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[Anajet] Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

 
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Old February 25th, 2013 Feb 25, 2013 12:29:21 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

After we purchased our MP10, I posted a thread detailing our experience. At that time the jury was still out but I wasn't having too many issues. Shortly after, a private facebook group was started to which a lot of people that used to go here with problems have gone. The one very unfortunate thing about that group is that people researching whether or not to buy Anajet do not have access to those real life opinions good and bad since the group is closed and not indexed on search engines.

Here is my update: I'm not someone that is on cloud 9 with this machine nor do I have some of the major issues that others have. The bottom line though for people without major issues is that this machine needs a lot of attention and maintenance, but will have issues even with all of that maintenance. And the things required to keep this machine running go way beyond what is sold.

Maintenance isn't just cleaning this, and emptying that according to the maintenance plan. No, real maintenance will require many calls to tech support to get the parts that are needed for the maintenance not listed int he manual. This includes needle valves, dampers, and check valves which regularly gunk up due to heavy ink pigments. Real maintenance will then require that you get into tight areas of your machine and unscrew tiny screws, pull hoses off parts, and clean intricate areas without loosing intricate parts. Real cleaning also includes taking computer cables off computer boards so that you can remove computer boards to get at parts that regularly need to be replaced, then putting those computer boards back together after parts have been replaced.....each time first having to call tech support to have you send them the parts(while still under warranty).

Here is another thing you can plan on: Wasting a lot of ink maintaining and problem solving which "non-manual" maintenance is needed. Besides actual ink going down the drain, you can plan on throwing ink away that is left over in the cartridges because the machine miscalculates the amount of ink left and will not let you print with an "empty" cart that still has 1/4 ($15-$20) ink left.

Here is another thing you can plan on: Not using speed mode to print anything. I'm not saying the machine isn't faster than the competition in modes you will use, but the speed mode is a sales gimmic that isn't used by anyone not trying to sell the machine. They even changed the default settings in the RIP to print in the highest quality/slowest mode. A large full back or front print with white will take 3.5 minutes if your loading and unloading quickly. That is besides the time and money needed to pre-treat.

Here is another thing you can plan on: Not getting support from Anajet regarding slight banding. Tech support will tell you the standard "non-manual" maintenance options to do but will basically cut off communication if those things don't work. Bottom line, don't expect to get any help if you get tiny lines in certain colors of your print.

Here is one thing that I do like about MP series: Content based underbase. This is much better than the printers out there that just print a solid white underbase.

Wrap Up: The happy MP owners are probably the ones that keep their machines busy. For them the ink is flowing through and not gunking up as much and the maintenance I've described is okay due to the amount of use. The unhappy MP owners are probably the ones either have larger issues than what I've described or people without the business to keep the printers humming with real work. Keeping an MP5 or MP10 maintained is expensive and time consuming even if your not using it very much.
 
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Old February 25th, 2013 Feb 25, 2013 1:43:56 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Franky Dog...

Do you own this printer or know people who do? Just curious based on your third person wording...

"Happy MP owners" hmmmm

Peace for now...
 
Old February 25th, 2013 Feb 25, 2013 1:59:33 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

UPT101, I'm not sure what you mean by the 3rd person wording. Yes, I've owned an MP10 since last fall. Maybe you are confused because it's basically written to those investigating DTG more than anything. I really valued finding this board when I was researching so I wanted to update my feedback for any potential purchasers. I'll be honest and say that I knew about many of the reported issues when I purchased our MP10. However, my rep told me that most people were happy and the people with issues are not cleaning their maintenance station properly which is letting air in. Unfortunately while air is a big issue, pigment clogging is just as big and it's obviously something anajet didn't take into account when they built these printers.
 
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Old February 25th, 2013 Feb 25, 2013 2:24:35 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

I got you! Maybe I was confused sorry about that. You are right air is a huge issue for any DTG printer, but it appears a much bigger and more expensive one is not having the ability to use all of your ink. Leaving behind "1/4 $15-$20 worth of ink still in the cartridge is a big $ waste. What 6 cartridges in the printer at one time? And what you guys charge $65 cymk $89 white per cart. Opps I'm sorry Anajet charges those prices. Are the carts refillable at least? What do you do with your 1/4 ink left behind? That's $90 to $120 down the drain (monthly/weekly!?).

Peace for now...
 
Old February 25th, 2013 Feb 25, 2013 10:15:00 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

welcome to DTG... It's exactly that an ink/pigment problem... That's an industry problem. You can go by an r1900 based machine with print heads that are definitely not made for dtg ink that is thick and suppose to set and gel on a fabric fast. And you will have same problems if you DON'T print daily. Key to DTG is print. Daily... Keep ink flowing... Until they can formulate ink and print heads made for dtg it will be a problem. Just a realistic fact... good news is the industry is rapidly growing a developing fast and will be the future... IMHO
 
Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 1:02:09 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

kdub, thanks for the reply. I agree with you that this is a DTG problem. However, Anajet's sales pitch says that the MP heads were created to handle DTG inks unlike all the Epson machines being sold. I'm not saying that MP printers need more maintenance than average DTG printers. I am saying anajet says that MP printers require less maintenance than other DTG printers and that is why they charge a good 30% more for their printer. Don't get me wrong, I'm still optimistic of our MP10 at this point. I mainly wrote this post to inform prospective buyers of the real DTG experience.
 
