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FAQ

What is the life expectancy of the printer assuming that the preventive maintenance schedule is followed?

Our printers have 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 printing roll-roll that are exceeding 10,000,000 inches just by following the preventive maintenance and replacing the consumables, as outlined in the user manual.

What is the length that these printers can print before any evident print quality issue?

There is no straight forward answer to this question.

The printhead health is affected by

  • Print job type – When possible, printing in landscape orientation, as opposed to portrait, utilizes more nozzles across the width of the printhead and thus reduces firing per nozzle. This 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 media and the dust in the area where the printer operates must be kept to a minimum. These minute dust particles may clog the tiny printhead nozzles and render them unusable – there are 1,600 nozzles per inch on the Memjet printhead!  For the best printhead performance, we advise using media that is cleanly converted and has 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 rolls present in each stage of the conversion process and/or vacuuming before packaging the media in shrink wrap.  Additionally, please ensure 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.

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.

Do these color label makers or printers handle fanfold label stock?

Only the VP600 is designed to handle fanfold stock.

However, you can configure VP700 & VP750 color label maker 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.

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 and present rather than roll to roll.
  • Cuts are done on continuous label stock, as opposed to just the liner.
Can the cutter be changed by the user?

Yes. Please refer to our video tutorial on how to replace the cutter.

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.

Can pre-job servicing be switched off?

It is highly recommended that you keep the pre-job servicing on as it helps prevent PQ issues before starting 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 nozzles and with the nozzles being as small as they are, it is of the utmost importance to keep the nozzles properly hydrated, when possible.

What is the time to first label based on the label defined in the duty cycle?

From a 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”, which is 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 the pre-job servicing is shorten or removed, which may negatively impact PQ.

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,” which is 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-to-peer printing over USB.

Is there a published list of materials that can be used with these printers in my region?

Yes. Please refer to the respective color label maker technical specifications

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

Is there a manual option to service the printhead?

Yes. Printhead servicing can be triggered manually from the Control Panel.

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.

How is the user informed that the ink or consumables are running low/run out?

The ink level is updated and displayed live on the LCD (Front panel). The printer will display a warning for the low color cartridge as a reminder to swap it out soon. Additionally, 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 EWS.

Do the printers notify the user if consumables are low, based on the current parameters?

The printer will warn (via the Control Panel, EWS, and a 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 the exact number of labels left in a print job, the low ink warning is used instead.

What label design software that are supported by the printer driver?

The driver has been thoroughly tested on Nicelabel and Bartender.  However, the driver should work well on any MS Windows application.

Does the printer driver support Mac?

No. The print driver is only Windows compatible.

Can these printers support 1000 Base-T Ethernet?

All our color label makers or printers have 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.

What is the UV resistance of the ink outdoor (90,000 Lux) vs. indoor (2,000 Lux)?

Based on accelerated fluorescent 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
What is the shelf life of the printhead?

One year from date of manufacturing in storage condition 0-45oC, 0-90% RH.

What is the shelf life of the ink?

2 years from date of manufacturing in storage condition 0-45oC, 0-90% RH.

Does these printers have a shelf life?

Typically years in dry and cool environment.

Do these printers support 110/220 Vac?

Yes, our printers have an universal AC power supply.

Does the ink in the printhead recirculate?

The ink is recirculates between the ink tank and the print head by a peristaltic pump.

Do 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 notice that most of the time, the bubbles remain in position in the tube and if they do migrate, it is at an extremely slow rate. If ever is 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.

Given that face stock face cleanliness is an important factor to ensure the best performance with Memjet technology, how should the user communicate this requirement to their label converter?

Run a check with your label converter on how to maintain the cleanliness of their web during production and their quality standard surrounding cleanliness.

Quality conscious label converters typically convert their labels by:

  • Using a separate enclosed room or separately from their label printing and post-print operation to minimize dirt or dust contamination from said operation.
  • Vacuuming or brushing (made with anti-static material) debris off the web after the conversion process.
  • Conducting 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 implements 2 or more of the measures mentioned above. Some of the label converters may take these extra measures, esp. vacuuming the web prior as it is being converted at a nominal charge.

What is Memjet?

Our VP600, VP700 and VP750 commercial color label makers use Advanced Memjet printhead and inks.  Memjet printhead solution is an ultra fast single pass thermal inkjet printing technology. Coupled with Memjet unique dye ink formulation, the result is high quality prints that can rival those of high-end digital press like HP Indigo but at a much lower investment.

Click here to learn more about Memjet Technologies.

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