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Advice from anyone who's used a Xerox 550 please? (alignment help required)

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  • Advice from anyone who's used a Xerox 550 please? (alignment help required)

    We're new to printing ourselves & expected a learning curve however every job we get has some issue.

    The first job we did had a ghost image in the print, we ended up sending it off to a trade printer & the job came back perfect so we have no idea what the issue was. We replaced a lot of bits to try & conquer this issue but nothing changed it.

    The 2nd job we have had to repeat before sending out as the alignment was really bad despite us having a guy come out from our pagepack people to align the trays...

    We are at the stage of wishing we could send the printer back basically because everything we do seems to have an issue.

    We have been told that we have an issue with imposition studio & that is to blaim for the print being in a different place on the sheet most times, but we have used the Fiery Impose demo & the same thing happens. I realise it's not supposed to be perfectly aligned but our machine is so bad it's seemingly almost unuseable.

    The bypass tray cannot be callibrated for alignment for sra3 as it simply does not show up as a setting, our engineer says that there's nothing that can be done about it so we're having to cut sheets down to A3 before doing anything which is not ideal & basically we've had so many issues with the bypass tray we're avoiding it.

    If you've used a xerox 550 please let us know of your experiences with it, we're really not sure if we have a dud printer or if it's us, or maybe our expectations are too high & we're trying to do too much with it but from our point of view the xerox 550 is an awful machine

    Are we supposed to be testing the alignment prior to printing each job? We have settings saved in the machine but it seems to be ignoring them?

    Does anyone have any tips for getting the printer to put the artwork in the same place every time? It seems ot shift a little with every print & it's proving very tough when it comes to cutting down to size.

    You would not believe how much paper we are chewing through just trying to get our print jobs done properly.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  • #2
    Have the alignment sensors been cleaned? What about all the feed rollers and what condition are they in? That is a really old machine how many clicks does it have on it?


    • #3
      When it came to us it had 1 black toner out & because of that & the fact the toners were half empty we do not think it had been refurbished properly prior to arriving with us. It's had new drums, new toners, new fuser & engineer out twice in the past 3 months.

      It has done 270,000 colour clicks in it's time.

      The first engineer call was regarding alignment issues & the engineer said we had trapezoidal print & our log book says he adjusted the 2nd btr pressure.

      Is cleaning the alignment sensors something I can do myself or is that an engineer job? (sorry, newbie here)

      We're finding alignment a nightmare on this thing & have been trying for 3 months. We just want it to print in the same place on the sheets each time so we can chop it down properly


      • #4
        Also while checking the calibration of the trays i see that i can only log in as admin on the screen, then it tries to get me to log in again to calibrate anything with the options administrator and operator....yet my password doesn't work. I'm sure it used to just let me calibrate the machine by logging in once!?

        In command workstation under calibrate it shows none of the saved alignment settings we had also, so i'm getting closer to solving the issue i guess.


        • #5
          In my experience, only the high end digital printers will have reliable registration. Bypass trays tend to bounce quite a bit as well in my experience. Even with the high end printers, you're generally going to need to print a few sheets to get your sheets backed up as close as possible. You can't just expect to start the job and everything will be perfect.


          • #6
            Originally posted by PrintingInLincs View Post

            It has done 270,000 colour clicks in it's time.

            In that case it hasn't had much use.

            Originally posted by PrintingInLincs View Post
            Is cleaning the alignment sensors something I can do myself or is that an engineer job? (sorry, newbie here)
            You should be able to do that but if the engineer/tech was called out for alignment issue he surely should have done that. If I recall correctly (ages ago since I used a 550) there should be a plate you can remove in front of the 2nd BTR and the sensor is about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. You will need to clean underneath that. A dirty alignment sensor is usually the culprit when alignment varies from sheet to sheet. If you cut your own stock or use lots of uncoated stock you are more likely to get dirt in the sensor. Also if you cut your own stock make sure it is cut square. If the techs were adjusting the alignment in Service Mode were they doing it on your normal stock or on 11 x 17 only like they were only trained to do. Incidentally this bad feature is still in the high end digital printers. I haven't checked the out the V3100 yet but it is like that in our V2100 and I won't let the tech touch or I will just have to go in and undo everything they did in that goofy only on 11 x 17 alignment setup. At least Fast Scan Skew, Perpendicularity, Fast Scan % and Slow Scan % are universal and affect all trays.

            Alignments that you can do really should be done in Administrative Mode for that tray/paper combination and not in CWS.

            I am curious why you decided to start printing yourselves. Sounds like you bit off more than you can chew.


            • #7
              We have an engineer coming out again to look at it. Have recalibrated the tray as i printed off test pages & it showed an issue with perpendicularity again. They're now aligned perfectly though i no longer trust the machine so it will probably go off alignment again soon.

              (is it normal for the printer to need the alignment testing every week despite not being used much?)

