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When to use a Centrifuge Machine and vacuum filling machine

Discussion in 'Everything Else InkJet Printer Related' started by InkDoodle, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. Apr 12, 2005
    InkDoodle

    InkDoodle Newbie to Printing

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    Hi my fellow refillers,

    I'm hoping some of you can point me in the direction I'm looking for or

    I'm contemplating on purchasing a centrifuge machine from either www.speedbrite.com (625$) or one from www.thairfrance.com (725$). I'm still not clear if a centrifuge will help me with the problems I've been having when refilling carts for my customers HP 57, HP 78 and Lex 80, 70, 26,16.

    Some of the problems I recently encountered are the following;

    Cartridge tested(HP78)(HP78 was an oem used for 40 pages and then topped off) fine before shipping, when arrived at customer site blue/cyan color didn't print and next day yellow stopped (indicated air bubbles possibly)

    Lines or streaks in blue (possibly more air bubbles).

    Now my question is did I refill this the wrong way as I perform all refills my hand, syringe and needle very slowly and after I refill I use a CX HAND VAC from Rjettek to prime the cartridge (vacuum technique).

    Would a centrifuge get rid of air bubbles after refilling as well as remove all ink from the cartridge?

    Also for those of you who purchase the CX hand vac from RJettek.com do you use this as a vacuum fill tecnique as well?

    I almost purchased a speedbrite filling station which fills the cartridge and performs a vacuum technique at the same time but it costs 1700$ which is out of my budget.
    I'm wondering if I just use my cx hand vac from rjettek and attach it to the printhead while vacuuming and fill the cartridge while being sucked would this work?

    I greatly appreciate if anyone could help me on this.
     
  2. Apr 12, 2005
    ppremock1

    ppremock1 Newbie to Printing

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    I have been refilling Inkjets and toner since 1991 and have bought all my refilling machines from Speedbrite. Our yeild on inkjets is in the high nineties. If you have any other questions, call me toll free 1-888-228-9368. Pete
     
  3. Apr 12, 2005
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    InkDoodle & Pete,

    Welcome to the forums! I'm glad we are getting more of the more experienced refillers here on the board.
     
