Archive for December, 2007

   Avoiding and Fixing Common Copier and Printer Problems

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Ways to Prevent Copier/ Printer Problems

  1. When removing a paper jam always remove the paper the way it travels through the paper path.
  2. Never “yank” the paper out.
  3. Replace parts and service items when called for.
  4. Replace your ozone filters regularly, if required.
  5. If cleaning “wands” are supplied and required with toners use them.
  6. Replace cleaning pads and fuser oils as suggested.
  7. Have the unit cleaned regularly.
  8. Use a surge protector on the power line, not just a power strip.

Lines On The Page

  1. If pages have dark lines on them, the problem could come from several sources. Most of the time it is the problem of a foreign substance being on the scanner glass or mirrors. If the problem is not the on the glass or the mirror it can be in the imaging unit. Try changing the toner. This could solve your problem, and the imaging unit is more often than not warranteed, so the supplier should replace the cartridge for you.
  2. If the printer is a multi-component system (drum, toner, developer, each separate) this makes problem solving more difficult. There are more things to go wrong. Toner is usually not the problem. The drum (OPC) or the developer unit could be the problem.
  3. If there is a line, sometimes large, running the length of the page, it is usually a drum blade problem (wiper blade) and the drum unit usually requires replacement.
  4. Fusers can cause marks on the page also. They normally leave lines down the page. This is a technician-required problem.

Spots On The Page

  1. If the page has spots like toner is being “dropped” on the page, the problem is usually the developer unit. The developer unit is seldom able to be rebuilt, and should be replaced.
  2. If the spots are repeating the length of the page there could be a defect on the drum. Scratches from a foreign object or the drum has a “ping” that may be the manufacturers defect. These are often not warranteed, due to them being so fragile.

Double Imaging

  1. The main cause of the print being duplicated in areas where they are not wanted is the fuser assembly.
  2. An improper combination of toner and drum in a toner cartridge could also be the problem.
  3. There have been cases where the manufacturer of the machine has produced a faulty part in the fusers and this has caused a problem.

Lines Across the Page

  1. The waste toner area could be full or not removing the waste toner properly. Replace or empty and clean the waste hopper.
  2. A bad connection between the imaging unit and the machine could cause this. Clean the connections with a dry cloth or towel.

Voided Areas

  1. If you have light lines on a page or voided areas this is caused by a lack of toner on the drum. Insure you have toner and it is getting to the drum.
  2. Another problem may be the drum is no longer able to accept the charge to hold the toner. This means you may have to replace the drum unit.
  3. If your unit is an ink jet style copier the use or lack of use can cause image problems. The ink could be empty or the ink print head could be clogged from too little use.
  4. Many times the problem is not with the machine or its parts at all but the paper. Paper does absorb moisture, and the toner or ink can’t print on moisture well. These are usually seen as light spots or smears on the paper. About a half inch round and over a large area. If you are not sure put a new paper in the unit and see if that corrects the problem. Store your paper in a dry place.

Dark Pages

  1. This could be that the density is set too dark, try to lighten the image. Most copiers have a density control.
  2. The drum may be near it’s “life” and could be causing an image problem.
  3. Bad toner can be the problem, some after market toners are much darker than those of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Try to adjust the density of to compensate. If the problem continues contact your supplier.

Wrinkly Pages

  1. Worn feed and exit rollers can cause the paper to wrinkle, call a technician.
  2. A fuser assembly is good for sixty thousand to a hundred thousand pages, after that they can fail easily. Call a technician.
  3. Moisture in pages can cause wrinkles, replace the paper.
  4. Worn paper trays can also cause jams allowing the paper to feed at and angle.

Paper Jams

  1. Moisture in paper or improper paper (check stock) often causes jams.
  2. A dirty machine with paper dust can cause a jamming problem. Wipe the feed tires and the interior of the machine with a cloth to try and correct the problems. Worn paper path, worn fuser assembly, worn gears. Worn feed and exit tires, bad sensors, all cause jamming and require a technician.

Original post December 31st, 2007

   Is a Multifunction Printer Right for Your Office?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Is a Multifunction Printer Right for Your Office?

