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Printer Trick: Preserve the Life of Your Printer

By Sarah Edwards on

Posted under: Hardware

Printers are a vital aspect of a successful warehouse. Like any machine, it is important to keep a printer clean and managed. No one has time for a printer malfunction to decrease warehouse efficiency.

Last month, we talked about taking the next step in your company’s productivity and investing in a wireless or mobile printing solution for the warehouse. Now that you have your new label printers, it’s time to talk about maintaining them.

Many factors play a role in the life of a printer, including print head pressure, heat settings, and thickness and quality of labels. After purchasing your new wireless printer, keep these tips for a clean printer in mind:

Clean the Inside and Outside

Be sure to wipe down your printer once a week. On the outside, use a lint-free rag and isopropyl alcohol to remove dust and debris. On the inside, clean the gears, rollers, and other parts the same way. Printing a blank page can help remove lint and dust from the inside of your printer. Most companies offer a maintenance kit for purchase that can help clean and solve internal issues.

Clean Print Heads to Extend the Printer’s Lifespan

Print heads are the most expensive replacement part for a printer, so start a routine of cleaning them regularly. For heavy industrial warehouse environments where there is likely more dirt and dust in the air, it is recommended to clean the print heads at the beginning of each shift to reduce carbon build up or ribbon dust that has accumulated on the print head.

To Clean the Print Heads:

  • Power the printer down
  • Use isopropyl alcohol and a lint free rag
  • Moisten the rag and wipe the print heads with a medium amount of pressure
  • Reload the printer parts and start printing

Replace Print Heads Periodically

Proper care does not eliminate the normal wear and tear on print heads. After a certain amount of time, they are going to burn out. The frequency of print head replacement depends on the types of barcodes you are printing, quality of media and ribbon, print speed, and warehouse environment. Most printers will have a message or error code that will tell you when it is time to change the print heads.

If you’re leveraging RF-SMART’s platinum-level partnerships with global hardware manufacturers like Honeywell to manage your media and printer needs, they’ll replace your print heads for free!

Protect When Not in Use

The easiest step you can take to continue the longevity of your printer is simply protecting it. Cover or return your printer to its case when it is not being used. A printer is like anything else; if you take care of it, it will last longer. Carefully resolving errors and keeping the printer clean can keep your printer running smoothly for a long time.

If you'd like to learn more, speak with our team today!