Whether you’re a small office with a reliable copier you only occasionally use, or a fast-paced, high-productivity team with a workhorse of a printer in your corner, copier maintenance is crucial.
In order to avoid printer problems you should properly maintain your printer which will save money by minimizing downtime and lengthening the life of your printer. It’ll also keep your team productive and efficient.
Not everyone realizes that copier maintenance is more than just calling in the maintenance engineer for regular check-ups. Here’s a list of small things everyone can do to help keep the office copier running smoothly for as long as possible.
Give Your Office Copier a Break
The first tip for copier maintenance is to give it an occasional break. Just like biological animals, equipment needs rest too. This keeps it from overheating and allows the component parts to cool off periodically. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you have an office environment that tends to close over the weekend or for at least one day a week, make it standard practice to turn off the copier when you leave the office. Do the same thing if you aren’t a 24x7 operation. Turn the copier off when you leave for the night.
You can also set the copier to go to sleep or on standby when it isn’t used for more than 15 minutes. Adding these regular breaks to the schedule will do wonders for the life and longevity of your copier.
If your office is busy enough that you tend to use the copy machine at all hours and seven days per week, consider buying a copier or leasing a second machine, if possible. This way, you can schedule each copier to have one or two scheduled days off each week. Also, if you put this much mileage on the copier, you are likely causing a lot of wear and tear that will lead to malfunctions and downtime. Having a second copier to carry the load and keep the office running while getting the downed copier fixed can save a lot of money and stress.
Warm-Up the Copier
It’s easy to walk into the copy room and want to get the project started immediately. However, the warm-up phase on copiers is designed to let them get calibrated and complete their pre-flight checklist, so to speak. So, allowing the copier to go through its entire warm-up process uninterrupted means you’ll have better copies and a longer equipment lifespan.
Keep the Glass Clean
It’s surprising just how much a little lint can change the quality of your copies. Glass naturally attracts lint and fine particles, and there are a lot of fine particles that come off the paper when making copies.
Plus, there are the small particles that sheer off of the metal and plastic pieces over time. And dust is an everyday part of life, including dust in and around the copier. A lot of this dust, lint, and other particles make their way to the copier glass, creating clouded copies or adding unwanted texture or shadows to copies.
Another copier maintenance tip is to set a calendar reminder to clean the glass both outside and inside the machine to make sure copies have the clarity and crispness you're used to. Also make sure the team knows how to recognize when there’s buildup on the glass and that they know how to clean the glass between regular copier maintenance intervals properly.
Use Better Paper and Toner
It may be tempting to procure the least expensive paper and toner, because it can seem like it's all the same. However, you do get what you pay for. Choosing the least expensive options can lead to more wear and tear over time, shortening the life of the copier and limiting the quality of your prints.
It’s unnecessary to choose the most expensive option, so choosing a mid-range option will offer a combination of low price and high quality. This option will ensure that you have fewer toner leaks or breaks, less paper lint gumming up the works, and better overall print quality, all without breaking the bank.
Load Paper Carefully
One of the most common problems new users experience with copiers is loading the paper incorrectly. When paper isn’t loaded carefully, it can lead to paper jams, tears, and other problems. This creates more wear and tear on the component parts, many of which are more delicate than one might expect.
Another tip for copier maintenance is to make sure the paper is loaded in the correct direction. The paper stack should be even, and be sure to have more than just a few pages loaded. Copiers often load paper that is from an overloaded or under-loaded paper tray, which causes further damage.
Finally, always be sure to choose the right paper for your copier. Most copiers list the best weight and size of paper that will work best with the machine, and the wrong paper can cause paper jams and other problems.
Check the Waste Toner Reservoir Frequently
If your copier has a waste toner reservoir, it will collect dust and debris from the toner cartridge. Letting it go for too long without proper care will clog the copier, leading to a variety of disastrous results.
Whomever empties the reservoir should wear a mask to keep from breathing the dust while emptying. If possible, empty it into a small bag and place it in the trash. This will help prevent the dust from being kicked up in the air your team breathes every time someone throws something out.
Luckily, an error message will show you when it’s time to empty the reservoir. Just be sure you don’t ignore the reminder - proper copier maintenance includes following the copier’s prompts.
Regular Copier Maintenance
Even though this is a list of the best ways you and your team can maintain a copier during its day-to-day operations, one of the best ways to keep your copier healthy and in good working order is to make sure you don’t skip regular maintenance.
Copier maintenance from a professional is vital. They can reach all the hard-to-reach places, check for wear-and-tear, replace parts before they break, and manage other issues that can lead to copier downtime if not looked after at regular intervals.
Choose the Right Copier
Ultimately, you want to ensure you’ve got the right copier for your copy room. Some businesses get a great copier for their needs at the time but can quickly outgrow it. If you find your copier breaks down often or becomes increasingly difficult and costly to repair, consider upgrading. Instead of worrying about copy machine maintenance so much, you could just examine why copier maintenance occurs so often. It could just be that you don’t have a copier well-matched to your needs.
While a copier that is well-matched to your needs will work well, it will need regular copier maintenance. And between visits from copier maintenance professionals, you and your team will need to manage some basic upkeep. This list is a great way to make sure you know your copier and how to manage small copier maintenance basics.
If you find you don’t have the right copier for your office, contact the professionals at All Copy Products. They will listen carefully to your needs and match you with the best copier options, the best prices, and the best copier maintenance packages available.