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When Even a Little Expertise Helps a Lot

ExpertiseDid you ever send a large file to your printer or MFP and have half of it end up on the floor?  When it seems that every page has a curl to it and the papers bunch up.  Unfortunately, the best case is the papers just go all over the floor.  Worst case is they cause jams and damage to the sensitive parts of your equipment.

There are many outside influences that can change the quality of your work when it comes out of the printer.  Even the best written proposal or company report can look diminished when something beyond your control interferes.

Here is an example:  It’s summer.  It’s hot every day and the humidity is high.  Even though your office may be climate controlled, chances are the truck, warehouses and other facilities between the paper factory and your office are not.  Humidity will affect your office supplies and equipment in ways you cannot see.  But you do start to notice that when you print, your documents “curl up” as they come out of the printer. 

This is because your paper acts like a thin sponge and absorbs water right out of the air.  You can’t see it or even feel it because human senses are not that sensitive.  However, during the print process when heat (about 360 degrees F) is applied to melt the toner to the paper.  This is part of the normal laser printing process.  It also causes the water to flash off and the fibers of the paper to shrink.  This is the “curl”.

No, the paper or printer will not let off wisps of steam.  There is not enough water for that to happen.  It will cause problems with the curled-up paper possibly ending up all over floor instead of a nice collated pile.  Did you know that there are specific models that have specialized settings to reduce or prevent this kind of problem?

With these models entering a less-curl mode, the printing slowed down just a little bit.  Not enough to affect your productivity.  However, this reduced speed allows the temperature to automatically reset and is key in preventing the process causing the curl.

Note, that some paper has this curl as a natural effect of the heat.  Paper formulated specifically for inkjet printers is about 6% to 7% water and has a coarser texture?  It will almost always curl just a little when run through a laser printer. Laser printer is only 2% water.  Because it’s been compressed so tightly, it also absorbs very little airborne moisture. 

Both the ink printer specific and the laser printer specific papers are more expensive than the generic papers we now call “multipurpose” paper.

The most common is the universal 20-pound paper.  It’s about 4% water and the texture is right in between the smoothness of the laser specific and the coarse surface of ink paper.  So, it’s inexpensive and the most common, but it also has the surface texture that lets it absorb humidity and is made from fibers that can shrink if they are hot enough.

Some things that can help would be:

  1. Do not unbox all your paper ahead of time
  2. Especially do not load the device for more than you need to use that day
  3. If you are a large office with a storage room for supplies, consider a dehumidifier
  4. Contract clients should contact the Dove Help Desk to see if your device has the anti-curl setting
  5. Do not have a fan blow on your printer/MFP.  It will make it even hotter! 

So often, what may seem like problems that are impossible to overcome can be solved with some simple advice.  Information and experience such as this just goes to show you that when looking for a company that offers Managed Print Services.   Dove Print Solutions is exactly the partner your organization needs.  Contact your Dove account manager for ways our skilled help desk can assist your company.