Copiers

How to Buy the Right Copier

These days’ saving a buck is even more important than ever. Although purchasing a new copier might not be the place to skimp. Doing a little research can save you money and help you choose a copier that will last you much longer. This article will help buyers to choose the right copier for the right application.

Xerox Photocopier
Xerox Photocopier

Definitions
Business class copiers-Not sold in office club stores. Sold by knowledgeable and reputable dealers. Designed for higher volumes and dependability.

Office club copiers & personal copiers -Sold in office club stores i.e. Office Depot, Office Max and Costco… For personal and low volume customers.

●Cost of Equipment
The cost of a copier can be quite expensive. Just shopping for price and buying one on cost alone can be misleading and can end up being more expensive in the long run. This is especially true if you make thousands of copies per month. You could be paying three times the amount of the price of the copier in toner and supply costs. It doesn’t matter If you are buying one for a business or for personal use. The first thing you should do is research the cost per copy.

●Volume and Cost per Copy
When purchasing a copier you must first research your monthly copy volume. This is the first step in choosing which copier is right for you. One easy way to determine this is to think of how many reams of paper you use per month. Each ream is 500 sheets. Just multiply that by the amount of reams that you use and you have a fairly accurate assessment of your “copies per month.” The reason you must know this is because it helps you determine you’re “cost per copy.” This is how much it will cost you every time you press the copy button. Now, you take the price of the toner and divide that into the estimated yield and you have your cost per copy. Example: The toner cost is $100.00 and the yield is 10,000 copies. Your cost per copy is .01 cents per copy. Office club type copier supplies are almost always more expensive than a business class type copier.

●Service and Repair, Service contracts
Most copier service companies, (not affiliated with office clubs) will not provide you an onsite service contract on an office club copier. This is because they don’t sell them. Office club stores will normally offer extended warranties but coverage may not be complete. For example they might not cover the toner or they won’t cover on-site service. I have had customers call me and tell me that they had to ship the machine off to have it repaired and that they didn’t even get the same machine back afterward. They received a replacement machine.
Many times a business class copier service contract that covers parts, service, and toner and supplies (everything except paper) is less expensive then the toner costs on a personal copier.

●Automatic Document Feeder and Feed Systems
Document Feeders
An automatic document feeder is the feeder that automatically feeds your original documents one at a time so you don’t have to stand there and lift the lid each time you have a stack of originals to be copied. Not all document feeders are created equally. There are many different mechanisms that feed, separate and eject the originals on all of the makes and models of copiers. Business type copiers have much better mechanisms than personal copiers. When you are in business and you make lots of copies and sets of copies it is frustrating when you can not count on this feature to work dependably.
The most common problems are multi-feeding and jamming. Multi-feeding is when the feeder pulls in more than one at a time. Most of the time the copier will not let you know this happened. It will not show a jam and you may not realize it did this until you are in the middle of your very important meeting and you have some missing pages. Paper jamming is another problem where it doesn’t pull the paper through correctly and jams. This is also very frustrating.

Feed Systems

Feed systems are the rollers and mechanisms that pull in your copy paper to make copies. Paper jams are the most frustrating thing that a person can have with a copier. Office club type copiers have inferior systems that feed the paper in and as you make larger copier runs the dependability is much less than a business type copier. I am speaking of my experience of over twenty years in the industry with copiers on both document feeders and feed systems but there are exceptions and some personal copiers work just fine.

●Quality and Longevity
Quality of the copies being made has really improved over the years especially since the digital evolution. There really is not much difference in copy quality. I have seen personal copiers that have just as good resolution and copy quality as a very expensive business copier. But, when it comes to the quality of manufacturing, sturdiness and just plain quality of the equipment you can see a big difference.
Business type copiers are built to last. It really depends on your copy volume as to how long each machine will last. Business copiers are built to last the monthly duty cycles that the manufacturer has designated. Though sometimes I feel that they over estimate these amounts. There are applications where a personal copier will need to be replaced in only one year next to a business type copier that will last seven to ten years, really!

Conclusion
Buying a copier can be expensive, but buying the wrong copier can be a waste of money. By doing your research ahead of time you can save money and use your copier for many years with few problems. Finding a dependable company to service your machine is just as important as buying the right machine.

Advertisements
Copiers

The Creation of the Copier

1949_model_a_copier_pa_1949_modela_small

It hasn’t always been so easy to make copies. We now can just walk up to a photocopier machine and press the print button and we instantly receive perfectly replicated copies of our original. Just forty seven years ago the copy machine was a pen and some sheets of carbon paper. Instead of pushing a button you had to write and write and then write some more!

