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Author Topic: Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues  (Read 367 times)

Royce Howland

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Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues
« on: September 04, 2017, 01:58:31 PM »

We have finally gotten ahold of a Canon PRO-4000 for evaluation, thanks to the persistent efforts of our local Canon rep. We've had the printer only for a couple of days, and I'm busy creating some media types and custom profiles for it so we can start running side-by-side real world test prints, comparing against our Epson P10K / P20K output. So far I like what I'm seeing out of the Media Configuration Tool, the general operations, and the general quality of the output.

However one highly irksome thing is the roll media loading. To be honest, my initial impression is this system is too picky, too complicated, too many moving parts, too much automation, too many things contacting the print surface, and too many ways for things to go wrong. When it works it does work, but it looks to me like it has the potential to become an operational problem over time. Really I just want to insert the leading edge of the paper and have the damn printer load it. 100% of the time.

Specifically, we've already hit one issue that so far I can't get around, so I thought I'd throw this question out for any PRO-2000 / PRO-4000 users out there. Something that happens pretty often is that the paper roll becomes disconnected from the 3" core, so the core just rotates freely within the rolled media. Often the paper becomes somewhat loose around the core, not tight & compact as it would be if the trailing edge had remained taped to the core.

On a feed system that absolutely requires a motorized spindle to maintain back tension, this is a problem. Default settings for auto feed on the PRO-4000 require the motorized spindle to be able to reverse the paper and tension it up, which obviously doesn't work if the core isn't connected to the media's trailing edge. There is a printer setting called "Paper retention setting" that can be changed from its default value of "Retain" to the value "Release". The purpose of this appears to be to allow manual feeding of the paper in cases where auto feed doesn't work, such as a loose core.

However, in every case I've tried so far with multiple different rolls of paper with disconnected cores, in both the top and bottom roll positions, the feed process ultimately stops with a control panel message that states: "Turn the roll holder with both hands and wind up the roll paper." Well, printer, I can't turn the roll holder to wind up the paper... the core is disconnected.

I can't get past this message. From the behaviour, it seems there's a sensor that's detecting some kind of paper slackness condition (or what the printer thinks is such a condition), and without being able to clear the sensor by rolling the paper backwards, the loading process will not proceed. Anybody run into this and have a solution for it? I've RTFM'ed and been through most of the control panel looking up what the functions do, with no joy so far...

Mackman

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Re: Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 04:20:06 PM »

I struggled with the exact same problem. Eventually after loading the paper manually where I thought it was correct I turned it off and back on again and all was fine. Without turning it off and on I got stuck in a load//unload loop forever.
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Royce Howland

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Re: Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 12:26:44 PM »

Thanks for that tip. I just tried it, and it appears to work. But man... what a crock of a work-around! Matte papers especially become disconnected from their cores fairly frequently in our experience. Right now I've got several in-progress rolls from Hahnemuhle, Ilford and Moab in this state. To have to power cycle the printer to get it to load such a roll -- especially when the printer is configured for manual feed -- is ridiculous.

I have reported this to our Canon rep and we worked through a few things over the weekend. He's running it up the tech support flagpole, we'll see what happens.

We found some design issues with the Epson P10K / P20K within days of taking delivery of them, I guess now it's Canon's turn... :)

Mackman

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Re: Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 01:11:52 PM »

My Canon rep should be on site this week or next. I'm not going to let him leave until he can demonstrate loading a roll of paper successfully. I'll keep you posted what if anything we learn.
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Rob Reiter

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Re: Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 04:26:57 PM »

I've had the same problem and couldn't figure it out, so I just took it off the roll and fed it in as sheet paper. I'll try this trick next time.

But a more serious roll paper loading problem has been the inability of the auto loader function to work more than maybe ten percent of the time. I almost always get a "Paper Jammed" message. I use only heavyweight paper, but all name brand stuff, Hahnemühle, Canson, Moab, etc. And worse yet, loading roll paper by hand is usually a problem because the curled leading edge strikes a lip at the front of the platen. I've taken to using a knife blade to lift it up and a pair of pliers to pull it through! A ridiculous situation for a professional printer like the Pro 4000, and such a letdown from the wonderful experiences of my three previous generations of Canon printers.

But I guess that's what you get when you turn over the design of the professional line to the home printer department, as Canon did in this case.
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Royce Howland

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Re: Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 04:59:39 PM »

Rob, I've seen that paper jam issue numerous times as well. Heavier, stiffer paper curl seems to defeat the PRO-4000's auto-loading mechanism. I've worked on many professional grade large format photo printers, including previous generation Canon x300's and x400's. The new Canons have the most finicky paper feed mechanism of anything I've seen in a long time...

Rob Reiter

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Re: Canon PRO-4000 roll loading issues
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2017, 08:29:10 PM »

Rob, I've seen that paper jam issue numerous times as well. Heavier, stiffer paper curl seems to defeat the PRO-4000's auto-loading mechanism. I've worked on many professional grade large format photo printers, including previous generation Canon x300's and x400's. The new Canons have the most finicky paper feed mechanism of anything I've seen in a long time...

As much as I thought the autoload feature was something to look forward to, I did manage to live pretty well without it in all my previous roll paper printers, going back to an Epson 9600, but the terrible jamming when trying to manually load paper on the Pro 4000 is the real disappointment. A knife blade and pliers...really...
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