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Author Topic: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200  (Read 951 times)

mfrohman

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Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« on: July 31, 2018, 07:23:20 PM »

Hi all,

I've been having a maddening issue with headstrikes on my HP z3200 for a long time now. I even bought a new one awhile back and have the same issue. I print on epson somerset velvet matt cotton fine art paper and a lot of solid matte black and blue prints. When this issue crops up I will get strikes in the blue and black areas (see images linked below). I've tried everything I could think of and even had an HP service guy out but he didn't know anything about it. I use the fine art paper less ink profile which has given me the least problems. If I create a somerset profile. the issue is usually worse.

I think I've narrowed it down to a humidity issue with the paper cockling. I'm in LA. I bought a humidifier which seemed to help but now even at 53% humidity I'm still getting noticeable strikes.

I've attached 2 images, one shows the buckling in the paper and the other shows the strikes which seem to line up with where the paper buckles. The weird thing is I ran these same images on the printer for over 2 years and this never happened once. Then all of a sudden it started about a year ago. I bought a second printer and it actually seems even worse on the new printer. I don't understand why.

Any ideas? suggestions?

thanks so much!
https://ibb.co/bXQnoz
https://ibb.co/j1UDTz
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amolitor

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 07:59:36 PM »

Are you storing the paper in the same humidity as you're printing in? Is the paper currently cockled? Is it cockling under the application of ink?

There are ways to de-cockle paper to a degree, but they're pretty technical and basically involve moistening/wetting individual sheets and stretching them out flat to dry. Watercolor painters do this to prevent/reduce cockling as they paint.
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mfrohman

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 08:25:00 PM »

Thanks for the response! I should have mentioned that I'm using 44" roll paper. Do you think too much humidity would cause it to cockle as well? I tend to think it's lack of humidity but seems like 54% should be high enough.

It's strange, my 4 year old z3200 has this probably a lot less than my 1 year old z3200. It's as if the new one is way more sensitive but I can't figure out what the difference would be.
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amolitor

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 08:37:15 PM »

Cockling is caused by uneven moisture changes in paper, which generally happens either when it is wetted unevenly (spill a drink on a book) or when it changes moisture content, unevenly, through either drying or humidification. So, if you're storing it in one room and bringing it to another room (where the humidifier is) to print you could be inducing it to cockle as it rests in the new room.

If it's flat going into the printer, I suppose it could be the ink itself which is, by design, applied unevenly (that's what a printer does, after all!)?

Stretching watercolor paper out, now that I review the process, involves wetting it out and then taping it down on a rigid surface. Then you paint while it's still taped down which wouldn't really work for printing. Unless, I suppose, you could wet your paper, stretch it out and temporarily laminate it with some other flexible surface, and print on the laminate.
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mfrohman

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 10:00:06 PM »

I actually store the paper in the same room and leave it on the spindle on the printer all the time as my print volume is high and I print several hours a day. There's not much I can do in terms of treating the paper but I thought there might be some printer or other adjustment I could make.


As far as I can tell it's flat going into the printer but I'm not sure that I can really tell. I suspect it has to do with the large solid patches of ink combining with a possibly slightly dry paper, but I've made thousands of these prints before with no issues. The fact that it's so intermittent does seem to point to humidity levels but if any one has experience with this please chime in. I realize not many people use the z3200s anymore but right now I'm stuck with 2 of them and they've been fantastic except for this issue.
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amolitor

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2018, 12:25:43 AM »

Caveat: I am NOT a printer guy. I am, however, a paper guy, and a fair troubleshooter.

The paper is either cockled in-place on the roll, or cockling in the printer. The former seems unlikely.

Can you run a sheet of paper through the printer without printing on it? (print a blank page, or just get the printer, somehow, to feed)?
Compare that sheet with a similarly sized printed page by laying both sheets out.

It does seem possible to me that the inking it adding enough differential moisture to cause your problem.

