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[NEW ZEALAND] - DTG Kiosk nightmare

 
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Old October 8th, 2008 Oct 8, 2008 8:48:38 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation DTG Kiosk nightmare

Hi there, is anyone out there using a DTG Kiosk and having ongoing problems with white ink printing? I've been through a ton of posts on the main forum about this issue but haven't seemed to be able to find anyone who has solved the problem of the white ink clogging all the time. I've tried doing everything that others living the same nightmare have suggested, and for a couple of days, everything will be fine, then suddenly, no white ink again. I'm desperate to know if anyone has found a way to avoid this? The printer has been down for 2 days this week while we've been trying to find a solution to this ongoing problem...it's expensive and is driving me crazy
 
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Old October 9th, 2008 Oct 9, 2008 5:58:41 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

It's really all down to maintenance and replacement of parts which start to die. What exact problems are you having, I'm sure I can lend a hand.
 
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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 2:20:54 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Thanks for your help. Basically, I do all my cleaning and maintenance, following the instructions to the letter. When the machine is working well, the images are stunning, but I seem to be having more and more issues getting the 3 white ink nozzles working. For example, I was running the machine all last week, and it ran really well. The last day I ran it was Saturday, then it wasn't used for 3 days while I was busy doing design work. Each day I swilled the bottles, etc, and when I went to run it on Wednesday, the LC nozzle wouldn't work.

I spent an hour repeating the same method; Ink Fill for 5 seconds, then 5 head cleans. Still wouldn't work. So I switched off all the valves except LC, repeated the steps above, and managed to get it working that way. But in doing that, neither GY or LM would work when I turned the valves back on. I spent another hour or so trying to get them to work, got one of them to work, but not the other. It sort of carried on like that most of the day, either only having one or two white nozzles working. In the end I just seemed to make the situation worse, and lost an entire day in the process.

I've noticed when I squirt cleaning solution or distilled water into the capping station, then using the Ink Fill button to draw it through, it seems to be getting drawn through slower than it used to. It might just be my imagination, I don't know.

Anyway, its been a pretty unproductive few days, and I'm way behind schedule. The good folk at DTG have suggested a couple of things, but will come back to me with more detail next week, so I wanted to try here in the mean time to see if I can cure the issue. At this stage I'm just having to do 2 white layers with only 2 white nozzles working, because although its heaps slower, its still faster that messing around trying to get it running.

One thing they suggested as a preventative, was the new Waste Ink Management System (WIMS). Has anyone tried this? My machine is 12 months old, but not used everyday, because I switch between designing t-shirt images, and printing.

Thanks again
 
 
Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 2:55:56 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

One thing that I do that has helped is every day or every other day, I pour the white ink into new bottles. This way the "sludge" at the bottom of the white ink bottles does not get sucked up into the lines. Also, if your machine does automatic headcleanings, leave it on all the time. Sure it uses ink, but not as much and not the headache of trying to unclog a line.

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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 3:04:05 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

After leaving it for 3 days, the white ink can definitely go bad. This is one of the biggest downsides of DTG unfortunately

What happens in teh 3 days is that the ink starts to settle in the lines. And because you dont have the WIMNS board (Does a headclean every 6 hours) the sludge will start building up in your valves and your DAMPERS. The problem is that your dampers may be clogged now after 3 days of downtime, thats why you have troubles drawing in the white ink.

Another cause is that your print head may be going out. If you have extended periods of non productive days then I think after a year your print head might need replacing. YEs it sucks! but sometimes very neccessary.
 
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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 3:50:13 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Thanks zhenjie & Donna. I've just started the printer this morning and the same old, same old issues with the white ink have happened, so I am taking your advice and am going to clean everything. I replaced the print head a couple of weeks ago (the 3rd one in 12 months), and despite putting marbles in the bottom of the ink bottles to help agitate the ink each day, when I emptied the bottles 5 minutes ago there was a good 3-4mm of sludge in the bottom of each. Anyway, I'll try the complete clean out and see what happens. I think I need to look seriously at buying the WIMS board tho.
 
Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 4:03:19 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Hi Helen,

We feel your pain. We too have the DTG Kiosk. We purchased ours right after they came out with the white ink upgrade back in June of 2006--looking back we should have waited until they worked the kinks out. We had such trouble with it that they finally sent us the parts to upgrade it to the Kiosk II. We learned the hard way that ESPECIALLY on the days that we're not printing with it that we need to do nozzle checks 3 or 4 times daily. That keeps the ink (including the white) from sitting in the lines without moving, giving it time to settle and clog. We are always sure to shake the white ink bottles to keep them from separating.

