FAQ about VP700

more-info Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about VP700
1. What is the Duty Cycle for VP700?

Based on 5 million inches/year usage rate, the recommended Duty Cycle is 1,500ft (450m) per day (22 days/month).

2. What is the lifespan of the printhead at this Duty Cycle?
It ranges from 150,000 to 500,000 inches depending on

  • Print job type – For the same label design, printing in landscape orientation, as opposed to portrait utilizes more nozzles across the width of the printhead and thus reduces firing per nozzle. Hence, printing in landscape orientation helps circumvent the overuse of certain nozzle groups on the printhead and has the effect of extending the lifespan of the printhead (with all else being equal).
  • Environment and media cleanliness – Paper dust from the labelstock and the dust in the area where the printer operates must be kept to the minimum. These minute dust particles may clog the tiny printhead nozzles (Memjet printhead has 1,600 nozzles packed in one inch) and render them unusable. For the best printhead performance, we advise using labelstocks that are cleanly converted (minimal paper dust – check with your converter on the processes they have in place to ensure media cleanliness – For example, label converters may control dust level by converting in a closed room, having sticky media roll in each stage of the conversion process and/or with vacuuming before finish packaging in shrink wrap etc.) and that the printer media cover is in place during printing.

The decision to replace a printhead will be based on the user’s expectations for print quality; there is no requirement that the printhead must be replaced after printing a specific number of inches.

3. What is the life expectancy of VP700 at this duty cycle assuming that there is regular service and that preventative parts are changed at the recommended schedule?
VP700 has a rated life of 5,000,000 inches. With proper preventive maintenance and servicing, we believe the life expectancy may extend well beyond the rated value.

In our accelerated product life tests, we have units running in exceed of 10,000,000 inches printing in roll-roll mode following the preventive maintenance & replacement of consumables, as outlined in the user manual.

4. What is the mean time between failures?
In our accelerated product life tests, we have units running in exceed of 10,000,000 inches printing in roll-roll mode with regular preventive maintenance & replacement of consumables, as outlined in the user manual.

5. What is the length that VP700 can print before any evident print quality issue?
There is no straight forward answer to this question.

The printhead health, as well as the cleanliness of the media (and the environment) has a direct influence on the PQ. For factors affecting the printhead health, please refer the answer in Question 2.

6. Is there a need for a web cleaner?
We do not feel that this is a requirement if the label stock is properly and cleanly converted.

Having said this, it is important for the operator to conduct proper housecleaning like vacuuming the area in the print-zone for every 1,500ft (450m) of labels printed (as we know, no label conversion process is dust free) or sooner depending on the media cleanliness. For preventive maintenance measures/recommendations, please refer to the user manual.

7. Does VP700 handles fanfold labelstock?
VP700 is not designed to handle fanfold stock. However, you can configure VP700 to work with an external unwinder or media source. Please consult your reseller if you need to know how to configure the printer for this operation mode.

8. Does VP700 handles tag? If yes, what is the thickest material it can print on?
Yes, The media thickness must be between 0.1 and 0.3mm.

9. What is the life of the cutter?
The cutter module has a 400,000 cuts specification (on liner). Having said that, we will expect the cutter module to have a relatively shorter life if

  • Printing is primarily print-to-cut and print-n-present rather than roll-roll.
  • Cuts are done on continuous label stock, as opposed to the liner.
10. Can the cutter be changed by the user?
Yes. Please refer to the our video tutorial on how to replace the cutter.

11. What is the preventative maintenance parts list?
Spare parts that are in the service kit would include the lifter motor, service station, aerosol fan & filter etc.  Please refer to the user manual for more details on part details and replacement schedule.

12. Can pre-job servicing be switched off?
No. The pre-job servicing is important as it helps to prevent PQ issue from the beginning of a print job.

Please note that the Memjet printhead has 1,600 nozzles per inch (This is 33% more than HP ITJ at 1,200 dpi). With such densely packed ratio and minute nozzle size, it is utmost important to keep the nozzles properly hydrated, where possible.

13. What is the time to first label based on the label defined in the Duty Cycle?
From warm start, the standard time to first label is less than 10 seconds.

The printer relies on the PC host for image rastering. Hence, the time to first label (defined as the time from clicking on the print button on the PC to the time when the label is printed) is dependent on the PC processor speed, memory and network bandwidth (if it is configured as a network printer).

Having said that, you may enable Fast Time to First Label on the Embedded Web Server (EWS) for a faster time, if your operation cycle time is extremely short. The downside of using this option is that some of pre-job servicing sequence steps is shorten or removed, which potentially impact PQ.

14. Is the Time to First Label the same when using USB and Ethernet connection?
The printer relies on the PC host for image rastering.

Hence, the Time to First Label (defined as the time from clicking on the print button on the PC to the time when the label is printed) is dependent on the PC processor speed, memory and network bandwidth/configuration. Under normal (off-peak time) network traffic condition, we would expect the difference in time to first label to be insignificant when compared to peer-peer printing over USB.

