Extended Flushing Procedures for PM-417 and PM-836 printers equipped with Bulk Ink Delivery System


Flushing solution can be used to recover printheads that show signs of blockage. This is done by loading a flushing solution into the printhead assembly which can breakdown lodge particles and clean the nozzle paths in the printhead. It is also recommended to flush print heads when switching ink types.

The firmware has limitations that require alternative methods of flushing to ensure that flushing penetrates each of the printheads in a system. While the ink loading method can be used for some instances, it does not ensure that flushing solution fully penetrates all printheads that are installed in a system. This is due to the fact that during the ink loading sequence, sensors in the printheads will look to see if there is liquid (ink or flushing solution) during loading and can prevent further loading once these sensors have triggered.

Using the shipping the printer utility can ensure that flushing solution is fully cycling through all the printheads in a system. This is done by connecting flushing solution to each of the input lines (C,M,Y,K) and running the shipping the printer utility until all flushing solution has been used. The below procedure will go through the process of running this operation.

 

 

From the maintenance utility, print a nozzle check pattern to identify problem printheads. In the below picture note that the yellow printhead is not firing most of its nozzles. This step is crucial not only for identifying improvement after the flushing process, but for identifying other issues that may be occurring with the printer un-related to blocked nozzles.

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2. Disconnect the ink bags from the bulk ink system.

3. Connect the flushing solution in place of the bulk bags. Each color channel (C,M,Y,K) should have its own bag of flushing solution.

4. In the maintenance utility navigate to cleaning tab.

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5. If flushing a PM-836, ensure that both engine units are selected at the top of the maintenance window and click the button shipping the printer.

6. A dialog box will appear asking if you want to continue with the process - press yes to proceed

The printer will now begin its draining process. During this time, ink may start to discolor the bags of flushing solution - this is normal and shouldn’t cause any issues.

7. After about 10-15 minutes, a 2nd dialog box will come up prompting the ink tanks to be removed.

If the system has field upgraded bulk system, remove the cartridges from the ink tank holder to deactivate the chips.

If the system was shipped with a bulk system, press the red button on the PCB so it illuminates green.

Do not disconnect the bags of flushing solution from the printer.

Remove cartridges for field upgrade bulk system.

Remove cartridges for field upgrade bulk system.

Press button on PCB for factory bulk system.

Press button on PCB for factory bulk system.

8. Once the chips have been deactivated - press “OK”. The system will continue to “drain ink” which will actually load flushing solution into the printheads.

After the shipping the printer utility has been ran, another popup window will come up saying shipping has been completed:

9. Press “OK” and power cycle the printer (do not insert ink tanks or re-activate chips via PCB). The printer will attempt to boot but should show errors that the ink tanks are not installed. This is normal and will prevent the system from automatically loading ink after running the “shipping the printer” utility.

10. Navigate to the Parts replacement tab in the maintenance utility and click the button for consumable parts replacement:

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If the system has field upgraded bulk system, insert the cartridges into the ink tank holder to activate the chips.

If the system was shipped with a bulk system, press the green button on the PCB so it illuminates red.

11. Press the next button to restart the printer - this will boot the printer into a maintenance mode that will also prevent it from running the automatic ink loading.

12. After the printer has restarted, press the ESC Button to exit the parts replacement utility. A window will come up prompting to power cycle the printer. DO NOT POWER CYCLE THE PRINTER, but press OK.

At this point, the printer should be in an online ready state.

Repeat steps 4 - 12 until all four bags of flushing solution have been depleted. It is recommended to let the printer sit overnight when the bags are half depleted. This will allow flushing solution to sit in the print heads overnight which can help dislodge particles.

Once all four bags of flushing solution have been depleted, turn off the power to the system. Disconnect the flushing solution bags from the system and re-connect the bags of ink ensuring that they are at least 50% full.

If the system has field upgraded bulk system, insert the cartridges into the ink tank holder to activate the chips.

If the system was shipped with a bulk system, press the green button on the PCB so it illuminates red.

Turn on the power to the system monitoring the printer status. Note all errors will need to be cleared before the system will start loading ink. In most cases, the system will start its ink loading process automatically. If it doesn’t, use the ink loading utility in the maintenance utility to start loading ink.

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Once ink loading is complete and the printer status shows online / ready, print another nozzle check pattern to verify results of flushing the printhead.

If the color density looks light it is recommended to run a strong cleaning cycle on the printer.  If the density still looks light after a strong cleaning, run another ink loading cycle to fully evacuate any flushing solution that may be in the printhead .