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Author Topic: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?  (Read 6773 times)

-chrille-

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I was trying a print on Canson rag today and first I did a print head nozzle check that came out perfect. Sent the photo to printer and before printing started the printer was going in to, what I think, printer head cleaning mode. It took about 4 minutes of noise and idling and substantial loss of ink from all cartridges.

I have read the manual but can't find any information off this behavior. Is this normal for Epson printers or a malfunction? I don't want to lose the expensive ink on cleaning that is not necessary.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2015, 08:07:43 am »

If the P600 behaves like other Epson professional printers I'm familiar with, check the driver settings to see whether you have it set for automatic cleaning. If it is, switch it off. Then before each printing session do a manual nozzle check and only clean if you see a broken pattern.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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howardm

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2015, 08:37:00 am »

I think I've heard of the R3000 behaving like that (maybe fixed by driver update?).  I do not recall ever seeing a checkbox in the driver (at least for 38xx) that implements an auto-clean behavior like Mark says.

Ferp

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2015, 08:59:35 am »

I recall the review by MHMG of the P600.  This issue was mentioned:
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/news.73.html

Note the "April 17, 2015: Uh, Oh, I spoke too soon....Stealth cleaning cycles on my P600" section about way down the page.

It says "According to Epson support:

1) Yes, the P600 does have an "auto cleaning" sensing feature not discussed in the User's Guide. It will auto initiate a cleaning cycle if it somehow detects one might be needed. The feature is not user selectable, i.e., it can't be turned off by the end user, hence, no mention in the user manual.
"

There isn't any report about whether the replacement printer reduced the number of these cleans.  Desktop, non-Pro printers have always had seemingly random head cleans that couldn't be prevented.  Since the P600 is desktop rather than Pro this is not entirely surprising.  What is surprising is the amount of ink that is reported as being consumed.  On the older desktops I'd have said that 3% per channel was normal, but that's on much smaller cartridges.


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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2015, 09:17:41 am »

I think I've heard of the R3000 behaving like that (maybe fixed by driver update?).  I do not recall ever seeing a checkbox in the driver (at least for 38xx) that implements an auto-clean behavior like Mark says.

Did you check the manual? The manual for the P800 does indicate - in the Adjusting Print Quality section - how to implement manual nozzle checks and cleanings. It does not say whether there is also an auto function permanently enabled. Perhaps this is a difference from the P600. On the P800 print head maintenance can be triggered either from the computer or the printer LCD itself.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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enduser

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2015, 08:58:20 pm »

Perhaps turning off autocleaning is why so many clogging reports appear. Maybe making it compulsary will help users, but possibly at greater ink cost.
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BobShaw

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2015, 03:39:02 am »

I don't know if it is the same as the 3880, but on the 3880 when you do a nozzle check the default button highlighted is "Auto". If you don't want auto there is a button "Print" that just prints.
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MHMG

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2015, 08:58:09 am »

I recall the review by MHMG of the P600.  This issue was mentioned:
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/news.73.html

Note the "April 17, 2015: Uh, Oh, I spoke too soon....Stealth cleaning cycles on my P600" section about way down the page.

It says "According to Epson support:

1) Yes, the P600 does have an "auto cleaning" sensing feature not discussed in the User's Guide. It will auto initiate a cleaning cycle if it somehow detects one might be needed. The feature is not user selectable, i.e., it can't be turned off by the end user, hence, no mention in the user manual.
"

There isn't any report about whether the replacement printer reduced the number of these cleans.  Desktop, non-Pro printers have always had seemingly random head cleans that couldn't be prevented.  Since the P600 is desktop rather than Pro this is not entirely surprising.  What is surprising is the amount of ink that is reported as being consumed.  On the older desktops I'd have said that 3% per channel was normal, but that's on much smaller cartridges.

I will have the followup article posted once my redesigned website gets up an running. Hoping for the end of the month soft launch.  It's a big project.
In the meantime here's some good news:

The second P600 Epson kindly sent me under warranty followed the same behavior as the first. I experienced  approximately four cleaning cycles (noted by a rather annoying four minute time period where tha printer is cleaning rather than printing just as the OP has described).   All happened in the first week of ownership, thus much like what caused me so much concern with the first printer I received.  Since that time I've printed over 100 8x10 equivalent size prints during a nearly six month period of ownership without experiencing any more cleaning cycles. The printer has performed flawlessly. On a couple of occasions the unit has been off for over two weeks and in one instance it went over one month without being started up. So, my tentative conclusion is that brand new units are not really clogging, they are just purging tiny micro bubbles of air in the lines as those first dozen or so prints are being made. Once the unit get this out of its system so to speak, it settles right down into some very consistent trouble free performance. Changing out subsequent ink cartridges does not lead to further cleanings, so again, the frequent initial cleaning that is indeed disconcerting did go away once the lines were trully filled entirely with ink. I heard from a another photographer who was also experiencing the same "cleaning cycle" behavior on her new P600. I advised her to give it a couple of weeks and report back to me. She did. Her unit also settled down nicely.

