One of the most frustrating problems you can experience with ink jet printing equipment is printhead failures. While printheads can fail for a variety of reasons, it is important to remember that they are “wear” items that will eventually fail. It is just the nature of the beast.
When talking with clients, I often use the analogy of a car’s brake pads. Eventually, they will wear out and have to be replaced.
But, printheads today are quite durable and capable of lasting for longer periods. For instance, when you purchase a new imagePROGRAF plotter, Canon will guarantee the printheads for 1-year or one trillion dots – whichever comes first.
Keep in mind, each printhead has thousands of microscopic nozzles that spray the ink droplets. If ink dries in these nozzles, there is a chance that the machine may not be able to recover them.
Knowing how to keep a Canon printhead from drying out is important. Here are the best pieces of advice:
- Print often – Just like leaving a faucet drip when there is a freeze, printing regularly will keep the fluids moving and prevent ink from drying in the printhead.
- Keep the machine powered on – yep, that’s all!
Canon iPF printers are intelligent machines that monitor themselves regularly. They will routinely run a “quick” printhead maintenance cycle. But, you do have the ability to run a full maintenance and nozzle check from the main interface panel, if you need to.
Here are the key takeaways.
- Keep the plotter turned on.
- Print regularly.
- Run the system printhead maintenance at the first sign of a printhead issue.
Photo credit: cm19502