Which Printer? Right Technology, Right Choice
Whether you are responsible for a small home-based business, or a large company with many departments and workgroups, there are continuous choices to be made on the procurement of office equipment. Not least amongst these, is the selection of the appropriate printer technology for your business needs? Here in outline are the various technologies and their appropriate environment.
Useful for one individual or a workgroup with a minimal colour printing needs, a low-cost personal ink-jet will be the best choice. Personal inkjet printers offer a low initial cost, plus the flexibility to print on a variety of media, such as promotional materials.
In a bigger business environment, or one where colour output is a major requirement, then a higher-end colour printer is the best choice. With these, you can expect a higher specification machine, with the capability to print on media such as t-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, banners and numerous other products.
Business colour printers also have the ability to print on glossy paper, in addition to the other types of paper mentioned.
Large or Wide Format Printers
Design work or over-size documents for displays require a special kind of printer – a large format printer capable of printing on very large paper (or other media) sheets. Factors to consider here are quality of output, colour capability, speed, networking capability and additional functions such as scanning and copying.
A photo printer is essentially a personal colour ink-jet with a higher capability for printing on special photo paper. Naturally useful in the home, such printers have their use in the business environment – for example when there is a need to include quality photos in presentation packs for marketing purposes, or for use in training materials.
Business Colour Printers
Any printer that prints in both black and white and colour, and supports multiple brands of photo paper, is a business printer. Most large business printers already come with a wide format printer of some type, whether it be brochures, flyer Dificilers or multipurpose printers. Multifunctional printers that print, copy and scan are essential if you are running multiple print sites from one location, for example.
Consider your budget – While there are cheap ink-jets on the market, there are also expensive ones. The cheapest will do the job, but you might be getting a bit more for your money. Basically, ask about the average cost for a ‘good’ machine, and try to budget for around half that – you can always get more, but you’d be surprised just how much more you can get for less.
Regular Maintenance – A little bit of routine maintenance is very important. reprinting, particularly for factor sheets or issue sheets would require a straight reversion to form feed, and a jam-free print. Some older machines need to be ‘rebuilt’ to be able to print without any problems.
Caller ID – if you have a printing problem, do not attempt to solve it yourself! The best way to find the solution is to take your machine to the nearest phone-line service, and call them. They will walk you through, and fix the problem whilst you look at your device.
There are many situations that are different from home, and one wrong move can mean quite a problem. For example, if you drop your lap top on the floor – you could break something. Or being in the middle of a process with a faulty machine, and removing the Pendulum stopped the machine from rolling. Always call a reliable printing service for help.
It is no longer a case of, “Oh, I’ll just write a note to let you know that I’m running on half your colour toner”. Now it is, “I’m sorry, your colour toner cartridge is dead, do you want me to send you a new one?”
P.S. I have invested a lot of time and effort in providing you with useful information on solving common printing problems, and while I’m not an expert, you don’t need me to tell you that your colour toner cartridges probably aren’t as important as your ink cartridges. Get your printer checked. If it is just about ink, send it back. Find out how much you can save. Don’t dread the moment and run out and spend the money on a new cartridge before you know what’s wrong with it.
Remember, cheap does come with Bad! You might even find that the actual quality of your printing is poor and inconsistent. That’s worth being prepared for.
Remember, also, that cheap does come with an increased risk of it jamming and causing a problem. Have a good look at your printer manual. If you can’t find it, go find it at the manufacturer’s website or on the internet.