Archive for November, 2010
When looking for a new printer, there are a multitude of things to consider, such as speed, resolution, and design. One thing you might not think of when selecting your choice machine, though, is what affect it has on our environment and how much energy the device uses, both when it is in use, and when it is in sleep or standby mode. Consumers who are looking for an energy-efficient solution to lessen their impact on the environment and reduce energy bills should look for a device that is certified by Energy Star.
What is it?
Energy Star is an international standard created by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Its main goals are to protect the environment and save users money. The program includes rules and regulations that must be followed by a printer manufacturer in order to earn the certification. These guidelines also continue to evolve, becoming more strict over time, ensuring that manufacturers continue to reduce their energy footprint.
By using an Energy Star compliant machine, you can not only cut the effect your printer has on the environment and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions exerted, but you can save money on your energy bills.
Where Do I Find It?
The easiest ways to find Energy Star certification is to check the box, manual, or even the printer itself. Making the Energy Star logo easily viewable is part of the requirements for certification. When shopping online, many retailers list the Energy Star certification prominently, as it is a great selling point. Some even include it as a checkbox when comparing different models.
Many manufacturers provide Energy Star information on a special page on their website, such as HP’s Energy Star page. Here, they note the different products that are certified, and some of the features that help to save energy. For example, the HP CP1215 uses an Instant-On feature that allows it to power down with a very short warm-up time. Therefore, it can conserve energy when not in use, but still provide a quick response to users. Models like the HP L7680 can conserve energy AND supplies with features like duplexing, which uses less paper and less HP L7680 ink.
In 2009 alone, over $17 billion was saved on utility bills in the US because of Energy Star machines. Given the choice between a printer that is Energy Star certified and one that is not, you should almost always choose the Energy Star model. You will have the benefit of reduced energy consumption, with little to no impact on functionality, and be sure that you are doing your part to help the environment, while also decreasing your energy bills. Also remember that you can have an even greater impact on the environment by taking part in printer cartridge recycling programs.
Controlling printing costs in the office is not impossible, but it does require an understanding of the daily volume of tasks and the types of documents that are being printed. For instance, if your office generates 300-400 standard text documents, using a color inkjet printer is a waste of time and money. There are various types of machines on the market and containing costs is as simple as choosing the right printer or printers.
One Printer vs Multiple Printers
Depending on the type of business that your office is conducting, you need to determine if each person needs a printer on his or her desk or if a central printer will be sufficient. Clearly it will be more expensive upfront to purchase numerous printers, but often cartridges and maintenance costs are more for one large-office device than 20 small inkjet printers.
Saving on Consumables
Another thing to be vigilant about is the cost of consumables overall. How much is a replacement ink or toner cartridge? Are there compatible or remanufactured versions available? Does the cartridge have the capacity to last for a while or will it be burned through in a week?
For example, if the office generates light daily volumes, each employee could have their own inkjet printer that costs less than $100 with cartridges that cost about $20, such as the Epson Stylus NX430. It may cost more upfront than purchasing a single machine to be shared, but replacement cartridges for network office printers can cost as much as $250, like the HP Q6470AD toner cartridge.
Laser vs. Inkjet
Inkjet printers typically print at slower speeds, produce higher color quality and have lower yielding cartridges than laser printers. Laser printers generally produce a low cost per page, more efficient office performance and high-capacity cartridges. Be sure to get a machine that is appropriate for the kind of tasks that are required in your work space or home. For a more in depth look at the differences between these two types of printers, see Laser Printer vs. Inkjet Printer.
Documents are often printed in full color unnecessarily because there is only one printer available. This is an ink and toner guzzler and will increase costs significantly over time. You can get a monochrome laser printer for printing black-and-white text documents or graphics. For inkjet printers, which almost all have color capabilities, you can set the mode to grayscale. This mode uses only black printer ink rather than using composite black, which is the creation of black using the various colors of ink.
Another cost-saving option is the Eco mode (also known as Toner Save mode or draft mode), which reduces the amount of ink or toner used per print. These modes are best used when printing basic text documents, like everyday memos, but may not be the best choice for presenting to clients, as the quality is reduced. Duplex printing is another cost-effective feature because it prints on both sides of the paper, potentially reducing paper costs by up to half.
