1 - What is the duty cycle of the printer (number of printing/day including size and coverage)?
Average 1,500ft per day (based on 22 days per month) based on 5M inches/year usage rate. Please note that in the multiple-pass print head technology like HP IJT, the coverage has a significant impact on the duty cycle, due to the need to keep the print head sweeping across the print-zone as it prints. With the Memjet single-pass printing technology, we would expect the coverage to have little (if any) impact on the duty cycle due to fewer moving parts to keep the printer printing.
2 - What is the life of the head at this duty cycle?
Memjet data suggests that the life of the print head ranges between 550,000 and 825,000 inches (or between 50,000 and 75,000 letter-size pages at 5% coverage). The actual lifespan of the print head varies according to many factors:
Print job type – For the same label design, printing in landscape orientation (as opposed to portrait) will utilize more nozzles across the width of the print head and thus reduces firing per nozzle. By printing in landscape orientation, this will help circumvent the overuse of certain nozzle groups on the print head. This in turn has the effect of extending the lifespan of the print head (with all else being equal).
- Environment and media cleanliness – Paper dust from the label stock and the dust in the area where the printer operates must be kept to the minimum. These minute dust particles may clog the tiny print head nozzles (Note that the Memjet print head has 1,600 nozzles packed in one inch) and render them unusable. For the best print head performance, we advise using label stocks that are cleanly converted. Paper dust is important to control. Check with your converter on what processes they have in place to ensure media cleanliness. For example, label converters may control dust level by converting in a closed room. Having an adhesive tacky media roll in each stage of the conversion process and/or vacuuming before finish packaging in shrink wrap etc. will also cut down on debris. Finally, ensuring the printer media cover is in place during printing will reduce dust. The decision to replace a print head will be based on the end-user expectations for print quality; there is no requirement that the print head must be replaced after printing a specific number of inches. From theoretical calculation, we estimate that the print head lifespan is about 3.5L of ink based on the assumptions that: a) Each inkjet nozzle has a typical life of 50 million ejections; b) All nozzles are fired (with a total of 70,400 nozzles in 5 channels); and c) 80% of the firing happens at 12ips (which uses 0.9pl/ejection) and the remaining 20% of the firing happens at 6ips (which uses 1.4pl/ejection).
3 - What is the life expectancy of the printer at this duty cycle assuming that there is a regular service and preventative parts are changed at predefined times?
The Memjet print engine has a rated life of 5,000,000 inches. With proper preventive maintenance and servicing, we believe the life expectancy may extend well beyond the rated value. In our accelerated product life tests, we have units running in excess of 10,000,000 inches printing in roll-roll mode following the preventive maintenance & replacement of consumables, as outlined in the user manual.
4 - What is the mean time between failures?
In our accelerated product life tests, we have units running in excess of 10,000,000 inches printing in roll-roll mode with regular preventive maintenance & replacement of consumables, as outlined in the user manual.
5 - How many linear inches can be printed without a visible print defect?
There is no straight forward answer to this question. The print head health, as well as the cleanliness of the media (and the environment) has a direct influence on the PQ. For factors affecting the print head health, please refer the answer in Question 2.
6 - Does there need to be a web cleaner?
We do not feel that this is a requirement if the label stock is properly and cleanly converted. In our on-going strife tests, we have not observed print quality degradation (specifically streaks) on the printer that has crossed the 1.2M inches milestone (with fresh print head & maintenance module change at about the 800,000 inches mark). Having said this, it is important for the operator to conduct proper housecleaning like vacuuming the area in the print-zone for every 1,500ft of labels printed (as we know, no label conversion process is dust free) or sooner depending on the media cleanliness. For preventive maintenance measures/recommendations, please refer to the user manual.
7 - Does the printer handle fan fold stock?
The M860 is not designed to handle fanfold stock, however the current software and firmware do support external feeding for larger capacity rolls and fanfold media.
8 - Does the printer handle tag and it so what is the thickest material it can run?
Yes, the media thickness must be between 0.1 and 0.3mm.
9 - What is the life of the cutter?
The cutter module has a 400,000 cuts specification (on liner). However, we understand that this was the value that the cutter module was “tested to” (based on actual internal test data) rather than the “tested to failure” value. Having said that, we will expect the cutter module to have a relatively shorter life if printing is primarily print-to-cut and print-n-present rather than roll-roll and/or cuts are done on continuous label stock, as opposed to the liner.
10 - Can the cutter be changed by the customer?
Yes – if trained by a technician.
11 - What is the Preventative parts kit and cycle time for replacement?
Spare parts that are in the service kit would include the lifter motor, service station, aerosol fan & filter, etc.
12 - Can you switch pre-job servicing off?
No. The pre-job servicing is important as it helps to prevent PQ issue from the beginning of a print job. Please note that the Memjet print head has 1,600 nozzles per inch (This is 33% more than HP ITJ at 1,200 dpi). With such densely packed ratio and minute nozzle size, it is utmost important to keep the nozzles properly hydrated, where possible.
13 - What is the time to first label based on the label defined in the duty cycle?
From warm start, the time to first label is less than 10 seconds. The printer relies on the PC host for image rastering. Hence, the time to first label (defined as the time from clicking on the print button on the PC to the time when the label is printed) is dependent on the PC processor speed, memory and network bandwidth, if it is configured as a network printer.
14 - Does the TTFL change between USB and Ethernet?
