By performing basic preventative maintenance routines on your wide format dye sub printers, you can both prolong the life of your printer investment and ensure its day to day quality performance.
Most owners / operators of wide format dye sub ink jet printers can perform this routine housekeeping on their own. Be sure to check with your vendor to see what preventative maintenance training resources are available to you when you buy a dye sub printer from them. These are very simple things to do and will save you big bucks on expensive break fix repairs over the long run.
Keep your dye sub printer in a clean area, free from lint, dust and any dirt. Cover when not in use, vacuum the inside of the print cabinet area gently as often as needed.
Exercise your ink jet printer daily, as even a simple nozzle check will keep it in shape. It is cheaper to print a basic color chart, test pattern or any nozzle pattern than fixing a clogged head.
Dye Sublimation ink jet printers operate best in humidity of 35-45% and that is why they are usually located in their own clean, humidified room to maintain consistent conditions. Along with a room humidifier, you can place a humidor sponge inside your printer at rest.
Periodic cleaning & inspection of the overall ink delivery system is a must. Check these components frequently, as they are what keep your printer in top operating condition. We will cover more about cleaning the wipers, capping station and the flushing system in more detail in future tips.
Training is one the most important aspects of buying a wide format dye sublimation printer from each vendor and your local reseller or systems integrator. They should be available to assist you with the proper installation of your printer and be able to provide training resources to you that enable you to become self-sufficient in the day to day operation of dye sub printers.
Again, a lot of their technical resources should be available to you. If you need help in preventative maintenance, they should be able to show you and your operators how to perform the basic procedures when they install the printer and during your operational training. Ultimately, it is your responsibility as the owner of any digital printing or finishing equipment to learn how to best operate and maintain that equipment and keep it in top condition. Otherwise, if you don’t know how to best run and maintain that equipment, you are setting yourself up for a tough time keeping it operational.
Dye sub printer manufacturers will have detailed instructions and published procedures on both preventative maintenance as well as technical repair guides on how to maintain their printers. Also, there are now a lot of good You Tube videos, web blogs and other public forums on how to best maintain digital printing equipment. A lot of the simple components, such as a print head wiper blade are available on the open market and can be simple to replace on most modern wide format dye sub ink jet printers.
In summary, by keeping your dye sub printer properly maintained and learning how to protect that investment, you can gain many years of good use, produce high quality production and reduce your exposure to costly repairs.
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