Most businesses that routinely use a laser plotter find it to be indispensable to normal operations. This is only one reason why a plotter should be kept in good repair, however; another is that professional plotters tend to be quite expensive. No CIO wants to be in the position of constantly calling for plotter service, let alone facing the need to replace a unit long before its normal life span has elapsed.
These factors mean that plotter maintenance is a vital issue that the average small business cannot afford to disregard. Since every brand and model of plotter may be a little bit different, employees and managers should consult their equipment manual for details about what routine maintenance procedures are recommended. A good manual will also provide detailed directions guiding works to perform these tasks in an efficient, effective, and comprehensive manner.
That said, there are some general principles that can help guide workers in their efforts to take proper care of the company plotter. The most important maintenance tip of all is to clean the plotter on a regular basis. Many manuals will recommend that the plotter be wiped clean daily; some specify that workers use a damp rag that has been very lightly coated with an appropriate choice of oil. This practice will keep dust from building up on and around the working parts and will help to remove the residue that can build up when a plotter has been in use.
Once weekly, a deeper cleaning is in order. Important parts such as the bail arms and sliding sprocket should be wiped down with a rag dampened this time with alcohol, as should the rear and front ways. Afterwards, these parts should be lubricated with a damp rag lightly coated in oil. Many manuals will recommend the use of a three-in-one oil, but again, this should be verified with the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding.
Apart from routine cleaning, workers should be trained to cover the printer plotter whenever it is not in active use. This definitely includes covering it at the close of business each day. This will help to prevent dust, dirt, and grit from getting into the delicate mechanisms of the plotter.
It is also important that a skilled and qualified plotter service firm be contacted without delay if the plotter ceases normal operation and the basic troubleshooting tips in the manual do not clear the problem up.
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