  4. Apr 14, 2005
    Craig Ross

    Craig Ross Getting Fingers Dirty

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    This is a return post for Grandad 35 from the filling bci-6 thread
    but thought it better served under this thread because it may or may not help
    inkdoodle so brace yourself this may be a long post.
    Let me start by giving you a short history of my refilling experience
    18 months ago I installed a canon s9000 an i865 an epson 1290 for photo printing and various hp and
    lexmark printers for our office.
    While the bulk of our digital printing is done on a hybrid noritsu
    photo minilab I still enjoy printing with inkjet especially custom
    black and white prints,it soon became very obvious that refilling carts
    was the only way to go and this is a lot of fun on its own especially
    the the part where you get to stick your middle finger up at a few multi-national companies intent on ripping consumers off. After a few months of hand filling for myself,friends and customers with varing degress of success,I decided if we were going to do it as a business we would do it properly so after many late nights combing the web for equipment I settled on the speedbrite machine,it is reasonably priced and imported to Australia by by my ink suppler Ausjet (ausjetinks.com.au).
    Most refilling machines all seem to all operate around the same principle of a vacuum
    chamber fed by ink lines into the chamber via external syinges,the speedbrite
    uses the same pump to switch over to an evacuation/priming station
    which uses those snap on priming clips mounted on the machine and goes to a waste bucket.
    The only difference I could see between all these machines were thier
    level of production,visit www.rjettek.com from inkdoodles post to see some serious equipment.
    All these machines also seem to revolve around hp lexmark carts with built in heads with no mention of canon carts,or epson for that matter,so I'm assuming these are hand filled.The instructions supplied with the speedbrite are vague at best and a little ambiguous in places however with a little trial and error well actually a lot of trial and error I have a I have arrived at a filling procedure that is producing 100% percent rate
    "so far" I say so far because other web sites talk of return rates so I'm expecting some and I constantly
    ask people for feed back.
    OK my procedure to fill hp lexmark carts are to
    1: Soak the the head in windex or head cleaning fluid for 10 minutes
    or for really dryed up heads steam with an humidifier as well.
    2: vacuum evacuate the cart with vacuum for 5 minutes,this could probably
    be manually done with a snap on primer and a syinge,then weigh the
    cart to its empty weight with electronic scales,weights were supplied to
    me by Ausjets refilling manual and well worth the $100 albiet a manual for hand filling.
    It,s worth noting here that drying the cart for 24 hours on carts that
    have stopped accepting ink may be worthwhile I notice on rjettek's web
    site they actually sell an oven for this purpose and given my previous
    success on filling canon bone dry carts it seems this a legitimate refilling
    technique.
    3: load the syinges with the correct ink to the amount required,place
    the cart with head seal in the vacuum chamber insert the corresponding
    needles to there chambers by either pushing through the labels as with
    hp 56 57 carts or remove the tops from some some hp lexmark carts,close
    and lock the chamber and presurise or as the case may be depresurise
    the chamber to about 20hg release the stop cock on the external
    syinge and watch it empty into the cart "no air"
    It is at this stage that I differ with instuctions I,m basically
    a lazy person and I don't like cleaning lines after every refill
    so I vacuum the cart for 5 mins then slowly hand fill with a syinge,
    its working to date.
    4: PRIME the head this is a very important step not doing this was the
    cause of my early failures. vacuum filling or slow hand filling
    may fill the sponge but not the head or the small resivour that
    sits atop the head.I do this by either putting the the cart back
    on the evacuation dock for a few seconds or use a vacuum tube
    with a suction cup. manually this could be done by hand centrifuging
    or wicking ink out onto paper towels
    5: Dab test on paper towel I consider 6 dabs with solid ink bars marks
    a pass if not I re-soak,re-steam re-prime the head until this is achieved
    and in some severe cases starting over again.
    6: Aviod giving a customer the same hp cart back given hp printers three cart memory

    Whew! but I haven't finished yet.
    None of this however applies to Epson or Canon bci carts
    Epson carts are vacuum chambered to dispel any potential air locks and turned upside down
    and bottom filled until ink emerges from the vent hole being bottom filled
    this solves filling the resivour near the exit port and all newer Epson carts
    have a valve gate to stop leakage having said that the epson C64 R210/310
    carts have a very complex syponing system of ink feeding and generally regarded
    as not refillable however the chinese are even cleverer here they simply duplicated
    the cartrige shape but internally are just sponge or a sponge resivour arrangement
    so after selling our clients there new "refillable" cart at half the price of
    an original all is OK and I'm a good guy again.
    Canon bci carts are the easiest of all carts to refill, they are hand filled the way you
    folk are already doing although I,m a believer in not disturbing the manufacturers
    fill holes I drill and seal another hole with hot wax and small square of black
    dymno labeling tape to complete the seal ,it looks neat and easy to remove for refilling.
    I think Canons ease of refilling and cart size may be the reason for them out selling other
    brands two to one,kinda like Microsoft over Mac,give people access and choices.
    For the benifit of Grandad35 I did experiment with vacuum filling a Canon bci cart
    so I chose my most stubborn cart,always seems to be light magenta for me,it was placed
    in the vacuum chamber exit port sealed(orange clip and rubber band) feed line into the resivour
    it proceeded to fill the sponge then sprayed out the vent hole,No resiviour fill h'mm
    next same thing but with vent hole sealed, perfect a super saturated sponge completly
    full then the resivour filled but oops to much ink being fed managed to clean that up
    but it was successfull,hand filling is much easier I'll reserve that technique for special cases.
    tried the same arrangement outside the chamber,ink to the resivour with a syinge tightly
    held in resivour hole, vacuum applied over the sponge by hand vacuum line, again sponge filled but
    continued to suck ink out the vent and not fill the resiviour.I suspect the factory do something
    similar,apply a vacuum to sponge,inject ink into the resivour after a measured amount the vacuum is shut
    off and the resivour is continued to be filled by injection until full,maybe but short of kidnapping a Canon
    employee I'll never know
    I'll keep hand filling for the moment.

