Troubleshooting Videojet Printhead Carriage Position Error: A Comprehensive Guide

Troubleshooting Videojet Printhead Carriage Position Error: A Comprehensive Guide

Encountering the Videojet Printhead Carriage Position Error on your Dataflex 6530 or 6330 printer can be incredibly frustrating. This error has the potential to disrupt your printing operations, leading to delays and impacting productivity. However, fear not! Our detailed troubleshooting guide is here to provide you with the necessary steps to swiftly resolve this common issue and get your printer back up and running smoothly.

The Challenge of the Videojet Printhead Carriage Position Error:

Navigating through the intricacies of printer errors can be daunting, especially when faced with the stubbornness of the Printhead Carriage Position Error. This particular fault not only halts your printing tasks but also demands a systematic approach to identify and address its root causes.

Understanding the Impact:

Picture this: you're in the midst of a crucial printing job, and suddenly, your Videojet printer displays the dreaded "Printhead Carriage Position Error" message. Instantly, frustration sets in as you realize the potential disruptions to your workflow and the looming possibility of extended downtime.

Navigating the Troubleshooting Process:

However, with the right knowledge and approach, tackling this error becomes more manageable. By following our step-by-step troubleshooting guide, you can effectively diagnose and rectify the underlying issues causing the Printhead Carriage Position Error. If you still need help reach out to one of our experts at TTO Parts.

Empowering Solutions:

Our guide doesn't just address the symptoms; it delves deep into potential causes, offering practical solutions to restore your printer's functionality. From adjusting printhead gaps to inspecting electrical connections and assessing component integrity, each step is meticulously crafted to guide you towards resolution.

Troubleshooting Guide

  1. Printhead Gap Adjustment:

    • Maintain the printhead gap within the 1-5mm range to prevent triggering the error. Proper measurement is essential for accurate calibration. The easiest way to inspect this gap is by manually moving the printhead up and down. Pay attention to the gap between the Peel arm and the Printhead. If they are touching or are extremely close this could be the printers issue. Some of the issues that cause the gap to be present are the following: removal of the printer from the packline and improperly setting the printer down exposing the peel arm to a bending force, printhead or pivot magnets not holding the head in place, timing belt teeth damaged, broken pivot assembly and improper belt tension.
  2. Print Position Setting:

    • Align the print position over the roller correctly, avoiding extremes in both directions for seamless printing. This applies to continuous printing applications. The printhead must be centered on the roller for optimum print quality as well as preventing this pesky printhead carriage position error from showing up.
  3. Carriage Movement Check:

    • Power off the printer and inspect the carriage for any obstructions or binding. Ensure smooth movement by cleaning and lubricating as needed. You need to confirm no screws or debris are present preventing movement. If something is hindering the carriages movement you will surely get the printhead carriage position error. The printhead carriage motor without the sensor can also cause a movement issue. The easiest way to identify this is to remove the motor and manually rotate the motor shaft, if the shaft resists it is time to change. Another issue to be aware of is the pivot missing components, if you have recently installed a pivot assembly you should have installed two small white plastic spacers inbetween the pivot and carriage plate. When the spacers are missing excess movement is allowed in the pivot this movement causes the pivot assembly to scratch the main plate during movement causing carriage position error.
  4. Component Inspection:

    • Thoroughly examine and replace damaged components like the peel roller shaft, belts, and printhead mount elements to rectify potential issues. Pay attention to the following components because we have seen issues with all of them. 
    • Linear slide confirm that the slide moves freely and binding or rocking and this needs to be changed.
    • Belts must be adequately tensioned and clamped securely in both locations. The clamps for the upper belt do tend to come loose and have stripped the belt teeth off in a few printers we have fixed.
    • Idler pulley are barely secured and unfortunately tend to strip the die cast threads pretty easily. When this happens the idler doesn't perform the functions it was intended too. 
  5. Electrical Connections Review:

    • Verify the integrity of motor connections on the main PCB, ensuring secure seating and correct placement. If you had recently removed the PCB confirm all the plugs are in the correct locations we have seen customers plug the motor encoders into the wrong port and cause this printhead carriage position error to happen at startup of every calibration.
  6. Ribbon Replacement Analysis:

    • Investigate if the error coincided with a ribbon change, as issues with the ribbon leader could contribute to the problem. Clearing related faults might resolve the error.
  7. Substrate Stability Assessment:

    • In intermittent applications, ensure substrate stability during printing to prevent inadvertent printhead tugging. This is an often overlooked issue. Ribbon can be very stubborn. If you have recently changed your substrate material you may need a different ribbon to transfer the ink smoothly. another cause for poor ribbon transfer is what we call an "incomplete burn" either your printhead needs to be replaced or the printhead darkness setting needs to be raised (try 100%). When insufficient energy (darkness) is being applied to the ribbon it tends to glue the ribbon to the substrate which can cause multiple issues including printhead carriage position error.
  8. Belt Tensioning Consideration:

    • Optimize belt tension to facilitate smooth carriage movement and mitigate potential errors.
  9. Printhead Motor Inspection:

    • If troubleshooting steps yield no results, assess the printhead motor and encoder sensor for faults, considering replacement if necessary. There is a very easy test for this but it will require clarity config as well as a laptop. This can also be done at our facility if you do not have the tools needed. This test will cycle the head back and forth indefinitely while not applying energy to the printhead. In the past 3 years we  have found that if the printhead carriage position error arises during this test you are most likely looking at a bad motor or bad PCB. 

In summary, navigating the complexities of the Videojet Printhead Carriage Position Error demands a methodical approach and keen attention to detail. From meticulous adjustment of printhead gaps to thorough inspection of critical components and electrical connections, each step in the troubleshooting process plays a crucial role in identifying and rectifying underlying issues. At TTOparts, we stand ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring that your printing operations remain seamless and efficient. Don't hesitate to reach out for assistance or guidance—we're here to help you overcome any challenges you encounter along the way.