Gone are the days when businesses and organisations considered a photocopier a luxury they can do without. Nowadays, this machine is a regular fixture in offices, schools and hospitals, among others. It has even become an indispensable office tool that aids in accomplishing various tasks, from printing files to scanning documents.
Given the importance of a photocopier in your day to day business operations and the amount of money you invested in it, keeping it in tiptop shape is imperative. Listed below are maintenance tips to prevent your copy machine from bogging down and to ensure its longevity.
Whether you purchase or rent copier equipment, it is an essential tool in your company's arsenal. When a photocopier is down, the whole work comes to a sudden halt, which is typically not affordable for businesses. It is only time when we seek maintenance services for the jammed machine.
However, this one of the most expensive office equipment needs constant regular maintenance efforts to handle the excessive usage of the copier properly. Talking about the repairing cost, advanced versions of photocopiers cost hundreds of dollars for repairs.
One of the most useful -- and most expensive -- pieces of equipment you might purchase for your office is a photocopier. The larger, more professional versions can run thousands of dollars, and repair and maintenance can also become costly. To avoid unnecessary calls to your manufacturer's service department for repairs, you can follow some simple maintenance techniques to keep your copier clean and functioning, saving your business some money and saving you some headaches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Low, empty or malfunctioning toner cartridges can cause issues within your copy machine. If toner or cartridges are low or empty, replacing them should resolve the problem. Incompatibility issues – Most copy machines require specific toner; if you try to use an incompatible version, your print quality will suffer.
Security and encryption – Today's copiers have the ability to secure the machine and the copying and even encrypt documents that are scanned and stored on your network. Mobile printing –A copier doesn't only have to copy; it can print from just about any device.
Typically, the basic "Plain" printing paper (such as Xerox Vitality Multipurpose Paper) is 20 lb/75 gsm paper. This paper is branded as multipurpose as it is a good weight for Digital Copiers and Printers, including Laser and Inkjet Printers, and is ideal for everyday use in Office environments.
Tips to Keep Your Office Copy Machine in Great Shape
Office Copiers Need (a little) care
If the copy machine hasn't been used for several days, such as over a weekend, it's important to run a few test prints before using the copy machine intensively. You would warm your car up after storing it for a few days.
Most copiers, when left idle for an extended period of time, go into sleep mode and initiate a calibration mode once started up again.
Be patient. The machine is doing this for a reason and pressing the copy button a million times won't speed up this important process. It's not a button at a crosswalk.
Paper Can Be The Death of Your Copy Machine
Many people fill their copier's paper tray to the brim when replacing paper. This is not necessary. Always check the paper capacity, typically indicated with a fill level line somewhere on the inside of the paper tray. Fill just below this line, never over it.
Have you heard that it's also good to fan the stack from one corner to help put a little air between the pages? Well, it's an urban myth.
Different weights of paper may change the number of sheets you can load as well (thicker paper = fewer sheets). So follow the rule above about not filling above the guideline and keep the paper stored in a dry, clean, and organised place, so it's ready for use.
Crinkled or used paper can jam the copy machine, and humidity can cause the paper to ripple and curl, resulting in low-quality prints.
There's a wrong way to repair copiers -- these free tips will keep your equipment working >>
Even YOU Can Destroy Your Office Copier
Yes, you. Handle the machine with care. There are a right way and a wrong way to fix a copy machine. While your first instinct might be to throw open the machine, yanking the drawers open, and dive in to look for the source of a paper jam, always follow the recommended screen prompts on the display panel for clearing a jam. Don't forget to unplug the machine first. It's not easy to get an electric shock while reaching into a copy machine to clear a paper jam, but it's happened before.
Open the machine carefully as a paper jam is just that - a backup of paper - that could result in a single page or multiple pages being partially engaged between two sections of the machine. If you open the components too quickly, parts of your paper may tear and be impossible to retrieve without the tools and expertise of a service technician.
Leave the Lines to the Fashion Designers
Ever had a line appeared on your page that does not want to go away? Place a service call. Lines on your copies or prints can be a sign of a dirty or failing roller inside the machine that requires a trained service technician to access, remove, and clean.
Lines on your copy can also be a result of a page jam before it has time to finish its fusing process in the machine and loose toner residue may be left behind in the place of the jam. If you are in a rush and don't have time for a service call, try running a few blank copies on a new clean piece of paper. Sometimes, this can help lessen these marks by picking the loose toner up as it passes through the machine.
