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6 Ways To Save On Printing When You Are A Document-Heavy Business

For most businesses, the copier is the workhorse of the office. If the copier is out of operation for any extended period then some office functions simply stop. This is especially true if your office is using a multi-functional machine that handles the office printing, faxing and copying needs.

Keeping your machine running smoothly is a necessity. One of the biggest enemies of the copier is dust and dirt. If your business environment combines its manufacturing and office space, or if the nature of your business is just one that generates a lot of airborne dust, you need to be particularly diligent about keeping your copier clean.

There are some major areas that you can maintain on your own that can lengthen the up-time of your copier. Some maintenance and most repairs will need a professional touch. A cost-effective method to keeping your machines running well is to sign up for a maintenance plan.

Tips to Keep Your Copier Clean

Safety First - If you are going to clean the interior of the machine, always unplug it from the outlet and let the fusing element cool down. The fuser can generate a lot of heat and the faster the print speed of the machine the hotter the fuser runs, so be very careful working around it. Turn off any fans blowing on or around the unit, you do not want any residual laser toner to become airborne. Wear latex/nitrile gloves when working inside the machine and wear a paper mask to avoid breathing in any toner dust.

Once the copier is shut down, unplugged and allowed to cool, remove all of the paper feed trays and using a computer vacuum (the small, hand-held models designed for cleaning keyboards) and a fine-bristled paintbrush, gently brush toner and dust from all of the cracks and crevices. Don't use compressed air to clean the machine because it simply redistributes the dirt and toner, rather than removing it. Avoid touching any fine wires or other electronic elements.

Remove and wipe down the toner cartridge with a toner cloth available from office supply stores. Dampen the cloth slightly with isopropyl alcohol and gently clean the rubber rollers and separation pads, but do not touch the rollers with your bare hands. With the toner cartridge out, carefully inspect the interior of the machine for any torn paper bits leftover from clearing previous jams. Bits of paper in the processing path is the leading cause of paper jams.

The pickup roller(s) in the paper feed tray areas need cleaning as well with alcohol. If you are getting excessive feed problems and a cleaning doesn't help, then these may need to be replaced. Inspect the pickup rollers on the scanner auto-feed tray on the top of the machine. These rollers are exposed to airborne dust and dust that is left on paper running through the scanner. If you are having scanner tray feed errors that don't improve after cleaning, then these rollers may need replacing.

Depending on the design of your copier, the fuser may or may not be separate from the toner cartridge. The fuser is the part of the machine that makes the toner stay on the paper using high temperature and pressure. Marks on your printouts, or "ghost" images indicate that this part needs replacing. The fuser is generally part of a maintenance kit and can be ordered directly from the manufacturer.

Lines or speckles on the copies made using the auto-feed scanner tray indicate that there is some debris or damage on the scanner bar. This is generally a simple fix and using your clean toner cloth with a little alcohol on it, just wipe the scanner bar gently a few times. This should remove any foreign particles form the bar. If you still see a line when scanning, then there is likely some damage and the bar assembly will need replacing. The same holds true for the glass platen, alcohol will remove most debris, with dried "White-Out" being a notable exception. A small razor blade equipped window scraper works best here, and it won't hurt the glass when used correctly.

You have invested in the best office machinery to get the job done, so maintaining it needs to be a priority. The RDS Team is your green office equipment alternative and is ready to help keep your office running smoothly. Please contact us for a no-cost consultation to see how we can save you time and money.