Is My Print Head Going Bad?

iarensbak

New Member
Hello everyone, just wanted to say thank you in advance for anyone who can help me out with this one. I work for an advertising / print agency in Tennessee. We have a Mimaki JV3-160SP and we have been noticing that our blue's aren't as true as they could be. I ran a test print the other day and it looked very similar to the one that I have attached to this post. I ran a few head cleans on it and it worked good enough to print again. Then the next few days, got another print job, and noticed it was doing the same thing... once again, cleaned the heads, and did a normal cleaning cycle, still the same, then hard cleaning cycle, still the same, then normal again, and it seemed to clear it up again. Now it is doing it again, and I have tried doing the normal and hard clean cycles multiple times (probably used 1/2 the ink cartridges, lol) and it still is printing like below on the test print. I am currently trying to soak the print heads in the cleaner to see if that will free it up if it is a clogged print head. To be honest, I really don't know what I am doing, but I am not aware of anyone here locally that can come and look at it. And I guess since I'm the "tech guy" here at work... (web designer, lol) that I should know how to fix everything right? :) Anyways, if anyone can lend some help, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time!

Sorry for the bad quality of the picture, its from my crappy camera phone...
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MikePro

Major Contributor
is it always the same lines in that Cyan that won't print in the test draw? or do some return and some disappear after cleanings?
 

MikePro

Major Contributor
give the heads a LONG soak, give your printer monday off.

run a "Nozzle Wash", and once the carriage seats on the capping station and starts the cycle.... power down your machine and unplug it from the wall. Let it sit until tomorrow morning, plug in, power on, and run another test draw and let me know how it goes.
 

gabagoo

Major Contributor
give the heads a LONG soak, give your printer monday off.

run a "Nozzle Wash", and once the carriage seats on the capping station and starts the cycle.... power down your machine and unplug it from the wall. Let it sit until tomorrow morning, plug in, power on, and run another test draw and let me know how it goes.


Thats a good idea
 

MikePro

Major Contributor
Have you run a nozzle wash and for how long?

and welcome to the board:Welcome:
i'm not that smart...
i musta heard it somewhere before :)

NOTED: Nozzle wash requires that you fill the capping station with cleaning solution for your printer. I sometimes assume everyone knows that, but figured I'd mention in case you didn't.
 

iarensbak

New Member
Hey guys, thank you for your replies. It is not the same every time, But it is pretty bad every time. I did my trick of soaking the heads in solution for about 30 minutes, then did 2 hard clean cycles, and it seemed to work for the time being, but I'm sure tomorrow it will be the same issue... Also, there is a lot of excess ink from the blue squirting out onto the metal plate in front of where the carriage seats. Don't know if that is indicative of a problem or not, but thought I would mention it...

I have never done a Nozzle Wash on the machine. Is there a certain thing I have to have to do it? or does it use just the ink? I don't have any other solution other than the little bottle of cleaning solution to manually clean the sides of the heads.
 

MikePro

Major Contributor
that's the stuff you need. remember its "Nozzle Wash" and not "head wash"

lol, i'd ask to post pics of your capping station but i'm too afraid of what i'd see.
 

iarensbak

New Member
I can try to take pictures, I don't have a good camera right now though :(... I'll see what I can do... And I may try the nozzle wash, but it scares, me, lol... And I cleaned up the capping station pretty well, or tried at least... the wiper is clean too, but the housing around and underneath the wiper are pretty bad.
 

iarensbak

New Member
Here are a few images of test prints after different stages of cleaning... The most complete one is the current one... It looks like it is almost back to normal... I'll try to get some more shots of the other stuff... Maybe you guys can help me get this thing whipped back into shape :) Over 2 years of perfect service... never has missed a beat until now, lol...


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MikePro

Major Contributor
the wiper-area always will be bad, and black, and gooey.
you're good as long as the wiper blade is clean and relatively new
(when you notice tears in the wiper blade, its time to change it rather than just cleaning it)

i run "nozzle washes" at least once a week as part of routine maintenance. "Disway washes" too. Both paired with scrubbing the sides (not the printing face) of my heads via "carriage out".