We have more trouble with the pre-treat, though. Every time we talk to the place we bought it, it seems they've changed their ratio or how it's applied. Because the rest of the business is really keeping us moving, we are only printing on whites and ash grays and not using the pre-treat or the white ink. I know it's a waste of money, but that's the only way we can keep our sanity!!

Please let us know what you do to finally rectify the problem! I would love to know! One of these days we're going to tackle printing with white ink, too!

Good luck!
 
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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 4:38:43 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Well I've just cleaned out the entire circuit (with distilled water...I don't have any cleaning solution), including running the water through the print head...and...I still only have one of the white inks printing. I'm 4 days behind on a customer order now and am just at a complete loss as to what to do next...I don't think theres an icon to convey how I feel right now!!!! HELP!
 
Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 4:40:40 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Hi All! I just found this forum and am very excited to use it. A couple months ago I had my Kiosk at SWF East. Apparently a year ago they figured a solution to ink clogging (just wish I had known long before now). They remove all of the valves where the ink lines go directly from the bottle to damper. I have had my kiosk for two years now and have NEVER had any luck with the white ink. NOW, my white ink prints GREAT!!!!! I also am using the newest white ink BRIGHT! So be sure you have that ink as well. Good luck and let me know if this helps you at all!!
 
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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 4:43:26 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Is the water flowing well thru all the lines? There are some people here that have tried mixing simple green with the distilled water to get them clean if you dont have the cleaning solution. Did you try changing the dampers on the two lines that are not flowing well? If changing out those two dampers does not help you will need to try to get something to clean your printhead real well, as distilled water alone will not do it.

I also agree with the previous poster, how old is the white ink you have ?
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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 5:18:45 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

OK! I'm going to charge out to the local shops and pick up some simple green and I'll give that a go. Not sure about the age of the ink, we got it about 5 days ago, but how long it has been sitting with our supplier, I don't know. He runs pretty lean stock levels so I can't imagine he's had it too long...but how long is too long?

What would the ratio be for mixing the simple green with the distilled water?

Re: taking the valves off the white lines...yep, did that a few months ago on the advice of our local supplier...I really wish it had been as successful as it has been for you Renee, but alas no

Can I just say, I really appreciate all the help I'm getting here, even if I haven't solved the problem yet, it's good knowing I'm not alone
 
Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 5:31:16 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Hi Helen,

Here is a thread about using alternative products besides the solution https://www.t-shirtforums.com/direct...ng/t54811.html , it says on there that people are mixing a 50/50 solution, hope this helps as it does sound like you have buildup in either your dampers or printhead. The ink I believe is supposed to be good for 6 months to a year if shaken regularly, if it isnt shaken often it will not last as long. That is for the white ink. The cmyk lasts much longer, I beleive the cmyk can last up to 2 years if shaken on a regular basis.
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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 7:00:05 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Hi Helen,

We really feel your pain too. I do all of the maintenance on our DTG Kiosk up to and including taking the tray apart to tighten up the bed. I was the one that recommended that they remove all of the valves and go to straight lines into the bottles themselves. I also recommended that they use a shaker table for the inks. The white ink has Titanium in it and that is what is separating. Windex works very well for cleaning everything up , but DO NOT insert it into the print head. The company that sold you your machine should have the tubing upgrade that is very easy to install along with the isolation clamps (basically I.V. tubing clamps). They should also have a special heavy duty cleaning solution to clean out just the print head instead of replacing it as often as you are. Hopefully you will be able clean one of the plugged heads out and have it as a spare. You may also need to check the drain line on the capping station to ensure that it is clear and drains well and also make sure that it is providing a good enough seal around the print head when it docks. I have also installed the WIMS board as well. This helps but you still need to do a nozzle check 2-3 times a day just to ensure that it doesn't plug up. Hope this helps you out a little more than before.
 
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Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 9:03:42 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Talking Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Guys, you're awesome! Thank you so much for all your advice. The Simple Green seems to have done the trick I've run it through all the lines (colour as well as white) and dampers and cleaned out the capping station with it and the inks are flowing like a dream. The nozzle check has all 7 of them in full action, so I'm just going to print a shirt and then crack open something alcoholic to celebrate...Yeah!

Sandy, thanks for the info about the line clamps (as well as all the other info), I will talk to the supplier. What are you referring to re: the tubing upgrade?
 
Old October 10th, 2008 Oct 10, 2008 10:46:47 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Kiosk nightmare

Sandy I forgot to ask you about the pre-treat problems you mentioned, as this isn't something we have had any issues with in terms of formulations changing or ways of applying it. We are using the little Wagner spray gun that came with the machine and its been trouble-free. Has your supplier been diluting the pre-treat before you purchase it?
 






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