The Epson SureColor F2000 is the easiest most straight forward Direct to Garment printer to maintain on the market. One of the biggest advantages of the SC-F2000 is all maintenance is preventative and most is prompted. Follow your maintenance schedule and avoid the catastrophic breakdowns experienced with other printers.
This article will address your prompted and scheduled maintenance for the Epson SureColor F2000 DTG Printer.
Turn Your Printer Off Daily:
- Turn your printer off at the end of every work day. Be sure to do the Tube Wash, head cleaning and rinse the spit tray filter as outlined below.
- Epson suggests you can leave your printer off for 5-7 days without the need to start up and run ink through the head. For best practices and to ensure proper functionality, I suggest turning on your printer on every 2-5 days, if not in regular use, and following the standard start up procedure, plus tube wash. See details in regular operation maintenance.
Not Printing For More Than 5-7 Days:
- White ink needs to be replaced with cleaning solution if sitting idol for more than 7 days. Color ink can sit in the system for 30 days without concern.
- If you are going to be away longer than 7 days, replace white ink with cleaning cartridges.
- Clean the suction cap and do a tube wash before running white ink tube flush.
- Allow cleaning solution to sit in the system while you are away.
- You will learn your printers environment and know how the printhead reacts to down time; you may be able to extend past the 7 day range. Better to add cleaning solution than clog a print head.
Not Printing For More Than A Month:
- If you do not intend to print for more than a month the SC-F2000 should be put into storage mode.
- Replace all of your ink cartridges with cleaning solution. Your printer comes with 2 cartridges. Additional cartridges can be purchased on shopmelco.com.
- Your printer can sit in this mode for extended periods of time.
- From the printers maintenance menu select storage mode.
- Before starting storage mode, clean the suction cap and ensure there is ample room in the waste tank.
- Replace the Print Head Cleaning Set if it is nearing the end of it’s 1,000 print life.
Regular Operation Maintenance:
- Shake White Ink Cartridges. Your printer will prompt you to shake white ink cartridges upon start up. Remove, hold flat, and shake 15 seconds on each side.
- Allow printer to run ink circulation cycle. This is all internal and does not waste any ink.
- Nozzle Check. Put platen in the P position and run Maintenance>Nozzle Check. Assess your nozzle health. If patterns are broken do head cleanings to bring nozzles back to 100%. One or two nozzles out will not effect print result.
- Head Cleaning. Maintenance>Head Cleaning. Select individual nozzles or all nozzle. Your Nozzle Check will determine which nozzles to clean. Run light, medium, or heavy cleaning to restore your nozzles. NOTE: Light head cleanings are usually sufficient to bring nozzles back to 100%. Medium is also used when printer has been idle for extended periods of downtime. Use heavy cleaning in the most extreme cases. If you cannot bring your nozzles back after repeated heavy cleanings, call Epson Tech Support 1-888-377-6611.
- Medium Head Cleanings. Run medium cleaning on every 2 weeks on all channels, color and white. This cleans cyan and all colors that can if neglected start to degrade in time.
- Tube Wash. This maintenance procedure should be done every time before powering off the printer. Should be done in conjunction with head cleaning.
- Rinse Spit Tray Filter. Remove the spit tray filter and rinse under water to break up and buildup. A clean filter will dramatically reduce ink misting.
- Your printer comes from the factory with the “Power On Cleaning” function set to ON. If you do not want your printer to run a medium head cleaning every time you start your printer, turn this function off. With Power On Cleaning off, you will be responsible to do your head cleanings. This is what most operators do. Menu>Printer Set Up>Power On Cleaning, turn off.
- Suction Cap Cleaning. Maintenance>Cap Cleaning.
- A clean Suction Cap is essential for effective head cleanings.
- Also run a tube wash before or after cleaning the cap.
- Watch Epson maintenance video for Suction Cap Cleaning.
Bi-Weekly Maintenance or As Needed:
- Clean Around Printhead. Maintenance>Clean Around Printhead. Shirt fibers and ink will build up around your printhead. If the areas around your head are not clean you could experience blurry and less than desirable prints. Watch Epson maintenance video for Cleaning Around Printhead.
- Clean Scale. Ink particles will build up on the scale. Regular cleaning is needed to avoid a printer error code D197. Watch Epson maintenance video for Cleaning the Scale NOTE. If you are not using your printer regularly you will not need to clean your scale every two weeks. Over cleaning could lead to a damaged scale.
- Shake Color Ink Cartridges. Pull and shake all cartridges for 30 seconds.
- White Ink Tube Flush. THIS STEP IS NOT NECESSARY IF YOU RUN THE TUBE WASH FUNCTION. Read this article on how to set up for the head cap tube washing. Before starting the tube wash, clean the suction cap to ensure the process runs at maximum effectiveness. At 14 minutes into the 40-minute tube wash, the printer will prompt to reinstall the white ink cartridges. As an alternative to Maintenance>White Ink Tube Wash you can run Maintenance>Replace White Ink maintenance command. This leaves the printer in an operational CMYK printing state for use on light garments. Use Maintenance>Replace White Ink again to reverse cleaning to white ink when printing with white ink is desired.
- White Ink Tube Flush will prompt every 4 weeks. This is a warning to purchase more ink and pretreat if needed. I suggest waiting 6 weeks before doing the flush. Ensure you have half full 600ml white and half full cleaning cartridges on hand to complete the cleaning.
- Check for New Firmware and Software. Visit Epson.com/support/f2000 monthly to check for updated software.
As Needed Maintenance:
- Printhead Maintenance Kit. Every 1000 prints your printer will warn you the Printhead Maintenance Kit is running low. Maintenance>Replace Head Cleaning Set. Remove and replace fabric wiper and anti-drying capping station and discard. Remove filter and replace. Do not discard old filter, rinse and keep available for reuse. Watch Epson maintenance video for Replacing The Head Cleaning Set.
- Empty or Replace Waste Ink Tank. Discard waste ink then reset counter. Maintenance>Reset Waste Ink Counter.
- Replace Air Filter. Your printer will prompt you to replace filter. Remove old filter and replace with new.
Maintenance Essentials To Always Have Available
When your printer prompts you to do maintenance it is essential you have the necessary equipment or your printer shut down the printing option. Be sure to have the following on hand at all times. As soon as you use one set, replace with another. Go to www.shopmelco.com to purchase maintenance supplies.
2 – 600ml White Ink Cartridges
2 – 700ml Cleaning Cartridges
1 – Tube Cleaning Kit
1 – Print Head Cleaning Kit
1 – Printer Air Filter
Printable version of the Epson SureColor Maintenance Chart
Email me with questions.
John R. LeDrew • DTG Director • Melco International