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HP Designjet Z6100 Printer Series - Use ink system components

Remove an ink cartridge

Ink cartridges should be removed for the following two reasons:
  • The ink cartridge is very low and you want to replace it with a full cartridge for unattended printing. You can use the remaining ink in the first cartridge at a more convenient time.
  • The ink cartridge is empty or faulty, and you must replace it to continue printing.
    Figure : Front panel cartridge error: out of ink
  caution:
The procedure to remove an ink cartridge must be initiated from the front panel. Do not remove an ink cartridge until the front panel prompts you.
  caution:
Remove an ink cartridge only if you are ready to insert another one.
  warning:
Make sure that the printer wheels are locked (the brake lever is pressed down) to prevent the printer from moving.
  1. On the printer's front panel, select the Ink system icon, and then select Replace ink cartridges.
    Figure : Front panel replace ink cartridges now
  2. Grip the blue tab in front of the cartridge that you want to remove.
    Figure : Gripping the blue tab
  3. Pull the blue tab down and then pull it outwards, towards you.
    Figure : Pulling the blue tab down
  4. The cartridge comes out, in its drawer.
    Figure : Pulling out the ink cartridge drawer
  5. Lift the cartridge out of its drawer.
    Figure : Lifting the cartridge out of its drawer
    note:
    Avoid touching the end of the cartridge that is inserted into the printer, because the connection might be coated with ink.
    note:
    If necessary, store a partially-used ink cartridge in the same position as if it were inserted in the printer. Avoid using a partially-used cartridge that has been stored on its end.
  6. The front-panel display identifies the missing ink cartridge.
    Figure : Front panel ink cartridge empty

Insert an ink cartridge

  1. Pick up the new ink cartridge and find the label that identifies the ink color. Hold the ink cartridge so that you can see the label at the top of the side that is facing you.
  2. Check that the colored label above the empty slot in the printer matches the color of the label on the cartridge.
  3. Shake the cartridge vigorously for about 15 seconds.
  4. Insert the ink cartridge into the cartridge drawer.
    Figure : Inserting the cartridge into the drawer
  5. Slide the drawer and cartridge into the slot until they lock into position.
    Figure : Sliding the drawer into the slot
  6. The front-panel display confirms that all cartridges have been correctly inserted.
    Figure : Front panel all cartridges inserted

Remove a printhead

  warning:
Make sure that the printer wheels are locked (the brake lever is pressed down) to prevent the printer from moving.
Printhead replacement must be performed after the printer has been turned on with the hard power switch at the back of the printer.
  1. On the printer's front panel, select the Ink system icon, and then select Replace printheads.
    Figure : Front panel replace printheads
  2. The printer moves the carriage into the correct position.
      caution:
    If the carriage remains in the removal position for more than 3 minutes without inserting or removing any printheads, it will attempt to return back to its home position to the right.
  3. When the carriage has stopped moving, the front panel prompts you to open the printer window.
    Figure : Opening the printer window
  4. Locate the carriage on the right side of the printer.
    Figure : Locating the carriage
  5. Pull up and release the latch on top of the carriage.
    Figure : Releasing the latch on the carriage
  6. Lift up the cover. This provides access to the printheads.
    Figure : Lifting the printhead cover
  7. To remove a printhead, lift up the blue handle.
    Figure : Lifting the printhead handle
  8. Using the blue handle, gently disengage the printhead.
    Figure : Gripping the printhead handle
  9. Gently pull the blue handle upward until the printhead is released from the carriage.
      caution:
    Do not pull abruptly. That action can damage the printhead.
    Figure : Lifting the printhead
  10. The front-panel display identifies the missing printhead.
    Figure : Front panel printhead error: replace

