No matter what brand, model or type of business copier you have in your office one of the most important aspects of that business copier is the reliability. During my nearly 3 decades in the office equipment industry I’ve heard my people state that if they’ve purchased a high quality business copier that it shouldn’t need service. The facts tell a different story; First and foremost, most people that rely on a business copier for their business recognize that these machines do periodically have mechanical failures, paper jams and copy quality issues that require a technical service call to resolve. This blog focuses on the things that a copy machine user can do to minimize the frequency that their copier will require service and to increase the chances that any service calls that are needed can be completed without unnecessary delays.
Here are 5 helpful hints to minimize downtime to your business copier:
- Do not set staples or paperclips on top of the copier; this may sound like a no-brainer but trust me when I say it frequently is the cause of service calls to fix broken copy machines. Frequently people will approach the copier with a set of documents to be copied and they will remove the staple or paperclip that is holding the documents together. They make their copies, collect the originals and leave with the staple or paperclip left on the edge of the copier, often on top of the automatic document feeder. These staples or paperclips than fall into the inner workings of the machine and create an obstruction that prevents the machine from working.
- Do not run documents through the feeder with fresh white out material; Many offices use white out in order to edit or make corrections to a document just prior to making copies. Make sure that the white out is totally dry and that there are no clumps of white out on the paper. Wet white out will transfer onto the slit scan glass and the feed rollers creating either and or copy quality or paper feeding issues resulting in a service call.
- Do not use photo paper designed for ink jet printers in your copy machine; many if not most small business copy machines are able to run a wide variety of paper including card stocks and glossy/coated stocks of paper. However, under no circumstances do you want to run true photo paper that is designed for ink jets through your office copy machine or any laser printer. Photo paper says on the package “INK JET.” Ink jet printers don’t use heat. Office copy machines and all laser printers use heat to melt the toner and fuse it to the paper. Photo paper melts under the duress of the heat used in the fusing process and will badly damage and possibly destroy your copy machine or laser printer. Always make sure that you use a paper or media type that includes Laser and or Copy Machine on the package. The packaging will also list inkjets but it is critical that it lists laser as well. If you purchase paper that only says inkjet, beware.
- Do not clean the glass on your copier with cleaning agents that contain alcohol and always use a glass cleaning cloth; you want to be careful when cleaning the glass on your copier to only use a cleaning solution that is specifically designed to clean glass. Even when using proper glass cleaner you never want to spray the cleaner directly onto your copy glass as you run the risk of moisture penetrating around the edges of the glass and seeping into the copier components housed directly below the glass. Spray the cleaning solution on the cloth used to clean the glass and carefully clean the glass while taking care to avoid any excess moisture from remaining.
- Make sure to remove all staples and post it notes from stacks of documents that you copy; once again, this sounds like a no-brainer. You would not believe how frequently I’ve seen document feed rollers damaged and gouged by staples that were inadvertently left in a handful of documents in the middle of a large stack. We also frequently find post it notes stuck to the rollers when these small, sticky backed notes are left on documents. I encourage you to always flip through the entire stack of documents before making copies to make sure that all post it notes and staples are removed.
This public service notice is provided by a long term, business copier service provider that has routinely seen these inadvertent customer miscues cause downtime on the office copy machines on which these companies rely.