Just because a previous roll of the identical paper didn't exhibit the problem does not mean the current roll won't. Papers vary from batch to batch, manufacturers tinker with the stuff all the time. I don't intend libel against your paper manufacturer, they may be extremely consistent for all I know. But some perfectly reputable makers of artist's papers are rather variable.
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 10:05:11 AM »

Cockling like that for a paper at 255 grams indicates to me that something is wrong with the paper coating. Usually there are 2 or 3 layers applied and one of them is a barrier to keep the ink media from penetrating the paper base or at least slows down that migration of the fluid so it will not create an issue on the printer like cockling. Or the paper may have been stored too long in different humidity conditions.

If there is an additional issue with the printer then it can be the head that is not set at the right distance from the substrate. Either by a media preset choice that is incompatible with the paper thickness or the hardware of the printer does not act properly. There is a small plastic part at the back of the head carriage that can be broken or the mechanism that shifts that part in and out for the head height is not working properly. I had the last problem on a Z3200 and exchanged the mechanism with the same  part of a Z3100, must have been a connector issue as both parts and printers worked properly afterwards.

The plastic part is the Rear Carriage Bushing  see http://z3200.com/Rear_Carriage_%20Bushing-HP-Z3200_Printers-Mark%20Lindquist.htm  Watch the Bob Wert video, it shows that mechanism too at 3.55

The mechanism that shifts it is precisely below the light grey insert/cup at the back of the right side cover. You can remove the right side cover. By placing back the ink cartridges you can start the printer again and watch what happens if you load a thick paper + its  media preset versus a thin paper + its media preset. Alright, if you do not see that shift mechanism act then the connector of it may be the problem. Try to reseat it. The mechanism is that black part next to the screw the man in video unscrews at 3.55 in video time.
At a thick/thin/thick media change it holds the rear carriage bushing that works like a kind of wedge when the head carriage motor moves the head carriage to the left or the right. The rear carriage bushing knows just two positions and so there are only two head heights possible. If the head height is not adjusted properly it is that mechanism or the rear bushing broken.

You can even take the right cover off by simply setting the printer in cartridge replace mode and then take it off and set the cartridges back. That is how I do it but I have taken one screw away at the front/down/interior side and never use it anymore, hardest part of dismantling and construction wise not needed. Getting into the interior at the right goes fast then.

You can clip out the light grey cup of the right cover before you replace the cover etc again. That gives you a possibility to check that function for some time after the repair. The cup can be inserted again when everything is alright, it looks symmetric but is not so do not place it reversed. When still open I had a kind of trap there that showed whether the switch had worked or not. Tape and a small sheet of plastic foil resting on the black hook did it. You can figure it out.

Edit; at the bottom of that linked page the mechanism is shown too. But also how to oil the rear carriage bushing on the lubrication sponge. Which may prevent an error warning that could result in replacing the maintenance station in total. I had that error but figured out it had more to do with the head carriage not moving fast enough from the maintenance station when initialising so I oiled the bar and that spot and the error disappeared.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

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« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 10:22:25 AM by Ernst Dinkla »
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mfrohman

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 01:07:04 PM »

Thank you for all this info Ernst. After all the experiments I've done I'm inclined to think it may be one of the 2 mechanical issues you mentioned governing the head height. I had bought a rear bushing awhile back after reading that could be the issue but decided at the time it wasn't the issue but am now reconsidering that. I was unaware of the other part you mentioned which is quite interesting. I feel now that it is likely a mechanical fault with the printer. There is a scraping sound that I often hear that my older z3200 doesn't make so perhaps one of these 2 pieces is broken and scraping the paper or another part. Strange that I've had this problem on this printer since day one and an HP tech even came out and looked at it. When I suggested the rear carriage bushing he shook his head and said he'd never seen that problem.

I will dig deeper into your suggestions here and let you know what turns up and post any success in case any other designjet users out there need the info.

thank you!

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mfrohman

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 09:27:27 PM »

Ernst,

Your instructions were terrific, totally made sense once I had the right side open. Turns out the bushing was not broken as far as I could tell.

Regarding the other mechanism that adjusts the carriage height - I followed your instructions but saw no activity or change when changing paper presets. I reconnected the electronic plug as well as unscrewed and rescrewed it. I only changed the preset on the print from plain paper to fine art canvas -- I didn't actually load different papers - is that enought to see some switch or would I actually have to load the paper?

Would that black piece move? Is that what I'm looking for? If it doesn't move it at all would you assume it's faulty? Would you happen to know by looking at it whether it's in the up or down head position? I can push it in with my finger towards the bushing but it swings back out away from the bushing. Should I see the bushing itself move?

thanks so much!

mark
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glyph

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 12:04:35 AM »

I print on Sunset Velvet Rag/Fineline Fine Art Natural (same paper, different labels) that is 315GSM and will occasionally get the same issues with my year old Z3200. It seems to have slightly more issue with cockling than my original Z3100 did. Usually it only crops up with large areas of very dark ink coverage. I think I can rule out low humidity as a factor, as 53% humidity would be downright arid here in Hawaii.

I think you are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to environmental issues from paper storage or handling. I think it is entirely from the ink wetting the fiber enough that it introduces minor cockling, and it is the fault of the star wheel design vs. vacuum. My problems are definitely not the result of a rear bushing either, as I've seen what that is like from my old printer. Fortunately, my problem is infrequent enough to be a source of annoyance, but not a deal breaker.

This is one of the things I'm curious about with the Z9+, whether they have made any design changes to the paper transport. I think I may have dreamed about HP introducing a new fine art printer, though, as nobody seems to actually own one yet, even though they have allegedly been in dealer hands for well over a month. No reviews and no user feedback . . .
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mfrohman

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2018, 12:55:22 AM »

I tend to agree that the paper transport isn't great and I've often looked into the transport to see how it holds the paper down when this issue occurs and I can see that it's not completely flat. The original picture I posted is probably the worst cockling example I have and maybe a little exaggerated from the light. Sometimes the paper looks fairly flat and still has headstrikes. Often, the headstrikes are much worse than the example I showed as well.

I can't completely attribute this to a bad design though as I've made about a thousand of these same prints with my 4 year old z3200. The issue does crop up occasionally on that printer too but seems to coincide with our heat waves in LA which cause the humidity to drop. If my humidifier drops in the range of 20-30%, then the issue will start to appear until I can get the humidity back up to 40+.

BUT with my 1 year old z3200, I have this problem almost all the time since the beginning - on the prints with large dark black or blue solid areas. I stopped using it for a while because of this but really need to have it online now. If it's the same model printer, same environment, same paper, same settings, I don't understand why one would have the issue and the other doesn't. I've barked up as many trees as I can find - software, hardware, environment - and am stumped. It's as if this one's way more sensitive than the other one. As much as I'd like to just shell out for an Epson at this point, I need to hopefully keep this machine going for a while longer. Thanks for you input Glyph! Every little bit of this puzzle helps!

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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2018, 03:10:13 AM »

Ernst,

Your instructions were terrific, totally made sense once I had the right side open. Turns out the bushing was not broken as far as I could tell.

Regarding the other mechanism that adjusts the carriage height - I followed your instructions but saw no activity or change when changing paper presets. I reconnected the electronic plug as well as unscrewed and rescrewed it. I only changed the preset on the print from plain paper to fine art canvas -- I didn't actually load different papers - is that enought to see some switch or would I actually have to load the paper?

Would that black piece move? Is that what I'm looking for? If it doesn't move it at all would you assume it's faulty? Would you happen to know by looking at it whether it's in the up or down head position? I can push it in with my finger towards the bushing but it swings back out away from the bushing. Should I see the bushing itself move?

thanks so much!

mark

At what point the black hook locks the bushing and the head carriage movement shifts it, I can not recall but at least you need to load a sheet at each thin/thick change in media presets. Could be that you have to send a printing task as well with the same media preset  from the system. It has been a long time ago when I solved that problem.