Insert a printhead

  1. If the printhead is new, shake it vigorously before removing the protective caps. Hold the printhead upright (with the protective caps facing down) and shake the printhead vigorously in a smooth up and down motion for about 15 seconds.
    note:
    Be careful not to strike the printhead against anything while shaking it, because this could cause damage.
    Figure : shake the printhead
  2. Remove the orange protective caps by pulling them down.
    Figure : Removing the protective caps from the printhead
  3. The printhead is designed to prevent you from accidentally inserting it into the wrong slot. Check that the colored label on the printhead matches the colored label of the carriage slot into which the printhead is to be inserted.
  4. Insert the new printhead into its correct slot in the carriage.
      caution:
    Insert the printhead slowly and vertically, straight down. It can be damaged if you insert it too quickly, or at an angle, or if you rotate it as you insert it.
    Figure : Inserting the printhead
  5. Push down as indicated by the arrow.
    Figure : Pushing in the printhead
      caution:
    You might feel some resistance when installing the new printhead, so you need to press it down firmly but smoothly. You should hear a beep and see confirmation on the front-panel display that the printhead has been inserted.
  6. Insert all of the other printheads that need to be installed, and close the carriage cover.
    Figure : Closing the carriage cover
  7. Make sure that the end of the blue handle catches the wire loop on the near side of the carriage.
    Figure : Closing the carriage cover, step 2
  8. Lower the handle to rest on the carriage cover.
    Figure : Closing the cover, step 3
    When all of the printheads have been inserted correctly and the printer has accepted them, the printer beeps.
    note:
    If the printer does not beep when you insert the printhead and the Replace message appears on the front-panel display, you might need to reinsert the printhead.
  9. Close the printer window.
    Figure : Closing the printer window
  10. The front-panel display confirms that all of the printheads are correctly inserted. The printer starts checking and preparing the printheads. The default routine process, when all printheads are changed, takes about 18 minutes. If the printer identifies a problem when preparing the printheads, the process takes longer, up to 30 minutes. For a single printhead insertion, the time varies between 10 and 20 minutes. After all printheads are checked and prepared, the printhead realignment procedure runs automatically if paper is loaded.

Clean (recover) the printheads

To clean the printheads (which often enables them to recover from problems), go to the printer's front panel and select the Ink system icon, and then select Image quality maintenance, Clean printheads. Specify which printheads you would like to clean. You can clean all of the printheads or only some of them. Select from these options:
  • Clean all
  • Clean M-Y
  • Clean LM-LC
  • Clean PK-LG
  • Clean MK-C
  • Purge ink
Cleaning all printheads takes about 5 minutes. Cleaning any two printheads takes about 3 minutes. Purging the ink takes about 5 minutes.
note:
Cleaning all printheads uses more ink than cleaning a single pair.
note:
HP recommends that you purge the ink from the printheads before printing a job if the printer has been turned off for more than six weeks or if you are experiencing inconsistent colors from print to print after long storage periods. Purging the ink from the printheads helps to ensure maximum color consistency; it is not a remedy for poor printhead health.

Clean the electrical connections on a printhead

It is possible that the printer will not recognize a printhead after it has been installed. This can happen when ink builds up on the electrical connections between the printhead and the printhead carriage. Under these circumstances, HP recommends that you clean the electrical connections on the printhead. However, routine cleaning of the connections when no problems are apparent is not recommended.
A carriage interconnect wiper is included with your printer (in the Maintenance Kit box).
Figure : Carriage interconnect wiper
Use this to clean the electrical interconnects on both the printhead carriage and the printhead if the Reseat or Replace message persists next to the printhead on the front-panel display.
  1. Remove a new pre-moistened replacement sponge from its pouch.
    Figure : Removing the wiper sponge from its pouch
    A supply of sponges is included in the box with the wiper. If all sponges have been used, more can be obtained by contacting your HP customer service representative.
  2. Open the carriage interconnect wiper.
    Figure : Opening the carriage interconnect wiper
  3. Load the sponge by positioning the sponge on the face of the carriage interconnect wiper with the shorter tab in the locating slot.
    Figure : Loading the sponge into the wiper
  4. Close the carriage interconnect wiper, trapping the sponge in place.
    Figure : Closing the carriage interconnect wiper
  5. Open the printhead carriage latch and remove the printhead that is causing the problem, as indicated on the front panel.
  6. Insert the carriage interconnect wiper into the printhead slot at the back. Wipe the electrical contacts by inserting the tool between the electrical connections at the back of the slot and the steel spring, with the sponge facing away from you and towards the electrical contacts. Try to avoid picking up any ink deposit that may have accumulated on the bottom surface of the slot.
      caution:
    If the carriage remains in the central part of the printer for more than 7 minutes, it attempts to return to its home position to the right.
    Figure : Inserting the carriage interconnect wiper
  7. Rub the sponge against the contacts with light force along the entire depth of the flex connector, inserting the wiper as far as allowed by the mechanical stop on the tool.
    Figure : Cleaning the electrical interconnect
  8. Take special care to clean all contacts thoroughly, including the ones at the lowest point of the connector.
    Figure : Cleaning the bottom of the interconnect
  9. Using the same sponge, clean the lower strip of electrical contacts on the printhead (unless the printhead is new). Avoid touching the upper set of electrical contacts.
    Figure : Cleaning the electrical contacts on the printhead
      caution:
    Do not touch the surface of the printhead that contains the nozzles, because the nozzles are easily damaged.
  10. After waiting a few moments to allow both connectors to dry, replace the printhead into the printhead carriage.
  11. After completing the cleaning process, open the carriage interconnect wiper by pulling on the sponge tab.
    Figure : Opening the carriage interconnect wiper
  12. Remove the soiled sponge from the carriage interconnect wiper.
    Figure : Removed the soiled sponge from the wiper
  13. Dispose of the soiled sponge in a safe place to prevent the transfer of ink onto hands and clothing.
    Figure : Disposing of the soiled wiper sponge
If the front panel continues to show the Reseat or Replace message, replace the printhead or contact your HP customer service representative.