Just before the 60’s this was a reality and carbon paper was a big seller. Chester Carlson, a patent attorney knew how much of a pain it was to continue rewriting everything by hand because Carlson had arthritis. Carlson had an idea of designing a machine that would automatically make copies, so he didn’t have to do all of that copying by hand. Think about doing your job without a copier. You probably will have a hard time imagining it. Did you know that most manufacturers didn’t think that a copier would be of much use? Chester tried for years to get people to catch his vision but nobody was interested. Between 1939 and 1944, Carlson got the thumbs down by many corporations, including IBM, Kodak, General Electric, and RCA.

nmah1999-01526_428px

In 1937 Chester invented a process called electrophotography. They renamed it Xerography in 1938. He figured out that if the image of an original document was projected onto a photoconductive surface, current would flow only in the areas where the light shined on it. The first copy was made with a sulfur coating on a zinc plate. He took a glass microscope slide and wrote on it 10-22-38 ASTORIA with ink. He then pulled down the shade to darken the room. He built an electrostatic charge buy rubbing the sulfur surface with a handkerchief. Then the slide was placed on the surface and a light was shined on it for few seconds. He then sprinkled lycopodium powder on the sulfur coating. Gently blowing on the surface, the loose powder blew off and all that was left was the inscription, 10-22-38 ASTORIA. 10-22-38 is the date that the first photocopy was made. Astoria was the location.

The Birth of Xerox The company that decided to take a chance on Carlson’s dream was the Haloid Company. Haloid was a photo-paper manufacturer in New York. Guess what they came to be known as? Yes, the Xerox Corporation. In 1960 the first office copier was produced. It was the Xerox model 914. It was the first office copier that could make copies on plain paper.

Being a copier repairman for over twenty years I have seen the good copiers with the bad copiers. I began working on copiers in 1983. The copiers that I began working with were messy and they would not last long in between servicing. The prices for the machines were very high especially for higher volume copiers. There were some interesting ways of transporting the paper through the machine like the Sharp SF-740. It grabbed the paper with two gripper devices that were driven with chains. This machine fused the toner to the paper with a toaster oven type device.

Some people may even remember having to pour toner into the copier from a bottle. But today’s copiers have a cartridge system that works well. They keep most of the toner inside the copier, not on you best pair of slacks or your dress. They have rollers for fusing the toner to the paper and have very sophisticated paper feed and transport systems that help reduce jamming problems. Digital copiers are now on the market. Now you can not only copy, but print, scan and even fax with them. Perhaps the most revolutionary change in the industry is the full color copier. The sales of full color copiers have really started to explode. There are a lot of new and exciting products being introduced and the quality is really quite good. We have come along way from Carlson’s ’10-22-38 ASTORIA. I just can’t help to think what the future will bring us. What will the copier of the year 2020 look like?

Chestor F. Carlson (1906-1968). Chester F. Carlson was born on February 8, 1906 in city of Seattle. His father was a barber and they came to live in San Bernardino, California. He was a bright young man and was curious of how things worked. Carlson’s mom died when he was seventeen years old. They say that Carlson donated $100 million to charity before he passed away in 1968.

Copiers, Fuser, printers

5 Things that Cause Fuser Jams

My printer/copier/fax machine is jamming in the exit.  Jamming in the exit or fuser assembly can be caused by five things.

fuser rollers

1.) Bad separation fingers ; These can also be called Separation Claws, Scrapers and Pick off Pawls.  The fingers are small ceramic claws that ride against the upper roller.   They are normally spring  loaded. When these go bad it will do an accordion type of jam.  They could be worn , broken or out of position.  There  is normally a spring on them for pressure to the upper heat roller.

2.) Bad heat rollers; The teflon coating will wear off and the paper will stick and cause jamming

3.) Brocken gear(s); If the gear is broken the paper can’t get through.

4.) Sensor or sensor lever flag; This should be the last thing you check, uncommon fault.  Test with simulations , multi meter or replace with known good sensor.

5.) Dirty Fuser entrance guide;  This will cause wrinkling, creases in paper and  jamming.