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Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 1:20:13 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Yes I own the Sprint Printer. I just found out that I over paid for my maintenance station by $300.00 from Anajet and it didn't fix the problem.
 
Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 1:40:55 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

You make a valid point in that it's an industry problem. I get that, but what I don't get is that some companies make a claim that their product is "purpose built" when an actual print head isn't designed to print specifically on garments. I just trying to get a clear picture of the whole DTG segment of garment decorating. As I'm new to this process! I know that a salesmen will say just about anything to make the sales, but they have to get their info from somewhere or someone.

So FrankyDog you still have answered my questions about the ink waste. What do you do about the lose? Can the carts be refilled? If I decide to purchase an Anajet MP am i stuck with throwing $90 to $120 down the drain? (monthly/weekly)

Peace for now...
 
Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 2:03:45 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Here is the thing with almost any printer DTG or otherwise. You always throw away ink. Most inkjet printers you throw away 3ml. Why because most print heads if run dry will ruin the head. One of my Epson's is filled with 13ml of ink but the package says 10ml. I'm not sure how Anajet markets their ink though. 1/4 of a cartridge sounds like a waste whether your paying for it or not.
 
Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 2:16:21 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UPT101
So FrankyDog you still have answered my questions about the ink waste. What do you do about the lose? Can the carts be refilled? If I decide to purchase an Anajet MP am i stuck with throwing $90 to $120 down the drain? (monthly/weekly)

Peace for now...
I have one of the original MP5's. Anajet has developed a set of upgrades for this model to address problems that some reported here. My printer received the upgrades and one of the changes allows me to turn off the ink cartridge check so I can use a cartridge even if the printer thinks it is empty. I don't believe there is anyway to refill the cartridges. I have read reports here from people who have wasted quite a bit of ink running print head cleans and filling their lines with ink. I'm not sure what they are doing different than me but that has not been my experience and my ink waste has gone down even more since my printer has been upgraded. One thing I try to do which I guess can be considered ink waste is if there is a day where I'm not printing customer shirts (DTG is not the only thing I sell), I'll grab a pretreated shirt and print two colorful images that I have reduced in size to about 6"x6". I print them side-by-side so I can usually fit six images like this on each side of a shirt (to minimize waste). This seems to keep the ink flowing enough for me to avoid any issues.

In response to some of the points in the first post of this thread...

I would add that it has not been my experience for Anajet tech support to leave me hanging with problems. To the best of my memory, they have always stuck with me to get my problems resolved. There was one support person who would promise to get back to me but he never would - I complained and heard they received other complaints too and not long after that he was gone (presumably fired).

Also, maintenance for me is regular cleaning of the bottom of the print head, the wiper blade and the maintenance station. Occasionally the waste ink tank needs to be drained and a few pads that are in the printer need to be cleaned. In the 10 months or so I have had the printer, there have been a few times I've had to replace a few parts but that hasn't been too often. I'm mostly certain I've read about owners of other DTG printers here in the forums who have had to replace parts and think that just goes with the territory.

Eric
 
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Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 2:36:13 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Sounds great love the experience and knowledge.

Would either of you know, a bulk ink system vs cart do you waste just as much ink or much less?

Knowing some DTG printers may require more attention than others.

Peace for now...
 
Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 3:38:36 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

i don't have an mPower printer, so i can't speak about their carts, but i do have the FP-125 and i didn't waste any ink once i learned how to remove/refill the carts. when the printer said my cart was "empty", i just removed the rest of the ink and stored it in a clear bottle. after accumulating enough ink, i refilled a half empty cart and kept on printing. i've written many threads on this in these forums. this has save me $$$. i've been in this industry almost 5 years, so my savings are in the thousands. there is ZERO reason to EVER waste ink. just take some old carts and instead of throwing them away, figure out how to refill them. i used the long, needle-type tip to gently poke a hole into my cart as AnaJet uses a resealable membrane. every once in a while, i would ruin the membrane and have to use a different cart. so what? it was going to be trash anyway. once you get it figured out, it's easy. yes, it takes some time to store this "empty" ink, but for me, it was worth the time.

overall, i think that carts/bags are better than bottle systems, but this really depends on your volume. if you keep the ink moving, you'll be fine using either system. if you don't have a lot of volume, then definitely stick to the carts. i don't recommend using bottle/bulk systems with WHITE ink at all. it dries too quickly when exposed to air.

also, while DuPont inks are thicker than the original specs for Epson heads, there shouldn't be any problems with clogging on the CMYK side. again, print volume will greatly determine this, but i've never had a head clog on the CMYK side. white ink, yes, but my rule is if you don't have any white ink jobs to print, GET THE WHITE INK OUT OF YOUR PRINTER! collect your white ink jobs and print them in batches, then flush the white lines/dampers/head with cleaning fluid.
 
