By Shane Huiet
It doesn’t require much effort to keep your profit-generating printer running efficiently. With ongoing maintenance, you can avoid idle machines and impact your bottom line.
Put the printer in an environment that is clean and that holds a temperature between 65 and 80 degrees F continuously. Printers work best when the environment is dust free and the temperature is neither hot nor cold.
Humidity is another factor to keep in mind. Printers print faster in areas where the air is around 50-percent Relative humidity. When the humidity is at around 50 percent, the printer can be set to go over the head cap fewer times, which means it prints faster. If the head goes over the head cap area, it opens all nozzles of the head and when opening the nozzles it is pushing ink out of the nozzles.
I spent years as a technician and trainer. I would see machines that were never cleaned or cleaned very little. Printers get dirty if not cleaned regularly. A dirty printer does not function properly and may drip ink on the substrate or not allow the nozzles to fire.
I recommend cleaning every business day, before printing the first job. Clean with a lint-free swab (that has the proper cleaning liquid on it from your printer manufacturer) around the print head, around the print head cap, and wipe off the print head wiper. This process is easily done in less than 10 minutes and saves time and a lot of money in wasted media, ink and labor time.
It is important to plug the printer into a good surge protector. You can treat your printer like a baby, but if you neglect plugging it into a good surge protector the printer could be lost in one lightning storm or electrical spike. A good surge protector will cost at least $20.00.
Having additional parts around in case the printer does have an issue is very helpful and also saves long-term money. The items that I suggest having around are at least four dampers (ink filter above the print head), one print head, one head cap and one pump (that pumps ink to waste ink bottle).
Always ask your dealer or your printer manufacturer if you have questions. Here at Mimaki, our call center is always willing to answer questions about how to properly clean your printer. So don’t hesitate to call.