15. Is there a manual option to service the printhead?
Yes. Printhead servicing can be triggered manually from the Control Panel.

16. In single label print option, how long between labels before the printer needs to be serviced?
Printhead servicing will kick in after 10 seconds when the printhead is uncapped. The 10 seconds duration is deemed appropriate to prevent the printhead nozzles from dehydrating (The dehydrating rate varies with ambient humidity and temperature).

Please note that a dehydrated nozzle leads to streaking or PQ degradation.

17. If there a published list of materials that can be used with VP700 in my region?
Yes. Please refer to the printer technical specifications (VP700 product brochure).

Memjet has also listed the type of media supported from time to time. Please refer to Print Media Section for more information.

18. How is the user informed that the ink or consumables are running low / run out
Yes. The ink level is updated and displayed live on the LCD (Front panel). The printer will display a warning for the colour cartridge that is running low and requires replacement soon. At the same time, a pop up window dialog will appear on the Host PC when the ink is running low or run out.

Similarly, the ink level status can also be viewed on the embedded web server.

19. Does VP700 notify the user if consumables are low based on current job parameters i.e. its running 8 x 8
The printer will warn (On the Control Panel, EWS and pop-up window on the Host PC) when the ink is low (5% left)

The current Memjet technology indirectly tracks ink usage using a virtual ink counting method, which assume that an average volume of ink is used when the nozzle is fired.

Since the ink volume/drop is a complex function of temperature, print speed, age of the firing electronics, it is deemed not a reliable mechanism to gauge the volume ink remaining in the cartridge.

Hence, rather than displaying how many labels that can be printed for the current print job, the method of displaying the low ink condition is used.

20. What are the label design software that is supported by VP700 driver
The driver has been tested on Nicelabel and Bartender only.

21. Does VP700 printer driver supports Mac?
No. Only Windows version is available.

22. Does the printer support USB 3? If not why?
No. The USB 3.0 chipset was available only after the VP700 has been designed.

23. Can the unit support 1000 base T Ethernet?
VP700 has a 10/100 base T Ethernet interface. The printer can be connected to Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure but will not be able to fully utilise the higher data transfer rate of the Gigabit Ethernet.

24. Does the printer driver send 1000 copies of a file to printer or one copy and a command to print 1000 pieces of this?
The printer supports both methods. The application (rather than the driver) determines the method used.

25. What is the UV resistance of the ink in outdoor (90,000 lux) / indoor (1000 lux)
Based on accelerated florescent lighting test (claimed to be similar to that of the Wilhelm Research Institute) conducted at Silverbrook and Memjet, the indoor light-fastness (prints on inkjet coated media) is between 3-4 years. The failure point is defined by density loss of the least lightfast ink. The degree of light-fastness depends on the following conditions:

  • Exposure to indirect sunlight
  • Temperature and humidity
  • Media coating and/or surface treatment/condition
  • Post processing of print
26. What is the shelf life of the printhead?
One year from date of manufacturing in storage condition 0-45oC, 0-90% RH.

27. What is the shelf life of the ink?
2 years from date of manufacturing in storage condition 0-45oC, 0-90% RH.

28. Does the printer have a shelf life?
Typically years in dry and cool environment.

29. Does the printer support 110 / 220 VAC?
Yes, the VP700 has an universal AC power supply.

30. Does the ink in the printhead recirculated or purged to the waste ink reservoir
The ink is kept recirculated between the ink tank and the print head by a peristaltic pump.

31. Does the ink tubes need to be bubble free?
Having bubbles in the ink tube is normal. However, it may not necessarily be a problem as you will noticed that most of the time, the bubbles remain in position in the tube and if they migrate, it is at an extremely slow rate. If ever there is a void in the tube resulting in a cavitation in one of the input tubing to the printhead (left side of the printhead when viewed from the front of the printer), it can cause streaks in the label. The problem can be resolved by executing an extreme cleaning sequence activated from the front panel and tapping the tubing to encourage the ink flow.

32. Given that label media/stock face cleanliness is an important factor to ensure the best performance with Memjet technology, how should the user communicates this requirement to their label converter?
Run a check with your label converter on how maintain the cleanliness of their web during production and their quality standard surrounding cleanliness?

Quality conscious label converters typically convert their labels in

  • Separate enclosed room or separately from their label printing and post-print operation to minimise dirt or dust contamination from such operation.
  • Vacuum or brush (made with anti-static material) debris off the web after the conversion process.
  • Conduct regular QA audit to ensure that the media meets internal standard for cleanliness.

Hence, the best approach is to work with a quality conscious label converter that already implement 2 or more of the measures mentioned above. Some of the label converter may take these extra measures, esp. vacuum the web prior as it is being converted at a nominal charge.