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HP Designjet 650c Model B Printers - The Plot Management Menu

Issue:
HP Designjet 650c printer model B plot management menu.
Solution
The plot management menu can be used for the following purposes:
  • Controlling the queue of files waiting to be plotted
  • Making extra copies of plots
  • Avoiding media waste by nesting plots
The following shows the Plot Management Menu options (shaded options are on the short menu).
To use any of these functions, you need to understand what the queue is and how to identify plots in the queue. This is explained first.
What is the queue?
While plotting a file, the printer can store up to 32 other files in memory (the maximum depending on file size and available printer memory), all waiting to be plotted. This is referred to as the queue. Therefore, one or more plots can be sent to the printer without waiting for the current plot to finish.
  note:
For queueing to work, Plot mgmt / Queue= must be set to On, which is the default.
To turn Queueing on or off
  1. From the Status screen, press Enter. When Plot mgmt displays, press Enter.
  2. Press = to scroll to Queue=(On or Off).
  3. Press Enter, then scroll to the queuing status desired and press Enter; otherwise, press Previous to leave the setting as it is.
Identifying plots in the queue
When Plot mgmt or Queue mgmt is selected, scrolling through the queue can see files in the queue. They are identified by <position in queue> or <plot name>. Below is an explanation of both:
  • Position in queue - the file currently being plotted is in position 0. The next file to be plotted is in position 1, the one after in position 2, etc. The previous file plotted is position 1, the one before that in position 2, etc
  • Plot name - some applications allow a descriptive name that can used, which relays to the printer, for example, "Building 2 Exterior". If the software supports this feature, the plot name is displayed after its queue position
If your software does not support this feature, your printer will assign names to the plots in its queue. The printer-assigned name indicates how many thousands of vectors make up the plot
  note:
This is not an indication of the amount of memory the plot requires.
To change the order of plots in the queue
  1. From the Status screen, press Enter. When Plot mgmt displays, press Enter.
  2. Scroll to Queue mgmt and press Enter.
  3. Using the Arrow keys scroll until the plot needing to be moved displays, and then press Enter.
  4. Scroll to Move to top and press Enter.
  5. The printer moves the plot so that it is the next to be plotted.
      note:
    If you do not want this plot to be nested with other plots, turn off nesting first.
To delete a plot from the queue
  1. From the Status screen, press Enter. When Plot mgmt displays, press Enter.
  2. Scroll to Queue mgmt and press Enter.
  3. Using the Arrow keys scroll until the plot needing to be deleted displays, and then press Enter.
  4. Scroll to Delete and press Enter.
  5. The printer removes the file from the queue.
If the plot is currently plotting (the queue position is 0), press Cancel to stop the plot. Then the plot can be deleted.
To make copies of a plot in the queue
  • To make one copy of a plot that has already been plotted, use the Plot mgmt/Queue mgmt/Move to top feature
  • To make one or more copies of a plot that has not yet been plotted, use the Plot mgmt/Queue mgmt/Copies feature
To make more than one copy of a plot that has already been plotted, use Plot mgmt/Queue mgmt/Copies, and then the Plot mgmt/Queue mgmt/Move to top feature.
Using Plot mgmt/Queue mgmt/Copies
  1. From the Status screen, press Enter.
  2. When Plot mgmt displays, press Enter.
  3. Scroll to Queue mgmt and press Enter.
  4. Using the Arrow keys scroll until the plot needing additional copies displays, and then press Enter.
  5. Press Enter, scroll to increase the number of copies (up to 99) or decrease the number and press Enter.
The setting specified in this option overrides any value set by the software.
  note:
The display shows the total number of plots the printer will create. Copies=2 creates a total of two plots (not one original and two copies).
To get information about plots in the queue
  1. From the Status screen, press Enter.
  2. When Plot mgmt displays, press Enter.
  3. Scroll to Queue mgmt and press Enter.
  4. Using the Arrow keys scroll to the necessary plot and press Enter.
  5. Scroll to Statistics and press Enter.
Width and length are shown in millimeters. When nesting is on and the software does not specify the page size, these show the plotting area of the physical page in the printer.
