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First Time HP Latex Owner - Quality Issues / Grainy

#1 mjay6532 2 weeks ago

Hello,

A couple of months ago I bought the HP Latex 115 Print and Cut solution. Since, I have been having quality issues with the printer. The prints look grainy/blurry. I have been troubleshooting for a while to make the print quality better but I'm not getting anywhere. I also contacted HP support, got them involved for further troubleshooting, but I'm still having issues. The issue was escalated and they sent me an onsite technician. The tech has been onsite twice to do some troubleshooting, but received the same results. They replaced all the printheads and line sensor but no luck.

Today, I was told by the onsite tech that it seems that the currently quality is the best the printer can do; that they can't make it any better.

Attached, please find the the latest 'PRINT IMAGE TEST' printed by the onsite tech after replacing the printheads and line sensor.

Have any of you had this issue?

Is this really the best quality by this type of printer?

Please let me know your feedback.

Thank you.

Attachments
#2 HP-ColorGuy a week ago

A couple of clarifying questions:

  • What is the physical size of the printed area shown in the attached image (dimensions)?
  • What is the media being used (self-adhesive vinyl/SAV, banner, paper, etc)?

If the print media is a vinyl-based (SAV or banner vinyl) substrate, please run the following test: 1) Clean a defined area of the media with a lint-free cloth and a fair amount of Isopropyl Alcohol 2) Mark the cleaned area with a sharpie or similar marking pen 3) Load the media into the printer 4) Print a job as normal - be sure that the job is larger than the cleaned area so that it extends through the cleaned area well into the not cleaned area of the media. 5) Visually inspect the resulting print. If the cleaned area looks significantly better (less grainy) than the not cleaned area, the cause is likely some type of contamination on the media.

It is not uncommon for PVC substrates for plasticizers to migrate over time out to the print surface. In high quantities, these plasticizers interfere with the ink bond to the media, causing ink coalescence that appears as grain.

Please let us know your findings.

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#3 mjay6532 a week ago

#2 Hello,

Thanks for your response.

The dimensions for the printed area shown in the attached image are approximately 4x3.

It was printed on 'HP Permanent Gloss Adhesive Vinyl.'

This media was sent to me by HP, so the onsite technician can use it when running tests on the printer. I experienced the same issue with my media that I use 'HP Prime Gloss Air GP.'

I tried what you told me and I got the same results. I also want to clarify that that this is the 3rd media I tried on the printer with the same results.

I also want to add that HP Level 3 support sent me the following last week:

  • New Media: HP Permanent Gloss Adhesive Vinyl (2nd one)
  • Engine PCA Serv
  • Carriage PCA Serv
  • Cables TD SVS Side 54 Serv

It's been very frustrating dealing with HP support (currently level 3), they sent me replacement parts, but then I don’t hear anything else from them after that.

From warranty issues (showing expired before I even purchased the NEW printer), grainy quality issues, to HP customer support not getting back at me, it is horrible.

I had higher expectations from HP, especially if I am still under warranty.

Today, I started getting a new error message ’98:03.’ (Potential print-quality problem. Check printheads using the printhead status plot)

Attached, please find the printhead test plot.

For the record, new printheads were provided by HP and replaced by the onsite technician last week. I never received this error message before.

Thank you.

Attachments
   IMG_2597.jpg
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#4 HP-ColorGuy a week ago

From reviewing the attachment, it is apparent that there are large numbers of nozzles in the Black printheads (there are two of these) are not jetting ink - this is what is causing the error code (98:03) that you are seeing. Those printhead nozzles need to be cleaned/ recovered or replaced in order to achieve proper print operation.

Once all printheads are jetting properly, I would recommend performing the manual printhead alignment procedure. This is where a printed pattern is analyzed to determine precise printhead alignments. Properly aligned printheads significantly reduce apparent grain,

Finally, it is important to note that HP Latex printers are built for the outdoor-durable sign graphics market. HP also manufactures a range of Designjet Z-Series printers, some of which are intended for fine art and photographic reproduction purposes.

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The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP.

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