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HP Designjet 1000 Series - Cleaning the Printheads and the Printhead Cleaner Path

Issue:
How often should the print path and print heads for the HP Designjet 1000 series printers be cleaned? Is there a recommended maintenance schedule for cleaning?
Solution
Cleaning and maintenance for the HP Designjet 1000 series printers should be done on a regular basis, and is generally determined by the level of usage for an individual printer. HP recommends cleaning the electrical contacts on the carriage when a printhead is replaced.
note:
To help ensure consistently high image quality from the HP Designjet 1000 series printers, HP strongly recommends replacing both components (print head and print head cleaner) when either component within a given color ink system requires replacement (the printhead and its corresponding printhead cleaner are removed and/or replaced as a set).
Preventative maintenance cleaning facilitates consistent high image quality prints. In order to diagnose possible print quality issues, and to prevent or resolve ink and printhead path print quality issues, (for example, smearing, misdirected nozzle spraying, vertical line straightness (VLS), or banding) complete all of the following steps.
Accessing, removing, and cleaning the print heads
  1. Ensure the printer is turned on.
  2. Highlight the Ink System Menu icon (double ink drops) on the front panel, press ENTER.
  3. Select the Replace Printhead option and press ENTER.
  4. Raise the window when prompted to by the front panel display.
  5. Release the latch on the top of the carriage assembly that holds the printheads in the carriage.
  6. Remove the printheads by lifting up on the small blue handle on the top of each printhead.
Cleaning the carriage and print head electrical contacts
  1. Lightly dampen a lint-free cloth with warm water.
  2. Wipe the electrical contacts on the back of each printhead until clean, and set them aside.
  3. Locate the electrical contacts at the rear of each printhead slot in the carriage and gently wipe with an up-and-down motion until all of the ink is removed from the contacts.
Cleaning the printhead’s bottom outside casing edges
  caution:
Do not wipe, rub, or clean the actual nozzle plate of the printheads (along the bottom center portion of the printhead where ink is dispensed). Debris and lint may damage or clog the printhead nozzles.
  1. Wipe clean the bottom outer edges and corners of the printhead casing with a damp lint free cloth or damp paper towel until all ink build up is removed. Avoid touching the bottom center portion of the printhead (the nozzle plate) where the ink is dispensed.
    note:
    It is important to clean all of the printheads, even if only the black printhead appears to be causing the problem with smearing. The colored printheads are most likely the cause of the problem. This is especially true with ink smearing across the print path during printing.
  2. After cleaning the bottom edges of the printheads, reinstall the printheads and verify they are in their correct slots and are recognized by the printer.
  3. Leave the window open and continue with the remaining steps.
Cleaning the print head cleaners
To access the Printhead cleaners, lower the access door on the right-hand side of the printer and gently lift up on the front tab of the printhead cleaner and pull out each of the cleaners.
  1. Locate the spittoon on the printhead cleaner, the single large well at the rear of the printhead cleaner, where the printhead “sprays” ink during the cleaning and printing process. Using a damp lint-free cloth or paper towel, wipe clean the top and sides of the printhead cleaner spittoon to remove any ink buildup.
    note:
    The black printhead cleaner does NOT have a sponge. The pigment based black ink does not react well with the sponge; therefore a sponge is not used in the black printhead cleaner.
    note:
    In certain circumstances, users who print predominantly in black or print excessively, magenta ink will build up on the magenta printhead-cleaner sponge. If the mound of ink surpasses the top ridge of the printhead cleaner, the printheads will have a high probability of being contaminated by the mound. If a mound is evident, carefully clean out the mound or replace the printhead cleaner.
  2. Wipe clean the two-black rubber wipers that are vertical, located on the top, rear edge of the printhead cleaner. Wipe clean the single horizontal rubber wiper located at the front of the printhead cleaner. If these are not cleaned, they may contaminate the cleaned printheads.
  3. After cleaning the printhead cleaners and reinstalling them in their correct locations in the Service Station, close the right door and lower the main window.
Verifying print quality
After installing the printheads and their respective cleaners, the printer will run an automatic "Printhead Alignment." After the alignment has finished, print an "Image Quality Print" to verify the printer’s output.
  1. Ensure the printer is loaded with minimum “A3” size media and is at a READY status.
  2. Highlight the Printer setup menu icon (Icon of printer in lower right corner of display) and press ENTER.
  3. Using the Arrow keys, scroll to Utilities and press ENTER.
  4. Scroll to Test Prints and press ENTER.
  5. Scroll to Print Quality and press ENTER.
  6. The Image Quality Print will produce a printout that contains three test areas. Use the following section as a guideline for reviewing each of the test areas for possible image quality issues.
Reviewing the image quality print
Test 1: The solid rectangular column of color to the left of the horizontal grid is a "warm up" test block and should not be used to judge print quality. The horizontal grid to the right of each "warm up" test block is used for verifying printhead nozzle functionality. The horizontal grid lines are composed of individual segments (steps). Each “step” corresponds to a single nozzle firing from the printhead. Any missing “steps” in the grid indicate a blocked or failed nozzle. If too many nozzles are blocked or failed, the front panel will display a Replace message for that failing printhead.
Below each horizontal grid is a stack of eight vertical columns. The vertical columns are composed of horizontal lines and each line corresponds to a nozzle firing from the printhead. This test is used to determine any missing or misdirected nozzles. Missing nozzles are indicated by white gaps in the vertical column and dark areas in the vertical column indicate misdirected nozzles.
Test 2: This is an alignment test. There should be 12 squares with crosses centered within those squares. The crosses should be separated from the square blocks by an even gap of white space. If the gap is unevenly spaced, or the cross overlaps with the square block, then those particular colors are not aligned properly (see: Accuracy Calibrations and Cartridge Alignments in the user’s manual).
Test 3: The final test is made up of seven vertical rectangular blocks of color. These rectangles, from left to right (purple, green, red, black, yellow, magenta, and cyan) are equal in size and have a thin white gap separating each of them. This is where the print quality is evaluated. Due to error correction, there should be no white lines, discoloration, banding, or smearing. It should show excellent print quality and consistent solid colors. Test 3 automatically prints in best mode.
note:
Media type and print quality modes will affect print quality output. Ensure HP supported media is used and the proper media type is selected from the front panel when loading the media. If maximum quality is required on your prints, print in BEST mode. HP supports image quality only when printing on HP supported media and in BEST mode. Print quality defects may occur in NORMAL and/or DRAFT printing modes (Page 11-11 of the User’s Guide.)
If print quality issues continue, contact HP for further assistance.

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