Jul 092012

I was listening to the radio over the weekend (I forget what show / station it was, otherwise I’d credit it.) and heard a term that I hadn’t heard before. Erich Marx, who directs Nissan’s social marketing campaigns coined the phrase, “Cost of Ignoring” (COI) when he stated, “…you have to be there [talking about social media]. It’s not about ROI, it’s about COI, cost of ignoring. It’s too big to ignore”. I think beyond the obvious application to social media sites, Erich Marx’s phrase is applicable to a wide variety of services, including Preventative Maintenance for your printers.

I like to say that printers are easily the most overlooked and ignored piece of technology in the office; even the water cooler probably gets more love from employees than the printer tucked away in the corner. Still, it is the printer that is that final piece of the puzzle when putting together sales reports, management reports, or even paying your employees! The biggest challenge to a company like ours is detailing the reasons why regular Preventative Maintenance for your laser and impact printers can ultimately save you hundreds of dollars in future printer repair bills.

The COI Preventative Maintenance for your printers is catastrophic failure at the time you most need it to work smoothly. Printers never seem to fail when you’re printing out a picture of those fuzzy kittens from the internet. When you’re on a time crunch and need to run off an important 50 sheet document, that’s when you can expect your printer to sit back and stubbornly say, ‘Ummm… no.’ Quarterly Preventative Maintenance from American Printer Service, Inc. is an affordable and easy way to insure that your printers are in peak operating condition all the time… so you can rely on them all the time. Of course, the occasional jam is bound to happen, but if your printers haven’t been touched since you bought them two years ago, chances are high that it is just waiting for an excuse to take a vacation from working correctly.

Send us an email or leave us a comment here at Printer Repair Blog and we’ll get back to you with a quote for giving your printers a little TLC. We feel that Preventative Maintenance is a key component in making sure your printers can always be relied on to print quickly, with great quality. We’d be happy to make sure you’re not falling prey to the COI Preventative Maintenance for your printers!

Jul 022012

Generally speaking, it is OK to use canned air to help clean paper debris from your printer; however you need to be cautious. If you’ve experienced spilled or leaked toner, canned air is the last thing you want to do as toner dust is very, very fine and you’ll only end up creating a larger mess than you began with. Another instance where you don’t want to use canned air, or at least use it very strategically, is inside an inkjet printer. You may end up spraying globules of ink around the inside of your printer, which may take a long time to either dry or disappear from use.

Canned air is most appropriate for impact printers where you can have paper debris build up over time and collect on the rollers. At American Printer Service, Inc., we don’t recommend using canned air inside of a laser printer unless you’re fairly familiar with the model of printer and know where the different components are. There is a small chance that you’ll actually do any damage to the inside of a printer using canned air during a repair but blowing around all that debris, dust, and toner could cause some problems.

If you notice your printer is looking a little worse for wear, the best thing that you can do is call a professional Technician to come out and give it a thorough cleaning.

Jun 272012

printer repair pickrollers Of Printer Repair And Pick Rollers

Ever wonder what in the world Pick Rollers, Separation Rollers, Paper Feed Rollers, and all those other rollers that you’re constantly replacing are? Well, let’s take a little look and see…

Different printer manufacturers and different printer repair companies call the rollers that help move the paper through your printer by different names. Additionally, the same roller is often called by a different name dependent on where it is located within the printer… confusing right? At American Printer Service, Inc. we just refer to all these rollers generically as, “Pick Rollers”.

Pick Rollers are like the shoes on your feet…except far less fashionable, especially if you’re into your Jimmy Choos. Besides making outrageous fashion statements, shoes serve the more mundane purpose of providing traction and comfort while doing things like running a marathon, rock climbing, or playing sports. It is this traction that the Pick Rollers provide, allowing your printer to ‘grab’ the paper and move it through your printer. Pick Rollers are manufactured with different types of rubber, dependent on the model of printer and the expected amount of usage, but most have a sort of tacky feel to them.

Over time, the Pick Rollers can accumulate small bits of debris that causes them to ‘smooth’ out and lose their grabbing ability. This leads to ‘mispicking’ or paper jams. Also, if you have a toner spill, or the Fuser Assembly is not properly adhering toner onto the page, the loose toner can accumulate on the Pick Rollers and cause them to stop working correctly. Sometimes all the Pick Rollers need to correct mispicking and jams are a good cleaning; however, even with a cleaning, once Pick Rollers have become compromised, it is best to replace them so the problem does not reoccur immediately. This is the reason why we advise customers to keep their printers as clean and free of debris as possible. Pick Rollers are not the most expensive parts in printers, but most printers require several sets to operate smoothly, and worn Pick Rollers can add up!

Jun 252012

It happens. There is absolutely no such thing as a ‘jam-less’ printer, whether you’re talking inkjet printer, laser printer, or impact printer. Sooner or later, you’re going to run into a paper jam with your printer, and how you handle it can easily determine whether you’ll be out searching the next day for a printer repair company like American Printer Service, Inc. to service the unit, or if you’ll be happily humming along after a quick and painless removal of the paper debris.

Unfortunately, paper jams seems to happen at the most inopportune times, like right before you’re on your way out the door to an important meeting and just need to print off one last report. Often, this adds to the frustration of the user, which usually results in the yanking, pulling, and cranking we often see as a result of incorrectly removing a paper jam. As in most emergency situations, the main thing to keep in mind is that you’ve got to remain calm and figure things out…

Some printers and copiers have a handy little diagram in the inside covers that will tell you how to remove a paper jam. For those that don’t, take your time figuring out where the jammed paper is located and how bad the actual jam is. Once you’ve established that, gently tug on the leading edge and see if the paper feeds through the rollers. Paper is made to feed through most printers in a one-directional path… advancing. If you pull the paper backwards through the rollers, you risk causing permanent damage to your printer. If you cannot get the paper jam to advance, it is best to call a professional and have them remove the paper jam.

Another important thing to remember when removing paper jams is that at NO time should you be inserting foreign objects into the printer to help you remove a paper jam. I think we’ve probably heard just about everything, from forks to screwdrivers being used as tools to remove stubborn bits of paper. Using any metal object inside of printer can easily damage internal parts, which may lead to a much more expensive problem… like replacement of the unit. Additionally, with laser printers, you can actually end up with an electrical shock if you use a metal object and end up hitting the wrong part of the printer.

Paper jams are frustrating. The important thing to remember is to take your time and realize that, most likely, it isn’t the end of the world. If you are cautious and figure out the problem, you’re far less likely to be replacing the unit due to damaged parts or gears. And remember, if you can’t remove a paper jam or the printer continues to say you’ve got one even though you pulled out the paper debris you could see, call a professional. There is no shame in admitting defeat when it comes to stubborn or ‘ghost’ paper jams, and a professional printer repair Technician will probably be able to get you up and running without the need to replace parts.