Maintaining your large format printer ensures that jobs are completed on-time and prints are of the highest quality.
Updated: 6/14/2018 – Your wide format printer will only work well if it is properly maintained. When you rely on your printer for your business, regular maintenance is vital. It is the kind of thing best done preventatively and regularly, instead of waiting for something to go wrong.
To keep your wide format printer functioning well for a long time to come, follow these tips for print head cleaning and more. You will also find a well-maintained printer makes better prints!
Supplies for Printer Maintenance
Have these supplies in stock for maintenance and repair. Each one plays an important role.
- Gloves: Wear latex or nitrile gloves when performing printer maintenance. It is important to avoid direct contact with chemicals such as ink and cleaning solvents.
- Eye Protection: Similarly, safety goggles protect your eyes. Just in case printer ink or other solvents splash, you will be glad you have the coverage!
- Shop Wipes / Industrial Wipes: Paper towels are a must-have for quick clean up of any spills or messes.
- Print Swabs: Print head swabs are one of the most important supplies to have on hand. These are used to clean the hard to reach areas of your wide format printer. When you use print swabs you can extend the life of your print heads and improve print quality.
- Print Head Wipes: Use a polyester, lint-free wipe, with attributes similar to those of cleanroom wipes. Use these to clean print heads and other sensitive materials and areas of the printer.
- Spray Bottle: Use this for careful, accurate spraying of your cleaning solvent. You should always refer to your specific printer manual for acceptable cleaning solvents.
Referring to Your Manual
The manual for your printer will give you specific instructions for maintenance. This includes how often you should clean and maintain your printer. It will also let you know which supplies and cleaners suit your specific machine. While some of these products are universal, like safety goggles and gloves, others will change with your printer make and model.
Other Maintenance Considerations
Factors like the environment in which your printer lives impact maintenance and cleaning. Think about the operating temperature and humidity — higher or lower levels can change your printer’s efficiency. The cleanliness of the area also matters.
Have questions regarding this topic? Leave a comment below to start the discussion.
Whether you are starting out in the world of wide format printing or have years of experience, its always beneficial to review a few tips to help maintain optimal quality output. There are many factors that can influence the way printers, ink and media work together. The following can play a role in the final outcome of a digitally printed product.
The space where the printer(s) is located should be a clean and a controlled environment. Temperature and humidity should be monitored and the space should be well-ventilated. How well the room is ventilated will depend on the type of digital printer that’s being used. Keep shop wipes and lint-free wipes handy as well as abrasive-free gloves for handling prints.
Recommended relative humidity: 40-60%
Recommended temperature: 70-75 degrees (f)
Dirt and dust control: Using air-filtration systems can help keep airborne particulate to a minimum. Cleanroom Sticky Mats, when placed in the entrance of the print room, can help reduce dirt from foot traffic.
Static Control: Printers, carpets, and rugs generate static. Controlling static is important because it can attract dirt and dust towards the print and interfere with ink lay-down. There are a variety of static control products that can help dissipate static buildup. Anti-static strips, aerosol coatings, and flooring are a few examples.
Digital Print Media Selection
Selecting the correct print media for the intended application, printer, and ink type is key to producing optimal results. Most print media manufacturers provide print media selection guides to help assist with this. Start with the application and be sure to know the intended longevity and durability of the graphic.
The list below is an example of the different types of digital print media available:
- Wrap Vinyl
- Inkjet Wrap Vinyl – Cast
- Inkjet Wrap Vinyl – Calendered
- Permanent Inkjet Vinyl
- Air Egress – Permanent Inkjet Vinyl
- High Tack – Permanent Inkjet Vinyl
- Economy – Permanent Inkjet Vinyl
- Removable Inkjet Vinyl
- Air Egress – Removable Inkjet Vinyl
- Economy – Removable Inkjet Vinyl
- Perforated Window Film
- Adhesive Backed – Perforated Window Films
- Non-Adhesive – Perforated Window Films
- Window Film / Cling
- Adhesive Backed – Window Film
- Air Egress (Dry Install) – Window Film
- Cling – Window Film
- Translucent / Backlit Media
- Polyester Film
- Wall Graphic Media
- Type Ii Wallcovering
- Adhesive Backed Wall Graphic Media
- Floor Graphic Vinyl
- Adhesive Backed
- Banner Material
- Single Sided Vinyl
- Double Sided Vinyl
- Paper-Based Media
Choosing the correct media profiles is another important factor to maintaining optimal print results. Profiles can include heat settings, ink saturation, linearization, iCC profiles, and ink restrictions. Controlling these profiles can help reduce unnecessary ink usage and improve production time and reduce costs. Print media manufacturers should provide profiles available to download and import into your RIP software. Sometimes it may be necessary to create your own profiles. It this is the case, select the profile of a similar media and test the results.
Refer to your printer manual for maintenance procedures. Perform the recommended maintenance tasks such as calibration, print head cleaning and other mechanical parts cleaning.
For additional information or to add your input, leave a comment below.
Keeping your print facility clean has a variety of benefits. High levels of particulate matter such as air borne dust mites can damage or shorten the life of equipment and negatively affect the quality of prints. Additionally, dust collected on the surface of print media can damage print heads. Consider using the following items to help keep the air and the work space clean in your printing facility.
- Tacky Mats – These sticky floor mats help keep dirt and dust tracked in from foot traffic to a minimum. They are offered in multi-layered sheets, with each new layer providing a new clean surface. Place the tacky mats in the entrance of the facility so any person entering has to walk over it.
