Epson’s brand new 17″ wide-format inkjet printer, the SureColor P5000, is now available. Replacing the Stylus Pro 4900, the P5000 delivers unparalleled proofing, photography, and fine art printing on cut sheet media up to 17”x22” and roll media 17” wide by 50 feet.
Joining the lineup of 10-color UltraChrome HDX printers, the 17” P5000 is in good company. Along with the 24” P7000 and the 44” P9000, the new P5000 is available in a fine art and photography Standard Edition with Light Light Black ink providing fine highlight detail, and also a Commercial Edition with a Violet ink for maximum color gamut, including the most ever in-gamut Pantone colors.
We joined Epson at their North American headquarters for a hands-on preview with the P5000. Here’s what we learned about this amazing new 17” inkjet printer.
- The P5000 17” pro-class printer does away with the taupe plastics of the older models to present an all black case with a brushed aluminum trim panel matching the front view of the big siblings the P7000 and P9000. In all-black dress, it looks like the future of high-quality desktop inkjet printing.
- Like its wide-format family members, the P5000 uses the PrecisionCore TFP printhead with Epson’s UltraChrome HDX ink set. The printhead delivers high print speeds with 360 nozzles per color channel and variable-size ink droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters. Using 200ML cartridges, Epson’s next-generation UltraChrome HDX ink set includes Blacks with higher densities and delivers up to twice the print permanence of the previous generation SPX900 printers.
- With lessons learned from designing the P10000 and P20000 high-speed printers, Epson has applied the latest in Dust Management technology when building the P5000:
- A new roll paper cover extends all the way to the infeed at the back of the printer to avoid a common source of dust intrusion on the SP4900.
- A felt wiper strip on the roll paper infeed picks up dust and flakes of paper as a roll is fed into the printer. Epson includes an adhesive cleaning sheet that is run quarterly to keep the felt wiper at maximum efficiency.
- A cut-sheet tray cover keeps dust out of the sheet feed tray when larger paper sizes are loaded. Keeping dust out of the paper tray has the benefit of keeping it away from the printhead once paper starts feeding into the printer.
- As in the P10000 and P20000, static electricity control in the chassis reduces charge on the head that could otherwise lead to charged particles jumping up to the nozzle plate and being cemented in place by wet ink.
- Auto nozzle check piezo waveform analysis has also trickled down from the P10K/20K. By analyzing the voltage waveform that is generated in the micro piezo print head, as little as one drop of ink passing through each nozzle can be detected and used to generate Auto Nozzle Check test results. False-positives are very low to non-existent and the auto nozzle check process takes only a matter of seconds. With the new piezo waveform detection replacing the old ink spray analysis grid, Auto Nozzle Check can be left on for every print with unprecedented reliability and very few false positives.
- A new option to set a Timed Head Clean provides an interval-based auto clean that is triggered by a combination of elapsed time and new print jobs. The printer won’t yet wake itself and run a periodic cleaning after a specified duration has elapsed. It will, however, run an auto clean before the next print job once the auto head clean interval has elapsed.
- One of the most important considerations in extending the duty cycle of these printers is to eliminate head scuffs. Enforce correct lead edge margins for the media type, use good suction settings to eliminate mid-sheet scuffing, and implement wider platen gaps (that don’t diminish print quality anyway) to ensure that the head doesn’t ever scrub the paper.
- Custom Paper Types are available to set paper thickness (measure with a micrometer), fine-tune paper feed to eliminate horizontal banding, and lock-in “wide” or “wider” platen gap to avoid head strikes.
- A micro bubble elimination power cleaning is executed by the P-Series printers every 180 days. This seeks to eliminate bad nozzle checks due to intermittent air bubbles showing up at the nozzle plate.
- Many of the accessory parts for the P5000 will be unchanged from the SP4900 including paper spindles, maintenance boxes, cutter blades, and others. The SPECTRO17UVS SpectroProofer mounter is the same one that worked on the SP4900, as long as it is fitted with an ILS30 spectrophotometer head which is available in a retrofit kit for older 17” SpectroProofers.
The new Epson P5000 also features:
- Automatic switching between front paper cassette and roll media feeder
- Optional SpectroProofer UVS with ILS30 spectrophotometer for automated color calibrations and verification
- Built-in high-speed rotary cutter
- Auto black ink type switching to accommodate Photo Black and Matte Black substrates “on-the-fly”
To learn more about the SureColor P5000, call a Spectraflow print expert at 415-382-8681 x1.