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Author Topic: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance  (Read 13255 times)

jlamont

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Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« on: May 25, 2017, 09:14:02 am »

I am considering the purchase of an Epson 9000 for my business and need to have answers to various maintenance issues before deciding. I have been very satisfied during my six years with an Epson 7900, though at times I have been concerned by the news of random head (piezo electric?) failures in this class of printers. Based on this experience my most pressing question is:

* How do I change the wiper blade that cleans the head?
   Please note that I said "I"; I really do not want to have to bring in tech support for such a simple and relatively frequent job. During the six years with my Epson 7900, for example, I have had to change the wiper blade at least four times, each time a five minute job using a $25 part. A near certain diagnostic for when the wiper (very soft rubber) needs replacing is random, sporadic ink spattering.

Epson Canada does not appear to want to tell me this information. All I know at this time is that I cannot use precisely the same method as for my 7900, since the 9000 does not appear to have the same interface that lets me move the print head away from the wiper with the 7900.

Many thanks.
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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 09:04:14 pm »

The silence is deafening!

I am surprised. I believe there are a number of you who have one of the new Epson widebed printers, either 24" or 44". How are you planning to maintain them? What do you plan to do, for example, when the wiper blade of your machine needs changing? Maybe I'm missing something here?
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mikev1

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 10:06:25 pm »

Yes, you are missing how relatively quiet this forum is.  There are only a handful of posts each day.  I am sure someone will provide some insights eventually.
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Farmer

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 10:16:26 pm »

I imagine that most people who have spent 5 figures on a new printer will follow the user guide and not attempt to touch parts that are not designed for end-user maintenance.
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2017, 01:16:18 am »

I ran a 9900 for several years, pulled the wiper on several occasions, and it didn't even need cleaned, let alone replaced.
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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2017, 08:09:36 am »

Interesting opinion, Farmer. I hope not everyone shares it and will be willing to share their secrets for managing their new printer longterm. Here's why I think that is a reasonable hope (despite what I take, perhaps mistakenly, to be the tone of your reply):

1. Your pricing for these printers is a trifle exaggerated. Vistek is currently selling these machines for $3599 CDN (P7000) and $5649 CDN (P9000). This is low-to-mid four figures, not "five" as you state. It is comparable to the prices I paid for my Nikon D810 and D2Xs. I have always semi-regularly cleaned my own camera sensors despite the fact that Nikon does not intend me to do this and cleaning this way takes a camera out of warranty. I further believe that I am not alone in doing this. Changing the wiper blade is comparable to cleaning a camera sensor, perhaps even easier and certainly less risky.

2. I believe many people have changed their own wiper blades with the 7900. There was (is) a famous thread on this very website in which many people discussed doing their own maintenance; one of the extraordinarily helpful people in this thread, Eric, even created a video showing how to change the wiper blade. And the point is, changing the wiper blade is not like doing head replacement surgery; it is a fast, easy, and low risk maintenance task.

3. Having Epson change a wiper blade for me is going to cost several hundred dollars and perhaps more importantly take my printer offline for at least several days. This for a five minute, low risk task using a $25 part if I do it. I would prefer not to incur these costs in time and money. Again this is like my decision to do my own sensor cleaning with my camera; I could send it away to Nikon for them to do it, but at a cost. As someone who depends on my printer to work properly every day, having to shut down the printer and wait an uncertain amount of time for Epson to come out is something I would prefer to avoid.

4. The widebed print people whose operational methodologies I have observed in the past always did their own basic maintenance; not necessarily the complicated or risky stuff, but always the simple, low risk, high impact stuff. Admittedly I have not known a lot of such "professionals" but I respected them for keeping a high quality operation going. Again this is like many dedicated camera owners who do their own sensor cleaning rather than send it away and wait idly while someone else to does it.