Hopefully these will be helpful tips to ensuring that you make the most economical decision to handle your printing needs. It starts with determining how many printers are needed, pinpointing what kind of printer(s) makes the most sense, and using it in the most cost-effective way possible.
As laptops and notebooks become more common, and Wi-Fi networks more ubiquitous, you may find that you are repeatedly connecting to0 many different networks. For example, you may connect to one network at work, to a second at a family member’s home, and to your own wireless network at home. The problem that you may run into is that when you go to print while connected to one network, your default printer may still be set for a machine located on another.
Windows 7 provides a good solution to this problem with an option to set multiple default printers depending on which network you are connected to, and it does it automatically! Before you begin the steps, make sure you know the name of the different networks you frequently use, as well as the name of the printers you wish to set as the default. For example, the Samsung CLP-510 model, which uses Samsung CLP-510D5C toner, may be listed as “CLP-510″ or it may have a user assigned name such as “Office Samsung”. You can find the names of the printers available on your current network by click “Start”, then “Devices and Printers”. You also need to make sure that all printers are connected to the network. Once all printers are connected and you know their names, follow the steps below to set them as defaults.
- Click the “Start” button and click “Devices and Printers”.
- Click the icon of one of the printers you wish to add as a default, and notice that new headings appear in the toolbar near the top of the window.
- Click “Manage Default Printers”.
- Click the radio button next to “Change my default printer when I change networks” to enable the feature.
- Select the first network in the “Select Network” dropdown menu, and the printer you wish to be the default in the “Select Network” dropdown menu. When you have both selected, click “Add” to add the entry to the list.
- Select another network, and choose the printer you wish to be the default when you connect to it. You may wish to wait until the next time you connect to the network to ensure you have the right printer.
- Continue adding new printers to the list for each network you frequently connect to.
Once you have added the default printers for each of your common networks, you can test it out. Connect to one of the Wi-Fi networks and attempt to print a document. If the setting is working correctly, you should find that the default printer is used automatically, with no need for user intervention. You can now enjoy faster, easier printing without having to constantly choose the right printer for every print job.
Here is a short video that shows the process visually:
Konica-Minolta specializes in making durable, reliable office printers and all-in-one machines. However, not even the top manufacturers in the printing industry can guarantee these devices will work without error. If you have a Konica-Minolta laser printer or multi-function unit, below is a list of some of the most common error messages you may encounter, and possible solutions to help get you back up and running:
|Display Message||Message Meaning||Solution|
|Close Printer Cover||The printer cover is open.||Close the printer covers.|
|Paper Empty – Refill Paper||There is no paper.||Load paper into the input tray.|
|Paper Jam – Remove paper||Paper is jammed near the input tray.||Clear the paper jam.|
|Paper Jam NB 2 – Remove Paper||Paper is jammed in the center of the machine.||Open the front panel and clear the paper jam.|
|Paper Jam NB 3 – Remove Paper||Paper is jammed near the output tray.||Clear the paper jam.|
|Check Printer: 01 – Reset Device||The fuser temperature is too high.||Let the printer cool and try printing again. If it is still overheating, adjust the fuser temperature if possible.|
|Check Printer: 02 – Reset Device||The fuser temperature is too low.||Adjust the printer fuser temperature settings if possible. If not, contact technical support.|
|Check Printer: 04 – Reset Device||There is an error with the motor.||Contact technical support.|
|Check Printer: 05 – Reset Device||The laser is not properly aligned or synchronized.||Contact technical support.|
|Paper Size – Replace Paper||The paper size does not match the settings.||Change the print settings or the type of paper.|
|Heating – Please Wait||The printer is warming up.||Wait for the printer to finish warming up.|
|Insert Toner – Toner Low||The toner cartridge is running low on toner.||Remove and shake cartridge to redistribute toner or replace the Konica-Minolta toner cartridge if it is still not working properly.|
|22 Main Tray Lift||The multimedia tray is overloaded.||Remove some of the media on the multimedia tray.|
|16 Xfer Belt Rot||The transfer belt is rotating during print jobs.||Make sure the transfer belt is moving during printing. If it is locked in place, contact technical support.|
Some of these issues are simple to fix by the average user, but others require a professional or at least the assistance of technical support. If the solution seems too complicated or risky to fix yourself, do not hesitate to call Konica-Minolta customer care. It is better to ask for help than to risk damaging your machine further.