Anyway some head strikes can still happen while the hardware is working correctly. Far less though and in my case it is the 350grams Museum Etching from a roll near its end when the curl is directly under the printing path so the first strokes of the head touch it. Usually I advance the leading edge till it is under the star wheels bar and switch automatic cutting off so the second print starts on a flat area anyway. Paper spooled on a 15cm thick core for easier handling after the total job is done.

I doubt that a Museum Etching paper curl from midway the roll is sucked flat by the Epson vents. Not to mention the curl near the end of the roll. I agree that a suction system can work better with most papers and HP uses it on the larger Zs as well.

For storing I wrap my rolls tight with an a sheet of paper 102 cm wide on the 44" rolls + 3 pieces of tape. The same for the 36" rolls with 90cm wide paper. That way the corners of the leading edge stay in line with the rest of the leading edge. I wish paper manufacturers did the same on the rolls they deliver. Usually their packing sheets are way smaller and the corners can bend outwards. 

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

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Mark Lindquist

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2018, 08:36:11 PM »

If you are still having cockling issues with the Somerset, you could try this experiment:

Create a new profile using Fine Art More Ink ( it is one of the few settings using the Quad Ink Set )-) SEE QUAD INK SETTINGS CHART ) and it may surprise you.

MHMG and I have been experimenting with a paper that has been buckling pretty badly.  I was creating PK profiles with an ink load of 32.5 getting serious cockling issues and even some head strikes.  Mark MHMG chose an existing HP paper preset (PK) with an ink limit of 46 and the cockling settled down.

My profile was for a 24" roll, while MHMG cut a sheet off a 44" roll, de-curled it and made his profile on a flat manually fed sheet.  It worked.

So my suggestion is that you first switch to the Quad Ink Set, then make your custom profile, then make your prints on de-curled flat sheets.

I first define the paper using the chosen preset, then profile the paper, then do an advance paper calibration.  (If you go to Paper>view loaded paper, it will say if the advance paper calibration is needed.)  Then go to maintenance> calibration> advance paper calibration.  This normally tames banding and head strikes.

Your paper is a thick matte paper - it's what the Quad inkset was made for.  Try it - it may surprise you. Give it a day or more to dry down.

Best -

Mark L

Edit for spelling
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 08:42:20 PM by Mark Lindquist »
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mfrohman

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2018, 01:53:10 AM »

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your response. I've spent a lot of time on your 3200 site - great resource!

It's interesting, I used to use the Fine Art More Ink setting and somehow when this issue cropped up last year I ended up moving to the less ink setting. I think when I read about the Quad Ink setting on your site, I thought it must be laying too much ink on the paper. I will try it again.

I'm starting to think this issue has multiple variables and not one source. I used to find that the calibration procedure you mention used to solve the problem for awhile, and now looking back I"m wondering if the times it did not were low humidity days. I only bought my humidifier a few months ago which also seemed to help but still the issue would recur, one one of the printers anyway.

I was finally able to make a few good prints last night. I lowered the fine art paper less ink profile down to 85 ink limit but it was also a very humid night in the 60% range so I'm not entirely sure yet if either, both, or none of these factors helped.

A few questions:

You mention ink limits of 32 and 46 but when I use the HP utility the options go from 80 Ė 120. Is the 46 a different measurement system or RIP settings?

In your suggestion of using a flat sheet, do you mean that I should just profile the paper using a flat sheet or that I have to make all my prints using sheets? Common print sizes for me are 20" x 40" and 30" x 60" so I don't think that would be practical.

I will look into the Quad setting in further detail. For some reason if I profile the Somerset Velvet I always get worse head strikes (probably starting from fine art paper less ink though).
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John Caldwell

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2018, 03:30:17 AM »

Possibly OT: When head strikes were a problem on an Epson 9900 with a very thick Baryta paper, and very ink-dense images, I had good results increasing the drying time with each head pass. I had the feeling the the paper ws becoming less saturated with moisture, and was warping less. My head strikes were always with 44" paper, occurring at the center of the head travel where, I believe, paper warpage was greatest.

