Why Preventative Printer Maintenance Services Are Important
A printer is a complex electro-mechanical device and maintenance is vital to it’s success. As with any other sophisticated equipment, the expected lifetime depends on the care and quality of the services you perform on them.
With many moving parts and electronic components, failing to conduct regular printer service can lead to you ending up with catastrophic failures. Some parts of a printer can be too expensive or complex to replace, requiring you to substitute the entire machine.
Printing Maintenance Services Can Help Increase the Life of the Printer
The specific type of printer service or maintenance that’s required depends on the type of unit and its current age. Manufacturers provide detailed maintenance procedures (required at regular intervals) ensuring the product continually perform as expected. Failing to do so can void warranties, cause breakdowns, and increase the amount of downtime exponentially.
In-house technicians can carry out these procedures, but with the complex technology currently included in modern machines, they will probably require specialist training from suppliers or manufacturers.
The Main Causes of Failures for Modern Printers and Copiers
The Dreaded Paper Jam
Paper moves through the printer by way of mechanical rollers and grips. Slight changes in the alignment and balance of this equipment will alter the course of the paper. A small bump on a roller or a coupling that vibrates could mean the paper no longer exits along the desired path. Adding more “paths” to the unit to cater for different paper sizes or medium types increases the opportunities for failure drastically. Regularly servicing on the unit will ensure you face fewer jams.
Head Leaks and Blockages
Ink builds up on the heads of inkjet printers. They create streaky prints or complete gaps in the output. Once again, cleaning them regularly (also using the built-in head cleaner functions) will prevent this from happening.
Mechanical Failure due to Dust Build Up
Dust is the enemy of most mechanical and electrical devices. As it builds up on the components, it can either create a misalignment of the rollers, or small short circuits on the electronic circuit boards. In both cases, simply keeping the unit clear of dust will save a lot of time doing unnecessary troubleshooting.
Driver or Software Failures
With software upgrades to the rest of the IT infrastructure, drivers can become incompatible with the units. As the OS drives the printing and scanning tasks, driver compatibility remains an important check regularly required.
Additionally, with the newer printing units currently on the market, there are opportunities for malware or viruses that can infect the entire office network. Manufacturers will improve their device security that includes backward compatibility with older machines.
Updates to the machine software are patched as and when they become available. Making sure you are running the latest software for your device doesn’t just ensure it works optimally, it also ensures the device is clean from viruses and safe to use by anyone in the office.
Ways to Ensure Limited Downtime and Smooth Printing Operations
Regular maintenance will increase your return on investment from the device. Using the right tools and chemicals are vitally important.
Things to keep in mind when performing services are:
1. Use Chemical Cleaning Solution
Most printer cleaning solutions are Isopropyl Alcohol-based. This is because the solutions dry quickly and easily removes buildup from internal guides, rollers, and separation pads. Also, take care not to apply any liquids to components that don’t require it.
2. Ensure that Cloths and Towels are Used
Use only lint-free cloths when cleaning and servicing the unit. You can use anti-static fabrics too, which will remove the chance of dust collecting after the cleaning process. The primary reason is not leaving any additional material behind after the maintenance process is completed.
3. Dust Removal
You should also opt for vacuuming the internals of the unit instead of using a blower. Spreading the dust around the machine will inevitably cause additional problems, as it will accumulate in unreachable areas.
Scheduling your Maintenance at the Right Time
Conducting printer maintenance takes time during which the printer won’t be operational. The downtime will be especially long if you’re carrying major maintenance activities. You can prevent unnecessary disruptions by scheduling the required maintenance tasks for periods of reduced office activities. Most offices slow down during the summer period, making this the perfect time to address any issues and repairs required on your printing units.
Office Technologies offers a comprehensive printer servicing and maintenance service at only $95 per laser printer. If you need a printer optimized for the coming year, contact us today to ensure it remains ready for action once your office is back to full productivity.