Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part Four – Caring for Your Latex Spindles

In the final edition of our latex tips and tricks series, HP Latex Specialist Timothy Mitchell offers some suggestions for spindle care as well as helpful hints for endcap placement that can resolve some common problems like paper recognition or “roll walking.”

Whether you have the 3-inch aluminum spindle for the Latex 365 or the smaller, adjustable core spindle for the Latex 115/315/335 family, Mitchell doesn’t recommend leaning the spindles against the printer when they are not in use. “It’s easy for the bottom to slip and it hits the ground and gets damaged,” he says. “Take care of them, I use beanbags on top of the printer to rest the spindles.”

Taking care of the endcaps and core adapters is also essential. There are locking mechanisms in place to keep the roll steady during printing that can loosen over time due to improper use. The tension is lost, rolls can slip or “walk.” If you have ever received a notification that the media was rejected or not recognized by the printer, it could be that the endcap is loose and the paper is not properly aligned in the printer.

“If you are doing long runs, using the take-up roll, the endcap needs to be secure and flush against the core,” Mitchell says. “If it gets loose, the media could slide with it. Making sure it’s stable is key.”

Mitchell also has some suggestions for the spindle with the adjustable core. “If you are completely committed to printing on 3-inch core product, you can permanently attach the core adapter with heavy-duty glue,” he says. You will want to ensure the glue doesn’t affect the latch if you choose to create a permanent 3-inch core.

Watch the video above to see Mitchell explain the best ways to keep your spindle and endcaps in working order, leading to a smooth latex workflow.

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Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part Three – Custom Butterfly Edge Guards for HP Latex Printers

HP Latex Specialist Timothy Mitchell works with many different brands and types of media, providing him the unique opportunity to help printer operators find answers to some recurring issues – head strike or media curling, to name a few – that may occur.

Mitchell noticed that when he printed on high-intensity prismatic or reflective media and other heavy-duty products that retain curl, the edge guards weren’t properly holding the print in place as it was feeding through, causing it to raise up and contact with the carriage. When that happens, the image can be damaged, which means the graphic must be reprinted.

Reprints are a waste of media, ink and time. Mitchell found that creating a double – or butterfly – edge guard means the media stays closer to the platen, reducing the chance that the print will come in contact with the carriage.

“The reflective films tend to be expensive and when they go through the printer, I don’t want to waste anything,” he says. “They tend to curl a little. I need a little more strength to hold them down after they go through the original edge guards.”

In the video above, Mitchell explains how easy it is to make these guards: “You need to order an additional set, take them apart and put them back together.”

If you have any questions or would like to order an additional set of edge guards, please contact your LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538.

Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part Two – Using the Counterweights and Take-up Reel on Your HP Latex Printer

Printing panels for trade shows can keep a latex printer and a production manager busy, but there is one tip from HP Latex Specialist Timothy Mitchell that can help lighten the load a little: use the counterweights.

“There are a couple of key pieces to successfully panel printing with the 300 series latex printer,” Mitchell says of the counterweights. If you’ve never used them, they could still be on the dancer bar for the newer 300 series printers. For the older models (310, 330, 360), you may need to contact HP Support to order a set.

When panel printing, it is more efficient and accurate to reduce the tension on the media. The dancer bar adds tension and adjusting the counterweights on either end of the bar allows you to increase or decrease the tension, depending on the media thickness and material.

Another important tool to use properly is the take-up reel. Many people may not know that there is an option to wind the graphics inside or outside.

“If you go inside, there is a little less tension than if you go outside. I usually judge it by the media,” Mitchell says.

Much like adjusting the counterweights, winding media inside or outside depends on the media.

Watch the video above to see Mitchell discuss his tips and tricks for the counterweights and take-up reel. If you have an older 300 series printer, you can contact HP Latex Support.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about printing with latex, contact a LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part One – When to Use Platen Covers

If you’ve recently purchased an HP Latex Printer, there are some important tools you may not be using that can make printing a little easier: platen covers, counterweights, butterfly edge guards, and spindles.

In part one of our four-part series, we’ll discuss when to use platen covers.