Align the printheads

The printer performs printhead alignment whenever printheads are replaced. If no paper is loaded when a printhead is replaced, the printer will perform the alignment the next time you load paper.
Also align the printheads if the Printhead status plot indicates an alignment error.
  1. Make sure that you have a roll of opaque, white paper loaded in the printer. Colored papers, glossy canvas, and transparent materials such as translucent bond, clear film, tracing paper, and vellum are not suitable for printhead alignment.
  2. To request printhead alignment (if the alignment is not being performed automatically), go to the front panel, select the Ink system icon, and then select Image quality maintenance, Align printheads.
    The process takes about 10 minutes and starts immediately, unless an image is currently being printed. If a print job is in process, the alignment will be done as soon as the current print job is finished.
    Figure : Front panel align printheads
    note:
    Occasionally, if the paper in the printer is very close to the beginning of a roll, the front panel might report that the printer needs to feed up to 3 m (10 ft) of paper before starting the printhead alignment. This is necessary to ensure a successful alignment. You can continue with the printhead alignment and allow the printer to feed as much paper as necessary, delay the alignment until later, or cancel the alignment.

Use the Printhead status plot

The Printhead status plot consists of patterns that are designed to highlight printhead-reliability problems. It helps you to check the performance of the printheads that are currently installed in your printer, and to determine whether any printhead is experiencing clogging or other problems.

Print the Printhead status plot

To print the Printhead status plot:
  1. Use the same paper type that you were using when you detected a problem.
  2. Verify that the selected paper type is the same as the paper type that is loaded into the printer.
  3. On the printer's front panel, select the Ink system icon, and then select Image quality maintenance, Printhead diagnostics image.
It takes about 2 minutes to print the Printhead status plot.

Interpret the Printhead status plot

The print is divided into two parts, both of which test printhead performance.
  • Part 1 (top) consists of rectangles of pure colors, one for each printhead. This part represents the print quality that you will get from each color.
  • Part 2 (bottom) consists of small dashes, one for each nozzle on each printhead. This part complements the first, and detects how many faulty nozzles are on each printhead.
Figure : Printhead status plot
First look at the top part of the print. Each colored rectangle should be a uniform color without any horizontal lines across it.
Then look at the bottom part of the print. For each individual colored pattern, make sure that most of the dashes are present.
If you see horizontal lines in the top part and also see missing dashes in the bottom part for the same color, the printhead for that color needs to be cleaned. However, if the rectangles look solid, do not worry about a few missing dashes in the bottom part, because the printer can compensate for a few clogged nozzles.
The graphic shown illustrates printhead 2 in a bad state:
Figure : Printhead 2 sample (bad)

Corrective action

  1. Clean any faulty printheads. Then reprint the Printhead status plot to see whether the problem has been solved.
  2. If the problem persists, clean the printheads again, and reprint the Printhead status plot to see whether the problem has been solved.
  3. If the problem persists, consider cleaning your printheads manually. Also try reprinting your current print job, in case it now prints satisfactorily.
  4. If the problem continues to persist, replace any persistently faulty printheads.

What to do if problems persist

If you still experience print-quality problems after applying the advice in this chapter, here are some additional tips to consider:
  • Try using a higher print-quality option.
  • Check the driver you are using to print with. If it is a non-HP driver, consult the driver vendor about the problem. You could also try using the correct HP driver, if that workaround is acceptable to you. Download the latest HP drivers from http://www.hp.com/go/designjet/.
  • If you are using a non-HP raster image processing (RIP), its settings might be incorrect. See the documentation that came with the RIP.
  • Verify that your printer firmware is up to date.
  • Verify that you have the correct settings in your software program.
  • Contact HP Support.