Copiers

About Service Contracts for Copiers

If you are shopping for a new copier, fax machine or laser printer you may need a service contract to go along with it. In this article you will learn the ins and the outs of service contracts, read on…

Welcome to our three part series on service contracts. Service contracts can vary for copiers, fax machines and laser printers, so in this series I will cover them individually in three separate articles. Just for clarification the type of machines that I am covering in these articles are the commercial types. Inkjet copiers, inkjet fax machines and inkjet printers are not covered in this article. The need for contracts on equipment such as these may not be cost effective. The equipment that I believe you should cover on a service contract are high volume copy machines that are designed to make thousands of copies, prints or faxes per month.

Service contracts are similar to an insurance policy. They may or may not save you money. Your costs are fixed so you will know how much per year you will spend instead of hoping that it won’t break down too much or have a serious or expensive repair during the year. There are many ways of paying for a service contract. Most service companies will bill you monthly, quarterly or annually.

If you choose to be billed monthly, your service company will call at the end of each month and gather your meter reading. Then they will multiply the amount of copies by your cost per copy. Some copiers can also be equipped with a device that can send in the meter reading automatically each month and eliminate this part of the procedure. If you don’t make many copies I would choose an annual or a quarterly billing. This is because most service companies charge a monthly billing minimum and you might end up paying more. Another reason to choose quarterly or annually would be the job of having to write a check each month and deal with getting the meter readings. On an annual contract make sure that you keep an eye on how many copies you produce or you will be paying for copies that you don’t use or you may have to renew too soon.

Cost per copy
Cost per copy is the most common way of determining the price for service contracts. Each time you make a copy the meter clicks just like the odometer on your car. Many shoppers buy their machine according to the price of the cost per copy, since the service contract costs can often exceed the price of the copier. An average cost per copy is around 1.5 cents per copy. This could be lower or higher depending upon some variables. •How many copies you make per month. •What type and age of machine that is being covered. •Environment plays a part because if it is in a dirty environment it will need twice as much service than a machine that is in a clean environment.

Figuring copies per month or per year
Determining the amount of copies per month is the most important information you will need when shopping for a service contract. If you have an existing copier that has been on a contract for awhile then this will be easy. Just look at your history. You need to also take in account for any slow downs or increases in copying that your company is experiencing. If you do not have a history there is a way of estimating. If you know how many reams of paper that you use per month you can multiply by 500 because there are 500 sheets of paper in a ream of paper. This will get you in the ball park.

1312Coverage
Understanding what is covered and what is not covered is very important to find out before you purchase a service contract. Many service contracts do not cover Staples, Paper and document feeder belts and there may be some others so check with your service provider. Does the contract include supplies? Some supply items are toner, developer, heat rollers and drums. Find out what the hours they are available and days of the week that they operate. Which holidays do they take off? What is the response time? Is their four hour response time more expensive than their next day service? Most service contracts do not cover abuse or neglect. So be cautious with those paper clips and staples as they can cause an expensive repair and it probably won’t be covered. Get all of this in writing then there will not be any surprises.

Accessories
Some companies charge extra for each individual accessory. Such as, an automatic document feeder, finisher, and large capacity cassettes. Some may still be charging a flat rate for each unit but I don’t see this too often.

Scanning
We live in a new age and with digital copiers you can now scan to your computers. Using the scanner puts wear and tear on the automatic document feeder but the parts in the copier are not being used. Digital copier machines can count scan only images so there may be an additional cost for this. I know that service companies in our industry are kind of scratching their heads on this one because it may be hard to charge for this type of service.

Color Copiers
Service contracts for full color copiers and MFP’s are essentially the same as black and white service contracts except that you will be paying for a color copy or a black and white copy. Some average pricing will be around 1.5cents per copy for black and white and 10 cents per copy for color. If you have ever purchased toner for a color unit you know that color toner is always more expensive.

Connectivity
Most service companies will set up your newly installed copier to your network free of charge. You should always have your IT person on-site at the time of installation so they can answer questions about your particular network. Installing drivers and connecting equipment to your network is fairly easy depending on your system. Existing network problems or additions will most likely not be covered on the copier service contract unless you make an agreement with your service company ahead of time. Most network issues can be handled with your Computer specialist anyway.

You will have to decide for yourself or your company if you will purchase a service contract for your copy machine. Many companies do pretty well without one. They always have the machine serviced and parts and supplies replaced as needed. The only problem is when you have a circuit board or a time consuming problem to repair. This can sometimes cost you a hefty amount of money and a service contract can really pay off. Remember a service contract is like an insurance policy. It can create peace of mind and you will know in advance what your costs will be.

Look for my next article in this series. “Service Contracts – Part II, Fax Machines.”