              We wanted to print because we run another business which meant people would come in and ask for print all the time but in small quantities which we could only offer by printing ourselves.

              Is it normal to have so many issues with alignment?

              On our latest print job we have had to redo the job using a trade printer & make a loss because the alignment was off & we also have an issue using a manual guillotine which is meaning that the flyers are not all getting cut down to the right size (we can't get an electric guillotine due to the weight)


              • #8
                Alignment will never be set once and good forever. We have a Versant 2100 and I calibrate the different stocks we use regularly. I am overly picky though and I am sure others would probably be fine with it.


                • #9
                  Ok so the engineer said that alignment is fine & this means it's us imposing the artwork wrongly? Luckily we have a chap coming out on Monday to help us with that.


                  • #10
                    can you supply a copy of something you are somehow imposing wrongly? That is something you can see very easily in a minute.

                    I use imposition studio pro and it would take a lot of work to somehow make the back not match the front.


                    • #11
                      Same here with imposition studio pro. Did the engineer do alignments with the stock you normally run? What about the tray settings in the RIP, have they been set back to default? How many millimeters is the alignment off? What about the sensor?


                      • #12

                        Still issues with this awful paper eater of a machine.

                        Engineer came out & said it was aligned fine then printed off a sheet about machine expectations.

                        The alignment barely held for a day & now it's so out that it doesn't seem possible to get it printing in the same position at all via tray 5.

                        The margin on the paper is much larger on 1 side no matter what we do. Way outside of tolerance.

                        The last time we ran tray alignment test pages they were all even, equal & centred & now they are way out but it won't let us move the x position enough to make them equal again as the margin is too big on one side.

                        We're using imposition studio too so i don't believe the issue is that as we have printed some that were okay (26 DL flyers out of 500 sra sheets though!)

                        We're having to cut down sheets to a3 as apparently there's no way to do tray alignment for sra3.

                        We do more printing of alignment sheets than we do of actual material because nobody knows we print because the flyers we did for ourselves have alignment issues due to this awful machine.

                        Thanks, Karl

                        Kind regards,


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PrintingInLincs View Post

                          Engineer came out & said it was aligned fine then printed off a sheet about machine expectations.
                          Is this with the sheets you normally run? Is your alignment off more then what the machine expectations are.

                          Originally posted by PrintingInLincs View Post

                          The alignment barely held for a day & now it's so out that it doesn't seem possible to get it printing in the same position at all via tray 5.
                          Not the best tray for consistent alignment.

                          Originally posted by PrintingInLincs View Post

                          The margin on the paper is much larger on 1 side no matter what we do. Way outside of tolerance.
                          Where is it off? Lead edge, trail edge, inboard or outboard?

                          Originally posted by PrintingInLincs View Post

                          We're having to cut down sheets to a3 as apparently there's no way to do tray alignment for sra3.
                          If your cutting your own sheets are you sure they are consistent and accurate in size and are cut square? You will never maintain alignment if your sheets are not consistent and square.

                          Do you own this machine or is it under service contact?


                          • #14
                            I don't think this is an appropriate type printer for any type of production color...probably adequate for an office workgroup type setting running powerpoint presentations and emails on 20lb bond.

                            If you're not satisfied with the printer and/or the service, I would make them honor your total satisfaction guarantee. Either have them replace the printer, or you may want to upgrade to a model that better suits your needs.

                            Registration will vary depending on the size and thickness of the paper, as well as what tray you feed from. Whether you are duplexing inline or not. I wouldn't use the bypass tray for anything registration critical, in my experience.

                            I have never used Imposition Studio Pro but I can't imagine any software should affect the registration from one sheet to the next unless you are doing something very strange.

                            I would make a simple test page (for example, a set of crop marks that is a half inch in on all sides) that's easy to measure the alignment on, and print out maybe 20 simplex copies, not from the bypass tray. Measure the distance from the crops to each corner on each sheet. Post your results.


                            • #15
                              I will update this further later in more detail however i have told them that i want everything to do with tray 5 replacing. I am also told them I want refunding for having to use a trade printer to do flyers which this machine should be more thna capable of.

                              I've thought it was us just being new to the industry but i no longer think that's the case & the amount of time & paper we're putting into this is ridiculous really.

                              Is there a point in doing tray alignment whilst not using tray 5 to print it ?

                              Alignment is off by 2mm on the leadign edge & that is with the x position at -2 as far as it can go.

                              We're using 300gsm gloss lumi which we have to cut down to a3 from sra3 as the machine apparently cant do tray alignment with sra3.

                              We can get the alignment "okay" for 250gsm but what is the point in that? It's not fit for purpose & it's expensive to say the least.

                              Apologies if i'm blunt, I'm very frustrated with this machine. It shouldn't be this hard to get it to print in the same position on both sides.



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