Dana and Kelly have had illnesses - and so they are not that available lately. I am filling in and will try and answer your questions.
In regards to maintenance of a large format printer. Pigment ink settles regardless of the manufacturer. You will be hard pressed to notice pigment settling in a color printer because you would have to decipher between millions of colors - certainly 100s of thousands of individual colors to determine how settling is affecting the colors. With monochromatic printing - pigment settling is immediately noticeable because a delta E difference of 2 would be noticeable to a b&w photographer. Certainly 5 would be. With this in mind - you would want to shake your carts every two weeks. You would want to print with a large format printer regularly so that ink does not remain in the ink lines for more than two weeks. Now I am talking about maintaining the highest standards - and I can not speak in “OK”, “Pretty Good”, “Not Bad”, “Not Too Bad”. So - from that perspective if ink has remained in the ink lines for two weeks - and you need to make the highest possible standard prints whether Epson color or Piezography BW - you would then want to freshen the ink in the ink lines with an INIT FILL or three Power Cleans after shaking the carts.
With that in mind - you can - and many customers come to us with permanently clogged Mk/PK ink exchangers when using OEM inks. So it is not indicative of Piezography - but of the printer itself… you do not want to run matte ink only for several months - then have to make a perfect glossy print. Were it my studio, I would run the two black ink changes once a week.
If you are not printing often enough to not allow ink to stagnate in the ink lines - then you may consider putting the printer into flush until you need to use it.
The printer is probably more technical than most things in your house, but I bet you a donut that you probably shake your milk or orange juice each day before drinking it. Something like that is necessary for a person to maintain a printer. It has to be out of habit - although our parents taught us to shake and smell milk before gulping it down. No one hands down advice on a printer.
Depending upon the lint in your paper, and dust in your printing room - you will need to thoroughly clean your printer’s capping and cleaning station at least every six months. You should replace your ink exchanger on an annual basis (according to Epson). Finally - the paper paths and rollers and pickup wheel should be dusted and cleaned every month or as needed.
What I have told you is - not for running a Piezography system - but for maintaining an Epson Pro printer as a best practice.
Hope this helps!