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Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 4:24:56 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Eric, glad everything is going well for you with the upgrades. I know that the upgrades have improved things for many people while a few unlucky people have still had problems afterward. However it is my belief that cleaning/changing needle valves and changing dampers and check valves will occasionally need to be done by all users do to ink settling and clogging. Do you disagree? I hope I'm wrong. Maybe once we are using the printer more this wont be an issue?

As far as the ink waste questions, I agree that ink waste to do cleans etc. is acceptable. The unacceptable ink waste i speak of is the newer feature specific to mpower that attempts to track a carts usage to tell you the ink level status. This includes disabling the printer when it believes a cart is empty. Its a great idea since letting a cart tun out can be a big problem. Unfortunately their calculations are often very wrong. Just today our mp10 labelled a newer magenta as empty even though the $60 cart is over half full. The ironic thing is that this is a cart anajet sent me for free to replace another cart marked empty long before it was. I guess I'll just have to keep calling tech support to send me new carts until they let me upgrade the firmware to override this feature.

To that last sentence regarding tech support, I will agree that I have not been disappointed with it. I can normally get through in under 10 minutes and they are very willing to send parts and replace carts. It's just very frustrating that I need help or parts so often and I'm definitely scared of having to pay for these parts after my warranty is up.
 
Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 6:49:39 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankyDog
Eric, glad everything is going well for you with the upgrades. I know that the upgrades have improved things for many people while a few unlucky people have still had problems afterward. However it is my belief that cleaning/changing needle valves and changing dampers and check valves will occasionally need to be done by all users do to ink settling and clogging. Do you disagree? I hope I'm wrong. Maybe once we are using the printer more this wont be an issue?

As far as the ink waste questions, I agree that ink waste to do cleans etc. is acceptable. The unacceptable ink waste i speak of is the newer feature specific to mpower that attempts to track a carts usage to tell you the ink level status. This includes disabling the printer when it believes a cart is empty. Its a great idea since letting a cart tun out can be a big problem. Unfortunately their calculations are often very wrong. Just today our mp10 labelled a newer magenta as empty even though the $60 cart is over half full. The ironic thing is that this is a cart anajet sent me for free to replace another cart marked empty long before it was. I guess I'll just have to keep calling tech support to send me new carts until they let me upgrade the firmware to override this feature.

To that last sentence regarding tech support, I will agree that I have not been disappointed with it. I can normally get through in under 10 minutes and they are very willing to send parts and replace carts. It's just very frustrating that I need help or parts so often and I'm definitely scared of having to pay for these parts after my warranty is up.
You may have missed in my message where I explained that the new firmware for my upgraded MP5 allows me to disable the printers ink check function so even though it may think a cartridge is out of ink when it really isn't, I can still use the cartridge. I imagine at some point Anajet will roll that out to all mPower owners but for now it may only be available to MP5 owners who have had their printer upgraded.

So far for me, in 10 months of ownership, I only cleaned the white ink needle valves once when tech support suspected white ink flow was being restricted. I have never had to replace them or mess with the dampers. So in my experience, I consider that an extremely rare part of maintenance. I suppose if the printer isn't used at least 5 days a week you may have problems with those components - that is why I'll print two small images with white ink on days when I don't have orders. You could also print one or two sample shirts each day to have available for promoting your business since you need to keep the ink circulating.

Eric
 
Old February 26th, 2013 Feb 26, 2013 7:37:51 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems. Maintenance. Maintenance. Problems.

Thanks Eric. I do know about that feature in the new firmware but I guess anajet would rather ship replacement carts than help me upgrade the firmware....or maybe the firmware isn't ready for 10s yet. I also didn't need to replace needle valves or dampers for a long time after purchase. Maybe 8 months or so. However if you call tech support because of an empty damper, the first thing they will recommend is a damper and check valve replacement....in my experience. Though actually installing those parts is a hair raising experience.

Don't get me wrong. I have high hopes for our mp10 but I think it will take volume and an understanding of the maintenance I've described to bring full satisfaction.

It seams like AnaJet is doing what they can to support their users, short of a refund. I still think their printers have a lot of potential. I just think they need to be a little more open about possible problems. My guess as to why they don't is because they charge so much more than the nearest competition.

I'm getting a new needle valve soon to see if that fixes the fact that one of my white lines is down. If that gets me back up and fixes all my problems for a while, I'll be happy to come on here and sing this printers praises because when it does work, i have know doubt that it is the best on the market.
 






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