Copiers, Fax machines, printers, toner

Compatible versus Genuine Toner Cartridges

The term “Compatible”  in this case means that the toner cartridge can be used in your specific equipment and also that it is not the Genuine Brand. Refilling toner cartridges is big business in the US and the world. Many companies choose to purchase the compatible version instead of the Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM.

Original HP Toner Cartridge
Original HP Toner Cartridge

In the beginning of refill cartridges there were not many options. Toner and internal replacement parts were not readily available, so the quality was not as high as one would like. In the recent years all that has changed. One of the most important components that should be replaced is the drum and the drum blade. These were designed to only last the life of the toner being used from the cartridge.

If you were to reuse the original drum it would cause many print defects such as light print, marks and several other image defects. The drum blade would also create streaking and line type image defects. Think of the drum blade as a windshield wiper. When it wears out certain areas are not being cleaned and it makes it hard to see through the window! In the same way certain areas are not being wiped off and you then have lines on the printed pages.

We now have access to not only drums and blades but many other components that wear out and need to be replaced inside the toner cartridge. When selecting a company that refills or sells compatible toner cartridges, I would make sure that they do in fact replace the drum and drum blade, or it will not last and you will have wasted your time and money on something that was supposed to save you money in the first place.

False assumptions: OEMs never Fail
It seems that most people believe that if it is the original (OEM) toner cartridge that it will never fail. This is just not true. I have seen many OEM cartridges fail. Some from defect and some from customer neglect.  Here is a list of causes induced by customer neglect or error. Staples paper clips, paper dust, sticky back labels and placing the cartridge down on an unsafe position causing damage to drum.

False Assumptions: Refills always leak
Here again we have an assumption that is just not true. In my experience, the number one cause for a leaking cartridge is paper or labels stuck up inside the drum area. This is caused by using inferior labels or dog-eared paper. There are some refilled cartridges that have not been refurbished in a correct manner. Inside the cartridge is a part that is called a recovery blade. It is a thin Mylar that does exactly what it is named for. It recovers the excess toner and keeps it in the waste toner tank. If the recovery blade is old and warped, toner will fall down into the paper path and some how end up on your brand new shirt.

If you run across a toner cartridge and the price is unbelievably low it may be because the company that refilled it didn’t replace all of the components that we mentioned earlier. Try and stay away from these kind of deals if you can help it. In this industry there are standards. One question to ask is if they are an ISO 9001 facility. An ISO 9001 facility has the highest standards and you can trust that they install all major components and are put together the right way. This is important, next time you are purchasing toner cartridges just ask them if they are. If they look at you kind of strange or if there is a long pause and they don’t know what you are talking about, stay away from buying from them. There may be some good rechargers out there that are not ISO 9001 but for the most part this will help weed out the bad ones.

Do Refilled Toner Cartridges stack up to the original brand?
Here are the pros and cons for both.

Compatible Pros:
 Cost, the average savings can be 50% to 70% from OEM retail prices. If you make several thousand prints, this can really add up. Recycling benefits our world because it reduces the amount that we put in our landfills.

Compatible Cons: You have to make sure you buy quality compatibles or you may get a bad cartridge.

OEM Pros:
 Consistency, toner yields, new parts, knowing were it came from and that it was created by the OEM.

OEM Cons: Cost, toner cartridges can be much more expensive.

Copiers, Print or Copy Quality

Symptoms of Bad Developer

Developer, what is it and what are the symptoms when it goes bad?

Developer consists of small iron particles (dual component).  The developer is mixed with augers churning all the time to keep the toner mixed evenly in the developer unit.  The Magnetic roller (mag roller) holds the toner and evenly distributes the toner.  Think of the developer as golf balls and inside the dimples of the golf ball the toner is carried (Developer is sometimes called Carrier) and evenly distributes it onto the drum or photoconductor.  When the developer material wears down the machine will dust with toner and cause backgrounding because it is unable to carry the toner as good as it did when it was new.   To help confirm that you need to replace the developer, there is a yield associated with it.  This yield could be 80,000 prints or 200,000 it all depends on the make and model of the equipment.  This is why a good service company utilizes a service record.  Then you can look to see when it was replaced last.

Developer

When changing the developer you must dump the old developer material out, vacuum and replace it with new material.
CAUTION: Some developer unit sensors are very sensitive and could pop by using a vacuum.  Better to just brush out the remainder of the developer than take a chance. You must always set the toner sensor before making copies and this takes knowing the simulation codes and how to set them.  It’s really not that hard you will just need the information.

