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360 takeup uneven causing headstrikes

HP Latex 360 Printer

#1 Bly 6 years ago

The media on the takeup wanders from side to side up to about 10mm.

When it gets to one side the media buckles up as it exits the printer and hits the hot overhead surface damaging the print.

Is there any adjustment or anyone have any advice to stop this happening?

#2 Bly 6 years ago

Pic of media on takeup reel.

Wanders from side to side.

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#3 HP-MarcM 6 years ago

Hi bly,

I have a couple of recommendations for this case:

1- Make sure you load the take-up-reel (TUR) since the beginning of the printing process. sometimes we've face some users that they load the media in the TUR once the media is already coming out of the printer printed in order to save some media.

2- Latex 300 units have the same type of spindle for the media roll as the TUR. When using the TUR the right and left end caps must be removed from the TUR spindle leaving just the media core, this will avoid media edge deformation and media wrinkles that might move upwards towards the printing zone.

The right end cap for 2” spindles cannot be removed. The recommendation is to load the media about 10mm to the left so it will also have the same 10mm gap when loading the TUR spindle.

If this doesn't work I will recommend to contact support, since they will be able to help you better.

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#4 Mike-Asheville 6 years ago

This happens to mine all the time as well, and is particularly problematic when I need to laminate the print. The heat is too much for the substrate, and it warps it so it is no longer a flat sheet running accross the platten smoothly. It creates convex deformations in the print as well, so that if I'm trying to die cut a row of stickers, the ends are curved further forward than the center and the decals in the middle of the sheet get an incorrect cut. I have yet to be provided with a working solution to this problem, they just keep telling me to reduce the heat and ink levels, which creates a washed out pastel looking color output. Good luck to you.

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#5 Morkel 6 years ago

Hey there,

We've had issues with this as well on our 360. Interestingly it's not just been when using the take-up reel, but also when leaving the media to freely cascade on the ground. The failures were quite catastrophic, in that the medias rippled at one side, buckling up high enough for the print heads to strike and then eventually catch the media and tear it. Frustratingly, we'd never had this issue before in the 9 months that we'd been using the printer.

At the time that it first happened, we had it happen to two different medias, both of which we'd use previously. The first was a fabric-based wall graphic, the other was on a polypropylene used for pull-ups. And they'd both been printed in large lengths (~30 - 40 metres) with no issues whatsoever on all previous occasions. The wall graphic was on the take-up roller, the polypropylene left to cascade, which ruled out the take-up reel being the problem.

On the advice of HP, we tested out reducing the curing temps, and a few various temp/tension/vacuum tweaks, none of which helped (they were already quite low for the medias). Our solution at the time was a bit of a hack, but it worked - we borrowed the edge holders from our L28500 and gaffer-taped them in front of the ones already on the 360. As the buckling was happening after the media went past the 360's holders, these extra ones helped keep the media edge flat all the way through to the curing unit. To this day, this is what we do whenever we have this same rippling issue, and we've now had it on just about every media we use (banners, sav, backlit film etc).

PS, as an interesting side-note, we also have another oddity that may be related. If the printer has been on and in use for some time, the responsiveness of the front panel begins to degenerate. As in, when you press a button, it takes longer and longer to respond, as if there is some lag in the processing. When we turn the printer off and start it up again, it is once again fast to respond. How does this relate to the uneven media? Well every now and again we get prints that get further and further out of alignment as the print progresses - exactly the same symptom that you'd get if there was a dirty encoder strip. However cleaning this does not fix it. Doing a printhead alignment does not fix it. Turning the printer off & on is the only thing that fixes it. We actually had one that was printing so badly that the image actually printed on an angle. I know that the print heads can not print on an angle, so my only guess is that the media was stepping forward at a slightly different rate on each side, causing the media to skew. The reason I know it's not a media issue is that it printed perfectly for a while, gradually deteriorated, then printer perfectly after the restart - all without taking the media off or repositioning it. So, potentially, this same malfunction could easily explain why a media could ripple and buckle on one side regardless of whether it's on a take-up reel or not. How & why a processing/software issue can cause the media to roll through inconsistently I have no idea...

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#6 HP-MarcM 6 years ago

Hi Morkel,

I fell bad for your headcraching issues, but If my previous recommendations didn't work for you I suggest you to contact your support source in order to look for the root of this crashes. I'll also like to thank you the fact that you share your workaround with the edge holders it can be useful for other users.

About the front panel responsiveness and the alignment, I'll like to do some further investigation since i've never heard about this before.

Would you please share with us the support response?

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#7 Morkel 6 years ago

To be honest the "support" I received was to monitor it and to accept that it was maybe a media / environment problem. Which is why we've gone and made our own workaround.

FYI, here's a photo of how we attach the extra edge holders. As I mentioned earlier we use clips from our L28500 / 260 twins, but any rigid, thin (>1mm) material should do the same job.

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The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP.

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