Another source of black lines on your copier's pages is dirt or a spot on the glass. Using a soft cloth and alcohol-free glass cleaner, clean the platen glass (that's the big sheet of glass where you place your paper to copy)--or you can even try using Windex.
Not All Suppliers Are Created Equal
Toners vary in their viscosity and quality. If you don't use the right toner for your multi-function printer, you can cause serious damage that will require a costly repair and even void your warranty. The copy machine owner's manual will list all recommended toner the machine is compatible with. Make sure you don't stray from their specific recommendations.
If you find a bottle that looks like it still has toner inside, don't attempt to top off another bottle you may have. Toner bottles are designed to release their contents only when placed in a machine for a reason; toner can make a huge mess. Check with your service provider to ensure you are ordering the right supplies and make sure everyone in your office is using the right product for the right job. Beware of "Toner Pirates"!
A Clean Office Copier is a Happy Copier
One of the easiest things you can do to keep the copy machine working properly is to clean it regularly. This includes a light wiping of the machine's exterior and a regular wiping of the bypass and exit trays.
Always wipe away from the entry areas of the machine, so dirt and debris do not fall into the paper path. Many copiers come with a cleaning cloth to wipe the glass platen as well. Always check the glass before you make copies or scans, as looser dirt will inevitably show up on your future documents.
Whenever clearing jams, be sure you retrieve all parts of the page that has jammed, even the tiniest scrap of paper left inside the paper path can cause great damage during your next copy run.
Choose a Copy Machine Suited for Your Needs
In some cases, MFPs break down because the machine is not well-suited for the demands the office staff members will place on it. If you have a copy machine that regularly breaks down, overuse could be the reason.
Don't fall for the false advertisements of "cheap" copiers that will cost you more in lost downtime, repairs, and productivity in the long run.
Don't overbuy either. Some machines are designed to be used almost non-stop throughout the day and to function better in high-use environments. Under-using those copy machines can also lead to more maintenance than "should" be required.
Schedule Regular Maintenance and Service Calls
Another idea to reduce downtime related to a broken copy machine is to schedule regular maintenance. Whether you are leasing your copy machine or you have purchased it, most manufacturers recommend regular maintenance service.
The frequency that these services are recommended may vary, and some leases may include periodic maintenance service. However, even when it is included in a lease, you may still need to contact the service provider to set up service. Research the maintenance recommendation for your equipment, and set automated reminders so that you remember to request the service you need.
Discuss Your Needs With a Representative
If you are struggling with frequent repair issues with your office equipment, you can request assistance from your repair professional. Your service provider may make recommendations regarding the Need for an upgrade or different types of services for maintenance. Following this advice can benefit your office in the future. Don't be afraid to ask for some direction.
Let's face it; copy machines are the lifeblood of any business. Stop treating them like second-class citizens. From the walk-up copies and scans to the long print runs for a special project, your copy machine is there for you when you need it. Instead, use it with care, and maintain it. With proper use and maintenance, you will not only prolong its lifespan, but you'll also keep things running smoothly for everyone in the office.
If your copy machine has a problem that you can't fix or identify, it's best to seek the help of a professional. It's best to call a service that specialises in copy machine repair rather than relying on people in your company who aren't familiar with the inner workings of these machines.
Train your employees to use it
As mentioned above, your office photocopier is one of the big investments for your firm. Technology changes every day, and so does the method of using technical inventions like a photocopier.
So, to make the most out of your machine in the best possible manner, it's advisable to train your employees on how to use it up to an optimum level. It will not only educate them but also encourage them to be constantly efficient with the equipment.
Hire A Go-To Person Within The Organization
Choose a trustworthy person with great learning skills from your employees and train him or her, the maximum on your used copier machine. Also, share much of the internal knowledge with him/her.
There is no doubt that service providers could address a multitude of rent copier problems within your company, better having a go-to person within the company makes the technical process extremely efficient and costs your company comparatively less money.
Avoid DIY Fix
You can fix the issue by following machine instructions and user manual. But, there are some issues, like frequent paper jam, for which you have to call a trained and professional service provider who will fix these recurring issues and allow you smooth business operations.
Never put pressure on any component of the copier as it could cause damage to the machine. Also, don't forget to dust the exterior along with the interior of the machine while working on it. Finally, to clean the top of the ink nozzle, take a cotton swab, dip it in alcohol and rub it gently on the nozzle.