RAM used = the amount of memory used by the plot file (not the same as the plot's file size).
Avoid media waste by nesting plots (roll media only)
Nesting means placing plots side by side on the media (rather than one after the other), to avoid wasting media. The printer may automatically rotate a plot in order to achieve this.
When does the printer try to nest plots?
When all the following are true:
  • The printer is loaded with roll media rather than sheet media.
  • Plot mgmt / Queue= is set to On (the default). To turn on queuing, see earlier in this chapter.
  • Plot mgmt / Nest= is set to either Optimal or In order. (The default is off.) To turn on nesting, see later in this chapter.
Which plots qualify for a nesting set?
To be in the same set of nested plots, the individual plots must be compatible in terms of:
  • Color/monochrome definition (all were defined as either color or monochrome according to the front panel button)
  • Margin setting (all have either normal or expanded margins)
  • Page size standards (all are defined in either ANSI or ISO, etc.)
  • Plotting resolution (all require either Enhanced, Final, or Draft)
If the printer receives a series of plots which are incompatible on any of the above criteria, it will try to create compatible sets and nest them within those sets, for example, all the color plots, then all the monochrome plots.
How does the printer try to nest plots?
Two different methods of nesting can be selected:
  • Optimal - the printer will nest the plots according to an algorithm that, for most combinations of plot size, saves the most media. The resulting nesting patterns can still vary, depending on the size of the first plot. This option uses the least amount of media.
  • In Order - the printer will try to nest plots in the sequence they appear in the queue. This option should be used if the speed in which the plots are receive is most important.
The actual nesting pattern can also vary depending on the Page format / Size setting. Note that this also impacts which plots are automatically rotated. For example, if Page format / Size is set to a "Best " option and if the software application sends the correct page size command, then:
  • On a D/A1 (24-inch) roll, the printer will rotate only A/A4- and C/A2-size plots
  • On an E/A0 (36-inch) roll, the printer will rotate only B/A3- and D/A1-size plots
In other circumstances, the pattern and rotation will be different.
Where does one set of nested plots end and the next start?
So that the printer can make the best nest possible, it waits until a plot has been received to check if a subsequent plot will nest with it or with plots already in the queue. This waiting period is the "nest wait" time. The factory default nest wait time is two minutes. This means that the printer waits up to two minutes after the last plot is received before plotting the final row of nested plots.
  note:
The nest wait time can be changed as needed. Follow the steps provided in the To turn nesting on or off (listed below).
Allowing sufficient margins for nesting
The printer adds margins to every plot it receives. In the software, specify a plotting area so that when margins are added, the physical page size printed is what is expected. If the software's specified plotting area does not allow for sufficient margins, the plot may not be rotated as expected, thus wasting media.
It is recommended to set the Page format/Margins to Expand. Normal plot margins are 17 mm on the leading and trailing edges. Standard plotting areas for the printer are given in the Reference section of the Setting Up for Plotting manual.
What happens to nesting if queueing is turned off?
Note that turning off queueing does not turn off nesting for plots already in the queue. The printer plots all of the plots in the queue before accepting any more plot files. As soon as queueing is turned off, the nesting setting changes to off. When queueing is turned on again, the printer restores nesting to its previous setting. The following shows the interaction between the queuing and nesting features.
To turn nesting on or off
  1. Load roll media.
  2. From the Status screen, press Enter.
  3. When Plot mgmt displays, press Enter.
  4. Scroll to Nest=(Off, In order, or Optimal). If a change is desired, press Enter. To leave the setting as it is, press the Previous key and continue with plotting.
  5. Use Arrow key to change the setting, and then press Enter.
  6. If a nesting mode other than Off is selected, the printer displays Nest wait=n xxx. This is the current amount of time the printer waits for another plot before plotting the nest already in the queue.
Use the following steps to change the wait time, or press Previous to continue without making a change.
  1. Press Enter at the Nest wait=n xxx prompt.
  2. Use the scrolling buttons to display the wait time you want and press Enter.
Queueing must be on for the nesting feature to work.

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