Please note that I am not saying you are wrong to prefer to have Epson change your wiper blade and other basic maintenance tasks. I am only saying that it is perfectly reasonable to have a different opinion. I will also be surprised if your opinion represents the majority in this forum, given the previous willingness of many 7900 owners to do such things, as I have described above.
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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2017, 09:00:09 am »

Sounds like you were one of the lucky ones, Wayne. Of course it is a statistical thing. The likelihood of needing to change the wiper may also increase somewhat as the printer ages so it may be you avoided the problem by only running your machine for several years. This observation also applies to the various other maintenance tasks. One of the very few things an Epson rep very reluctantly told me is that there are maintenance requirements for the new printers measured in at most a couple of years, just like with the previous generations of printer. I and many people I suspect would like a five to seven year operational life, which essentially guarantees that you are going to be into a variety of maintenance issues if you keep your machine running long enough. (Please note this is not a criticism of the machines; this is a fact with any industrial grade machine I have ever heard of.)

So I take it your plan is simply to let Epson come in, if/when required? Even for the "simple" things. No worries.
Do you plan to do any (regular) maintenance?
Do you know the maintenance schedules for the various components in the new printers? Such knowledge might let us bring in Epson before a problem occurs rather than after; preventative maintenance is a proven strategy but we need to know what the maintenance schedules are if we are to enact such a programme.

I believe I saw sometime back a statement in a bootlegged manual on the web for these machines that their wipers should be replaced every year, for example. Though I cannot now find this reference again, if you have ever seen how soft and apparently fragile the wiper is on these machines, you like me might believe it could need this sort of periodic replacement. (Heck, we periodically replace the much tougher looking windshield wipers on our cars. "Rubber" hardens and suffers damage over time.) I have never heard of any machine, especially industrial grade machines, that did not benefit from regular maintenance.

As I describe in my reply to Farmer above, many owners of the previous generation of printers, the x900s, clearly felt the need to be able to do certain basic maintenance tasks despite your very fortunate experience. Why should there be any difference now?
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Ken Doo

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 09:52:42 am »

The recommended wiper blade change interval is once per year on the 79/99** series. Not doing so doesn't necessarily mean you will encounter more issues with your printer, as Wayne's experience bears out. But in the spirit of an abundance of anal-retentiveness and frugality, when I had the 9900, I inspected the wiper blade every 4-6 months and cleaned it gently with a swabbit and warm water and also changed the wiper blade yearly. It is easy basic maintenance that a user can accomplish without any fret at all. I rarely if ever had problems with my old 9900. I suspect that the expected life of these "pro" wide format printers is typically 3-5 years, amazingly the period after which warranties expire  ::).  After that period, it really becomes a bit of russian roulette to determine the cause when/if a printer has problems, whether it is the head, capping station, dampers, pumps, etc. The typical service call will be to make an educated guess and start with the least expensive repair/replacement part and then move on to the next if that doesn't fix-it. The printer may be big, but there really are quite few vital parts to replace, albeit at a heavy hit to the pocketbook.  Similar to a car blowing blue smoke out of the exhaust, sometimes it's best to just get a new vehicle.

I assume the maintenance interval on the wiper blade on the P9000 (P series) is the same, and I do believe I have read that the procedure to replace the wiper is much the same as the 79/99** series as well. I have had ZERO issues with my P9000 and it actually seems better than the previous generation printers in terms of usage and nozzle checks. (recently back from a workshop in UT---gone over two weeks, printer nozzle check did not show even a single tiny line missing, perfect!). The P9000 is a much better printer than the previous generation.

I think the previous common sense maintenance thoughts still make sense:  monitor humidity levels, keep the area around the printer and deck clean (vacuum), print frequently, and change/clean the wiper blade periodically.  Imho, if your printer is five years or older, it is on borrowed time. Kudos to you if your printer lasts that long or longer!

Ken

jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 11:02:42 am »

Thank you, Ken. Very helpful. Your information on the recommended change interval is consistent with my experience, and suggests many of us will face this issue one way or the other.

