VersaArt RS-640 Trouble every 3-4 months


New Member
Hey guys. First time poster here. Been trying to figure out my problems for a long time here, and thought it was humidity, but I'm starting to even doubt that problem.

A little preface is that we bought this printer and currently have it in the back of a LARGE room. I don't know the exact square footage, but I'd say it's roughly the size of a small sign shop.

The problem started about a year after we bought the printer, which would let us begin around March of 2012. I started getting skewed prints. Called up my closest Roland service provider and they came in and replaced the encoder strip, which fixed it -- for a while.

The next visit was about 6 months down the line and the same thing started happening. Media wasn't being measured correctly, skewing, etc. The guy came in and told me it was probably the dry weather we were having and that I should get a humidifier. He fixed it again and this time switched out the sensor. I bought the humidifier and bought rubber mats to put underneath the printer to avoid getting static on the media, which caused some spray to go on our encoder strip. I thought this would end our problem.

3 months later, same damn problem. This time, they're telling me they NEVER see it screwing up this frequently. We basically clean the entire machine from head to toe, replace the motor (it was going anyway), and the encoder strip...AGAIN. At this point I'm at my wit's end. It always seems to happen before price increase season (I work at a beer wholesaler and I make signs pretty much all day). Anyways, everything gets replaced and everything's fine.

3 months after that it's happening again. No skewing this time, but I know the signs when I see them. I'm getting misreads on the media I'm putting in. It's reading ~63" (roughly the entire width of the print area) when it should be closer to ~54". Now, even when I click "Cut Media" the damn arm doesn't even come down.

I simply can't fathom why it's doing this NOW, as it's been more humid in this room in the last 3 months than it has since I first started working here. I have NO IDEA what I can possibly do to prevent this from happening. I have a humidifier hitting the media as it feeds, I have it all sitting on a rubber mat, I look for warning signs, etc. It keeps happening. I feel like this is a quarterly inevitability. I hate having to get into these panic attacks not being able to do my job because this keeps happening.

Things to keep in mind here is that there HAVE been some minor jams in wrinkling media due to the humidity that I can't avoid even with the clips on. Even if I turn the humidifier off, it still does it.

I just don't know if there is literally anything I can do. It seriously makes me want to just quit my job. This is $12,000+ machine and I just can't keep fixing it over and over again every few months. It doesn't help that I have to wait weeks for the guy to show up. It slows down my workflow and kills my motivation and gives me panic attacks like no one's business.

I don't know if anyone has anything they can relate to that can help me.


New Member
How often do you run the machine? 2 hours a day, 4 hours a day, overnight every day?
How many hours were on the old scan motor when replaced?
What is your cleaning/maintenance schedule?
What are you cleaning with?

Sounds more environmental to me.


DIY Printer Fixing Guide
I agree that it sounds like an environment issue. Before replacing the encoder strip next time, go into the service mode and do the encoder setup and calibration and then in user mode do the environmental match. If this fixes it, it means that your environment changes throughout the year in regards to humidity, temperature etc. which is why Roland has the environmental match function to begin with.


New Member
I'm not that deep when it comes to Roland electronics because it's our "just works" machine and I don't even think about it, I tinker with the other prints that don't work.

We have a VS-640 and we have only ever had one issue with it. A few months after we bought it it started showing banding on the print and the cut was not accurate as well.

The Roland dealership pulled our noses for months, they told us it's environmental and the media is at fault and all sorts of stuff...after about a month or two of our suffering they sent a "technician" in to take a look (I'm quoting technician because he was hardly that, we knew more about the printer than he did). He didn't have a clue, he told us that the servo might be broken and that he will try to get us another one, the printer was under warranty. It was a nightmare all in all and we wasted 2-3 months of our time on it. The main problem was that they didn't let us take a look at the machine, not even open it. After getting tired of waiting we said "**** them and their useless warranty" and opened the printer up. Within 15 minutes we found the issue, when we notified the dealer of the issue and the solution we came up with he told us not to do it under any circumstance, we would void the warranty, bla bla bla. We decided to ignore them and just did it.

It turns out that when the head is cleaning itself on the cap station a bit of ink can spray up and drop on the encoder strip (or whatever the name of the strip above the cap station is), we cleaned it with 90% alcohol and viola, printer worked perfectly all of a sudden.

I'm not sure if this is the exact issue you're having but it's probably in the ballpark. Replacing a part is always the easiest thing to do and that's what dealers like to do.

Hope this helps on at least some level.