Turn Off The Power
Before you start cleaning or maintaining your machine, make sure you keep the power supply to your rent copier turned off. It will protect the device as well as you from unpleasant electrical accidents.
Clear The Hard Drive
Most of the modern photocopiers have an internal hard drive that stores day-to-day information that you process through the machine. Chances are the drive has extremely sensitive information stored in it. So, it's important to clean up your hard drive regularly to keep it running smoothly and protect your organisation from data theft.
When the agreement of your rent copier is about to over, or you are planning to sell your machine, make sure you completely erase or destroy the hard drive to avoid data breaches.
Use Appropriate Products
Each copier of different model and brand may require a specific kind of product. So, make sure you use the best possible type of paper and toner for your machine. Using the highest quality paper for a copier will create less dust inside the device. And, less dust means less maintenance needed for your photocopier.
Never keep the copier loaded with the paper as it might accumulate dust and moisture on it. Also, toners are available in a wide range. If you don't use a toner suggested by the manufacturers, you may end up facing severe damage, which will eventually lead to huge maintenance costs.
Properly Load The Papers
Most people take loading paper leniently. But to avoid your copier machine from jamming, it's important that you appropriately load sheets. Never load folded, crumbled or wet paper inside the machine, which could result in paper jam or printer failure.
Keep It Covered When Not In Use
Develop a good habit of turning off your rent copier and keep it covered when you are not using it. Ensure that the copier is completely dry before you cover it. With this simplest step, you can keep dust from depositing inside it. Moisture damages certain parts and affects print quality. So, make sure it's always dry!
Clean The Machine Regularly
Giving a regular cleanup to your machine will extend its life significantly. Use a lint-free and soft nonabrasive cloth for cleaning the glass. Keep in mind; never use spray cleaner directly on the glass. Instead, spray the cloth and then clean the glass, which will protect it from scratching due to the existence of dust of staple pins. Never do these things with your multi-functioning copier.
On the interior part of the rent copier, use a cloth to wipe out the visible dust. You can also use a small, fine-haired paintbrush to clean all interior components of the equipment—dust the ink cartridge holder, paper trays and other parts that are susceptible to house dust inside.
Replace Air Filters Frequently
The air intake of your device can pull unpleasant dust elements. All air intake panels in copier machines have filters on them. It's good to put a strip of clean cheesecloth to create a protective layer over the opening part of this filter. Change the air filter frequently to keep the machine free from dust and grime.
Get Regular Maintenance Check
In spite of regular maintenance efforts, the copier machine will take a beat at some point in life. After all, it's working for you 7-8 hours or more for you. Moreover, there are a few inaccessible components, and you can't clean them.
So, to keep your entire device in a good working condition, regular maintenance service checks from a qualified technician or service provider is a must.
It's important, especially when you have a heavy reliance on your equipment and downtimes are critical for your business. Better stay in touch your supplier or service team so that they are available on a single call for any technical glitches.
Last, but not least! Whether you buy a brand new or rent copier machines, it's your responsibility to keep it well-maintained and in a good working state. Just a little effort could save you from the big investment of repairs and maintenance.
Many people don't realise the importance of maintaining their office machines. Taking care of your machines and keeping them clean, you can prolong the life of your copier. Below are a couple of easy ways to keep your copy machine well maintained and in good health.
You are keeping the glass scanner area clean. Dust and dirt on your copier can scratch the copier glass and can mess up your copies. Make sure to use a soft lint-free cloth with an approved static-free cleaner when you clean the copier glass. Be sure to check your copier user manual to see what types of cleaners are approved for your machine.
It is replacing toner when it needs it. Your copier should tell you when the ink is ready to be changed. It is important to change it out on a regular basis. Running a cartridge until it is completely out will not only produce low-quality copies, but it could also harm the copier.
Turn off your copier. When it isn't being used, please turn off the machine or put it into hibernate mode to not only save power but also to prolong the life of the machine.
When the copier isn't in use, don't use it as a shelf. This should be common sense, but for some people, it isn't. When the copier isn't in use, don't stack boxes and other items on top of it. Why? Because stacking things on top of the copier could crack your glass, break the cover, or even warp the copier surface. The best thing to do is to treat your copier with care.
By following these easy steps, you can help your copy machine last longer. Be sure to check your copier's user manual for special instructions before cleaning any parts of the copier.