Some of my experiences of using the above printers in a production environment and keeping them going well in spite of their well known problems. We do not use Epson inks, but a resin coated pigment ink designed for printing on standard lithographic papers. This makes the head blocking problems worse. Some of out 9700 printers have now done over 20 000 A1 prints
1. Temperature in the print room should be between 19 and 24 degrees c.
2. Humidity should be above 45%
3. Make sure the capping station is regularly replaced. Do not use the Epson capping station, but the Chinese ones off alibaba. These have stronger springs and a better seal.
4 Rather do multiple normal cleans than deep cleans or service mode cleans. This leads to fewer air bubbles forming behind the nozzles.
5 A number of Chinese suppliers make ink supply systems for these machines where you can specify the pressure in the ink system. These are far better than the air bag cartridges.
6 we have re -routed the ink pipes directly from the ink bottles to the head by passing the cartridges altogether. This has reduced ink supply issues. The cartridges are now only in place to hold the chips. The cartridges are a big source of problems with these machines with temperamental air and ink valves.
7 Replacing dampers only seems to be a problem. If you replace the entire selector unit on a regular basis (every 2500 or so prints) this seems to be better. The selector unit is only a little over $100. The dampers in these machines seems to be the main design flaw. There is a vacuum activated demand valve in the damper that can be problematic.
8 Wipe the capping station clean with cleaning solution regularly, especially during hot weather. Your ink supplier should always be able to sell you a correct cleaning solution for the ink you are using.
9 Use the wasatch 6.6 rip available on this site rather than the Epson driver. You can linearise the different channels by eye if you are and experienced printer and so long as you are getting accurate 5% through 10% patches per channel you will get accurate prints no matter what the stock. 1440 x 720 dpi with quality microweave gives you 10 or more A1's per hour using sheet fed stock and very good bright prints. The 5pl droplet causes fewer head blockages than the 3pl one. All of this is controllable in the wasatch
Hope this helps some of the people using these machines. We have abused ours doing far more prints than I think Epson anticipated and we think they are great.