.
2/ Check Your Ink Cartridges
Back from a well-earned holiday, you first need to check the state of each ink cartridges and change it if necessary:
- Ambient environment is key and must be kept stable. If your print environment is poorly insulated, you may face important variation in temperature that affect the viscosity of the ink and lead to blockages in the print head nozzle.
- Ensure that the expiry date and the “use by” date have not passed. If one of them has, install the new cartridges and print full-page test prints to spool the expired ink out. In the event of recurring problems, print PRN files of full-page solid block by color, for each color you replaced.
In addition, it’s recommended that you shake your cartridges and run a small special color print to ensure the inks are properly circulated.
3/ Run Automatic Maintenance
The biggest fear for many printer operators is that components will clog if the printer is left idle for a long period. Ensure there is enough ink and go through a series of automatic maintenance cycles. Be patient, this operation may take some time. Your printer will attempt to recover any blocked nozzles.
4/ Perform a Nozzle Check
We recommend running a nozzle check every time your printer sits idle for a long period of time in order to make the ink circulate through the print head. Its primary function is to give visual evidence that print head nozzle is working properly. Print and evaluate the nozzle check patterns. Solid lines indicate nozzle firing properly. On the other hand, broken lines or blank areas mean you have a clog and need to clean your print head. Nevertheless, you can keep on printing if you only see one or two segments missing in color. When using an old printer, you will hardly get all segments work again and that is fine. If you do not see a change in color accuracy or lines in the print, don’t push the extra mile to try to fix something that will make either no difference nor work again.
5/ Update Your Print Software
Last but not least, make sure to update your print software in order to take advantage of the most efficiency out of your printer.
BONUS: Cleaning Pattern Cheat Sheet