- Air purifier – There are various levels of air purification systems available but a simple air purifier like those sold at hardware stores are a good starting point.
- Wipe surfaces – Wipe down surfaces regularly with industrial grade shop wipes. For sensitive surfaces such as print heads, use a non-abrasive and low-linting print head wipe.
- Vacuum – Avoid sweeping and use a shop vac to vacuum our print facility. Remove dust mites and other debris that could damage prints or equipment.
- Avoid clutter – Keeping clutter to a minimum can help reduce that amount of items that can collect dust. Its also easier to clean a clutter-free environment.
Tips provided by: Blue Thunder Technologies, a leading distributor of products for clean environments. Their product line includes cleanroom wipes, cleanroom gloves, protective apparel, cleanroom sticky mats, static control products, and more.
DaVinci Technologies is pleased to announce a full line of cleaning and printer maintenance supplies such as Print Head Wipes, Print Head Swabs, Gloves, Cleaning Solutions, Industrial Wipes and more! We responded to requests for printing industry specific cleaning supplies by offering virtually any item needed to maintain and clean a printing facility.
Make sure to use supplies that are specifically designed for print head and printer maintenance as many printer components are extremely sensitive and contaminates such as dust, dirt, ink residues, etc must be cleaned with the proper materials. Below is a list of the most commonly used cleaning supplies found in the printing industry.
Printer Cleaning Supplies / Printing Industry Maintenance
PRINT HEAD WIPES – Similar to wipes used in cleanrooms, print head wipes are Polyester knitted and lint-free, and are specifically designed for cleaning print heads and other sensitive areas involved with the printing industry.To insure the highest quality, these wipes are cleanroom laundered. They are extremely absorbent, durable, and abrasion resistant to rough surfaces and burs. Available in various sizes, quantities and weights.
PRINT HEAD SWABS – Using Print Head Swabs will help improve the quality of your prints and extend the life of your print heads. These foam-tipped swabs can be used for cleaning print heads and other hard to reach printer components. The tips are thermally welded to the shaft to ensure durability. Available in flexi-foam tip or mitt shaped tip.
GLOVES – Wear gloves to avoid direct contact with ink and cleaning solvents. Vinyl, Nitrile, Latex, Cotton, whatever gloves you prefer – DaVinci can supply!
CLEANING SOLUTIONS – DaVinci offers Capping & Wiping fluid for HP 9,000 & 10,000 as well as Roland Cleaning Fluid in bulk to save you money over time.
INDUSTRIAL WIPES – DaVinci’s industrial wipes are perfect for everyday use in production. They are durable enough to handle a variety of surfaces yet soft enough to be used on face and hands. They have a soft outer layer with a highly absorbent inner layer making them suitable for grease and grime as well as inks and other liquids.
OTHER PRINTING CLEANING SUPPLIES – Other supplies such as mops and protective eye wear can be found in a wide format printing facility. These items can be supplied by DaVinci Technologies
For more information, please call 860 265 3388
On April 10, 2013, the SGIA will host a webinar titled: Introduction to Wide-Format Digital Imaging. It will begin at 2 pm Eastern | 1 pm Central | 12 pm Mountain | 11 am Pacific
Learn the basics of wide-format inkjet equipment, finishing technologies and materials, and discover how ongoing developments in technology lead to a changing playing field for wide format imaging companies. Further, this presentation will cover major markets and product areas served by wide-format digital companies. This is an essential session for any company interested in entering wide-format digital or moving from the fringes of this segment into deeper, more robust areas.
Who should attend: Graphics company owners, production managers, those seeking to enter wide-format digital
DaVinci Technologies is a supplier of inkjet media compatible with solvent, eco-solvent, UV curable, latex and aqueous ink, cleaning supplies and also equipment. The products shown in this website represent a fraction of our available items so please contact us if you are looking for something in particular. We are experiencing dramatic growth because we are pro-active and able to respond quickly and accurately to our customers’ needs. We also offer high quality products at reasonable prices as we strive to be ultra-efficient and keep our over-head costs low.
DaVinci Technologies is FSC-Certified (SCS-COC-002126) and supplies a complete line of products that meet this certification and that are also 100% recyclable. With an eco-friendly conscious, we are always adding new environmentally friendly products to our portfolio to further save the planet’s resources.
It is critical to keep your wide format printer maintained to ensure the longevity of the machine and high-quality prints.
List of printer maintenance supplies
- Gloves: Latex or nitrile gloves should be used when printer maintenance is performed to avoid direct contact with chemicals such as ink and cleaning solvents.
- Eye Protection: Safety goggles can help prevent the splashing of ink or other solvents in eyes
- Paper towels: Have paper towels available nearby in case of spills or needed cleanup.
- Print Swabs: Print head swabs are used to clean hard-to-reach areas of the printer. Using print heads can extend the life of the print heads and improve the quality of your prints.
- Print Head Wipes: It is critical to use a polyester, lint-free wipe, with attribute similar to those seen in cleanroom wipes to clean print heads and other sensitive materials of a printer.
- Spray bottle: Refer to your specific printer manual for acceptable cleaning solvents
Print head cleaning for large format printers
*These wide format printer maintenance supplies are recommendations only. Refer to your printer manual for maintenance procedures.
These Polyester knit, lint free wipes are used to clean print heads and other sensitive areas in the printing industry. These polyester knit wipes are cleanroom processed and suitable for many critical environments in addition to the printing industry.
Save valuable time and money by using the proper cleaning equipment! These heavy duty wipes work by cutting through dried ink and other grime buildup in and around the print heads.
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