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Common Printhead Quality Issues and Fixes

Common Printhead Quality Issues And Fixes

As your printhead processes jobs on a routine basis, the inkjet nozzles that distribute ink out to the media become worn and dried out leading to print quality issues. This will show you that preventive maintenance, when put into practice, can assist in rectifying defects that are noticed in print jobs.

Single Nozzle Out

  • Cause:
    • A pocket of air has infiltrated the ink delivery system and that pocket of air has seeped into the Inkjets during the printing process.
  • Solution:
    • Invoke a general cleaning through the EWS Toolbox software or the commands on the front panel.
      • Light
      • Medium
      • Heavy
  1. Print after each cleaning process to see if the issue has been resolved.
  2. If running the three levels of cleaning does not clear the problem, move on to circulating the ink within the Printhead.
  3. If both option 1 and option 2 do not rectify the issue take distilled water and a microfiber cloth and gently wipe the ink channels helping recreate a vacuum seal.

Multiple Nozzles Out

  • Cause:
    • Multiple thin streaks can be caused by infiltrating air bubbles into the ink delivery system
    •  Internal contaminants (Dust, Debris, Fibers) or printhead damage.
  • Solution:
    • Begin by printing a 5-band color plot that displays the five primary colors (Cyan, Magenta, Black, Yellow). If the gaps are noticed in just one of the primary colors, circulate the ink.
    • If multiple primary colors have gaps/lines, there is contamination associated within the printhead.
    • Eject the printhead and do a manual wipe with distilled water and a microfiber cloth.
    • Eject the printhead and let it bathe in distilled water overnight. Utilize the orange plastic holder each printhead is sent with and store in a gallon zip lock bag overnight.

Garbled Image

  • Cause:
    • The communication the printhead is receiving is obstructed. There is a build-up on the printhead contacts which are obstructing the printhead from interpreting completely what it requires to print.
  • Solution:
    • Eject the printhead and take a dampen a microfiber cloth with distilled water and lightly wipe away any residual ink that has accumulated on the printhead contacts.
    • If residual ink still exists on the printhead contacts utilize a #2 pencil eraser to remove any remaining excess ink.

Color Mixing

  • Cause:
    • Color contamination is caused when ink migrates across the printhead surface from heavily printing nozzles into the ink channels.
  • Solution:
    • Within the printer preference menu make sure the correct media profile is selected.
    • If the color mixing is still prevalent run the printhead removal through the EWS command or front panel.
    • Once the printhead is removed wipe the ink channels with distilled water and a microfiber cloth then re-install the printhead back into the printer.

Scuff Marks

  • Cause:
    • This defect either means the print platen is dirty or ink is puddling up on the print engine or on the printhead itself.
  • Solution:
    • If the ink scuff marks are located on the back of the printed media, focus your cleaning efforts on the print platen. Use distilled water and a microfiber cloth to wipe the excess ink found on the print platen.
    • If the scuff marks are noticed on the print side of the media make sure there is no ink pooled on the surface of the printhead. If pools of ink are noticed on the printhead:
    • Run one of the cleaning cycles found in the EWS Toolbox or on the front panel.
      • Light
      • Medium
      • Heavy
    • If running the cleaning cycles does not remove the excess ink on the printhead proceed to the next step by lifting the clamshell and dampening a microfiber cloth with distilled water and wiping any pools of ink noticed on the printhead or across the ink channels.

Heavy Black Line

  • Cause:
    • These black lines appear when the intra-page spitting hits the trailing edge of the media. This generally, occurs in the Colordyne 1600S and is observed when either media is skewing or the printer’s “bottom of form” adjustment is not set correctly.
  • Solution:
    • Make sure your media is aligned and the media guides are readjusted to handle the sheet media feed.
    • Ensure that the “bottom of form” adjustment value is set to 3,000 in the EWS Toolbox Software
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