The printer relies on the PC host for image rastering. Hence, the time to first label (defined as the time from clicking on the print button on the PC to the time when the label is printed) is dependent on the PC processor speed, memory and network bandwidth/configuration. Under normal (off-peak time) network traffic condition, we would expect the difference in time to first label to be insignificant when compared to peer-peer printing over USB.
15 - Are there alternative servicing options?
Print head servicing can be triggered manually from the Control Panel.
16 - In single label print options how long between labels before the printer needs to service?
Print head servicing will kick in after 10 seconds when the print head is uncapped. The 10 seconds duration is deemed appropriate to prevent the print head nozzles from dehydrating (The dehydrating rate varies with ambient humidity and temperature). Please note that a dehydrated nozzle leads to streaking or PQ degradation.
17 - If there a published list of materials that can be used with the printer in my region?
Yes. Please refer to the detailed printer technical specifications. This list will be updated from time to time as new media are available and tested.
18 - How is the operator informed that the ink or consumables are running low / run out?
Yes. The ink level is updated and displayed live on the LCD (Front panel). The printer will display a warning for the color cartridge that is running low and requires replacement soon. At the same time, a pop up window dialog will appear on the Host PC when the ink is running low or run out. Similarly, the ink level status can also be viewed on the embedded web server.
19 - Does the printer inform if consumables are low based on current job parameters? (e.g. If the printer warns (on the Control Panel, EWS and pop-up window on the Host PC) when the ink is low (5% left), and its running 8 x 8 full coverage at 12ips and knows it will run out of ink really quickly, does it warn early, or is this just a predefined percentage?)
The current Memjet technology indirectly tracks ink usage using a virtual ink counting method, which assumes that an average volume of ink is used when the nozzle is fired. Since the ink volume/drop is a complex function of temperature, print speed, and age of the firing electronics, it is deemed not a reliable mechanism to gauge the volume ink remaining in the cartridge. Hence, rather than displaying how many labels that can be printed for the current print job, the method of displaying the low ink condition is used.
20 - Has the driver been made to be used with all label design software packages?
The driver has been tested on Nicelabel and Bartender only.
21 - Does the driver have an API?
Memjet provides a SDK with API for RIP connectivity. If applicable we can talk to Memjet.
22 - Does the printer support USB 3? If not, why?
No. The USB 3.0 chipset was not available when the printer architecture was defined.
23 - Can the unit support 1000 base T Ethernet?
The printer has a 10/100 base T Ethernet interface. The printer can be connected to Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure but will not be able to fully utilize the higher data transfer rate of the Gigabit Ethernet.
24 - Does the driver send 1000 copies of a file to printer or one copy and a command to print 1000 pieces of this?
The printer supports both methods. The application (rather than the driver) determines the method used.
25 - What is the estimated cost to print 1 square inch of material at 15% / 50% coverage?
See our web site for a retail cost of various costs/coverage.
26 - What is the UV resistance of the ink in outdoor (90,000 lux) / indoor (1000 lux)
Based on accelerated florescent lighting test (claimed to be similar to that of the Wilhelm Research Institute) conducted at Silverbrook and Memjet, the indoor light-fastness (prints on inkjet coated media) is between 3-4 years. The failure point is defined by density loss of the least lightfast ink. The degree of light-fastness depends on the following conditions: a) Exposure to indirect sunlight; b) Temperature and humidity; c) Media coating and/or surface treatment/condition; d) Post processing of print; e) However, no independent validation of such claim by MaQeo is scoped at this time.
27 - What is the shelf life of the print head?
1 Year from date of manufacturing in storage condition 0-45oC, 0-90% RH.
28 - What is the shelf life of the ink?
2 Year from date of manufacturing in storage condition 0-45oC, 0-90% RH.
29 - Does the printer have a shelf life?
Typically years in dry and cool environment.
30 - Does the printer support 110 / 220 VAC?
Yes, the M860 has an universal AC power supply.
31 - Does the ink in the print head recirculated or purged to the waste ink reservoir?
The ink is kept recirculated between the ink tank and the print head by a peristaltic pump.
32 - Does the ink tubes need to be bubble free?
Having bubbles in the ink tube is normal. However, it may not necessarily be a problem as you will notice that most of the time, the bubbles remains in position in the tube and if they migrate, it is at an extremely slow rate. If ever there is a void in the tube resulting in a cavitation in one of the input tubing to the print head (left side of the print head when viewed from the front of the printer), it can cause streaks in the label. The problem can be resolved by executing an extreme cleaning sequence activated from the front panel and tapping the tubing to encourage the ink flow.
33 - Given that label media/stock face cleanliness is an important factor to ensure the best performance with Memjet technology, how should the end-user communicate this requirement to their label converter?
Run a check with your label converter on how they maintain the cleanliness of their web during production and their quality standard surrounding cleanliness.
Quality conscious label converters typically convert their labels in Separate enclosed room or separately from their label printing and post-print operation to minimize dirt or dust contamination from such operation.
Vacuum or brush (made with anti-static material) debris off the web after the conversion process.
Conduct regular QA audit to ensure that the media meets internal standard for cleanliness.
Hence, the best approach is to work with a quality conscious label converter that already implement 2 or more of the measures mentioned above. Some of the label converter may take these extra measures, esp. vacuum the web prior as it is being converted at a nominal charge.