Preserve the Health of Your Multifunction Printers with Preventative Maintenance

A modern office reacts to today’s competitive markets by becoming more efficient as it streamlines costs. One of the ways that businesses are trimming down their expenses is by cutting down on the number of devices they need to buy and maintain. Instead of juggling a half-dozen single-purpose devices, many companies have turned to multifunction printers (MFPs). These sophisticated machines efficiently and accurately handle a wide variety of office tasks, from scanning to specialty print jobs.

Multifunction Printers Remain Vital Tools in Modern Offices

Why choose a multifunction printer over a handful of smaller, cheaper devices? Why choose an MFP at all instead of attempting to go completely digital? These MFPs offer a number of advantages, including:

Flexibility. Many employees prefer to work with paper documents for at least some of their activities. Some clients may favor signing paper contracts, and it can be useful to have paper backups of important files in case of interrupted cloud services. Companies that completely ditch paper are making a significant trade-off, losing these advantages.

Costs. An MFP may be more expensive than, say, a budget copier. However, it may be cheaper than all the costs associated with a copier, fax machine, scanner, high-volume ink printer, color laser printer, etc. You will only need to buy, maintain, and repair one machine and have only one device contributing to the electric bill.

Advertising. In science fiction, people walk by neon-bright digital billboards on every street corner and browse digital magazines – and relevant ads – on their handy tablets. In real life, exclusively digital ad campaigns often miss a large number of potential customers. People still respond to custom-printed merchandise, glossy pamphlets, and compellingly designed posters. A multifunction printer gives your advertising department a powerful tool for building interest in your company’s products and services.

Security. No matter how many cybersecurity measures you have in place, data stored on your computer network is potentially accessible by the wrong people. Keeping extremely privileged information in paper-only form lets you keep it under physical control. On a similar note, hard copies can help you bounce back from network crashes, cyberattacks, and more. Paper copies of key files give your business a starting point for recovery.

Neglecting to Care For Your Multifunction Printers Negatively Impact Workflows

A centrally-located MFP, rich in functionality, can become the keystone for day-to-day office workflow. On the flip side, a malfunctioning multifunction printer can impact productivity throughout the company. This is true whether the device fails or degrades in performance.

An MFP will rarely simply ‘die’ on you. Typically, a faulty machine will have been struggling for a while. For example, because a company delayed calling a technician and so minor wear and tear grew into something catastrophic. The breakdown is often triggered by a sudden, heavy demand on the system. This is usually the worst possible time to have your printer out of service. Chaos may ensue, with employees scrambling to find a third-party print service that can take over the job in a hurry.

However, not every breakdown means your printer is entirely nonfunctional. In some ways, this is actually a worse scenario. Significantly slower print times mean your employees are waiting impatiently by the machine, perhaps tempted to hit random buttons out of frustration. Paper may feed incorrectly, resulting in more frequent jams, more waste, and a higher chance of something getting seriously broken.

Best Practices to Maintain Your Devices Between Service Visits

Regular servicing gives the technician a chance to find and fix problems before they affect performance or break the machine. However, daily wear and tear can build up and lead to issues even when there´s a regular service schedule. But you and your employees can keep that printer running with the following tips:

1. Turn it off. When closing up for the night or the weekend, power down the device to save on electric bills and extend the life of the components.
2. Don’t interrupt the startup procedure. When you turn the device back on, give it a few minutes to calibrate. This is necessary for proper functioning, so grab a coffee while everything powers up.
3. Use quality products. These include high-quality paper and toners and inks specified by the device´s manufacturers. Don’t put in dusty or damp pages; the damage they could do to the machine will outweigh any pennies you have saved on paper.
4. Watch out for dust in general. It can block cartridges, cause ink to smear, gum up paper feeds, literally dirty the papers you’re using, and create smudged scans. Wipe the copier glass with a light misting of a glass cleaner, clean the ink nozzle with a damp cotton swab, and use compressed air to gently blow dust out of the mechanism.
5. Handle paper carefully. Paper jams create a lot of waste, as the documents being printed are usually a total loss. A bad paper jam that damages your machine may trigger an emergency repair technician visit. Fortunately, you can prevent most of these jams. Load the paper with care, and don’t overfill the tray. Check that the stack is aligned. Then close the tray gently, checking that it’s entirely shut.

A Little Maintenance Keeps Your Multifunction Printer Running for the Long Haul

Multifunction printers allow your employees to handle a wide variety of office tasks from the same convenient device. However, these sophisticated machines have a lot of moving parts. They need regular care, or they may jam up and break down, affecting workflows throughout the office.

Do you need help keeping your Bloomington business´s multifunction printers in top condition? Contact DTS today to learn about how we can help you look after your devices.