Images_May_2020_Digital_Edition MAY 2020 images 19 TIPS & TECHNIQUES and cleaning the print head surface. Keep these areas clean and free of debris or ink build-up. Cutting plotters and printer/ cutters Cutting products require very little maintenance. These machines can be safely turned off and unplugged for even long periods of downtime. The cutting heads on print/cut machines also require little to no maintenance. Please follow my other guidelines to maintain the print heads on these units. cartridge can be reinstalled and used at a later date. ■ Automated maintenance routines will not operate correctly if the waste ink tank is full. Empty and reset the waste ink counter if needed. ■ As a last resort, if the printer is going to be powered down completely, it is vitally important that you check your specific manufacturer’s guidelines. However, the following procedure will most likely benefit all printer models: perform a nozzle wash and set the timer to one minute. Add the appropriate cleaning solution to the caps. After the head carriage is on the cleaning station and the timer starts, power off the printer using the main power switch. Leave the printer in this condition until normal business operations resume. Extended storage (water-based printers) ■ Leave the printer plugged in and ensure the main power switch is on. The on-board automated cleaning cycles will maintain the printer and print heads during prolonged downtime. ■ Check the expiration dates on the ink supply system. Mimaki printers will operate normally with inks that are 30 days past expiration. Beyond this point, the expired ink may limit the effectiveness of the automated cleaning functions. Ask your supplier about the usable life of your inks. ■ Check the ink levels. The on-board cleaning and refresh functions may not operate correctly if the ink levels are below 10%. Insert a new cartridge if levels are low. The nearly empty Check your ink levels before mothballing your printer and insert a new cartridge if levels are low For advice on specific makes and models of digital printer – including DTG machines and wide format sublimation equipment – check out our online ‘How to mothball your digital printer’ feature: