Recently one of my clients sent a machine back because of print quality. When the
machine left my shop the print was perfect, when they received it the print was lite.
After a couple of trips via the postman I was getting really curious.
There are a few things that effect print quality. Since we were talking a matter of
values, light and or darkness of print quality, that had to be a function of the ribbon
and or the force with which the platen strikes the print head.
Normally, I do not take long trips for one machine as it is not cost efficient. I was
visiting family not too far from the client so I modified my plans to include a site visit.
With my trusty voltage meter in hand I tested the voltage at the clients site. This
happens to be a court house built in 1893 which is under wired and or under
serviced for what they have in it. As it happens they had a printer on the same
circuit as the clock. Laser printers have something known as a fuser in them. The
fuser draws huge amount of current intermittently. When the fuser was not drawing
current the print would be adequate, when it was energized the voltage would drop
causing the print quality to suffer.
The bottom line is this. As we add technology, printers, copiers etc they all use
huge amounts of electricity. My shop voltage is 120v and that is the voltage that
they are tested with. If you feel that your place of business might be like our friends
here, have someone who knows how to measure the voltage and tell you what it is.
When you send me a machine for service, tell me what the voltage is and I can then
set the machine to work with that voltage. Normal voltage here in the states is 115 to
With Imaging taking such a big part of our lives, print quality is becoming more and
more critical. Change the ribbons when print quality starts to suffer, have your
electrical service checked if print quality is inconsistent. Finally, have your machine
checked if all else looks good. Normal wear and tear has its effects! Having your
machine serviced will extend its service life.