Regardless of business size or industry, hardware downtime is likely to be obtrusive and detrimental to the processes that power a business, ultimately leading to a financial impact. An article posted by Small Business Trends estimates that this cost is approximately £1.25 million every year. The fee of downtime is not solely financial however; a previous Sharp campaign, Unlock, discovered that 14 hours a month are wasted by UK employees searching for documents and waiting for printers, showing a clear loss in productivity due to downtime. So, with that in mind, we wanted to highlight some essential tips and tricks for best print practice in order to minimise downtime and reduce the need to call for an engineer.
Your paper is important
Firstly, understanding the importance of loading paper trays with the correct, compatible paper will help minimise the possibility of a paper jam and reduce the need for an engineer. You must only use one kind of paper in the tray at any one time – to determine which type of paper is the most suitable, check with the documentation that came with your printer or do a quick Google search of the printer model. You can also follow this process to find out what the appropriate minimum and maximum weights for your machine are but remember to never use paper that is too heavy as it will get stuck. Click here to find out what paper weight is the best for what type of job.
Secondly, again relevant before you even get to the printer, the environment in which paper is stored has a huge impact on both its performance and lifespan and can, in turn, have an impact on the printer causing paper jams or drawing multiple sheets. The University of Sheffield cites moisture and temperature as the two main elements that affect paper – “All paper used in laser printers and MFPs needs to be stored in a stable environment.”
Here are 5 ways to minimise the possibility of the paper you’re using causing damage to the printer or causing a jam:
The Do’s and Don’ts of Paper Storage
- Do not store open packets near windows or in direct sunlight
- Do not store paper in damp or unheated locations
- Do not store paper next to heating pipes or radiators
- Keep all paper in original wrappers/cartons until use
- When loading the printer with paper, do not overfill the paper trays
Top Tips for dealing with a paper jam
Paper jams tend to be one of the main reasons that an engineer will be called. On the chance that you do encounter a paper jam, the following is a step-by-step guide on how to safely remove the paper without damaging the printer:
- Like with many technological errors, it is always wise to switch the machine off at the mains, and re-start. You might find that the jam will clear itself when the machine warms up.
- If the jam doesn’t clear, but you can see the paper that is jammed, give it a gentle tug to remove it from the machine.
- If you can’t see the paper, and your printer has a screen, it will probably tell you where in the machine the jam is (with images for easy location). The machine will give you basic instructions on how to get into the part of the machine that the jam is, and then tell you how to remove the paper.
- If your printer doesn’t have a screen, you will have to do some investigation of your own and look in the machine to see where the paper is jammed.
- When you have found the paper, gently tug the paper to help guide it out of the machine, tug from both corners, so you don’t rip the paper. Some larger models such as MFPs and digital duplicators may have handles to turn that help to get the paper moving.
- Once the paper has been removed, open the paper trays, and make sure that the paper is all aligned and not curled, wrinkled or creased – replace with fresh paper if the paper is not perfect.
Before the print job restarts, you may have to press a button to let the machine know that the jam has been removed.