Top Tips for Printer Maintenance

Industrial printers are a bit more expensive than your normal home printer. Rather than spending a hundred bucks on a small printer, your printer was likely an investment of a couple thousand dollars. Because industrial printers are such a big investment, it is important to know how to properly maintain them. This is true for engineering rolls, tyvek banner printing, or inkjet plotter paper rolls.

Many people who make use of engineering rolls in large industrial printers are architects, of which there are more than 109,000 in the United States. Whether you are an architect using engineering rolls or an engineer using plotter vinyl rolls, there are some universal printer maintenance tips that you should know. And because you are the engineer or architect type, chances are you want to do the maintenance and repairs yourself rather than hiring someone else. It's fun isn't it?


Clean the Print Head Frequently: Cleaning the print head should happen at least once every month. After removing the printer cartridge, clean the head with warm water. Avoid using wet tissues or alcohol based cleaners for the print head as this can cause further problems with small debris being left behind. After cleaning, allow the print head to dry completely before putting it back in place.


Clean Out the Inner Parts: The inside of the printer must also be cleaned out regularly. If you wait too long, dust and grime will form layers inside the printer which will stop it from operating efficiently and could cause a breakdown. Using lint free cloths, get them slightly moist and wipe dust away. It is important to remember that while cleaning a printer, never apply too much force. If you encounter areas where grime is more stubborn, use soft bristles and gently rub back and forth to remove the grime. Compressed air also works great to remove dust that has settled in hard to reach spots (avoid using a vacuum here).

Keep the Right Refill: From engineering rolls to other rolls of paper and types of ink, it is sometimes tempting to go with cheap, knock-off brands. This can cause big problems not just for the quality of your prints, but also the health of your printer. Opt for branded engineering rolls and ink cartridges that are built specifically for your model of printer. This will pay huge dividends in the long run in producing quality prints and maintaining your printers longevity.


Replace Cartridges Carefully: Be cautious while replacing cartridges. Doing cartridge replacement will likely be one of the most regular parts of your printer maintenance. Be careful to avoid touching the bottom of the cartridge while replacing it, as it can ruin the print quality. Additionally, don't wait until your cartridges dry out completely before replacing them. Your printer software should provide notifications when cartridge levels are low. This is reported for a reason. Dry cartridges lead to extra wear and tear on the printer head.


Turn It Off (while not in use): If your printer won't be used for an extended period of time (maybe Christmas break or another holiday), turn it off completely. If the printer is left on while not in use, this will generate a lot of heat which can dry up the cartridge. Dry cartridges can, in turn, clog the header. Additionally, turn off your printer at the end of the workday to help save on energy costs and keep an extended life of your printer.


Pay Attention to Driver Downloads: Many people ignore these important updates. Installing the latest drivers is a super simple way to keep your printer working in great condition. Many hardware malfunctions are traced back to not having the most up to date drivers installed for your printer.


Protect Your Printer Bible: The printer manual is the printer bible. Manuals for printers have all sorts of useful information about what to do when certain maintenance lights pop up. If you have misplaced or thrown out your manual already, check online for a pdf version. Many printer manufacturers make the printer manual available online. These will usually have exhaustive lists of common issues with probable solutions for your printer.


Keeping your printer in good health is important. Follow these steps to help keep your printer in good working condition.