Depending on your needs, the old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” may aptly apply to multifunction printers (MFPs), which are also known as all-in-one copier-scanner-printers. (Many MFPs also serve as a fax machine, too.) On the other hand, they may be just what you’re looking for.

Multifunction machines can save you money. After all, you’re buying one piece of hardware instead of three or four, which means you’ll also save on space. And having a single piece of software to install and a single user’s manual to read can be real time-savers.
However, the quality of combination units often doesn’t rival that of individual components, and the cost savings can also be deceiving. For example, your pricey laser toner cartridges will empty faster, so you’ll have to purchase them more often. Another problem arises if one of the devices malfunctions and you need to take the unit in for repairs; should this happen you’ll have lost all of your equipment.
Ultimately, your needs will determine which option is best for your situation. If your primary needs are printing and copying, and not so much scanning and faxing, most MFPs will suffice. If, on the other hand, you plan to frequently use all four functions, you’re probably better off purchasing each component separately. As a general rule, individual components are built to last longer and handle larger loads. For this reason, larger businesses with much greater printing and scanning needs usually opt for dedicated machines for each task.

Another consideration is who will be viewing your printed material. If you primarily print in-house memos and vendor invoices, or if you scan material for your own in-house use, a good laser printer with scanning and fax capabilities should meet your needs. But if you frequently scan or print photographs or .PDF files for publication or to send to clients, you’ll need a quality laser or inkjet printer, which offer higher resolutions and more reliability than most all-in-ones.

Original post December 28th, 2007

   When Copier Repair is Too Little, Too Late

Friday, December 28th, 2007

When copier repair is too little, too late

As with an old car, it is often better to replace your aging office photocopier than to try repairing it one last time. Although paper-jam free copiers have not yet been developed, models today are substantially improved over those available ten years ago. Ongoing copier repairs to an outdated model can turn out to be a waste of time and money.

Probably the most notable advance has been the introduction of digital copiers. Essentially, digital copiers work by scanning the sheet of paper to be copied and creating a digital image. This digital image is then used to create all the resulting copies. What this means in practice is that digital copiers do an excellent job of photocopying graphics and photos. It also means that there is less wear and tear on parts due to this “scan once, print many” technology. Moreover, the technology has been around long enough technicians are well familiar with copier repairs needed by digital models.
One nifty advantage of a digital copier is that it can be connected to your computer network. This allows you to turn it into a high-speed printer that can produce sorted and stapled sets of prints without having to leave your desk. With the right components, these copiers can also act as faxes and high-speed scanners.

If you decide that you want these advanced capabilities, it is critical that you work with a dealer that has adequate technical expertise on staff. Check on the number of networked installations that the dealer has handled and make sure that the technicians who worked on those implementations are available to work on your project.

Copiers cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the copy speed and features. A personal copier design, which typically goes up to 10 copies per minute, can be found for less than one thousand dollars. These models are typically sold via office supply superstores, and usually can’t handle the volume of even a small office. It’s also difficult to get personal copier repairs – many technicians won’t work on them.

Business grade copiers typically cost three to ten thousand dollars for a basic, no-frills model. While it may seem like a steep premium to pay for a copier that is simply faster, you also have the advantage of being able to get on-site copier repairs. This can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings when you factor in the cost of shipping malfunctioning equipment to a repair center.
The per-copy cost for business grade copiers is also significantly lower. While a personal copier will cost five to seven cents per copy, the cost drops to one to two cents per copy with a commercial-grade model. While this difference in per copy costs does not warrant the purchase of a business grade copier at low monthly copy quantities, given the upfront copier costs, it does pay off when you copy several thousand pages per month.

While it may not draw as many admiring glances as a new car, trading in your copying clunker for a new copier will certainly be met with office-wide approval. And you won’t have to be on a first name basis with the copier repair technician.

Quick tips to help avoid copier repair:

  • Dress down. Remove all jewelry before trying to clear paper jams to avoid scratching sensitive components.
  • Authorized copier repairs. If your new machine does need service, make sure your repairs are handled by an authorized technician to protect your warranty.
  • Copy test. Compare reproduction quality by copying typical documents that you would copy at work.

Original post December 28th, 2007