AGFA 2050 issue

ArtPrintZG

New member
Greetings,

I'm new to these forums, so I apologize if I posted this in the wrong section. But this seemed like one of the few places where I could get some feedback on a specific issue that's been plaguing my machine. It's a seemingly simple issue, but I've been unable to fix it no matter what I do, and any advice would be more than welcome.

The carriage of my AGFA 2050 printer refuses to lower itself to a proper starting position. The machine does it's home checking, checks the x-axis, and then lifts the carriage up to maximum height before it starts lowering it to what should be the zero on thy y-axis. But instead of going all the way down, it stops at about 3cm above zero and acts as if it completed the check properly. It's perfectly functional after this point, meaning if I had a 3cm thick material, I could print on it. Which isn't helpful, because we print mostly on paper and canvas. If I let the machine automatically determine the thickness of the material, it does the same thing, always stopping at the same height and never reaching the table.

There is nothing in the options where I can manually input the distance on the y-axis. The machine has a sensor for when the carriage reaches the upmost position, but how it determines how far downwards it should go once it's initially turned on is beyond me because there's no such sensor for the downmost position. Which leads me to believe that the y-axis range is hardcoded somewhere and got messed up somehow. If I shutdown the machine and manually lower the carriage below these 3cm, then start the machine up again, it throws out a communication error. I assume because it reads as if the carriage is out of range, even though it's not.

We tried contacting AGFA directly, but so far they had us mostly check the hardware and the connections pertaining to the carriage movement, which are all seemingly fine. Since there is no official support in the country where I live and work, I have to do this myself, because calling in someone from AGFA from another country is just too expensive, especially if the issue turns out to be quite simple. So any words of wisdom would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance to anyone who reads this and sorry for the lengthy post. I hope you have a nice day.
 

Seeking Knowledge

Well-known member
Not knowing your specific machine, I would check to make sure the encoder and encoder reader are clean. Could be as simple as that.

SK.
 

ArtPrintZG

New member
Thank you for the response.

Unfortunately, there is no encoder strip for vertical movement of the carriage. The maximum height of the carriage is limited by a sensor which stops it from going too far up (which works as intended), and then the machine automatically lowers it (I assume) according to a step count of the electromotor used for the lifting of the carriage. However, the application that is used doesn't seem to have access to that setting, so I can't change how far down it goes. And it just refuses to revert to zero, instead stopping at some 3cm from the table and acting as if it completed the procedure successfully. So I have a feeling that the machine "thinks" it's at the right height already and just stops the carriage from going lower.
 

Seeking Knowledge

Well-known member
It would be extremely odd for the programming to go wonky and have a value changed. It has been my experience that these values are generally in a text document that the application refers to.

I still believe it is an encoder issue, whether it is in the motor or external with a strip and reader. There is an encoder somewhere to tell give it it’s “home” position information.

How is head height set is it automatic to the substrate being printed or manual where you have to type in the value?

SK
 

ArtPrintZG

New member
When the machine is turned on, it does something called "home checking" procedure, where it makes sure that the carriage is in the right starting position. The process is automatic. It raises the carriage as high as it can go, returns it to the rightmost position (if it's not there already), then lowers it to zero. I can't do anything during this process. What I can do afterwards is order the machine to measure the distance to the table/material. The machine again raises the carriage to the upmost position, then lowers a bracket that is supposed to touch the material/table once the carriage starts lowering, thus stopping it at the correct height. However, it never reaches the table/material and stops at 3cm above it, as if there is a failsafe somewhere that's telling it that's the lowest it should go. I can manually add some to the gap to the material, but I can't subtract from the value it measured.

It's just a very weird issue. The machine literally worked perfectly one day, then it was inactive and unplugged for several weeks, and then the next time I turned it on, it started to have this issue.
 

Seeking Knowledge

Well-known member
From your description, it sounds like one of the sensors is providing in accurate feed back. The bar that comes down, I would see if that sensor or switch is getting hung up somehow.

SK
 

ssutton503

Active member
Greetings,

I'm new to these forums, so I apologize if I posted this in the wrong section. But this seemed like one of the few places where I could get some feedback on a specific issue that's been plaguing my machine. It's a seemingly simple issue, but I've been unable to fix it no matter what I do, and any advice would be more than welcome.

The carriage of my AGFA 2050 printer refuses to lower itself to a proper starting position. The machine does it's home checking, checks the x-axis, and then lifts the carriage up to maximum height before it starts lowering it to what should be the zero on thy y-axis. But instead of going all the way down, it stops at about 3cm above zero and acts as if it completed the check properly. It's perfectly functional after this point, meaning if I had a 3cm thick material, I could print on it. Which isn't helpful, because we print mostly on paper and canvas. If I let the machine automatically determine the thickness of the material, it does the same thing, always stopping at the same height and never reaching the table.

There is nothing in the options where I can manually input the distance on the y-axis. The machine has a sensor for when the carriage reaches the upmost position, but how it determines how far downwards it should go once it's initially turned on is beyond me because there's no such sensor for the downmost position. Which leads me to believe that the y-axis range is hardcoded somewhere and got messed up somehow. If I shutdown the machine and manually lower the carriage below these 3cm, then start the machine up again, it throws out a communication error. I assume because it reads as if the carriage is out of range, even though it's not.

We tried contacting AGFA directly, but so far they had us mostly check the hardware and the connections pertaining to the carriage movement, which are all seemingly fine. Since there is no official support in the country where I live and work, I have to do this myself, because calling in someone from AGFA from another country is just too expensive, especially if the issue turns out to be quite simple. So any words of wisdom would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance to anyone who reads this and sorry for the lengthy post. I hope you have a nice day.
I really have no idea what type of machine you are using but I have had a thought. Several pieces of equipment we use have stepper motors that move a piece particular distance. But there aren't sensors that tell the machine the part reached the distance but rather how many times it advanced the stepper motor. For example, to move on cm the motor needs to increment 1,298 steps (or whatever the number). Or, as was preciously posted, there is a file with system values and a value has gotten changed.
 

ArtPrintZG

New member
Hey, just to update, I got the issue fixed in a simple, yet somewhat weird way. I figured I should look a bit more into the motor after the last comment here, so I called up a guy who knows stuff about electromotors. He took it off, took it apart, but found nothing wrong with it. Here's the thing, though. When he put it back together and placed it back on the machine, for some reason the machine started to work normally again. Even ran smoother, even though he neither changed nor lubed anything. So either something got the motor a bit jammed (but not really jammed all the way, because it partially worked) and the dismantling unjammed it somehow, or everything just somehow reset to original settings once it was unplugged or something. I really have no idea, but I'm not complaining.

Thank you all for your advice. It really helps to get some extra opinions because you can really get stuck looking in a certain direction when you go at it alone.
 

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