Printers are devices that accept text and graphics output, commands given by computer which are then transferred to a paper or any flat sheet. It gives out hard copy, but printers vary in sizes, output and cost as per the need and this how the result also varies. Printers are the most famous computer peripherals that can generate text as well as 2-D or 3-D images. Plotter printers are commercial printers which help to make extensive forms of images on metals like sign boards or vehicle graphics. This is done by printable heat transfer vinyl printers which are plotter printers. So before we jump on to how to maintain them, first we must know about what plotter printers actually are and what they are good at.    

What Are Plotter Printers?

Plotter printers are an invention of the mid 90's made by Ramington-Rand in 1953. It was specifically invented to meet the requirements of vector graphics with the help of pencil, pen, marker or other writing tools for continuous lines instead of using the traditional way of using ink or toner. The main purpose of this printer is to make hard copies on any material like sheet, plastic, plywood or aluminum. Plotters work best for colored sign making with printable heat transfer vinyl, they use blades instead of a pen. These plotter printers can save all templates and patterns on the disk, which overcomes the problem of loading the same image or pattern again and again. Adding on, it can print the same thing thousands times without any difference.

Plotter printers are large in size, so they have large format printer parts like drum rollers, laser jets or ink jets which work quite amazingly and professionally. It has many kinds from drum plotter to flatbed plotter, and from inkjet plotter to cutting plotters. The most popular plus newest version in these printers is cutting plotters which is a new generation device which helps the users to cut many different shapes. You can use this for advertising, sign making, billboards or vehicle graphics through printable heat transfer vinyl. Although they're expensive from traditional ones but give fine results, as they're used mainly for business purposes.

Now that we know about plotter printers, we must also know how to take care of them and maintain them as they're expensive and are needed anytime for business operations. So, therefore, we must keep their condition in good repair. Here are some handy tips and tricks to follow.

1-      Clean It Regularly

The most important maintenance tip for any of your devices including the plotter printer is to keep them clean on a regular basis and never omit this aspect. Especially for plotter printers, do clean them daily, damp the cloth with oil or gel to clean it. This practice will avoid any dust building, therefore removing any sort of residue on a daily basis.

2-      Deep Cleaning

It's also highly recommended to deep clean your printers every week from inside and out. This is essential because a lot of dust particles reside inside the machine causing trouble in giving smooth output. Clean print head swabs to clean the maintenance station and cap. Also replace the flushing box insert every two weeks. Important parts such as the bail arms and sliding sprocket should be cleaned with a cloth damp in alcohol for some best results. Afterwards, these parts must be lightly rubbed with a damp rag lubricated with light oil. Many oils are recommended in the manuals and by the manufacturer's instruction booklet, do check before using any oil.

3-      Cover It

Another basic but equally important tip is to cover your printer when it's not in active use. This seems simple, which looks like a routine task but keeps your printer in perfect condition. For this, you should train your employees to cover it when not using it. Make them responsible enough, ask them to clean it regularly for maintaining best condition. This definitely means covering it at the end of every single day, as a daily routine. This'll prevent dirt, grim and dust from getting inside the delicate mechanisms of the plotter.

4-      Skilled Professionals

Although you're cleaning it on a daily and weekly basis, following basic steps still any machine including printers need a thorough cleaning from professionals where they open the device in detail, clean it and fix it again properly. Always take the services of a professional skilled personnel who knows about printers in detail. You may need to do this if the plotter ceases normal operations or maybe the trouble shooting tips can't sort the issue.    

Summing Up

Many times you need to update your printer to keep them working efficiently or a trouble shooter can resolve the problem. However, it becomes essential to clean your printer if it's not working properly and shows errors. This is important because these printers are complex and expensive. Maintaining the plotter printers and keeping the large format printer parts clean as well as up to date will make your printer in optimum condition, increasing its life span.