Copiers

Buying a Service Contract for your Copier

If you are shopping for a new copier, fax machine or laser printer you may need a service contract to go along with it. In this article you will learn the ins and the outs of service contracts, read on…

Xerox Photocopier
Xerox Photocopier

Just for clarification the type of equipment that I am covering in this article is the commercial types. Inkjet copiers are not covered in this article. The need for contracts on equipment such as these may not be cost effective. The equipment that I believe you should cover on a service contract are high volume copy machines that are designed to make thousands of copies or prints per month.

Service contracts are similar to an insurance policy. They may or may not save you money. Your costs are fixed so you will know how much per year you will spend instead of hoping that it won’t break down too much or have a serious or expensive repair during the year. There are many ways of paying for a service contract. Most service companies will bill you monthly, quarterly or annually.

If you choose to be billed monthly, your service company will call at the end of each month and gather your meter reading. Then they will multiply the amount of copies by your cost per copy. Some copiers can also be equipped with a device that can send in the meter reading automatically each month and eliminate this part of the procedure. If you don’t make many copies I would choose an annual or a quarterly billing. This is because most service companies charge a monthly billing minimum and you might end up paying more. Another reason to choose quarterly or annually would be the job of having to write a check each month and deal with getting the meter readings. On an annual contract make sure that you keep an eye on how many copies you produce or you will be paying for copies that you don’t use or you may have to renew too soon.

Cost per copy
Cost per copy is the most common way of determining the price for service contracts. Each time you make a copy the meter clicks just like the odometer on your car. Many shoppers buy their machine according to the price of the cost per copy, since the service contract costs can often exceed the price of the copier. An average cost per copy is around 1.5 cents per copy. This could be lower or higher depending upon some variables.

•How many copies you make per month.
•What type and age of machine that is being covered.
•Environment plays a part because if it is in a dirty environment it will need twice as much service than a machine that is in a clean environment.

Figuring copies per month or per year
Determining the amount of copies per month is the most important information you will need when shopping for a service contract. If you have an existing copier that has been on a contract for awhile then this will be easy. Just look at your history. You need to also take in account for any slow downs or increases in copying that your company is experiencing. If you do not have a history there is a way of estimating. If you know how many reams of paper that you use per month you can multiply by 500 because there are 500 sheets of paper in a ream of paper. This will get you in the ball park.

Coverage
Understanding what is covered and what is not covered is very important to find out before you purchase a service contract. Many service contracts do not cover Staples, Paper and document feeder belts and there may be some others so check with your service provider. Does the contract include supplies? Some supply items are toner, developer, heat rollers and drums. Find out what the hours they are available and days of the week that they operate. Which holidays do they take off?  What is the response time?  Is their four hour response time more expensive than their next day service? Most service contracts do not cover abuse or neglect. So be cautious with those paper clips and staples as they can cause an expensive repair and it probably won’t be covered. Get all of this in writing then there will not be any surprises.

Accessories
Some companies charge extra for each individual accessory. Such as, an automatic document feeder, finisher, and large capacity cassettes. Some may still be charging a flat rate for each unit but I don’t see this too often.

Scanning
We live in a new age and with digital copiers you can now scan to your computers. Using the scanner puts wear and tear on the automatic document feeder but the parts in the copier are not being used. Digital copier machines can count scan only images so there may be an additional cost for this. I know that service companies in our industry are kind of scratching their heads on this one because it may be hard to charge for this type of service.

Color Copiers
Service contracts for full color copiers and MFP’s are essentially the same as black and white service contracts except that you will be paying for a color copy or a black and white copy. Some average pricing will be around 1.5cents per copy for black and white and 10 cents per copy for color. If you have ever purchased toner for a color unit you know that color toner is always more expensive.

Connectivity
Most service companies will set up your newly installed copier to your network free of charge. You should always have your IT person on-site at the time of installation so they can answer questions about your particular network. Installing drivers and connecting equipment to your network is fairly easy depending on your system. Existing network problems or additions will most likely not be covered on the copier service contract unless you make an agreement with your service company ahead of time. Most network issues can be handled with your Computer specialist anyway.

You will have to decide for yourself or your company if you will purchase a service contract for your copy machine. Many companies do pretty well without one. They always have the machine serviced and parts and supplies replaced as needed. The only problem is when you have a circuit board or a time consuming problem to repair. This can sometimes cost you a hefty amount of money and a service contract can really pay off. Remember a service contract is like an insurance policy. It can create peace of mind and you will know in advance what your costs will be.