One difficulty though: the procedure to change the wiper on the new machines cannot be exactly the same as for the x900 series because there does not seem to be a way I can access to move the print head out of the way. I have tried with a demo model. In my 7900 I did this by going into Service Mode and then entering the right commands. Although the new machines have what is called "Service Mode", this is not the same as the x900 Service Mode and does not appear to let me move the head out of the way to do wiper changes, nor many other things the old "Service Mode" allowed. Furthermore, I would need a part number and source for wipers for the new machine. Do you have any information about either how to move the head away to get access to the wiper and/or how I might buy the actual part. Thanks again.
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2017, 12:21:17 pm »

We service Epson printers at my shop and my partner has full access to all of Epson's documentation, procedures and service software.  We've also built up a pretty good relationship with Epson service over the years (not the provider but with Epson themselves.).  I'll see if he can dig up the information on the wiper assembly as far as recommended replacement as well as procedures for the px000 series printers.

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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2017, 01:44:26 pm »

Thanks, Wayne. That would be enormously helpful. Would you also sell me replacement wiper blades, in the event I need them?
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Farmer

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2017, 11:25:07 pm »

Interesting opinion, Farmer. I hope not everyone shares it and will be willing to share their secrets for managing their new printer longterm. Here's why I think that is a reasonable hope (despite what I take, perhaps mistakenly, to be the tone of your reply):

1. Your pricing for these printers is a trifle exaggerated. Vistek is currently selling these machines for $3599 CDN (P7000) and $5649 CDN (P9000). This is low-to-mid four figures, not "five" as you state. It is comparable to the prices I paid for my Nikon D810 and D2Xs. I have always semi-regularly cleaned my own camera sensors despite the fact that Nikon does not intend me to do this and cleaning this way takes a camera out of warranty. I further believe that I am not alone in doing this. Changing the wiper blade is comparable to cleaning a camera sensor, perhaps even easier and certainly less risky.

2. I believe many people have changed their own wiper blades with the 7900. There was (is) a famous thread on this very website in which many people discussed doing their own maintenance; one of the extraordinarily helpful people in this thread, Eric, even created a video showing how to change the wiper blade. And the point is, changing the wiper blade is not like doing head replacement surgery; it is a fast, easy, and low risk maintenance task.

3. Having Epson change a wiper blade for me is going to cost several hundred dollars and perhaps more importantly take my printer offline for at least several days. This for a five minute, low risk task using a $25 part if I do it. I would prefer not to incur these costs in time and money. Again this is like my decision to do my own sensor cleaning with my camera; I could send it away to Nikon for them to do it, but at a cost. As someone who depends on my printer to work properly every day, having to shut down the printer and wait an uncertain amount of time for Epson to come out is something I would prefer to avoid.

4. The widebed print people whose operational methodologies I have observed in the past always did their own basic maintenance; not necessarily the complicated or risky stuff, but always the simple, low risk, high impact stuff. Admittedly I have not known a lot of such "professionals" but I respected them for keeping a high quality operation going. Again this is like many dedicated camera owners who do their own sensor cleaning rather than send it away and wait idly while someone else to does it.

Please note that I am not saying you are wrong to prefer to have Epson change your wiper blade and other basic maintenance tasks. I am only saying that it is perfectly reasonable to have a different opinion. I will also be surprised if your opinion represents the majority in this forum, given the previous willingness of many 7900 owners to do such things, as I have described above.

No intended tone, just a factual statement.  You're looking for information, so I was looking to present some and to let you draw your own conclusions based on the sum of all the information you collect.  That's still my intent, not tone :-)

Most people who post here aren't even vaguely close to most people who use the machines.  It's ever the case on the net, and the majority of people who bother to post are those who have had issues, so the sample group is generally poor as a representation of the wider user base.

