Closures vs. Standard Maintenance: A Disclaimer
Before we here at Adendo discuss the maintenance of wide format printers during closures, let’s first take a look at wide format printers and their uses – as well as maintenance of wide format printers during more standard times. This way, when it comes to special closure maintenance instructions, the user will be able to gain a firm handle on the main differences.
Wide Format Printers
Wide format printers are an essential part in any sign and/or print shop arsenal, especially during this COVID riddled times. How else will you attract customers with prints and designs which will pop out against the competition? Money and attention are even tighter than they were before, so savvy marketing is even more essential to any business, but especially a business situation within the sign and print industry, which is always so visual. Your business’s wide format printer will go a long way towards delivering that key visual punch to prospective customers. We here at Adendo wish to guide you in the right direction in the proper maintenance of such a machine, particularly during closures (such as the ones we have all seen and experienced over the last several years). Wide format printers are such an important part of the sign and print industry – so you need to know how to keep your buisness’s wide format printer(s) running smoothly. Remember: the visual is vital.
Print Head Cleaning Tips: Standard Times
The first item of importance during wide format printer maintenance (indeed, any printer’s maintenance) is to ensure your printer’s print head is clean. You should go through this process about once a week, at least during more standard times. You will want to run print head cleaning cycles. On wide format printers, you’ll be able to run a head cleaning cycle from both your printer utility on your computer and the control panel located on the printer itself. There are different levels of cleaning cycles – be sure to pick the one which will suit your purposes best. Next, be sure to cleanse the capping station and flushing box. Next, use flush cartridges or dye ink cartridges. (After removal of standard ink cartridges, of course! Remember to also refill these for future prints!) It is also vital for you to scrub the bottom of the print head. After you have completed this step, flush the print head with PiezoFlush. Now your print head is fully clean and ready to get back into heavy service!
Daily Wide Format Printer Maintenance: Standard Times
The Print Head Cleanse should be performed once a week (again, during standard times), but what about daily wide format printer maintenance? Well, in order to keep things rolling smoothly, every day – when the printer isn’t currently in use, of course – you should run a nozzle check or test pattern. This is so you can get an “instant read” on the state of your printer’s various nozzles. In order to perform such a nozzle check, simply tamp down the nozzle check button on your printer menu for two seconds. If you need to access other test print options, the Menu will, again, be your best bet. Press the down arrow to access the Test Print Menu and select one of the options there. If these options are not available for your wide format printer, it is best to contact your wide format printer’s support line.
Wide Format Printer Maintenance During Closures
This is all well and good information, of course, but what happens when your business is forced to shut down for an extended period of time – as happened back in 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic? Obviously, daily, and even weekly, maintenance will not serve you during these times of closure. Still, however, you need to ensure your wide format printer will be ready to go as the humming engine of your business when you are finally able to get back to work. Indeed, wide format printers are often required to run hundreds of cycles, so they require that extra bit of TLC. During closures, you should have your wide format printer conduct manual cleans on each piece of equipment. This self-service will not require you to be present for them. Also, ensure the ink levels in your ink cartridges and bottles are at acceptable levels for when your wide format printer is required to start humming once more. You will also need to empty the waste tank on your printer. This is to avoid a congestion of waste ink flooding the caps. This will also aide you when it comes to avoiding misshapen media getting printed as soon as things start getting up and running again. Your business requires crisp, clean, clear, and vibrant prints – in order to bring those customers swarming back into your place of business.
The Don’t’s of Wide Format Printer Maintenance During Closures
Above are the “Do’s” when it comes to wide format printer maintenance during closures – but what about the “Don’t’s” of wide format printer maintenance during closures? Well, for one thing, whatever you do, do not simply unplug your wide format printer in order to shut it down. It is vital you power it down using the machine itself! This will ensure your business’s essential wide format printer engages its capping mechanisms. These capping mechanisms will prevent your wide format printer’s cartridges from drying out. Often, a wide format printer will also carry out its auto clean processes during this stage as well. Of course, the exact steps required to shut down your wide format printer will vary from model to model and brand to brand, so it is advisable to refer back to the specific instructions for your business’s wide format printer specific model contact/account manager/customer service team. On the exact opposite end of the “Don’t” scale involves leaving your wide format printer running rather than putting it into the recommended hibernation modes. Leaving your wide format printer up and running will risk drying out its print heads. (This doesn’t even account for the added electricity usage and charges you’d be unnecessarily accruing!) These failure points are to be avoided at all costs: your business will need your wide format printer when everything gets back up and running again.
Wide Format Printer Maintenance: A Conclusion
There you have it: ways to maintain your business’s vital wide format printer. If you keep it humming using the proper maintenance techniques, you and your clientele will greatly benefit from its magnificent prints for years to come. Not only is this true for standard times, but also for these uncertain times of closures and tentative re-openings as well. Each type of use requires different maintenance levels and techniques – so it is imperative you keep to the appropriate methods at the appropriate times. Therefore, we here at Adendo are perfectly happy answering any questions you may have when it comes to such techniques – and even more!
Schedule with an Adendo Advisor today!
Indeed, even beyond wide format printing, if you are interested in sign software for your printers, why not check out Adendo for that as well, where you can schedule a 1-on-1 conference with a sign software advisor today. You’ll receive expert guidance on creating anything within Flexi Software, which will meet – and exceed – your wildest expectations!