Wireless printing offers a number of benefits, such as convenience and efficiency, to any home or office. Connecting wirelessly also eliminates the need for more than one printer per house or office, reducing energy consumption and making it easier to stay organized. Adding a wireless network will change the face of printing in any setting.
Because wireless printers have to search for a signal rather than having it directly fed through an ethernet or USB cord, it may take a bit longer to transfer data – especially if the signal is not a strong one. It can also take longer for a computer to connect to the printer initially. Also, if multiple devices are using the wireless network, a wireless-enabled printer could slow down every connection when in use, though this is generally only the case with older wireless routers.
Other wireless devices within range of your wireless signal can potentially access your network. This means they could basically steal the internet or gain access to computers on your network. For this reason, it is essential to make your network password-protected. Having an open wireless network also make you susceptible to hackers; this could be devastating to your business if you get a bad virus or compromise confidential information.
Because the wireless networks use broadcast signals, there may be weak or dead spots. Sometimes it is just unlucky, but sometimes a device is simply out of the effective coverage area, even when that device is in the same office. This may mean placing the printer or router in a location that is less than ideal to ensure it has a strong signal. Even if you have a strong signal, glitches could cause you to lose connection, which can be frustrating and hinder production. Additionally, on occasion, your signal may conflict with by a nearby wireless signal.
These are the three main issues with wireless printing, and they only happen on occasion and not within every wireless network. Though they can all be a bit frustrating, especially in a work or school environment where efficiency is imperative, they are certainly not strong reasons to pass on wireless. According to pcmag.com one of the best wireless printers is the Canon PIXMA MX822. The benefits of connecting devices easily without wires will outweigh the few minor drawbacks.
Ricoh printers are typically found in office environments because of their versatility and ability to handle heavy workloads at a fast rate. However, with such complex machines, errors are bound to happen. Ricoh has made the error code system as organized as possible, though it is strongly recommended to contact Ricoh Technical Support for proper diagnosis, and take the machine to a service center for the proper repair.
The most critical issue with Ricoh printers is a temperature problem (codes: SC 543 and SC 455). These errors should be given immediate attention, as bypassing this problem could result in a fire or some sort of irreparable damage.
The first batch consists of scanner-related issues. You can turn off the machine, unplug it from the wall and let it sit for a few minutes. The error may fix itself when you restart your device. If not, most scanner issues are hardware-related, which will require professional repair.
|SC 101||Exposure lamp error|
|SC 107||Lamp regulator malfunction|
|SC 120-123||Scanner home position error|
|SC 124||Encoder signal error|
|SC 125-126||Motor speed error|
|SC 128||Motor start error|
|SC 129||Motor control error|
|SC 130||Starting issue|
|SC 142||White level detection|
|SC 150||ROM mismatch|
|SC 181-184||Error within the CIS|
|SC 191||Bar code scanning error|
|SC 193||Image transfer error|
|SC 198||Memory card error|
The next group is related to the laser technology. Resetting the machine may fix the problem, but these are not issues you will want to try repairing yourself.
|SC 201||Motor problem|
|SC 220||Laser Sync Detect|
|SC 240||Power supply error|
|SC 260||Sensor error|
|SC 285||Line position error|
The list below is in reference to problems with image development. Once again, a cold start to reset the machine’s memory could do the trick. Otherwise, contact Technical Support or take the unit to a local repair shop.
|SC 322||Laser synchronization issue|
|SC 325||Magnification correction|
|SC 328||LD unit home position error|
|SC 364||Hard drive malfunction|
|SC 365||Image storage address incorrect|
|SC 371-373||Sensor Detection for Yellow, Cyan, Magenta|
|SC 401||Abnormal transfer output|
|SC 402||Leak in transfer roller|
|SC 403||Transfer belt sensor error|
|SC 405||Transfer belt position incorrect|
|SC 440||Main motor lock|
|SC 460-461||Thermistor temperature issue|
Paper feeding and fusing issues are the cause of this next group of error codes. Many paper feed errors can be fixed by cleaning the rollers or clearing any paper jam. The fuser issues can sometimes be rectified by adjusting the fuser temperature settings (if applicable to your model).
