Lightjet 5000 and "Microbanding"

I’m running an Oce Lightjet 5000, and we have been experiencing a variety of problems with it, but the most heartbreaking is a problem called microbanding, where the printer creates small lines of greater density resulting in what looks like faint pinstripes in an image.

I’ve consulted with a number of people on this and they all have different theories about it’s causes. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced these issues, and if we could compare notes.

I too had that problem 10 years ago and was told that it could be caused by the mirror sticking as it traveled down it’s track. We applied some white grease to the track and have continued to do so every few years. This may not be your problem but I thought I would mention it FWIW.

Scott Martin

Hi Scott-
Yeah, white lithium grease. We’ve tried this, but with no real results. The only thing that seems to produce a significant improvement is using an older version of the Lightjet software. Are you still running a Lightjet 5000? Thanks for your reply.

The place I use dot work at is still running the lightjet, yes. And they are still using the same late 90s pixel software.

Matt, I recently had the M, Y and K heads replaced on a Mimaki JV3. Prior to the problems leading to the service call, it printed beautifully. After the new heads were installed I started noticing the same light pin striping effect you refer to as microbanding. Anyway, I Know my way around this printer well and no matter what I tried nothing helped. Understand that I made all possible calibrations and the nozzle test looked perfect. Finally I had the machine serviced again to find that the problem was the K printhead although new it was defective. I understand your frustration and disappointment. A bad printhead could be costly but getting great prints “priceless”. Hope this helps. JC

The issue seems to have resolved itself after reverting to a previous version of the software that drives the lightjet. The software developer explained to me that the only thing that changed between the old and new versions of software were the LUTs. This lead us to conclude that the Microbanding had always existed in the lightjet, and that it is inherent to the way that it creates an image on the paper, but that the change in the LUT emphasized contrast in just the right areas to emphasize this intrinsic artifact.

The artifact is always there. It just became more noticeable with the new LUT.