Copiers, Fax machines, printers

Quick Fix for Paper Feed Problems on Copiers, Fax and Printers

So you need ten sets of a fifty page document for this mornings meeting. It’s 8:30AM and your meeting is at 9:00AM. You begin with your project and the copier jams. You clear the jam but it keeps jamming! It’s not pulling in the paper. Sure you can call the repair person, but you need the copies now! There’s nothing you can do, or is there?

Paper Path
Paper Path

All office equipment that feeds paper has a component inside that pulls the paper out of the paper tray and into the machine. Most are made out of rubber and just like the tires on your car they wear out. When a roller is worn and dirty they will cause paper jams. The purpose of this article is to show you how you can clean or rejuvenate the rollers long enough for you to complete your job and have your repair person come out and fix it properly.

Alternative solutions
When your machine is jamming, first locate where the paper is jamming. Which paper tray? Is it tray 1 or tray 2? Also which size is jamming? On machines that have more than one paper tray you can switch paper trays and then you can skip cleaning the rollers. Make sure when you change cassettes that the copier registers the correct size. The machine will think it is a different size and it will jam. The sensors are set for a specific timing and it will know the difference in length from letter size and legal size. I also would try using the bypass tray or manual feed tray if so equipped. This will get you up and running quicker than cleaning the rollers.

Determining if the rollers are the problem:
If you need the specific tray to be functional we will get busy with the repair.
First make a single copy in the tray that is jamming. By doing this you are determining where the paper is jamming. If it is jamming in the exit for instance, you have another problem. If it is jamming in the center of the machine, again it is a different problem. But if it jams at the cassette or paper tray area the next step is removing the paper tray. Shine your flashlight into the paper feed area and see if there are any pieces of paper torn off inside or something blocking the paper path. Now that you have ruled out a blocked paper path, you can clean the feed roller(s).

Tools Required:
Flashlight, strong cotton towel (so it will not rip off in the machine), WD-40 or Rubber roller rejuvenator.
Note: Never use alcohol to clean rollers. It dries out the tread and the remaining tread will get ripped off and then it still will not feed. Use WD-40 it works great!

Cleaning the rollers:
Shine your flashlight into the paper feed area and locate the rubber rollers that feed the paper in. Grab your towel and saturate it with cleaning fluid. This can be WD-40 or your favorite roller rejuvenator. Start by cleaning the roller and spinning it all the way around not missing any of the surfaces of the roller. Then go over it again with the dry part of the towel. As I said there are many different types. Some have a set of three rollers. One Pre-feed roller, this pushes the paper into the other rollers. One feed roller and one separation roller. Others have a half moon style. These are harder to clean because they have a clutch system that keeps it at home position when not feeding.

WARNING: If you try and turn these to clean them you will damage the clutch mechanism! There are two ways you can clean these types. First you can actuate the clutch by pushing down on the solenoid or release lever. This sometimes can be hard to get to. You can also start the copy process and shut off the machine exactly when the feed roller engages. This takes some patience and practice but it is better than damaging the clutch. Once you get it where you can clean the roller repeat the procedure above.

Some alternatives to replacing feed rollers:
There is a material called feed roller tape. I have used it when I didn’t have the right roller in my car stock. It works with some styles mainly half moon styles. Just peel off the adhesive and wrap it around the worn roller surface. They also have some that stretch over the old rollers. I have never used this but I have been told it will get you up and running. On old copiers or printers that you can no longer get parts for you can apply clear silicon on the feed surface and let it dry twenty four hours. It works but I am inclined to use the real thing. You can also use generic rollers manufactured for almost all equipment. I have mixed feeling about these because I have had to go back and change them again later. For the best repair I use genuine OEM feed rollers. They are still inexpensive and they will last you longer and you will have fewer headaches.

I hope this has helped you complete your print or copy job. Please remember that this article is just a quick fix and not a long term solution. Be sure and call your repair person to fix it correctly.

Copiers

How to Buy the Right Copier

These days’ saving a buck is even more important than ever. Although purchasing a new copier might not be the place to skimp. Doing a little research can save you money and help you choose a copier that will last you much longer. This article will help buyers to choose the right copier for the right application.

Definitions
Business class copiers-Not sold in office club stores. Sold by knowledgeable and reputable dealers. Designed for higher volumes and dependability.

Office club copiers & personal copiers -Sold in office club stores i.e. Office Depot, Office Max and Costco… For personal and low volume customers.

