05 November 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Paper Handling Could Handle The Problem

laser_printer_paperI was speaking to a printer technician recently and he was telling me about some of the problems he has seen recently that yielded some unusual results.  Two of these particular problems, as it turned out, had nothing to do with printer performance. Instead the problem was due to the quality of the paper that was put into the printer.

In one case, the customer complained that the paper was coming out creased after being printed. Well, it turned out that the paper was actually creased before it ever made it to the paper tray.  The second situation was a complaint that the paper was coming out with a cut in the middle of the page.  Again, after much investigation, it was found that the paper was cut before it ever entered the printer.  Now the second situation could only be resolved by checking the paper before loading it into the printer.  The first one though, may have been caused by the way the paper was handled when it was stored.  I thought this may be a good time to review some simple paper handling procedures that should be followed to avoid printer problems and unnecessary service calls.

If you want to know way more than anybody else would normally care to on the subject, check out this website from Xerox.

http://www.xerox.com/downloads/usa/en/s/supp_lib_Helpful_Facts_About_Paper.pdf

For the rest of you, here are the highlights.

Purchasing:

The quality of the paper does make a difference.  “Build up of paper dust and loose fibers is one of the leading causes of service calls” according to Xerox. Low quality paper could contribute a great deal to this problem.

After purchasing you paper it needs to acclimate to the environment in your office.  So, if you are buying paper on the way home from work and letting it sit in your vehicle overnight, like I do sometimes, it needs to sit in your office for a while, typically 4 to 24 hours, before you use it.

Storage:

Paper should be stored in the same environment that it will be used in.  For best results the temperature should be 68 to 78 degrees and the humidity should be 35 to 55%.  Paper that is too dried out will not hold the toner as it should through the fusing process and paper that is too high in humidity will often curl causing paper jam problems.

Do not store the paper on the floor as this may cause it to absorb moisture and curl. Instead, keep it in a cabinet or on a shelf.  If you stack it, make sure that the cartons are properly stacked. Otherwise the paper may become creased.  If you receive your paper on a pallet, it is sufficient to leave it stored on the pallet.

Use:

Don’t open the paper until you need it.  When filling the paper tray, check the paper to see that it appears to be undamaged.  Also, fanning the paper before you put it into the tray may help to avoid some paper jamming.  Don’t overload the tray. If you are putting more than one ream in at a time make sure that you align the reams on top of one another.

One more thought.  If you are going to do a large special job with a special type of paper, test a sample before making the purchase.  Sometimes, specialty paper can cause some unforeseen problems.

So, there you have it.  There are other potential hazards, but following these suggestions should relieve you of most of the potential problems that you might have with the paper you put to use in your printer.  When we work on printers, we try to always start with the simple stuff and sometime that means having a look at what’s going into the printer before it even gets there.

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