|SC 500||Motor error|
|SC 501-504||Tray/drawer lift motor failure|
|SC 506-507||Feed motor lock|
|SC 515-516||Guide motor error|
|SC 520-521||Duplexer jogger drive motor error|
|SC 530||Bypass feed motor lock|
|SC 531||Duplexer/Fuser reversing motor malfunction|
|SC 542||Fuser temperature warm-up|
|SC 546||Fuser ‘ready’ temperature error|
|SC 547||Fuser temperature not increasing|
|SC 548||Fuser installation problem|
|SC 551-557||Error with pressure roller|
|SC590||Fusing fan motor malfunction|
|SC 591||Ricoh toner supply motor error|
|SC 599||Output tray motor error|
This is a list of communication errors. Contact Technical Support for these issues as you may need to replace one of these main components.
|SC 600||Main control board and operation panel|
|SC 636||BICU and paper feed control|
|SC 696||Engine board and finisher|
These are common error codes caused by peripherals. Check to ensure the peripherals are properly installed. A printer reset may solve the problem, but if not, you should seek the advice of a professional.
|SC 700||RADF pickup error|
|SC 702-704||RADF motor lock|
|SC 721||Sorter motor malfunction|
|SC 722||Finisher jogger motor|
|SC 727||Stapler rotation issue|
|SC 760||ADF Gate abnormal|
|SC 770||Display editor not correct|
These are some of the most common controller errors. Make sure all connections are secure and restart the machine. If the error persists, contact Technical Support.
|SC 800||Start-up with no video output|
|SC 804||Start-up with no video input|
|SC 818||Software malfunction|
|SC 819-820||Firmware problem|
|SC 855||Wireless LAN card issue|
|SC 857||USB interface error|
|SC 868||SD card data incorrect|
|SC 870||Abnormal address book data on hard drive|
This list of Ricoh error codes should be helpful in self-diagnosing the problem, though keep in mind, only the most common codes are listed. Your manual may provide a more comprehensive list for your specific model. If these simple troubleshooting tips provided don’t resolve the issue, it is best to contact Technical Support for further help.
If you are looking for a new or upgraded business printer or MFP for your office, one of the features you should pay close attention to is the memory capacity, or RAM. Though this is not an element of a machine that is typically broadcast or highlighted to consumers, it is absolutely essential to get a device that has sufficient memory to handle your office’s demands. This varies based on the number of users sharing the printer, the volume of tasks, and the type of documents being produced. On average, a small office should have at least 64 MB of RAM, a medium office should shoot for 256 MB, and a large office will want 512 MB or more.
When a job is sent to a printer, whether it is an image or standard text, the data is transferred to the memory and printed from there. So, if you work in an environment that has multiple people continuously printing graphics to a shared device, the memory space needs to be sufficient enough to receive and process that data. Below are some things issues that will arise if you have a printer that does not have ample memory space:
- Incomplete documents are being printed.
- Graphics and images are lacking in sharpness and clarity.
- Print speeds are slower than they should be.
- Only a single function can be used at a time (applicable only for MFP devices).
- Error messages are popping up, such as Insufficient Memory.
- Print jobs are being automatically terminated.
Some office printers and MFPs will have a large memory space built in, while others give you the option of increasing the memory as needed. You can check your manual or the printer manufacturer’s support website to find out if your current unit can be upgraded with more memory. Some machines have a hard drive, or at least the option to add one. Hard drives are a more permanent storage space, as the memory is wiped clean as soon as the machine is shut off. A hard drive doesn’t replace the need for RAM, but it can store documents for processing, decreasing some of the problems above. Printing from a hard drive may take a bit longer than printing from the RAM, but it does expand the size and complexity of documents that can be processed. This is further explained in Printer Memory Management.
To move your fingers, a task is sent to your brain, which processes the data then gives the command to your fingers to move. Printer memory works in a similar way, as all information must go through it first before the print job can be completed. Especially in an office with a shared network, it is imperative to have a machine that has sufficient (and/or expandable) memory.
