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Question about Replacing or Sidegrade Epson 4000 for Film to Screen Printing

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  • Question about Replacing or Sidegrade Epson 4000 for Film to Screen Printing

    We primarily do our screen printing through a CTS machine, however as a backup process we print Inkjet to film and through some photo/light sensitive process that is transferred onto a screen (Sorry, I'm the IT guy, not in textile productions!). The Film-to-Screen process is also used for four-color processing, as our current (soon to be old) CTS machine does not do that... or it doesn't do it to our liking. So even though we are using a Epson Stylus 4000 series printer I'm posting this inquiry here in Screen Printing instead of DTG as it seems more appropriate.


    Anyways, both of our Epsons have died. Heavily mechanical issues (both are throwing 1001D, 10033 and 10035 repeatedly, if you can get one to go away another comes up). I've swapped park sensors, carriage motors, belts, and the pump cap assembly, I've cleaned and re-greased the roll bars and carriage wheels. No luck. We recently sent both to an authorized refurbishing due to clogging in the print head and nozzles. We didn't get more than 4-5 months out of them since and we'd rather just purchase something else - even it turns out to be another known-good 4000 series - rather then dump more money into these. They've both been running here for about 10 years and frankly the maintenance on these has always been pretty poor. We don't use them a lot. They sit. We make sure to cycle ink, run test prints and clean them regularly, but they are in our art dept and art dept personnel were the ones charged to clean them. We did get 10 years out of them, so...


    I'm looking to get a recommendation on a new printer. These 4000s are probably more than we need for how much we use them, but we need them because if the CTS machine goes down we cannot lose our ability to make new screens. I've been charged with finding out if there is a model we can get where we wouldn't sacrifice quality of the print, or size - we do use the 17" width, but may be a either 1) cheaper (though this is less of a concern) or 2) more manageable when it comes to maintenance and how well it 'sits'. We only need to print one color, the black photosensitive ink. We do prefer to use a roll of film, so a roller and a cutter are necessary. We never change inks, never use regular paper, etc.


    If I'm going to loose quality or the other features I mentioned, then we may just get another 4000 series. However, if you folks might have a recommendation that might sound like its more suitable for our needs I'd appreciate the input. Thanks!


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