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Printer maintenance

January 1st, 2011 / By: / Graphics

This article discusses points from the recommended use and maintenance of a Mimaki JV5-320DS textile printer. However, many of the same parts and operational parameters exist on competitive drop-on-demand inkjet printers.

Adjusting the head gap. The default value to set the head is 1.5 mm, where the settings range from 1.5 to 5 mm, which is dependent upon the thickness of the media that you want to print on. This is one of the most important settings for ensuring sharp images without random droplets on your prints.

Media size. There is a minimum media roll size, which on this printer is 11.7 inches, and it can handle a width up to 130 inches. The effective print area is 128 inches. There will always be a minimum and maximum roll size. The printable area is limited, and most printers are restricted from printing edge to edge. Sheet media cannot be used because of the tensioning requirement of the media through its transport system. Although this is not a maintenance item, it is a basic requirement for your printer to operate under.

Sublimation paper. The JV5-320DS printer can print on sublimation paper or direct to the media. When printing using transfer paper, you’ll need to attach the platen sheet metal that supports the paper upon printing.

Fabric media. A variety of printable pre-coated fabrics are available today. When using pre-coated fabrics, remove the sheet metal platen supports. Get to know your machine when switching between media types and roll sizes.

Daily maintenance procedures. Clean the entire media path and anywhere ink can contaminate the media. Keep all platen areas clean of ink droplets. While the printer is waiting for its next job, it can perform various operations at fixed intervals to prevent ink clogging. Perform a refresh periodically to keep heads clear, and a tube wash to clear pump tubes. Perform a complete cleaning of the capping station and heads, and periodically clean the ink tray and replace the filter.

While this article isn’t a comprehensive maintenance guide, it is intended to make the user aware of the basic requirements in keeping your machine running in its maximum efficiency and quality. Many piezo, drop-on-demand inkjet printers are very similar in design, so these tips are good daily maintenance points.

When choosing personnel to operate and maintain a printer, have them trained by a factory representative. Also, keep an extended warranty plan in place to cover you for any break fix issues that may eventually arise.

Steve Urmano is marketing director at Mimaki USA, Suwanee, Ga., steve@mimakiusa.com.

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