    And finally before I finish a word to inkdoodle,I think that a vacuum system would
    do what a centfuge would do but be more vesitile and I can attest to that,vacuum is way more
    fun,same as an utlrisonic head cleaner that almost cost me $800 is no better than windex and
    cheap humidifier unless your doing a couple hundred carts a day.

    I aplogise now for any spelling errors,it was late at night and I always have problems spelling resivour
    and any formating problems, this was written in notepad over several days.

    I suspect in trying to keep this short I've posed more questions than I've answered but I am
    sincerly looking forward to posts from any professional or amatuer refillers that can advance
    this knoble cause,perhaps collectivly an E-book could be written.
    Many Regards
    Craig Ross :)
     
  5. Apr 14, 2005
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    Craig, you've done an excellent job! MANY will undoubtedly gain quite a bit from your great post... I know I have.

    If there is interest in a collaborative e-book, I can setup an application that people can access as a group to work together on writing and editing the text.

    Craig, thanks again.
     
  6. Apr 15, 2005
    Grandad35

    Grandad35 Printer Master Moderator

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    Craig,

    Thanks for sharing your experience and information.

    I have been thinking about your theory that a build-up of ink residue is the cause of the "dead cart" problem because the print head doesn't have enough suction to pull ink through a restricted filter. As has been stated in several places, certain colors (e.g. Photo Magenta) seem to be much more problematic than other colors. You have stated that dropping some alcohol into the exit port can sometimes "cure" such problem carts, and others have stated that placing the entire cart in hot water also helps. I have been doing some un-scientific experiments in this regard, and can confirm that both procedures help, even on carts that have been vacuum refilled and which have no visible air in the sponges.

    I loaded about 2 CCs each of PM and black in separate paper cups and placed them both in the freezer. As expected, they both froze. The "inksicles" were then slowly melted and observed. The black behaved just like water as it melted. On the other hand, the PM left a thin layer on the bottom of the cup that looked and felt like soft Jell-O. As the ink continued to warm up to room temperature, the Jell-O slowly disappeared as it dissolved back into the liquid. The reason for running this seemingly unrelated (and definitely strange) test was that all of my bulk ink and most of my carts were delivered when it was very cold, and it is almost certain that they were exposed to temperatures that were well below freezing during shipping.

    It is well known that the amount of a substance that can be dissolved in a liquid (the "solubility limit") depends on the temperature (http://er6s1.eng.ohio-state.edu/mse/mse205/lectures/chapter9/chap9.pdf). The dye used in my PM ink appears to be close to its solubility limit so that some of its dye was forced out of solution when it froze. Once out of solution, it can be difficult to get everything back into solution without agitation or somehow increasing the solubility limit. Two ways of increasing the solubility limit are to raise the temperature or to change the liquid to something that is a better solvent (alcohol). Both of these would dissolve at least some of the dye residue in the filter, removing the blockage.

    In summary, the source of the problem may be un-dissolved dye residue that collected in the filter (which is why it's there). Heat or alcohol can re-dissolve the residue so that it can be cleared from the filter by forcing the ink with the high dye concentration out of the cart before it is re-installed in the printer.

    Comments?
     
  7. Apr 15, 2005
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    Grandad, you're right on the money. While I believe warm alcohol is usually most effective on cartridges with a built in printhead, the combo is also good for any other situation where you have gummed up ink / residue.

    A few years ago when I was refilling / reconditioning about 80 Lexmark cartridges, and was too cheap to buy any machines I made my own contraption for removing stubborn clogs. I used a tin can with holes cut into it and inserted a tea light candle and set a coffee mug on top with alcohol and/or water. The candle provided just enough heat to keep the liquid hot enough to do its job. I'd set the printhead in the mug and let is sit there for a few minutes and then sucked or blew out the clog. I dug into my refilling box and took some pics:

    http://www.nifty-stuff.com/gallery/inkjet-refill-1/can
    http://www.nifty-stuff.com/gallery/inkjet-refill-1/can2
     
  8. Apr 17, 2005
    Grandad35

    Grandad35 Printer Master Moderator

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    This is an update on an additional ink test and some general information on dyes.

