Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

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teamADW
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Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by teamADW » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:30 am

We've fought this for a while, and now that my production of items that we originally purchased the printer for has increased, it has become more of an issue that I cant ignore. When printing gloss, either in embossing mode or plain gloss coat, we get spots. If it was an issue with the plastic we are printing to, I would expect we would see this with most of the other layers (6 passes of CMYK and white before this step). Before printing, everything is wiped down with a cloth and then blown off with a de-ionized air stream to eliminate static so dust will not cling.

Im told this is a common.. which is frustrating, and downright making me angry, as this is a feature that Roland touts with these machines. Its happened when it was new, and now only about 9 months into the purchase and running of the machine.

Here are 2 sides of the same piece which are printed. This is file #3 in the process, which actually should be #5, but Im tired of wasting over an hour printing to get a crap result. Not to mention materials and ink.
2016-12-18 22.14.25.jpg
2016-12-18 22.13.51.jpg
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Re: Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by mrtn » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:13 am

I have seen these bubbles appear on the LEF-20. Not on LEF-12, so it's probably a reaction in the varnish when printed fast enough. What I did for one job I had to make for a customer: I used a regular sand paper to file down the spots and after the third layer it didn't appear any more.

Then there's the dust issue.
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Re: Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by PhillyDee » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:27 am

Ive had this exact same thing when embossing text and words and even full coats of gloss on my LEF20, and I have it down to dust. I have a very dusty environment though.
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Re: Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by teamADW » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:46 am

We were able to reduce some of it by doing a super cleaning on the machine, and then replacing the wipes.

Week later, tons of garbage, material wasted... basically a useless function that we bought the machine for. To say Im unhappy with the equipment is an understatement. Then they come out with new models, and no word on fixing old issues. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
2017-01-18 00.08.29.jpg
3 different runs.... 3 horrible samples
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Re: Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by Kai Perry » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:06 am

What environment is the machine in, I have had this over the years and usually it has been down to static and dust in the environment.

I have seen some customer using ionisers and anti static string and the like in the machine to reduce this effect.

Also ensure that the inside of the machine is clean. Another thing that may reduce it is to reduce the mist fan speed.
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Re: Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by teamADW » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:20 am

The shop is a converted game room. It lives next to a photo booth and 2 laser cutters. I have an ionizing fan that we use to de-static material going into the machine, and occasionally once it is in the machine.

With the BOFA, it is hard to keep this thing clean, inevitably you get some dust. But even when freshly clean, I might get the spots down to 1 or 2 in a given piece, which is unacceptable. Because you can look at them before the final pass and see that they have nothing on them. None of the other ink does this, but I am told that these machines just have this issue.

(AKA, Roland made a machine that cant do what it was sold to do)
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Re: Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by Chiltern » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:07 am

Hi teamADW,

We also have an LEF-20 and have had the same problem that you've encountered with gloss printing. We have found that the following steps minimises (although does not eradicate) the problem.

- We've covered the inside of the machine in carpet protector (adhesive side up) to catch any dust floating in the unit and not allow it to become airborne again when opening and closing the lid causes draughts.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsense-c ... Au6y8P8HAQ

- Ensure that the head carousal is dust free, I found it easiest to do this when replacing the drain bottle and was quite surprised at the amount of dust on various surfaces that I hadn't noticed during the weekly manual cleans.

- We use a tack cloth to wipe down the substrate before printing, get down to the same level as the bed and scan across the surface. If you use a torch you can usually see tiny specs that will create a bump when ink is printed over it, especially if you are putting multiple layers down.

- If you do get bumps in the gloss layer we find a scouring pad (like you use to do the washing up!) is enough to take off the gloss and another coat can then be applied over the top. Just be careful not to go beyond the gloss layer and in to the CMYK/White.

The above certainly doesn't solve the issue but it is the best that I have come up with so far. I do find it mind blowing how such a small spec of dust causes such a large bump on the final product and think more could be done to prevent this whether that be in ink formulation or another area. I'm no expert so don't know!

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Re: Spots and dimples in gloss on LEF-20

Post by teamADW » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:58 pm

Chilter,

Ive use many of the same steps. In order to clean the substrate, I give it a pass over with a lint brush (we use a washable one) after using the ion fan. Unfortunately, it can be hard on many of our jobs to use a torch to find the issues, as the substrate is matte textured. However, even the glossy part is very poor.

Ive been told i need to check the circulation pump, and found that the end of a gloss cartridge gives us the most issues. Not looking forward to tearing down the machine.

The carpet protector idea is fantastic. Do you have a brand recommendation?
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