John Caldwell
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2018, 05:17:57 PM »

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your response. I've spent a lot of time on your 3200 site - great resource!

It's interesting, I used to use the Fine Art More Ink setting and somehow when this issue cropped up last year I ended up moving to the less ink setting. I think when I read about the Quad Ink setting on your site, I thought it must be laying too much ink on the paper. I will try it again.

I'm starting to think this issue has multiple variables and not one source. I used to find that the calibration procedure you mention used to solve the problem for awhile, and now looking back I"m wondering if the times it did not were low humidity days. I only bought my humidifier a few months ago which also seemed to help but still the issue would recur, one one of the printers anyway.

I was finally able to make a few good prints last night. I lowered the fine art paper less ink profile down to 85 ink limit but it was also a very humid night in the 60% range so I'm not entirely sure yet if either, both, or none of these factors helped.

A few questions:

You mention ink limits of 32 and 46 but when I use the HP utility the options go from 80 Ė 120. Is the 46 a different measurement system or RIP settings?

In your suggestion of using a flat sheet, do you mean that I should just profile the paper using a flat sheet or that I have to make all my prints using sheets? Common print sizes for me are 20" x 40" and 30" x 60" so I don't think that would be practical.

I will look into the Quad setting in further detail. For some reason if I profile the Somerset Velvet I always get worse head strikes (probably starting from fine art paper less ink though).

I'm suggesting you try making a new profile with Fine Art More Ink and leave the settings exactly the same.  I understand about not wanting to do cut sheets the size you're talking about.  Try rolling out a sheet, decurl it and pull it back in with "Move paper" and let it drape down (don't roll it back up on the spindle.) When you make the profile, try star wheels up.

It's my understanding that HP made the paper presets with specific ink limits ( don't know how or what equipment they used to make their in-house canned profiles) and if you look on the chart, you'll see the ink limit for each preset, i.e.: 46, 30, 37, 42, 60.  Each of those ink limits are reflected in the paper you define, and the ink limit scale you see when you go into the preset properties starts at the middle of the preset, where the ink limit is pre-defined. When you add to the ink limit, you are adding on top of what is already defined.  When you move the slider to the left and  choose less ink, it is moving away from the maximum already defined for that paper preset.

Usually you can only bump it up or down at the most 20 points, if that. Those increments only slightly vary the effect of ink limiting, although it can have a significant effect on the final profile outcome.

If you used a paper like Moab Entrada Natural 300 gsm you would see that the Fine Art More Ink setting works perfectly.  I'm thinking that the Velvet Matte Fine Art can't be too different from the Moab in properties, so that's why I suggested it.  Also, Mark McCormick reasoned that with the paper we were using, possibly more ink worked better that less ink, which only served to cause cockling and buckling.  He was correct. It was counter-intuitive.

So I'm thinking try the new profile with FINE ART MORE INK, flatten as much as possible the paper before feeding in to print.  BTW, I have several 30" x 6 ft tables at a height just below the outfeed of the Z and I use them either for feeding in long cut sheets or for out-take of printed sheets.

Mark

EDIT for spelling
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 06:03:09 PM by Mark Lindquist »
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mfrohman

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Re: Head Strike issue on Somerset Velvet z3200
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2018, 07:39:49 PM »

Hey Mark,

I'm attaching some images here of some small prints I made after making a new profile based on Fine Art More Ink. The headstrikes are way worse than on the Fine Art Less Ink setting. Thought this might provide some insight into the issue - any thoughts?

Here's the images:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kofl2xmxi0h1gtw/IMG_8918.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p2vt0ab57j9qt6z/IMG_8919.jpg?dl=0

Thanks!

Mark
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