Question about Canon imageCLASS MF6530 Monochrome Laser Copier/Printer

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Kyocera KM 5050 printing problem

My church recently began renting a Kyocera copier (Model KM 5050) and almost immediately ran into problems when printing the church newsletter. For the first time in the history of producing our newsletter we were able to network from an office computer and print the pages directly to the new copier, rather than using our old method of making inkjet prints of each individual page, laying them on the copier glass in pairs and copying each page spread in order to make our 12-14 page newsletter. The print quality has improved dramatically now that we are networked to the new copier, but several problems have developed.

As the 11x17 page spreads come out of the copier, folded corners began appearing on the lower left-hand side of almost ever page spread. At the same time, on the opposite side of the same page spreads there began to appear a thin white streak, where it looked like there was no image being printed. Both of these problems began during our first attempt at printing our newsletter, but only after about the first 200 copies had been printed (in a 550 copy run).

I was there during that first print run and when clearing a paper jam I noticed a build-up of toner on one of the little plastic fins that are positioned just above one of the rollers inside the Duplex unit (as you open the Duplex unit panel door on the left side of the machine, the roller and the plastic fins are near the top of the inside of the panel door). I chipped away the excess toner that had built up on the plastic fin with my fingernail. Immediately after that the two problems (the folded corners and the white streak) went away, but only for awhile. The problems would re-occur about every 15-20 minutes and each time I would chip off the toner build up from the same area and the problem would go away for another 15 minutes or so. We had the copier technician come in to look at the machine, but he couldn’t find anything wrong.

Last month when we printed the Feb. issue of our newsletter the same problems occurred. The technician was called in again and this time he concluded that our newsletter design was causing the problem. Our design uses a bold reversed out black band, with a small amount of white text, along the top of most all of the pages for our page headings. It’s a design we’ve been using for 4 of 5 years now, and with our old copier we didn’t have any of the current problems. The bottom area of the black bands does line up with the plastic fin where the toner build-up has been occurring. There is also a thinner black band along the bottom of almost all of the pages, but there is no corresponding toner build-up on the plastic fins in that area of the Duplex unit panel door and no white streak problem on that end of the printed pages on either side.

I wasn’t there when the technician reached his conclusion this last time, but I was told by an office worker that he said something to the effect that “ when the page spreads go through the Duplex unit the machine is collecting loose toner from one side of the page spreads and then removing it from the other side, causing the white streaks”.

When talking to other people I know who have lots of experience with copy machines, most of them are skeptical that our page design is causing the problem. They suspect that it may be a fuser problem. That seems logical to me. I’ve seen other designs similar to ours produced by other churches, and I’ve never heard of “loose toner” building up inside a copy machine. Since I’m the graphic designer and newsletter editor I would really rather not have to change the newsletter design, unless it really is the source of our problems. I’m in need of a second opinion in this matter, so I thought I’d pose the problem to you and see what you thought.

My question to you is does the technician’s conclusion make any sense? As I said we never had this problem before, with our old Cannon copier, and it only happens now, on the Kyocera, on one side of the page spreads, despite the presence of the thinner black bands along the bottoms of our page design. Shouldn’t the new copier be able to handle printing 500 copies of a half inch black band across the tops of our pages, or anywhere on the pages, without these problems?

David Tipton, Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro, North Carolina

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  • UUCGDavid Feb 08, 2008

    IB4G2008,
    We produce our church newsletter with a page layout program called Adobe InDesign. We print directly from InDesign to the new Kyocera copier. We do not print fro a PDF file. I think we are already using the latest Kyocera drivers.

    The black bands at the top of most all of the pages are 1/2 inch tall. They're also used in various places throughout the other pages and we use a thinner 1/4 inch black band along the bottom of most of the pages. Here is a link to a pdf of the newsletter from our church website so you can see for yourself how prominent the black bands are.
    http://www.uugreensboro.org/uploads/UUNe...

    We only seem to be having the folded corner and white streak problems along the top area of the pages, and it seems to line up with the bottom portion of the black bands, along the tops of the pages. Why this doesn't happen along the bottom area I have no idea, but I would guess that it has something to do with the fact that the top black bands, since they are wider, probably use more toner.

