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Author Topic: Epson News: New printer head production lines  (Read 2112 times)
warmtone
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« on: June 27, 2013, 08:49:02 PM »
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I still haven't made a final purchase decision on my planned R2400 upgrade.
The head says just buy 3880 but the heart says I really want the reliability of the 3880 AND  the colour performance of the 4900.   It seems I expect too much!

Two weeks of research has led me to conclude  with great disappointment that the X900 printers are flawed in terms of head reliability.

There is too many repeated patterns of head failure.

A local dealer here in Melbourne who I respect told me he had sold 57 - 4900 printers with no Custmer head failures...... But his showroom 9900 had just suffered a head failure and the showroom 4900 had suffered a similar fate!   Both printers had failed just outside the 12 month warranty.  Sound familiar?

I started to reflect on all that I had read on this site and others and concluded that the head problems are not just related to low usage or low humidity there must be some electro mechanical factors as well.

Piezo heads are complex hi tech  devices that actuate the highly precise ink deposits. My gut feeling is the greater the number of nozels and the smaller the nozzle size the greater the chance of head problems through inevitable manufacturing tolerances.

Perhaps the boundaries to what can be done with ink jet technology whilst providing reliability have been pushed too far in the pursuit of image quality improvements?

Just my thoughts as an electronics engineer and I may be totally wrong.

I decided to have a look on the Epson US site to check what was in the pipeline and found an interesting article on the development of piezo head technology and the innovations that Epson has made over the years.

And then I discovered this link which you may find both interesting and encouraging:  Epson are investing in new production lines for new head technology....... Clearly Epson is very serious about the future and retention of its leading market position

http://global.epson.com/newsroom/2013/news_20130619.html

This may indicate Epson ARE working on the reliability issue as well as further Image Quality improvements.
We might see new models  over the next 12  - 18 months.

Lets hope the next generation deliver both IQ improvements and traditional Epson rock solid reliability
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 07:06:46 PM by warmtone » Logged
enduser
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 02:24:38 AM »
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Are these the fine art heads we use or more sign industry, or perhaps consumer machines?
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warmtone
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 02:58:20 AM »
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Are these the fine art heads we use or more sign industry, or perhaps consumer machines?

Hi sorry for the confusion x900 refers to the 4900,  7900 and 9900 family of printers.

These are the high - end fine art printers.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 04:51:20 AM by warmtone » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 03:34:20 AM »
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This may indicate Epson ARE working on the reliability issue as well as further Image Quality improvements.
We might see new models  over the next 12  - 18 months.

Lets hope the next generation deliver both IQ improvements and traditional Epson rock solid reliability

5 comments:

I have seen enough optimistic ads, news, articles, scientific PDFs from Epson employees over the past 5 years including one describing non-sticky nozzle surfaces and one describing the step from 180 to 360 nozzles per inch technology that resulted in the x900 heads.

Is there any mention of an automated factory for wipers next to the head plant so every head channel gets its own wiper?

Is this not the step to cheaper pizo heads produced in higher quantities to make page wide head assemblies possible and affordable? In competition with thermal heads doing the same quite successfully already. I have no urge to buy Epson stock though, it will be a hard competition.

Image quality with a sound Epson x900 is not the issue, keeping it sound is the problem. Let Epson deal with that aspect only and/or bring head prices down if they can not solve the last.

Buy that 3880, it is the most reliable Epson printer now and there is no competition in that class. The new factory will not change that in the next two years.


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.




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enduser
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 06:53:18 PM »
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I don't see "X900" mentioned in the Epson press release.
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warmtone
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 07:17:46 PM »
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I don't see "X900" mentioned in the Epson press release.

I have changed the title to avoid confusion


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Rhossydd
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2013, 03:38:09 AM »
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A local dealer here in Melbourne who I respect told me he had sold 57 - 4900 printers with no Custmer head failures......
How could he know ?
In the UK Epson deal with warranty problems directly or via authorised service centres, you'd only send a printer back to a dealer for a DOA. Is that different in Aus ?
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 07:56:04 AM »
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I don't see "X900" mentioned in the Epson press release.

'x900' is the generic way of referring to the 4900/7900/9900 series of printers from Epson that use the latest HDR ultrachrome inks and have common print head design.
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enduser
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 06:22:33 PM »
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I'm aware of what an X900 head is Bob.  My  comments are about Warmtone's view that the Epson Press release is about X900 heads when, in fact, Epson doesn't mention which range of heads they're talking about.
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