Arizona 1260GT - Does it need periodic calibration?

BlueDart

New member
I'm a new member here so please pardon if this post is in the wrong place.

Just started working at a new job with an Arizona 1260GT UV printer using an ONYX RIP. My previous experience is prepress, inkjet, and digital printers with a ton of commercial sheetfed thrown in. This is my first time using a machine of this size using UV curable inks. It's a CMYKww configuration.

In my former jobs I would calibrate my printers every morning, the digital printers seemed to drift fairly quick so keeping them balanced was a top priority. Now that I'm running this new printer at a new job I'm wondering if I need to worry about calibrating the printer or are the profiles we've been using since install good enough?

This Arizona is a new tech and new experience for me. I've asked the person training me and I was told that we do not calibrate the printer but that just seems weird to me. Does the Arizona drift or is it some sort of print process that doesn't need to be calibrated?

Reading the Operator Manual calibration only seems to be for new substrates to create a profile. Makes sense but I'm not sure I want to go digging around our RIP server and possibly screw something up. I'm new and I don't want to rock the boat too much but it's really bugging me that I'm not sure my printer is color accurate.

Any ideas? I understand that there could be a really obvious answer that I'm just too dense to find.

Thanks in advance!
 

Seeking Knowledge

Well-known member
Hello BD,

Most UV printers, that I am aware of, do not need daily calibration. They are fairly stable, provided you keep up on the, daily, weekly and monthly head maintenance. Also, the word calibration is not used with these machines, profiling is. That said, if you change a printhead or two or change the voltage that fires the ink, a new profile may be needed.

What I like to do is when we make a profile, I print out a test file, one that I know very well. I document all settings, print speed, curing and rip settings. I keep it safe and out of light, if I think something is off, I RIP and print the same file to see if there is any deviation. If there is, trouble shooting is needed. If everything is okay with the machine, maybe it did drift, but should it not for a year plus. At that point generate a new profile, trying to replicate doing it the same way you did the firs time, with ink limits and everything. I would not try to re-linearize, I have never had any success with doing that. No matter what RIP I was using.

Oh, one of the most important things, if you have light inks, do not pour light ink into the dark tank or vice versa. Don't be that guy. You will be very sad and feel very silly.

Hope that helps.

SK
 

BlueDart

New member
Thanks SK.

Not sure what you mean regarding light/dark tanks but I will keep your advice in mind.

So it sounds to me that what we do is create RIP profiles for each substrate. Calibrating the printer itself isn't a big deal so long as the heads are clean and maintenance is up to date. Color issues most likely will be from using the wrong profile instead of the printer itself color drifting over time.

Pretty wild that UV printers are so stable but I guess when you're spitting picoliters one droplet today is the same size/value as it was three months ago. I guess the Arizona is pretty "dumb", too, so why bother calibrating when the printer itself just does whatever it's told by the RIP.

I hope I got it right, thanks for the knowledge drop. I'll start worrying about other things now.
 

Seeking Knowledge

Well-known member
BD,

Some UV machines have light and dark inks, this helps smooth color transitions in flesh tones and other colors. Yes, in most cases profiling is done though the RIP or can be done with 3rd party software. Each substrate, may not be necessary, I would do it by material kind, Paper, Plastic, Vinyl, Etc. You can really get into the weeds if you do every substrate you are asked to print on.

For Color issues, I generally say the color today will be the color in 6 months, provided I do not do something stupid.

I always tell people who are learning equipment to make sure they keep it clean. Follow the recommended guides and if you can do more, the cleaner the machine the happier it will be and in turn you. Lastly, pay attention to the sounds it makes and get familiar, while machines cannot talk, if you listen they will tell you when something is wrong.

Good Luck!
SK
 

Sertech

Active member
Not sure on the Arizona, but the Colorado U.V. does need periodic calibration. It will have you do it after maintenance. As the printheads travel the machines constantly check for misfiring/ side shooting nozzles. They will shut down problematic ones and compensate. After maintenance the calibration will reset those to be used again, plus it checks stepping and numerous other things. On a Colorado, it takes about 45 minutes to calibrate the machine. The media used should also be calibrated. This is a different adjustment. On that machine and the colorwave, media profiles are downloaded from canon's support website. Those profiles are specific to a media, and I believe are created by canon on machines so you don't have to go through and adjust things like vacuum and step and whiteness of media. The theory behind this is that anything printed on a properly maintained Colorado can be matched on any same model that is also properly maintained.
 

Bly

Member
We've had Arizonas for years.
They are reliable, stable printers.
They can need calibration if you start to notice blurry or out of registration prints.
Sometimes this happens after a head strike or similar.
When this happens it's an Oce technician who performs the calibration, not the user.
Otherwise just keep the heads and surrounding area clean.
 

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