    I tried a couple of experiments last night, using a lower opacity setting in InDesign for the black fill in the bands though out the design. When I lowered the opacity to 90% it appeared virtually the same tone as a 100% black in the printout. I doubt we really save much toner with a 90% black though, and it may not solve the problems. At 80 and 75% the blacks appear as dark grays in the printouts, which will most certainly consumes less toner, but I have no idea if it will be enough to solve the problems until I print several hundred copies in the next newsletter run (scheduled for the end of this month). Changing the design this way is not my preferred method of solving the problems, but I may not have any other choice. It?s too bad that these problems didn?t appear 5 years ago, when we first started using this newsletter design and were making copies on our old Cannon copier.

    Have you ever heard of problems like these being related to the use of solid black areas in a multi-page newsletter design? I really don?t know what my options are. I have no idea if there is a way to set the copier to use less toner in general, so that it doesn?t build up anywhere inside the machine. Does it sound like I?m stuck with having to change my newsletter design? Will I have to avoid using heavy black areas in large print jobs from now on? I now have the phone number of the copier tech, so I plan to call him and talk to him directly, but I wanted to get a second opinion before I do that.

    David Tipton

  • UUCGDavid Feb 08, 2008

    I just realized that my InDesign newsletter document uses an RGB color space. I set it up this way because I also use the design to distribute an electronic e-mail version of our newsletter. When I look at the document's color separations preview in InDesign (which shows me a CMYK preview), I can see that all the solid black bands that seem to be causing the problems show up on all four color plates (C,M,Y,and K).Could this be part of the problem? Even though we are printing to a B&W copier, the RGB digital information in the InDesign document still has to be converted (to CMYK?)for the copier, right? Could this RGB color setting be causing InDesign to send color information from four fully saturated color plates for each the black band areas, and could this be what's causing the toner build-up? When I actually convert the color space to CMYK the black bands become 100% black, and then only show up on the Black color plate. Might this solve the toner build-up problem, if I do this before sending it to the copier?

    I'll ask our church computer guy about updating to the latest Adobe printer drivers too, first chance I get.
    David

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Hi Mr Tipton

By my experience design is not very likely reason for the issue that you mention. However I can say alignment makes sense. You may tell me some technical info such as the margins and size of the newsletter. Also I like to inform you decreasing the density of print will create great performance for mass printing. I will be checking some possible solutions while i am waiting for your follow up posts

Posted on Feb 06, 2008

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It can, to a certain extent. The copiers all have toner/digital loading software, which interprets what you are sending as a file. Then, with the jets or fusers, the interpreted information will drive the printing devices/heads, with a variable ink/toner flow. Like anything that has a large amount of flow, sometimes, these delivery systems will clog up. The differences between your two copiers, considering that they most likely don't have identical toner engines, is predictable. The solution?

There may be a settings issue on your pages, where the saturation or greyscale can be adjusted, with the copier in mind.

Posted on Feb 06, 2008

  • 5 more comments 
  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels Feb 06, 2008

    also, what program are you using for your newsletter, by the way. Sometimes, there is a interface issue with some software, with certain machines.

  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels Feb 06, 2008

    just saw that your newsletter is in pdf format. Is it composed in word or something else? I'll check the kyocera transforms for pdf compatibility

  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels Feb 06, 2008

    of course, there's always this driver update site, just in case.

    http://driverscollection.com/?H=KM-5050&...

  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels Feb 08, 2008

    David,

    This 'dance' between image and resolution, with printers is a long standing one. It's sometimes due, even with greyscale rendering, which is what you are working with, when you remember that your composing techology(computer and monitor/video) is in Three colors(RGB) and your output device(printer) uses Four Colors(CMYK). The interpretation of that transform is usually associated with the software(Adobe's) ability to transform to a driver batch, that the printer can correctly interpret. Happens in the Red to Magenta all the time, if you look at skin tones. Anyway, the answer is in the transforms interpreter between your Adobe rendering and the Kyocera. I'm not that familiar with Kyocera's handling of Adobe stuff.

    One last note. Black is the presence of all colors, so the color management issues can be profoundly important in the resolution of this problem.

    Got Backup?

  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels Feb 08, 2008

    David,

    One more possible. The Postscript Driver update, listed here, may help with this. Any printer needs to be completely compatible, and demonstrated as such, to get the best conversion from Adobe output.

    http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/d...

  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels Feb 08, 2008

    Yes, David,

    That's precisely what I suggested in my notes above. Hope you get it resolved soon to your satisfaction.

  • Patrick Michaels
    Patrick Michaels Feb 10, 2008

    Really enjoyed working with you on this one, David. Welcome to my Buddies list as a key client.

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Nope tech guy is corect way these are set up ok thx for using fix ya

Posted on Feb 06, 2008

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