●Cost of Equipment
The cost of a copier can be quite expensive. Just shopping for price and buying one on cost alone can be misleading and can end up being more expensive in the long run. This is especially true if you make thousands of copies per month. You could be paying three times the amount of the price of the copier in toner and supply costs. It doesn’t matter If you are buying one for a business or for personal use. The first thing you should do is research the cost per copy.

●Volume and Cost per Copy
When purchasing a copier you must first research your monthly copy volume. This is the first step in choosing which copier is right for you. One easy way to determine this is to think of how many reams of paper you use per month. Each ream is 500 sheets. Just multiply that by the amount of reams that you use and you have a fairly accurate assessment of your “copies per month.” The reason you must know this is because it helps you determine you’re “cost per copy.” This is how much it will cost you every time you press the copy button. Now, you take the price of the toner and divide that into the estimated yield and you have your cost per copy. Example: The toner cost is $100.00 and the yield is 10,000 copies. Your cost per copy is .01 cents per copy. Office club type copier supplies are almost always more expensive than a business class type copier.

●Service and Repair, Service contracts
Most copier service companies, (not affiliated with office clubs) will not provide you an onsite service contract on an office club copier. This is because they don’t sell them. Office club stores will normally offer extended warranties but coverage may not be complete. For example they might not cover the toner or they won’t cover on-site service. I have had customers call me and tell me that they had to ship the machine off to have it repaired and that they didn’t even get the same machine back afterward. They received a replacement machine.
Many times a business class copier service contract that covers parts, service, and toner and supplies (everything except paper) is less expensive then the toner costs on a personal copier.

●Automatic Document Feeder and Feed Systems
Document Feeders
An automatic document feeder is the feeder that automatically feeds your original documents one at a time so you don’t have to stand there and lift the lid each time you have a stack of originals to be copied. Not all document feeders are created equally. There are many different mechanisms that feed, separate and eject the originals on all of the makes and models of copiers. Business type copiers have much better mechanisms than personal copiers. When you are in business and you make lots of copies and sets of copies it is frustrating when you can not count on this feature to work dependably.
The most common problems are multi-feeding and jamming. Multi-feeding is when the feeder pulls in more than one at a time. Most of the time the copier will not let you know this happened. It will not show a jam and you may not realize it did this until you are in the middle of your very important meeting and you have some missing pages. Paper jamming is another problem where it doesn’t pull the paper through correctly and jams. This is also very frustrating.

Feed Systems

Feed systems are the rollers and mechanisms that pull in your copy paper to make copies. Paper jams are the most frustrating thing that a person can have with a copier. Office club type copiers have inferior systems that feed the paper in and as you make larger copier runs the dependability is much less than a business type copier. I am speaking of my experience of over twenty years in the industry with copiers on both document feeders and feed systems but there are exceptions and some personal copiers work just fine.

●Quality and Longevity
Quality of the copies being made has really improved over the years especially since the digital evolution. There really is not much difference in copy quality. I have seen personal copiers that have just as good resolution and copy quality as a very expensive business copier. But, when it comes to the quality of manufacturing, sturdiness and just plain quality of the equipment you can see a big difference.
Business type copiers are built to last. It really depends on your copy volume as to how long each machine will last. Business copiers are built to last the monthly duty cycles that the manufacturer has designated. Though sometimes I feel that they over estimate these amounts. There are applications where a personal copier will need to be replaced in only one year next to a business type copier that will last seven to ten years, really!

Conclusion
Buying a copier can be expensive, but buying the wrong copier can be a waste of money. By doing your research ahead of time you can save money and use your copier for many years with few problems. Finding a dependable company to service your machine is just as important as buying the right machine.

Copiers, Print or Copy Quality

How to Fix lines on Your Copier

Why are there Lines on my Copies?
Have you ever made a copy and noticed that there are lines running down the length of the page? This article is about identifying image defects or lines that a Key-Operator (Person responsible for the equipment.) can fix on their own and lines that need a repair person to fix. You wouldn’t want to spend $75.00 to $150.00 for a technician to come out to just clean your glass, would you? No, I didn’t think so.

Xerox Photocopier
Xerox Photocopier

Slit Glass
With the age of Multi-Functional Printers, (MFP’s) comes new problems. Fax Machines, Digital Copiers and MFP’s all have one thing in common. They all have an item on them known as the “Slit Glass.” Each machine that uses a slit glass as a way to scan images will eventually get dirty and cause lines on copies along with transmitted faxes. These machines don’t scan the same way that older or analog copiers do. Analog copiers use the entire glass with mirrors to get the image to the Photoconductor. Digital copiers use the slit glass. It passes along this small area and uses mirrors that direct it to the CCD unit. The CCD unit then converts the analog information into digital information. When using the Document Feeder or Processor the original only passes over the slit glass. It does not get copied from glass where you lay down your original.

