It is probably safe to say that most people only realise what a magical thing the average inkjet or laser printer is, when it suddenly stops working! Only then is it clear that the humble – or not so humble – office printer is a complex system with delicate and intricate machinery, which repays better attention to keep it working well, and to keep print quality consistent and as good as when the printer was first purchased.
To ensure any printer reaches its greatest potential, preventative maintenance is the key. In common with any machine or device which is supposed to work efficiently printer need preventative maintenance to deliver consistent results and to prolong useful working life. A few checks for a coupe, of hours every month will extend the printer’s life and will of course increase user confidence that the printer will be on hand to work effectively and immediately, on demand and every time.
Naturally, manufacturers will provide all the necessary information in the user manual, but typically most users do not take on the responsibility of knowing this information. Naturally, most businesses take the option of a service contract with the printer, and so the service technician can explain the basics of maintenance and proper usage. But often this is not the case, especially perhaps with lower-end printers, or in businesses where budget planning sees such contracts as a luxury rather than a necessity.
The argument for preventive printer maintenance in these circumstances is overwhelming. No-one wants paper jams and poor images. And without due care, problems can happen at any time. Especially in dusty work environments internal components of any printer can suffer enormously. A printer in a warehouse or similar dirty environment will especially benefit from regular maintenance checks.
Moreover, there is an even greater need for preventative maintenance with laser printers – largely due to the fact that they print more pages per minute and have more moving parts than inkjets. Here, the maintenance process involves inspecting components such as ozone filters, static eliminator teeth and cleaning the fuser unit.
Here are some preventative maintenance ideas that should help you get fewer service calls:
- Do not use solvent or ammonia-based cleaners. The right thing to use is isopropyl or ethyl alcohol. Use an alcohol-dampened or water-dampened lint free cloth
- Always inspect paper pickup rollers for dust. Paper pickup rollers collect dust and need to be cleaned periodically
- When rollers become shiny and appear “glazed,” they need to be replaced.
- Always inspect separation pads for dust. As with the pickup rollers, clean with alcohol or a water-dampened lint-free cloth. Separation pads should be replaced at the same time as pickup rollers.
- Transfer rollers should be cleaned if really dirty, but it is important not to touch the rollers with bare fingers. A dry lint-free cloth must be used, and if a lot of toner spills on the transfer roller, then the only option is to replace the transfer roller
- Regularly inspect mirrors for dust and grime build-up. These are best cleaned with filtered compressed air or a lint-free cloth or swab moistened with lens cleaner.
- Finally, inspect the fuser assembly rollers for marks, and replace them if there are any marks of blemishes present.
Following these tips will ensure you need fewer service calls, that your workflow will not be frustrated at critical times, and will certainly increase the life span of the printer.