View Poll Results: Roland Users - Do you use all your pinch rollers?

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  • Always

    8 34.78%
  • Never

    7 30.43%
  • Only when cutting

    8 34.78%
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  1. #1
    PhD
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    Question Roland Users - do you use all your pinch rollers?

    Has anyone ever been told that in order to track properly on long runs you must use all the pinch rollers on your Roland printer?

    Do you have issues with tracking on your Roland using the take-up reel and only the outside pinch rollers?

    We've had issues with tracking on our XR-640 right out of the box and the final say from Roland, after a field engineer's visit, is that they (Roland printers) aren't designed to print long runs without using all the pinch rollers. From my experience, using all the pinch rollers (when printing) leaves marks that are visible after printing. The only time we use all of them is when we're cutting laminated prints.

    The alternative is to deal with potential head strikes or have to manually adjust the take up reel when printing any more than 10'.

    None of these options seem acceptable for a $30k piece of equipment sold as a production printer.

    Not trying to drag Roland through the mud - I'm looking for some feedback to see if my expectations are just out of line.

    Thanks in advance.

    Edited to add: If you wouldn't mind posting how long your prints usually are and what printer you are using, as well as any other things that come to mind it would be helpful.

  2. #2
    Master of Arts reQ's Avatar
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    I have zero problem doing 20-60 ft print with my SP 540i with only 2 pinch rollers. As you mentioned, on some medias you can't use all pinch rollers, specially in mesh banners in my experience.

    P.S. I think there are many people having problems with same model of printer as yours

  3. #3
    College Senior klingsdesigns's Avatar
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    We use 2 rollers for print and all for cutting. We do have something that goes in the ends of the rolls to keep it on track. Something that came with the printer. Usually print around 20 ft or less.

  4. #4
    Premium Subscriber Gino's Avatar
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    Generally, use as many as we can.

  5. #5
    College Freshman
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    Side rollers only for Vinyls .. for Banners 4 - 5 depending on banner width.

  6. #6
    Master of Arts eahicks's Avatar
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    I had a few issues using just outside rollers, then one of them fell apart, rubber bits everywhere. So I replaced them all. So I would replace them if you have issues.

  7. #7
    College Sophomore
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    The XR-640 was designed for speed...Yes you should be using all of your rollers when printing vinyl.

  8. #8
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    Just an addition...on long runs using TUR...make sure you only secure the media to a cardboard core using 1 piece of tape in the middle of the roll.. We have had media skewed from improper taping to the TUR...

  9. #9
    PhD 2B's Avatar
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    We have VS-640 machines and always use as many rollers as possible.

    Not so much for the print lengths but for the risk of buckling and head strikes, especially with the material that has thin backing paper.

  10. #10
    PhD
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    Thanks for the info guys.

    For those of you that use only the 2 outside pinch rollers, do you have any tracking or buckling issues on long runs? Would you feel comfortable printing 50' or 100' with your printer?

    For those of you that use all of the pinch rollers (when printing), do you have any issues with the rollers leaving marks on the vinyl?

    I spent a few hours running tests yesterday and was able to get it to print about 45' using all the pinch rollers but it leaves lines in the vinyl. In this case it was very light coverage so isn't a problem but on a normal full coverage job it wouldn't be acceptable. The vinyl also walked back and forth the whole time, almost to the point where it was getting head strikes.

  11. #11
    PhD
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    The lines are supposed to go away.

  12. #12
    Premium Subscriber Behrmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJPW View Post
    Thanks for the info guys.

    For those of you that use only the 2 outside pinch rollers, do you have any tracking or buckling issues on long runs? Would you feel comfortable printing 50' or 100' with your printer?
    As long as we tape from the center 1st onto the TU reel we are usually ok (not great) on long runs.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJPW View Post
    Thanks for the info guys.

    For those of you that use all of the pinch rollers (when printing), do you have any issues with the rollers leaving marks on the vinyl?
    Usually they go away, on print only jobs I usually try to use the outside 3 only (1st 2 by control panel and outside most).

    On print/cut jobs I try to use all of them to counteract poor plotter performance.

  13. #13
    TonyC
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    VS640 here. We always use as many rollers as possible. If print/cut we use only the 2 outside rollers. We can still have material buckling issues with banner stock at times (not a consistent issue).
    I would recommend cleaning the rollers to help with leaving marks on the material. Use caution when doing this as the rubber is laminated to the center core and something to aggressive will cause the rubber to de-lam and come apart. We use water with a little detergent.
    We consistently print 50-100 foot runs to take-up reel with no issues.

  14. #14
    PhD
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    When printing banners the printer should not pull the material off the roll. You need to manually keep the roll side slack.

  15. #15
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    Noooooooo I will only use two and never have problems. I tried a middle one and it ruins the print.

  16. #16
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    After more wasted time and material, this thing doesn't track any better with all the pinch rollers either.

    I guess it's up to us to re-engineer the take-up unit since all Roland does is come up with excuses.

    Their official explanation after dealing with this crap for almost 2 years is "you have to use all the pinch rollers".

    That's real helpful. Thing still doesn't work.

    Not impressed.

  17. #17
    College Sophomore cgvginc's Avatar
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    I use as many rollers as possible. Sometimes just a center roller on smaller prints. Probably not recommended, but if you see it starting to mis-track too much, just grab the material by the outer edges on the already printed side and gently pull it back on track. Obviously you have to do it gradually so it doesn't effect the printing too much but if you're about to walk off the material it's going to be ruined anyway.