    This link has a lot of background information for dye based products. In one of the links from this page, they say that the water should be at least 140 degrees F to get dye powder to dissolve, so soaking a cart in hot tap water should be sufficient to dissolve any residual dye solids that might be blocking the filter. Alcohol will also do the same thing by increasing the solubility of the dye. Note that I am not suggesting that dye based printer inks are made from clothing dyes and hot water, only that some of the background information in the link is useful.
    http://www.ritdye.com/craft_faq.asp

    In addition to freezing some ink, I also tried to dry it out to revert it back to the base dye powder. About 1 CC each of PM and yellow inks were placed on some aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, and placed in an oven set at 170 F for 3 hours. The volume of each ink was greatly reduced in the first hour, but the volume then stabilized and neither ink "dried out" any further. Instead, they felt like SAE 90 gear oil after the water evaporated and left other liquid components behind. I have read that dye based printer inks often incorporate glycerin and certain glycols to help stabilize the ink at the very high operating temperatures seen in a thermal print head. Since these two products have boiling points of about 390 F and 570 F respectively, it is easy to see why the inks did not completely dry out at only 170 F. It is also easy to see how a thick ink residue could form in a "dry cart" and effectively block the filter with only a thin coating of the residue.

    There was one other interesting point - pure glycerin freezes at about 60-65 F. If an ink is made with just water and glycerin, and the water evaporates in a "dry cart", the remaining glycerin can effectively "freeze off" that section of sponge or filter until water can reach it and work its way into the glycerin. Heating the cart or alcohol will greatly speed up this process.
     
  9. Apr 18, 2005
    Craig Ross

    Craig Ross Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Grandad just further to your heating of carts I once read that microwaving a cart on LOW for 60 secs
    can help a sponge accept more ink( you should see what happens on high, very pretty,wife not so
    impressed though)
    And just to add to my previous post about vacuum filling bci carts which, in all was successfull on lightly
    used carts but it's finally happened four carts at once would not fill, these are carts that have been
    refilled many many many times and all the old tricks would'nt work, microwaving, alchohol in the exit port and vacuum fillng did not work so I decided I was only treating the symptoms of a bigger problem and at this stage just buying new carts holds a lot of merit but I refuse to be defeated. I syinged all of the ink out and completly
    filled the resivour with alcohol and injected alchohol into the sponge as well ,sealed the vent placed the cart in the vacuum chamber to completley compress the sponge and on releasing the vacuum watch the sponge absorb
    as much alcohol as it could the cart was then removed and the alcohol vacuumed out with hand line and a
    suction cup through the exit port, Bingo one flushed Canon cart that filled and printed like new.
    And on reflection is exactly what I do with my epson T009 carts when I,m experimenting with black and
    white inks Oh well.
     
  10. Apr 18, 2005
    Craig Ross

    Craig Ross Getting Fingers Dirty

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    These are some web sites that may be of interest I came them across while I was researching the inkjet term
    "Kogation" and refers to phenomenom of burnt on ink residue in print heads.

    kogation
    http://www.imaging.org/store/epub.cfm?abstrid=2161

    glossaries
    http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/emg/juergens/glossary.htm
    http://www.jnevins.com/inkjetglossa...s.com/download/pdf/m-real_ink_jet_english.pdf
    http://www.bestinko.com/faq.htm
    http://www.hpinfolab.com/country/us/eng/jsp/glossary/#K

    A site that refers to Robs colour bleeding
    interbleeding
    http://u15158484.onlinehome-server.com/pdf/Baydo.12.02.pdf


    But best of all is Hp's patent application that just about spells out their ink formula
    hp patent
    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph...(((hp+AND+inkjet)+AND+printer)+AND+cartridge)

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5098476.html

    hope you find them as interesting as I did.
     

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