Capping Station fail?


I was at a convention this weekend, and even though I recently replaced my dampers, got my reoccurring black banding problem (after a day and a half of excellent prints). A couple cleanings did not clear it, so I tried a black ink swap. Bad idea. I hadn’t properly primed the matte black side when I replaced the dampers, so the black channel went completely blank. Swapping back though did not revive it, nor did a power clean.

At this point, I’m thinking that my capping station pump probably isn’t generating enough suction to move the air. I’ve watched the power cleaning process, and the ink volume ejected during the “loud flappy” part of the cycle doesn’t seem like it’s enough for the noise. Also, it seems that 4 of the inks are used more in cleanings than the others which leads me to believe that one side of the station isn’t functioning properly. Perhaps K and M are on the same side, which would explain why I’ve had so many problems with those two.

Your thoughts? The capping station isn’t exactly expensive, but I don’t want to invest more if people think it won’t help. (I went and bought a brand new 3880, which was enough of a kick in the wallet. Having 2 might be nice, but is certainly not necessary.)

I’m not doing a good job describing this…sorry.


Did you replaced the Ink Selector Unit as a whole unit OR you replaced the individual dampers?

3 Power cleans is equal to an Initial Fill, if you replaced all the dampers OR the Ink Selector Unit, primed each channel and did regular cleaning cycles, that wouldn’t have been enough to rid the system of air. Also, if you had primed the K channel, this would have only primed one of either PK or MK lines, depending on which was selected in the selector unit.

With the current K ink selected (I think it’s PK from what I read) do 3 Power Cleaning Cycles to see if you can get a good nozzle check again for this position.

For the Capping Station, it’s uncommon, but not unheard off for them to wear out, just like any other maintenance part in a printer. The function of the capping station is create a seal around the head for cleaning purposes, when it does this, in conjunction it moves the ink from the station to the maintenance tank. The part that normally wears out is the Wiper blade, which is connected to the Pump Assembly, and yes the wiper blade could be causing printing problems. If it can’t clean the bottom of the print head properly, pigment will build up and cause blockage on the head.

Yes the Capping Station (Ie. Pump Assembly) can and will cause printing performance. But as I mentioned I would try another Power Cleaning cycle on which ever K you have already selected and see if you can get a better Nozzle Check, sometimes it takes a while to work the air out after opening up the ink supply system in these printers.