So, that's N=3 P600 units I"m aware of exhibiting anxiety provoking initial cleaning cycles followed by very trouble free operation after that initial purge period :)

Anyway, after nearly six month of ownership, I've become very fond of the P600. To date, it's the most trouble free Epson printer I've ever owned, and I've owned quite a few, including the 3880 which has a pretty good reputation amongst its owners for clog free behavior.

best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

PS. the auto clean feature is not user selectable to turn on or off with the P600. It might be with the P800, but definitely not with the P600. However, as noted above, auto cleaning on the P600 does not appear to be a chronic problem.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 09:08:52 am by MHMG »
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Ferp

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2015, 06:26:57 pm »

Thanks for that clarification Mark.  That's reassuring to know.  I wonder if the P800 behaves similarly?  I've not seen any reports that it does, but given the similarity of the two printers, you'd think that if Epson felt the need to do it for one printer, then why not also the other.  I was a little nervous about an upgrade to the P800 until I heard how your replacement behaved.

My 3880 has always made a lot of noise at various times, and It's hard to know what that noise means.  Perhaps I should watch the printer display more carefully at such times, as the printer often tells you what it's doing, e.g. the MK/PK switch. 

I don't know if it is the same as the 3880, but on the 3880 when you do a nozzle check the default button highlighted is "Auto". If you don't want auto there is a button "Print" that just prints.

I think that's just the option to perform an auto nozzle check, rather than a manual check.  If the auto check detects any gaps then it will initiate head cleanings and recheck until there aren't any gaps, up to a limit of four I think.  I don't think that there's an option to control printer-initiated heads cleans at other times, at least not on any printers that I've owned. 
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2015, 07:12:31 pm »



I think that's just the option to perform an auto nozzle check, rather than a manual check.  If the auto check detects any gaps then it will initiate head cleanings and recheck until there aren't any gaps, up to a limit of four I think.  I don't think that there's an option to control printer-initiated heads cleans at other times, at least not on any printers that I've owned.

On the 4900 there is an option to do only manual nozzle checks and cleaning cycles. That is my default mode of managing the printer. No "auto" anything.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ferp

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2015, 09:10:55 am »

On the 4900 there is an option to do only manual nozzle checks and cleaning cycles. That is my default mode of managing the printer. No "auto" anything.

Thanks for that clarification.  My experience only goes as far as the 3880.  I'm surprised that you can prevent random printer-generated head cleans on this printer, if that's what you're saying.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2015, 09:31:28 am »

Thanks for that clarification.  My experience only goes as far as the 3880.  I'm surprised that you can prevent random printer-generated head cleans on this printer, if that's what you're saying.

Yes that is exactly what I'm saying. No random cleaning. Don't forget this machine was designed for use in high volume service bureaux so it has quite an extensive menu of options in the on-printer control panel and the computer-accessed software.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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-chrille-

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 10:06:10 am »

Thank you all for the information :) I also contacted Epson support and they confirm the automatic cleaning cycle for this printer and as stated above it is not possible to turn this function off.  Epson also sent me a new firmware. I have not installed the firmware yet but I dont think this will help me at all.

Improvements in AT23F3 firmware version:

- Improvement of translations.
- Improvement of cartridges management.
- Improvement of custom scale settings.
- Improvement of display management.

I believe Mark is right. It is not clogging, maybe micro bubbles of air. I will continue printing and hopefully my unit will be as trouble free as reported:)
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MHMG

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2015, 06:47:26 pm »

Thank you all for the information :) I also contacted Epson support and they confirm the automatic cleaning cycle for this printer and as stated above it is not possible to turn this function off.  Epson also sent me a new firmware. I have not installed the firmware yet but I dont think this will help me at all.

Improvements in AT23F3 firmware version:

- Improvement of translations.
- Improvement of cartridges management.
- Improvement of custom scale settings.
- Improvement of display management.

I believe Mark is right. It is not clogging, maybe micro bubbles of air. I will continue printing and hopefully my unit will be as trouble free as reported:)

Yes, print a dozen or so more 8x10 equivalent size prints, and please let us know if these cleaning cycles are decreasing in frequency. Perhaps we will be able to cite N=4  for new P600 printer behavior where the initially excessive cleaning cycles settle down after a new printer install and enough prints are made.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Stefan Ohlsson

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2015, 04:14:58 pm »

Anyway, after nearly six month of ownership, I've become very fond of the P600. To date, it's the most trouble free Epson printer I've ever owned, and I've owned quite a few, including the 3880 which has a pretty good reputation amongst its owners for clog free behavior.

I did a test on the P600 during almost three months. During that period the printer was unused for a week or two now and then. I did nozzle checks every day I used the printer, but had only one clog during that period. And it was easy to fix. So we can add one more trouble free printer to that list.
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-chrille-

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2015, 04:41:00 am »

Update: After about 20 8,5x11 and a couple of 13x19 prints the auto-cleaning mode is gone. I have been printing once a week since I started this thread. Last printing session showed no sign of auto cleaning and the printer deliver excellent print quality :)
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-chrille-

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Re: Epson P600 - Perfect nozzle check pattern yet print head cleaning?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2015, 02:22:38 am »

No more auto cleaning :)

Got a head strike last printing session because of a bent Harman Gloss baryta paper but nozzle pattern looks good and so does the following prints. The head strike did not initiate an auto cleaning cycle.

No clogging. Printing once a week.
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