How to Determine if the Slit Glass is the Problem.
On Copiers, MFP’s and Fax Machines you can quickly diagnose if the slit glass is the problem.

Copiers:
First make a copy on the glass. If there are no lines showing, then make a copy through the Document Feeder or Processor. If there are lines on the copy then more than likely it is the Slit Glass causing the problem. I say more than likely because there are occasions where this may not be true.

Fax Machines and MFP’s:
First print a journal or a function list. To print these refer to your Operators Manual. If you don’t have a line, make a copy through the Document Feeder or Processor. If there are lines then your problem is the slit glass.

Digital Copiers and MFPs
This type of slit glass is easy to spot. Just lift the Document Feeder up and look for the small rectangular glass around 1 inch by 12 inches. Look at it carefully. If there is anything stuck on it, this will cause a line. The Image defect will look like a small pin sized line all the way across the page, although I’ve seen larger even 1 inch wide. The most common substance that I have found stuck to the glass is white-out. This happens because they don’t let it dry well before running it through the feeder. When it dries on the glass it doesn’t come off easily. Another issue is blobs of ink, again this is because of not allowing enough time for it to dry. Being impatient actually will cost you more time in the long run.

Cleaning the Slit Glass.
Cleaning the slit glass is easy but you need to pay close attention and be sure that you have removed all of it. Take your finger nail and scrape off as much as you can. Get a cotton towel and saturate it with alcohol. I also recommend using an alcohol swab. These come in little sealed pouches and are inexpensive and easy to find. Let the spot soak for a minute and this will loosen up the white out. Glass cleaner does not remove it as good as alcohol. There is something about alcohol that breaks down the white out. Next, go over it with a lint free cotton towel soaked with glass cleaner, and then dry it off to eliminate streaks. Never spray the liquid on to the glass because some of it may find its way inside the machine.

Fax Machines.
The slit glass on a fax machine may be a bit harder to get to. The document feeder or processor is normally under the control panel. Lift up the panel and shine a flash light on to the small slit glass. It is about 1 inch by 12 inches in diameter. Use the same technique to clean it.

You Cleaned the Slit- Glass but the Line is Still There.
Some times the blob of white out is really stuck on the slit glass. I have a procedure that is fool proof in finding where the spot is, because sometimes it is so small that you can’t see it. First, get the copy that has the line on it. Hold it directly and evenly on the slit glass. Look carefully and see if you can follow the line to the glass. This is where the spot is. One thing about this procedure. You must check it both ways. Turn the original 180 degrees and inspect it again because the image is reversed because of the lens. Now that you have found the spot you may have to use a solvent to get that spot off. These can be stubborn and difficult to remove. You can try WD-40. My technicians use a solvent called D-Ink (Coopers). D-Ink is very expensive but it works well. If you still have the line on your copies then you have another problem.

Calling for Service
Call a qualified repair person to come out and take a look. I recommend using a local independent repair company. Look them up in your Yellow Pages. I recommend an Independent because they usually are a smaller company and they will give you more personalized service. I hate those crazy phone systems, being stuck in a loop when trying to call for service. Most of the time they also have more experience and you won’t be paying for over- inflated hourly rates of an authorized dealer or huge corporation.

Other Line Problems
If you followed my tests and you have a line both copying from the glass and using the Document Feeder then you have another problem. I believe that it is always a good idea to have a good technician ready to call, but why spend money when it is something so simple anyone could do it. Here is a list of probable causes. Many things could be wrong so I am not going to go in too much in detail.

Possible Causes / Lines

Laser Printers, Laser and LED Fax Machines
Toner cartridge, Charge roller, paper or object stuck inside blocking the scanner, transfer roller, optics, and corona wire. Note: You can clean these but if you don’t know what you are doing you can damage something.

Inkjet Printers and Fax machines
Print head, Ink cartridge, dirty optics, paper or object stuck up inside machine blocking the print-head or optics.

Copier and MFP’s
Toner cartridge, Charge roller, paper or object stuck inside blocking the scanner, transfer roller, corona wire, and dirty optics. Note: You can clean these but if you don’t know what you are doing you may damage something.

I hope this article has helped you save some of your hard earned money. There really is no reason to spend money when you can just clean it yourself!