  18. #18
    PhD
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgvginc View Post
    I use as many rollers as possible. Sometimes just a center roller on smaller prints. Probably not recommended, but if you see it starting to mis-track too much, just grab the material by the outer edges on the already printed side and gently pull it back on track. Obviously you have to do it gradually so it doesn't effect the printing too much but if you're about to walk off the material it's going to be ruined anyway.
    I've tried doing things like that... but just seems ridiculous.

    It's not so much walking off the rollers, it's the buckling that is the issue. Especially trying to print long seamless files - you start getting head strikes and that whole panel is ruined.

    The only solution we've found is to manually advance the take up. Aka...run to the printer every couple of minutes or have someone sit there and watch it. How much work can you possibly get done in 2 minute increments?? Not a hell of a lot.

  19. #19
    College Sophomore cgvginc's Avatar
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    I'd tell you how I remedied that problem, but your Roland rep. would not be happy with me :)

  20. #20
    PhD
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgvginc View Post
    I'd tell you how I remedied that problem, but your Roland rep. would not be happy with me :)
    Sending the printer back? That's what we're going for.

  21. #21
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    There are a number of steps/precautions you can take to avoid tracking/skewing issues on your Roland. We haven't narrowed it down to any one issue - we just try to do them all and we usually have pretty good results.


    1. Load your media straight. Hold the media down on the front of the printer, then reach over to the back and turn the media flanges until the media tenses up, then low the rollers.
    2. Use all the rollers if possible. In our experience there are only a couple of materials where the roller leaves treadmarks (cast and reflective I think). The treadmarks usually disappear anyway.
    3. Check that the cardboard core on the takeup is parallel with the machine. When you load the core and tighten the thumb screw on the left, you can still push the left side of the core around a bit until it's parallel with the machine (just eyeball it). I don't really know how reliable this is as it might shift once it starts taking up material anyway. I just noticed one time that it never sits parallel to the machine on its own - maybe this is the root of all our skewing problems.
    4. Load the media onto the takeup as straight as possible. When the material is nearing the floor, put a piece of tape in the center, then pull the dancing bar (yes, it's really called that) out to tense up the media before you attach the tape to the cardboard core. Add tape on the ends if you need, but we usually don't.


    We typically print in batches of 12'-18' lengths but only because our laminator can't handle long runs. For banners we've printed up to 50' without an issue and I think we printed 500' once on butcher paper - that one was interesting because we got to see how the material on the takeup walks side to side, just a little bit at first and then increasingly wider and wider as it goes.

  22. #22
    Premium Subscriber Behrmon's Avatar
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    Another thing re the TU reel I have found on all our Rolands is to just snug the tightening bolt for the take up, cranking it to hard will slightly skew the TU core to the frame. I also do the same routine for taping to the TU, center 1st with tension from the dancer bar.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJPW View Post
    After more wasted time and material, this thing doesn't track any better with all the pinch rollers either.

    I guess it's up to us to re-engineer the take-up unit since all Roland does is come up with excuses.

    Their official explanation after dealing with this crap for almost 2 years is "you have to use all the pinch rollers".

    That's real helpful. Thing still doesn't work.

    Not impressed.
    I've never had tracking problems with my Roland plotter or Roland Print/Cut machines. Maybe your settings are off.

  24. #24
    PhD
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    I've never had tracking problems with my Roland plotter or Roland Print/Cut machines. Maybe your settings are off.
    Which settings would those be?

    This is what we've tried over the last year or so:

    -Added spacers to the media feed bars on the back as they weren't squared to the frame/printer/take up

    -Added shims to the pinch rollers

    -Replaced the whole lower frame and take-up unit

    Had an onsite visit from a Roland engineer who after burning through material for several hours came up with the "solution" that we need to use all the pinch rollers, then washed his hands of it.

    Even with all the pinch rollers, we still can't print for much more than 10' without buckling which leads to head strikes.




    So which settings are off? Or is the unit just a lemon. You be the judge.

  25. #25
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    We have an Pro 4 XR-640 and from trial and error with different materials sometimes we use all the rollers, sometimes we don't. On long runs I like to use the side clamps (leave about 1/8 to 1/4" play) but everything needs to be dead straight, from how it is loaded to how it is taped on the take-up roll. It does have a tendency (sometimes) to move on the take-up roll but I find that is different material. Banner material tends to be more slippery so moves more on the take-up roll. When that happens we loosen the slack at the back of the roll and turn the take-up to manual so we have to switch the button every 5-10 mins.

    Using all the pinch rollers can leave marks but they do also help prevent the media from skewing. If you start the job without all the rollers in place you can move them into the 'locked' position while printing to help give you more grip. If you can master the side clamps they help a lot.

    Steve

  26. #26
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    ...also make sure your take-up roll is on tight otherwise it may slip on the mechanism as the roll gets heavier. Tighten the bolts but don't over tighten them as the Roland ones have a habit of cracking (on ours) and make sure the gap either side of the rolls on the feed and take-up are even, that will help it be straight.

    But test with different materials and see which works best for you, we have done that and have a folder with notes for different medias we use.

  27. #27
    Master of Arts Kentucky Wraps's Avatar
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    Always
    Never
    Only when Cutting

    My option wasn't listed. "Sometimes"

  28. #28
    PhD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentucky Wraps View Post
    Always
    Never
    Only when Cutting

    My option wasn't listed. "Sometimes"
    I guess I could've include more options...

    Are you guys okay with printing full wraps on your Roland without worrying about headstrikes?

    Which model are your running?

    Thanks.

  29. #29
    College Sophomore cgvginc's Avatar
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    Another thing I try to do when I can, is just set the outside rollers further in on the material. It just gives it more room to mis-track but not lose it's grip. Then I crop it to square on the cutting table after
    .

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