1. We're not all North American, and most people invest in a system, rather than just a single printer, and I was a little broad in my comment as I was thinking of the wider range of products across various ink technologies as well, which did take us off the path a bit.  Even at mid to high 4 figures with a total system investment, doing something (particularly during the warranty period) which you are not trained to do, do not have the specific tools and utilities to do, is not something for everyone.  The new machines, too, have new heads, so a direct comparison to the *900 series may not be applicable.  You've already noted that you can't just move the head out in the same way.  I simply suggest caution and consider the real value to the business of a few hundred dollars to have a tech preventatively maintain your unit, compared to the risk of doing it yourself.  You might be a very well trained technician, but most people aren't.  Also, if it's done preventatively, there's little reason your machine should be down for more than an hour or so.

2. Many people have, but most don't.  The choice is yours.  Some people do their own plumbing or service their own cars.  Most businesses, though, engage other professionals to do that work and instead focus on their core competencies to generate revenue.  If a professional that you engage gets it wrong, you have recourse to them and not so much if you get it wrong.  If you're a hobbyist, of course that might change the balance.

3. I think there's a misconception when you compare a wiper blade with a sensor cleaning.  There are levels of sensor cleaning.  The automated, the manually invoked but camera performed, and then physically doing it yourself.  The functionality is in the camera to gain access to do it and it's designed for it to be done.  In the case of the wiper blade, you're talking about replacing part of the cleaning mechanism, and you're missing the complete package, as it were.  That might be enough, which is great.  Again, the cost, I've already discussed that so I won't labour the point nor about the downtime.  I will say I understand your need to have it working every day, which to me says it's a critical piece of capital in your business and that's why I find it difficult to understand why you wouldn't make a small outlay to have a professional keep it at its peak, but if you've done your sums then only you can make that decision.

4.  Yes and no.  Do you mean solvent and dye sub?  Sure.  Dye sub mostly because they were bastardising machines to run the inks so they couldn't get manufacturer support and solvent because that was more akin to the big metal type press guys in the sense of who and how they were operating the machines.  When you move over to graphics, photo, proofing, CAD and that sort of thing, very few do their own maintenance.  Solvent is also changing as the units become more mainstream and wider in application, and even dye sub in some instances as more manufacturing support appears.

So, yeah, more opinion above but in response to your thoughts and points.  It's just information for you to use to make your final decision, but again, the reason you're not seeing a lot of people comment here about these units I believe is because most of them are not doing this themselves.

However you go, I hope it works out and you get great use out of your machine :-)
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Phil Brown

datro

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2017, 04:49:36 pm »

. . . Do you have any information about either how to move the head away to get access to the wiper and/or how I might buy the actual part. Thanks again.

Go into Service Mode
Choose "Mecha Adjustment"
Choose "PG Adj." - The display will read "Un Cap"
Push the "OK" button

This will release the head off of the capping station and allow you to gently move it to the left out of the way.

Power off the printer.
Replace wiper, clean flushing box, clean capping station, etc. as needed.
Ensure there are no obstructions inside the printer carriage area (left over swabs etc.)
Close front lid, power on.
The head will seek to the home position and then the printer will startup as usual.
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deanwork

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2017, 06:25:11 pm »



I have not had to replace the wiper blade in my 9890 in 5 years of use . It's still in great condition. The reason is I clean it with a cotton lint free glove and distilled after every printing session. I also dampen the cap station at the same time to keep it from drying out and loosing its shape. Compared to my thermal head printers these Epson wiper blades are flimsy and cheap as is the dinky little capping station. But with this kind of maintenance they can possibly last the life of the printer.



Go into Service Mode
Choose "Mecha Adjustment"
Choose "PG Adj." - The display will read "Un Cap"
Push the "OK" button

This will release the head off of the capping station and allow you to gently move it to the left out of the way.

