Keeping an office productive relies on many different factors, not least of which is a humming print department. When silence settles over the office, it usually points to a faulty piece of equipment. As a critical component in the information flow through the business, the printer needs to operate reliably, efficiently, and consistently. When it stops working, the entire office can come to a standstill while the staff waits for repairs or technical support to fix the issue.
At some point, every office encounters common printer problems and solutions that range from the mundane to the very complex. As Multifunction Devices (MFDs) become more sophisticated, the technical expertise required to maintain them also increases. The technical jargon and common terms involved in printer troubleshooting questions and answers may sound like another language to nonprofessionals. Resolving the issues may require advanced networking abilities or electromechanical skills when facing a hardware-specific problem.
Printing Problems Commonly Experienced in Modern Offices
Today’s printers come with a rich set of features and capabilities that improve the productivity of the modern office. Due to the company’s dependency on the MFD, any issue experienced should be resolved as quickly as possible. Many companies have an unofficial printer expert, usually an employee that knows how to troubleshoot and fix the most common problems experienced with the office printer. These include paper jams, toner or cartridge replacement, a network failure, or reinstalling a driver on a specific PC.
Paper Jams and Tray Feeds
A well-known issue since the days of the first office printers, a paper jam is still a common problem that can plague even brand new MFDs. As restocking paper usually takes place on an ad-hoc basis, something as simple as an overfilled paper tray could be responsible for the jam. Other causes include irregular servicing, dust build-up, incorrect roller alignment, as well as the quality of the toner cartridge or paper used.
If a printer is regularly jamming, it can cause disruptions in the office. Staff needs to retrieve the errant sheet by turning off the device, opening all the access panels and tracing the page, then removing it (including any tears or scraps) from between the rollers. The more frequently this occurs, the more staff will become frustrated and morale will suffer.
Preventing Paper Jams
The best way to avoid paper jams is to conduct maintenance according to the manufacturer’s specifications, and educating staff on the proper use and restocking of the MFD. Each tray has a specification on how many sheets it can hold at what paper thickness. The guides in the tray need to hold the paper squarely in place to ensure sheets feed accurately into the print path every time. Staff should also avoid using different types of paper in the same tray at the same time.
Inefficient Print Heads and Cartridges
Print heads control the quantity of ink used during a print job. If any damage occurs to these components, print quality may decrease, but the device may also consume more ink. As cartridges remain expensive, cleaning and maintaining the print heads affects the bottom-line.
Regular Cleaning of the Print Heads
Most printers have built-in cleaning operations that ensure the print heads work at their optimal design level. The cleaning operation will trigger automatically after several prints or occurs according to a schedule on some devices. Ensuring these tasks run when required will prevent clogs on the heads and reduce wasteful ink consumption. If staff notice an issue even with regular automatic cleaning, manually running the operation repeatedly (up to five times if necessary) may improve the situation.
Networking and Software Issues
If the MFD connects to the office network, it may be vital for it to retain a static IP. While most printers default to DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) when installed, a failure to update every PC with the new IP assigned after a printer reboots could cause it to disconnect from the device.
Configuring Networked Printers
For offices in Moline, Illinois that use multiple printers connected to a network, organizing the print fleet with static IPs will reduce the chances of port mismatch in the TCP/IP settings. If the port settings change for the printer due to DHCP, staff will need to remove and readd the printers to receive the latest IP configurations.
Another essential aspect to keep in mind is not to use generic print drivers. While the drivers may be reliable, they don’t optimize the print jobs as well as the OEM drivers provided. Ensuring every PC uses the correct driver for the appropriate Operating System will provide better quality prints, lower ink consumption, and increase job-processing speeds.
Cartridge World Provides Technical Office Expertise to Businesses in Moline Illinois
Printer troubleshooting can cost businesses valuable time and effort, as well as increase the overhead associated with operating an MFD. Cartridge World Moline Illinois has served as a Managed Print Services solution partner for over fifteen years. They provide a flexible approach that will suit any business or operation’s printing requirements.
For expertise on how to keep your printers humming reliably, contact Cartridge World’s technical consultants today.