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Author Topic: Headjams on Epson 7900  (Read 1160 times)
mare
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« on: November 04, 2012, 04:21:18 PM »
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I just bought an Epson 7900. On the second day of priniting the head hits a canvas just in the first corner very hard and stucked in it. After a switch off of the printer and the remove of the jamed canvas, I started the printer again and made a new head alignment. Everything seems ok after this hard headstike, but now Iīm rahter unsure if this kind of headjams can destroy the printhead. Do you have any experience with headstrikes on the Epson 7900 or 9900?

Regards
Mario
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darlingm
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 04:50:40 PM »
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I just bought an Epson 7900. On the second day of priniting the head hits a canvas just in the first corner very hard and stucked in it. After a switch off of the printer and the remove of the jamed canvas, I started the printer again and made a new head alignment. Everything seems ok after this hard headstike, but now Iīm rahter unsure if this kind of headjams can destroy the printhead. Do you have any experience with headstrikes on the Epson 7900 or 9900?

I will be extremely interested to hear other people's responses.  I have an Epson 9900.  There are others on this forum with much more technical knowledge of printers than I have, so take what I say as a grain of salt as my experience - not necessarily representative of how your or other peoples' experience(s) will go.

I have always read that head strikes are awful, and can completely destroy them.

Yet, I've experienced what you have about ten times and have had no damage that I'm aware of.  Every time this has happened, it scares the heck out of me, until I reboot the printer and complete a successful nozzle check.  it's either been with Breathing Color Crystalline canvas on a roll, or scrap sheets of paper or canvas that came off a roll.  (If I have to use a much larger roll due to what I have in stock, and there's useful scrap, I put it aside.  When I'm not in a rush, I try to use this scrap later.)

I believe the Epson 9900 has a feature that when it detects a jam, it locks the printhead's position until the power is cycled - to ensure moving it doesn't cause damage.  So, I don't think your heads actually stuck to the canvas -- I think it triggered this full stop.

The heads themselves (I believe) are at the top of the print carriage, since the unit only prints on the section of media approximately on the first inch that comes through the first set of rollers.  The print carriage extends a lot further down (again, I believe.)  I've read that the actual printheads have metal around them about as durable as tin foil, and can easily be damaged.  When mine has jammed, it seems to jam at the bottom part of the print carriage, so I'm not sure I've ever had a paper jam be a true head strike.

I have had maybe two or three times where a tiny line of ink was on the media, indicating a light true head strike, but there was no paper jam.  Had to throw out these few prints, but no damage that I'm aware of.

That all being said, I'm not sure if I've been extremely lucky, if a paper jam / head strike would be awful but are rare due to the bottom of the carriage often hitting the jam first, or if the worry is real but rare with a jam.  I'd love to know, especially as I love Crystalline canvas, but it likes to jam unless you feed a lot through first as waste.


You should look at your canvas manufacturer's recommended platen gap setting for the 7700/9900.  In the print driver, you can specify the thickness of the media in terms of standard/wide/wider/widest or something like that, with correspondingly increases the distance between the printer heads and the platen.  Even if the manufacturer doesn't recommend higher, you can always move this up a notch or two which can help prevent this issue.  If you run it too high, you can have blurriness -- whether this would be noticable or not for you, I don't know.  Less likely on canvas than smooth or high quality photo paper.

The vacuum level you can select as you're loading media (I believe) only affects the vacuum being used while loading.  I really wish there was a setting for during the print.  I've been meaning to look around in service mode to see if there was something for this.....
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Paul2660
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 04:53:45 PM »
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It sounds like you have a bit of curling on the edge of the canvas.  What brand is the canvas?

You might need to cut off the edges of the corners to help get the first part of the canvas past the head.  

Other things to consider:
Media setting, Platen gap.  For Canvas I would use a media setting of either "canvas" or Water color radiant White (WCRW)  and use a Platen gap of "widest"

You can also check with your canvas provider to see what they recommend for media settings for the 7900.