Power off the printer.
Replace wiper, clean flushing box, clean capping station, etc. as needed.
Ensure there are no obstructions inside the printer carriage area (left over swabs etc.)
Close front lid, power on.
The head will seek to the home position and then the printer will startup as usual.
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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2017, 02:26:44 pm »

Thanks, Datro, however I think you have specified the method for printers other than the new 7000/9000 ones. What you describe is how I do it with my 7900. However, I do not know how to get into a true "Service Mode" with the 7000/9000 series. What these machines call "Service Mode", visible in the LCD menu for all to see, does not appear to have the capabilities that the "Service Mode" with my 7900 has, and specifically I did not see what you are describing when I looked at a demo machine a while back. Am I missing something here? I think we need to know how to put these new machines into a "true" Service Mode.

Thanks again.
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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2017, 02:30:25 pm »

Thanks, Dean. I agree that cleaning the wiper blade goes a long while to ensure the wiper's longevity. However, the problem is that even cleaning the wiper requires that we move the print head away from the wiper via a true Service Mode. What is called "Service Mode" in the generally visible menu of these machines does not appear to me to give us this capability.

Do you know how to put these new printers into a true Service Mode, as we could with the previous generations of printers?
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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2017, 02:33:27 pm »

Hi Wayne,
Do you know when you might be able to let me have the information you were going to go looking for, about how to replace the wiper blade and maintenance schedules for the SureColor 7000/9000 printers? I am under some time pressure to make some key decisions for which this information would be very useful.

Thanks again.

Best wishes,
Jim
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deanwork

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2017, 03:57:57 pm »

No it doesn't. You simply turn the printer off, turn it back on and while it boots up the head moves back and forth charging the head and you simply open the front cover, move the head to the left side, pick up a flash light, look on the right side, and clean it and the cheap little capping station. It's a no brainer. The other way is just to insert a sheet of plain paper and start doing a nozzle check procedure
when the head moves out, open the cover.



Thanks, Dean. I agree that cleaning the wiper blade goes a long while to ensure the wiper's longevity. However, the problem is that even cleaning the wiper requires that we move the print head away from the wiper via a true Service Mode. What is called "Service Mode" in the generally visible menu of these machines does not appear to me to give us this capability.

Do you know how to put these new printers into a true Service Mode, as we could with the previous generations of printers?
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datro

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2017, 03:58:15 pm »

Thanks, Datro, however I think you have specified the method for printers other than the new 7000/9000 ones. What you describe is how I do it with my 7900. However, I do not know how to get into a true "Service Mode" with the 7000/9000 series. What these machines call "Service Mode", visible in the LCD menu for all to see, does not appear to have the capabilities that the "Service Mode" with my 7900 has, and specifically I did not see what you are describing when I looked at a demo machine a while back. Am I missing something here? I think we need to know how to put these new machines into a "true" Service Mode.

Thanks again.

The steps I outlined above are for the P9000.  I have both the 7900 and the P9000 here in my studio.

Yes, the Service Mode menu is very different between the two printers, however the way to get there is the same on both series of printers.  If you know how to get into Service Mode on a 7900 then you know how to get there on a P9000.  Once in Service Mode on a P9000, you will see only a very small set of options (compared to the older printers).  There is no longer a "Wiper Exchange" menu, however the "PG Adj." and "Un Cap" does exactly the same thing:  it releases the carriage and allows it to be carefully moved out of the way.
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jlamont

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Re: Epson SureColor Px000 Maintenance
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2017, 04:43:25 pm »

Thanks, Datro! Tomorrow I will try the method you outline. Very much appreciated!

Just one further question for you then: Is the wiper blade I purchase for the 7900 the same as the one I need for the 9000? If not, do you know where I can get a 9000 wiper?

Again, thank you. If I can find a way to get the proper wiper blade for these machines I think my last major hurdle to purchase has just been removed by you.

p.s., I'm thinking there must still be another, true Service Mode on the 9000 for the technicians to use, since the one visible does not appear to allow all that they would require. But it sounds like that is not my concern, as I don't intend to do "head surgery" on my machine.
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