Remove the maintenance cartridge

A message appears on the front panel when you must change the maintenance cartridge. Follow these precautions when removing a maintenance cartridge:
  • Be careful not to get ink on your hands. Ink might be on, around, and inside the replaced maintenance cartridge.
  • Always handle and store the replaced maintenance cartridge upright to avoid spilling any ink.
  caution:
A message appears on the front panel when the maintenance cartridge is almost full and again when it is completely full and must be changed. You can ignore the alert and continue printing by pressing the OK button on the front panel. However, HP strongly recommends that you change the maintenance cartridge when prompted. Ignoring the alert can result in serious damage to the printer.
  warning:
Make sure that the printer wheels are locked (the brake lever is pressed down) to prevent the printer from moving.
  1. On the printer's front panel, select the Ink system icon, and then select Replace maintenance ctg.
    Figure : Front panel replace maintenance cartridge
  2. The maintenance cartridge is located in a slot underneath the front panel, at the front of the printer. Open the door.
    Figure : Opening the door
  3. The maintenance cartridge has a handle on the front. To remove the cartridge, press inward and upward as indicated by the arrow, until the cartridge is released.
    Figure : Releasing the maintenance cartridge
  4. Lift up the maintenance cartridge to remove it from the slot, and slide it out.
    Figure : Removing the maintenance cartridge

Insert the maintenance cartridge

The plastic bag in which the new maintenance cartridge comes can be used to dispose of the old maintenance cartridge.
  1. Insert the maintenance cartridge into the slot, in the direction indicated by the arrow.
    Figure : Inserting the maintenance cartridge
  2. When the maintenance cartridge has been pushed all the way in, press inwards and downwards as indicated, until it clicks into place.
    Figure : Completing insertion of the maintenance cartridge
    note:
    The front panel will not show the new maintenance cartridge until the door is closed.
  3. When you have inserted the maintenance cartridge into the printer, close the door.
    Figure : Closing the door
    note:
    The printer needs all the ink cartridges, printheads and maintenance cartridge to be installed before it can continue.
  4. If no paper is loaded, the front panel will instruct you to load some.
note:
Make sure that the printer window and the door to the right are closed after you replace the supplies. The printer will not print while these are open.

Check the status of the ink system

  1. Access the Embedded Web Server.
  2. Go to the Supplies page on the Main tab.
Figure : The Embedded Web Server's Supplies page
The Supplies page shows you the status of the ink cartridges (including the ink levels), the printheads, the maintenance cartridge, and the loaded paper.

Check the status of the ink cartridges

To view the ink levels in your ink cartridges, go to the printer's front panel and select the Ink system icon.
To get more information about your ink cartridges, use the front-panel ink menu, HP Easy Printer Care (Windows), or HP Printer Utility (Mac OS).

Ink menu procedure

  1. On the front panel, select the Ink system icon, and then select Ink cartridge information.
  2. Select the cartridge about which you want information.
  3. The front panel shows the following information:
    • Color
    • Product name
    • Product number
    • Serial number
    • Status
    • Ink level, if known
    • Total ink capacity in milliliters
    • Expiration date
    • Warranty status
    • Manufacturer

HP Easy Printer Care (Windows) or HP Printer Utility (Mac OS) procedures

  • In HP Easy Printer Care (Windows), go to the Overview tab. The status of each cartridge appears when you select Supply Status, Cartridges.
  • In HP Printer Utility (Mac OS), select Information, Printer Status.

Check the status of a printhead

The printer automatically checks and services the printheads after each print. Follow these steps to get more information on your printheads.
  1. On the front panel, select the Ink system icon, and then select Printhead information.
  2. Select the printhead for which you want to see information.
  3. The front panel shows the following information:
    • Colors
    • Product name
    • Product number
    • Serial number
    • Status
    • Volume of ink it has used
    • Warranty status
You can also get most of this information without leaving your computer by using HP Easy Printer Care (Windows) or HP Printer Utility (Mac OS).
note:
If the warranty status is See warranty note, this indicates that non-HP ink is being used. Printer service or repairs required as a result of using "non-HP" ink are not covered under warranty.

Check printer usage statistics

To check your printer-usage, statistics are available.
note:
The accuracy of the usage statistics is not guaranteed.

Printer statistics with HP Easy Printer Care (Windows) or HP Printer Utility (Mac OS)

  1. Access HP Easy Printer Care (Windows) or HP Printer Utility (Mac OS).
  2. Go to the Usage window to view the total printer usage.
  3. Under Windows, go to the Overview tab and click on the Printer usage link.
    Under Mac OS, select Information, Printer Usage and click the Start button.

Printer statistics with the Embedded Web Server

  1. Access the Embedded Web Server.
  2. Go to the Usage page on the Main tab.