Paul
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bill t.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 08:50:05 PM »
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Canvas and many other media tend to curl at the edges over time in the areas that are strung hung out to dry in the air between the roll and the printheads.  If your media has been loaded and sitting idle for 1/2 hour or more, it's probably smart to advance the media several inches before starting a new print.  The curl seems especially prone to develop in the printhead area, perhaps because that area is warm.  On 22 mil, 420  gsm canvas I need to advance about 12-18 inches on my 8300 to assure no head strikes, and sometimes even add weights to stretch the canvas flat in the printhead area.  Have had a few doozy canvas edge slams that bent the edge of the canvas 180 degrees, but apparently without major head damage.  Much less of a problem with paper media.

Wish certain big-name canvas manufacturers would stop using such ridiculously thick and generally obnoxious substrates.  I don't give a hoot about "hand feel", I just want to have zero head slams and a low stress printing experience.  Relatively thin canvases like Fredrix 777 and Sunset Select Canvas seem to have no problem with edge curling.
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Chris233
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 09:51:04 PM »
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Everything seems ok after this hard headstike, but now Iīm rahter unsure if this kind of headjams can destroy the printhead.

The printhead is partially protected by the carriage assembly.  But if the media crumples and tears onto the surface of the platen, it can damage the head.  If you find you're advancing too much media before each print, you can try advancing the paper a few inches, and attaching paperclips on the corners (right before the print begins and definately after the printer finds its home position with the media.  You don't want the paperclip to become an obstruction, so watch the printer a few times and see the best opportunity for you to add the clips).  This should add enough weight to flatten out the media across the platen.  

I believe the Epson 9900 has a feature that when it detects a jam, it locks the printhead's position until the power is cycled - to ensure moving it doesn't cause damage.  So, I don't think your heads actually stuck to the canvas -- I think it triggered this full stop.

The printer does have sensors to detect the speed and location of the carriage assembly during each pass.  If a paper jam stops the head, it can result in various errors.  The most common would be 1125 error for 7900/9900.

The vacuum level you can select as you're loading media (I believe) only affects the vacuum being used while loading.  I really wish there was a setting for during the print.  I've been meaning to look around in service mode to see if there was something for this.....

Adjusting the vacuum during loading helps the loading process, especially if you're loading single sheets.  Once the paper is loaded and you choose the preset for your media, the media driver and associated settings take over.  You can adjust the vacuum settings on your printer for each media by creating a custom media preset.    You can access custom media on your computer and use your paper setting as a "base" to build your custom profile, and then adjust the vacuum strength as desired.  Be aware though, adjusting vacuum settings may cause a shift in your printed measurements.  There is another location to further control the vacuum of the printer, but that is within the firmware on the machine.

Humidity and temperature also plays a role on curling.  Check with the paper your using and see what the recommended environment is best for your paper.  It could be a simple adjustment of temperature that can resolve it for you.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 09:54:56 PM by Chris233 » Logged
mare
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 11:51:40 AM »
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Thanks alot for all your infos!

I understand, that everytime I see an extra line of ink or some smeared ink on my print, the printhead strikes the media – is that right? And that the holes in this nano-material-skin, under the printhead, is very,very,very thin.

That really makes me think and kind of nervous. It seems the Epson 7900 is very sensitiv and I have to be very carefull with the media I use.
I just figured out that a new printhead will cost at least 1200,- Euros – without the servicetime of changing. All this does not help to feel save with this new machine.

Are there any more experiences with this Printer? Something that makes me feel a bit more save in the "Epson-7900-printing-area"? :-)

Best regards
Mario
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Chris233
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 05:01:43 PM »
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Hi Mario,

I understand, that everytime I see an extra line of ink or some smeared ink on my print, the printhead strikes the media – is that right? And that the holes in this nano-material-skin, under the printhead, is very,very,very thin.

It doesn't necessarily mean it is the printhead that is striking the media; depending on the shape of the line of ink, smear, etc and whether it makes an impression on the media or not, it could indicate a few different things...  Also, the "holes" or nozzles on the printhead are small, and the metal plate is very thin.  Most printheads on different inkjet machines have a similar "weak spot" regarding the durability of the platen material, or lack thereof.

That really makes me think and kind of nervous. It seems the Epson 7900 is very sensitiv and I have to be very carefull with the media I use.
I just figured out that a new printhead will cost at least 1200,- Euros – without the servicetime of changing. All this does not help to feel save with this new machine.


If the media is installed and calibrated for the machine (using a custom media preset if necessary), then you shouldn't have too many challenges except perhaps page curling on the edges - which would be a property of the material, or result of the surrounding environment.  Temperature/humidity.

Are there any more experiences with this Printer? Something that makes me feel a bit more save in the "Epson-7900-printing-area"? :-)


Several tradeshops and commercial printers use the 7900 and other models.  Some have common problems with rhythm while others do not.  From my experience, the shops that perform routine maintenance and the higher volume shops tend to have less problems.  The companies that perform zero preventative maintenance or have very low volume tend to have more challenges. Run the machine, don't let it collect dust - and perform normal preventative maintenance and you should be fine.  Hope it helps. btw, I'm not Epson trying to convince you to use the machine more than you need.  Never been employed by them or decisionn one.  Just giving you an observation from my experiences.
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mare
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 03:15:43 AM »
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Hi Chris,
thanks for your reply.
When you say "preventative maintenance", what do you exactly mean – when I read this forum, ther are many different sights of "preventative maintenance", some even disambled the machine to change parts in a regular mode. Or do you just mean "nozzle-cleaning", "wiping dust off" ...

Regards
Mario
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Chris233
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 06:02:49 PM »
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Hi Mario,

Here's a basic guideline to try.  Everybody has their own procedures so it will vary.  Check the Epson manual, too.  Here is what I recommend to tradeshops after an installation.


1x per morning:
print nozzle check (powerclean if necessary)

1x per print job:
I usually set the machines to automatically print a nozzle check at the beginning of each print.  Run a "paired power clean" if necessary to recover individual channel.  If the nozzle check is good, then no need to power clean.

If the printer is not in use, try to run 1 live job each day that utilizes all channels on the printhead.  If there is nothing to print, run a power clean. Try to avoid going more than several days without running either a live job or power clean.

1x per 3mo: (This will vary.)
Recalibrate the color profile for consistency.  Some tradeshops recalibrate every 2 weeks or more regardless of the output device....except those plotting with a laser. So it's really up to your preference or color critical jobs as to how often.

1x per 6mo - 1yr:  (depending on volume, environment, and material being printed):
• Check capping assembly and wiper blades for ink buildup. Clean with water and long Q-tip.
• Check around the inside of the machine if there is excess dust, particles, or paper material building up.  Wipe with a towel or use a low powered shop vac to clean. Move the printhead to opposite side of machine and check around the capping station, etc.

1x per yr:
Wipe the printhead platen with very soft, lint-free cloth damp with water. Unplug printer and turn it On/Off to discharge the power before doing this. And check the capping station for ink buildup while it's unlocked.


Use OEM inks unless there is a very specific reason for 3rd party!

Hope it helps,

Chris
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 06:38:25 PM by Chris233 » Logged
mare
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 07:59:44 AM »
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Hi Chris,
thanks again for your Tipps!

Is there somewhere a manual for "Check capping assembly and wiper blades for ink buildup. Clean with water and long Q-tip" and "Move the printhead to opposite side of machine and check around the capping station"?

Best Regards
Mario
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Chris233
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 11:38:16 AM »
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Hi Mare,

Sorry for the late reply.  This would be covered in a training session with the prepress department after an installation. You can find documentation online or in this forum how to do that without having to rewrite the procedures.  I can send the same pdf documents that can be found online no problem, pm me your email and I'll get them to you.

Thanks,

Chris
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 11:45:16 AM by Chris233 » Logged
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