A print spooler is management-oriented software designed to keep tasks in order when multiple print jobs are being sent to the same printer. Almost serving as a levee to the printer, the spooler catches the orders and slowly sends them through to the printer one at a time. As this is such an essential process for high-volume printers, it is important to understand the possible errors that can occur.
How do you know when to run your troubleshooting program, though?
Some of the primary symptoms short of an error message are consistent system freezing, overworked CPU and print queues that do not allow you to manually open tasks. The two most common messages that will pop up on your computer screen when the spooler is having problems are (the words may not be exactly the same, but the message will be):
- Spooler subsystem application has encountered a problem and needs to close.
- Operation could not be completed.
More often than not, the spooler issue can be fixed by simply restarting your computer, which clears the queue and restarts the spooler service. If this doesn’t work, try pulling up the task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL and clicking Task Manager, then select Services. From the list that pops up, select the spooler service, highlight it and click the link that says “restart the service”.
The best thing you can do for your office is to download an automatic troubleshooting program that can fix many spooler errors. Through Microsoft, the Fix It program can be downloaded for free and is a good place to start.
In general, closing the current applications and restarting the spooler service can solve many issues. Just make sure you have a printer driver that is up-to-date, as having one that is outdated or corrupt could cause a number of problems.
Printer spoolers are important to the successful organization and task-management of an office printer, but because of its sensitive nature and memory consumption, expect to have problems occasionally. Download one of the automated troubleshooting programs so your office can get back to printing quickly after an error occurs.
If you are still experiencing problems, here is a more in depth tutorial video for more advanced steps:
Epson printers are generally pretty reliable, but they can still experience problems from time to time. Epson printers typically have an LCD display that will show error messages, rather than number codes when there is a problem, but these messages can sometimes be difficult to decipher. Here is a list of some of the most common Epson printer error messages:
|MNT TK NEAR FULL||The tank that catches excess ink, known as the maintenance tank, is nearly full.||Replace the maintenance tank.|
|INK LOW||One or more ink cartridges are almost empty.||You can print until ink runs out, but quality may suffer.|
|MNT REQ ####||An internal part of the printer is worn and needs to be replaced. The numbers following the message will be the part code. Refer to your manual for the codes for each part.||Look up the code in your manual and then contact Epson’s technical support for a replacement.|
|NOZZLES STILL CLOGGED||The nozzles are clogged.||Run the Head Cleaning Utility, or you can try to unclog the nozzles without wasting ink.|
|CHANGE PAPER TYPE||The media type that is in the tray does not match the paper settings.||Change the settings or the paper so that they match.|
|WRONG PAPER SIZE||The size of paper in the tray does not match the settings.||Match the settings and paper size.|
|PAPER OUT||There is no paper loaded in the tray or present on the roll.||Load more sheets of paper or a new roll of paper.|
|RELOAD PAPER||The paper that is currently loaded cannot be detected or is curled.||Try loading it again and make sure the paper is not damaged.|
|PAPER NOT STRAIGHT||The paper is not loaded correctly in the tray.||Reload the paper, making sure it is straight and aligned properly.|
|PAPER NOT CUT||When automatic cutting is activated, this error means the paper is not cut.||Check to see that the cutter is installed properly and is not dull, then remove the uncut paper and try again.|
|COMMAND ERROR||Incorrect driver has been loaded or the data received by the printer is not correct.||Stop printing and hold the Pause button down for 3 seconds. Confirm you are trying to load the correct driver. Also try resetting the printer and the computer.|
|MISMATCH ERROR||The ink cartridge loaded is detected as non-Genuine Epson ink.||Hold the Pause button down for 3 seconds to cancel task. Try a cold start if your remanufactured Epson ink cartridge is not recognized.|
|LOAD ROLL PAPER||The roll of paper is not correctly set or aligned.||Set or align the roll paper correctly.|
|INK OUT||One of more of the ink cartridges is empty||Replace the empty Epson ink cartridge.|
|WRONG INK CRTG||An ink cartridge that is not to be used with this Epson printer has been installed.||Remove the ink cartridge and install a compatible cartridge.|