"Head wash" is the only thing that should scare you to use, as it burns a LOT of ink and cleaning cartridges.... BUT is necessary to fix major issues with your heads before resorting to replacement.
 

iarensbak

New Member
Ok thats good news about the Wiper Area, cause ours is pretty bad. I try to keep the wiper as clean as possible with a qtip and cleaning solution. If it looks really bad, then i replace it...

As far as the Nozzle Wash goes, I don't have any cleaning cartridges, guess that's one thing I need to order to be able to do that then... Is there anything else that we will need in order to properly do a nozzle wash?
 

iarensbak

New Member
Also, we clean the sides of the heads with the carriage out at least once a week, and usually before every time we print something if it hasn't been done recently... we use a tightly wound q-tip and the cleaning solution... i don't clean the actual printing face of the heads, just the sides... and I also clean around where the carriage rests with the station to try and remove any buildup on the sides of those as well... hopefully I am doing everything right :)
 

gabagoo

Major Contributor
Ok thats good news about the Wiper Area, cause ours is pretty bad. I try to keep the wiper as clean as possible with a qtip and cleaning solution. If it looks really bad, then i replace it...

As far as the Nozzle Wash goes, I don't have any cleaning cartridges, guess that's one thing I need to order to be able to do that then... Is there anything else that we will need in order to properly do a nozzle wash?

you dont need cleaning cartridges to perform a nozzle wash. Once Nozzle wash is selected you clean the wiper then hit enter and fill all 4 ink trays (or whatever they are called) with cleaning fluid and then set the timer in your case for 90 minutes. Afterwards swing the head across and clean the sides of each. I would also run some alcohol over the bars the head travels on and re oil (I do this weekly)
 

iarensbak

New Member
ohh ok :) then I will go do that now, and i will try the turning the printer off part as well and let it sit till we need to use it again... Thank you so much for all of your help! I will let you know how it goes :)

Also 1 more note, we have it to "auto clean" every hour... so it cleans while we aren't here at night... is this overkill? or should we be doing it more?
 

daveb

General Know-it-all
Capping stations aren't that expensive, I'd put a new one on and see if you have see if the problem returns. I don't think it will. The seal around those heads are pretty finicky and can cause a lot of little problems before you come in one Monday morning and nothing comes out of that head. Once had two heads almost totally gone, put the new capping station on Friday morning and let it soak all day Friday, better Friday evening and by Monday morning both heads looked great. Heavy sigh of relief, (note to self.... order spare capping station:rolleyes:). You can also soak the old capping station in acetone overnight, rinse it out and it's as good as new. Good for about 3 recycles then toss.
 

iarensbak

New Member
Ok guys... did the nozzle wash (99 minutes), and that seemed to help it a little bit, its still got a few broken spots in the grid, but its way better than it was... I will check it tomorrow morning to see if it dried up again... if it is bad again, then we will probably try replacing the head cap assembly thingy to see if that helps seal it up... Thank you all so much for your help and time!
 

gabagoo

Major Contributor
Ok guys... did the nozzle wash (99 minutes), and that seemed to help it a little bit, its still got a few broken spots in the grid, but its way better than it was... I will check it tomorrow morning to see if it dried up again... if it is bad again, then we will probably try replacing the head cap assembly thingy to see if that helps seal it up... Thank you all so much for your help and time!


but as mentioned you say the problem keeps returning. Now if your maintenance schedule is not very good then I suppose a good nozzle wash every week for 90 minutes will work, but if there is a problem with the rubber around the capping stations then best you get it changed.
 

artbot

Very Active Member
that kind of bad test print can be bad pumping vacuum. if it keeps returning after doing lots of cleaning, swap a working pump tube to that head and see if you suddenly get better results. if so, do some pump line cleaning.
 
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