Long, unattended runs on the latex printer is a great way for print service providers to complete large projects while staying on schedule with short runs or quick custom jobs. However, some PSPs experience issues when continuous runs are printed on fabric.

Because the media is porous and a heavier ink load is required (185-200% coverage), condensation can build up between the fabric and the platen and stain the image.

Timothy Mitchell, HP Latex Specialist, says that the platen covers, which are included with the Latex 365 or 500 series, are made specifically to reduce the condensation during these runs.

“These are there to prevent the accumulation of condensation and creating a discolored stain,” he says. “If I’m going to run an entire roll for a trade show, I will put these on because I am going to run continuously, and it will create a lot of moisture and the felt [on the platen cover] is necessary.”

Watch the video above to see Mitchell discuss the proper times and ways to use the platen covers. If you have an older 300 series printer, you can contact HP Latex Support.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about printing with latex, contact a LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

HP’s Timothy Mitchell: EnduraFab Stretch “Excellent” for Sign Frames

If you’ve got customers demanding fabric solutions for retail signage or trade show displays, HP’s “Latex Czar” Timothy Mitchell suggests EnduraFab Stretch for great performance on HP Latex printers as well as excellent scuff and scratch resistance.

“This was the first company to come out with a truly durable latex textile,” he says in the video above. When building its durable textile portfolio, HP was looking to improve scuff and scratch resistance, as well as improved performance on the latex printers.

The EnduraFab Textiles family of products include a proprietary coating that ensures they print seamlessly on the latex and maintain a soft hand-feel while also standing up to multiple washings. The 100% polyester warp knit fabrics are specifically designed to be used with HP’s third generation latex inks.

The EnduraFab Stretch option, which is also available in a fire retardant option, has a one-directional stretch that’s ideal for easy installation into SEG frames. It is also acoustically rated for Sound Absorption and Noise Reduction when paired with acoustic foam or boards.

“This would be excellent, for example, in a sign frame,” Mitchell says. “Using a SignComp frame where you are going to stretch it into a frame or sewing in the SEG gaskets.”

Watch the video about for all the details and possible uses for EnduraFab Stretch. Call a LexJet representative at 800-453-9538 to learn more about the EnduraFab line and how it can help you grow your retail and trade show offerings.

To see how EnduraFab was used in an over-sized SEG frame to create décor in an office setting, watch the video below.

The LexJet Experience: Bringing Applications to Life

The LexJet Experience was a success! Our open-house showcased equipment, RIP software and media applications for local customers. Representatives were on hand from Canon, EPSON and HP as well as GRAPHTEC, SignComp framing systems, Onyx and ImagePrint.

Set up on the third floor of the Sarasota, Fla. headquarters, the trade show-style event allowed LexJet customers the opportunity to discuss current technology, best practices and innovative applications with the vendors of their choice.

Vince Bejar, LexJet sales representative, had several customers in attendance. “They were excited about the opportunity to visit our office,” he says. “They enjoyed the hospitality and are looking forward to growing with our partnership.”

Timothy Mitchell, the resident expert in all things HP Latex, was available to discuss the best media to use with the latex printers, including his recent review of the new HP Prime Gloss Air GP.

With such an intimate setting, customers spent as much time as they needed with vendors. “I was happy about the way the customers engaged in conversations with everyone,” said HP Partner Business Manager, Frank DeMartino. “They had questions about specific applications for both the latex printers and the Z-series printers, and they wanted to learn more about the vertical trimmer on the Z9+.”

Craig Hellman, Senior Account Manager for Epson, agreed that customers were seeking solutions for unique applications. “There was a lot of interest in dye-sub printing,” Hellman said. “They want to know how to create promotional products, displays, signage and, of course, apparel.”

With Epson’s breadth of products, it wasn’t just the dye-sub applications that piqued their curiosity. “People are very interested in what the SureColor S-Series (solvent) printers can do. They asked about signage and display, but they also want to know about décor printing.”

As the day began winding down, everyone seemed to have the same question: “When are you going to do this again? This was a great learning experience.”

Given the positive feedback we’ve received, we look forward to doing another open house later this year. If you were in attendance, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact your LexJet sales representative at 800-453-9538, leave us a comment here on the blog, or visit our Facebook page.