|NO INK CRTG||Either an ink cartridge has not been installed or the ink lever is set to the release position.||Install a cartridge or lower the lever to lock the cartridge in.|
|MNT TNK FULL||The tank that catches excess ink, known as the maintenance tank, is full.||Replace the maintenance tank.|
|LOWER INK LEVERS||Both ink levers are raised (not locked).||Lower the ink levers.|
|LOWER L INK LVR||The left ink lever is raised.||Lower the left ink lever.|
|LOWER R INK LVR||The right ink lever is raised.||Lower the right ink lever.|
|TOP COVER OPEN||The top cover is open.||Close the top cover.|
|SET PAPER LEVER||The paper lever is in the release position.||Set the paper lever to the secured position.|
|RELEASE LEVERREMOVE PAPER JAM||There is a paper jam in the printer.||Release the paper lever, open the top cover, and slowly remove the paper that is causing the jam.|
|NO MNT TNK||The maintenance tank is not properly installed in the printer.||Install a maintenance kit.|
|REAR COVER OPEN||The rear cover is open.||Close the rear cover.|
|UPDATE FAILED||Firmware update was not completed or unsuccessful.||Try updating the Firmware again.|
|UNLOCK PRINT HEAD||The printhead is locked up.||To release the printhead, pull the green tab next to it.|
|SERVICE REQ #####||Either the printhead is locked or a fatal error has occurred. The numbers after the message will identify where the error is based on the part codes.||Try turning off your machine for a while and then turning it back on. If the error message persists, match the number code with the part and call technical support.|
If you come across an error message that is not listed above, it is advised that you contact technical support. You do not want to attempt to fix an issue that requires a professional repair, as you will most likely make the problem worse. Epson offers support through their website and also provides customer care contact information.
There are a number of things that could go wrong with a printer during operation. Some of these issues are fixable by the user and some require a professional. Below are the Top 6 most common printing problems, as well as simple troubleshooting tasks that you can attempt before seeking help.
|Slow Speed||There are a few solutions to this problem, but the two primary answers lie in the memory and print mode settings. If your print demands are larger than your printer’s memory capacity, this will increase the amount of time it takes for a task to get from the computer to the output tray of the printer. Fix this by upgrading the memory. For optimal speed, the print mode should be set to draft or eco mode. This will minimize how much ink or toner is applied, thus taking less time to complete the page.|
|Poor Print Quality||Inkjet printers: Poor quality most likely means the printhead is clogged or dirty. There is an internal cleaning utility available for most inkjet printers, but we offer a more in-depth look into how to clean your printhead.
Laser printers: The imaging drum is the primary component in transferring an image or text. The laser will burn the information onto the imaging drum, which will then collect the toner and apply it to the paper. If there is a scratch or debris on this drum, the images will be flawed. Try to replace or clean the printer drum.
|Expensive Ink/Toner||Often, printer manufacturers will sell the machines at cost or even lower to lure consumers in, and then make their money back by selling overpriced replacement ink and toner cartridges. The solution to this is simple – use compatible or remanufactured toner and ink cartridges. Many reputable third-party vendors are easily accessible online and provide compatible replacement cartridges that cost considerably less but often come with a guarantee to perform with the same quality as OEM cartridges.|
|Paper Jams||Easily the most frustrating issue of the 6 highlighted in this list, paper jams are typically easy to fix and often preventable. Be sure you are implementing the right kind of preventative paper care before it is loaded into the printer. Also, make sure the alignment is correct and the feed rollers are cleaned or replaced regularly.|
|Jobs Sent to Wrong Printer||Understand that the computer program you are using will select a default printer if one is not established by you. So, if you do not set your printer to default in an environment with multiple printers, do not be surprised if you are walking to each machine in the office trying to find your documents. Also, be aware that changing or upgrading the operating system can reset the printer selected as the default.|
|Wireless Network Issues||Wireless, because it is based on radio waves, loses strength with distance. So the desk furthest from the printer may have issues printing. You can use a wired ethernet connection, or try a wireless bridge to boost the signal.|
Well, there you have it. The issues listed above may not be the most difficult to fix, but they are among the most common problems. Use the solutions column to try rectifying the problem yourself. If you continue to have an issue, contact your manufacturer for further assistance.