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Copy and Print Tips: Reducing Static Cling

2 min read

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How to tackle this winter hassle

It's a sometimes shocking, common winter hassle in our region: static cling. It may seem like a minor irritant in most instances, but in some cases, it can become a problem for your business machines. As soon as the heat clicks on, our indoor environments become dry as the Sahara, leading to a slew of issues ranging from dry skin to low-level shocks after walking across a carpet, to printer and copier issues.

That's right. If you've run into printing, laminating, and copying problems related to static cling, you're not alone; it can lead to a number of real-world issues, including jammed machines, image quality defects, damage to electronic components, reduced life of parts, dust buildup, and pages that stick together all of which can lead to printing flaws. The good news is, there are several steps you can take to reduce the static cling in your environment, even prevent the build-up of static in the dry seasonal weather. And as the experts at EO Johnson Business Technologies know, these tips to reduce and prevent static on business machines can be useful whether you're working from home or in the office.

Understanding how static builds up on business machines

In technical terms, the buildup of static is called the triboelectric effect, or as most of us call it, static electricity. In the print environment, it's common to experience the triboelectric effect as a result of the friction taking place between the media and the machine. The frustration of a jammed machine or pages sticking together, along with the static itself, can lead to a hair-raising printing experience. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Here are our top tips for preventing and reducing static buildup on your copiers, printers, and other business machines.

There are several things you can do within the print environment that can reduce static.

Increase humidity in the print environment

Print shops generally try to keep things dry but come winter that dry air may be too much of a good thing. By using a humidifier, you can create the perfect ecosystem and reduce or eliminate static electricity. Aim for 40% to 60% relative humidity in the print shop or workspace. If the humidity in the space drops below 30%, you'll likely experience static-related complications, especially paper jams and image quality issues.

Reduce conduction

You can reduce the amount of conductive material in your space by swapping out carpeting for rubberized floor mats. Adding non-conductive guards on work surfaces can also reduce static. In addition, you may be able to reduce static by maintaining distance between your machines—even by just a couple of inches. Spreading out workstations and production print devices may sound oversimplified as a solution, but it can actually reduce the strength of the current.

Get cleaning

You can reduce static by cleaning your machine's paper feed rollers. It's best to do this by wetting a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and wiping it over the paper rollers. Be sure to allow the feed rollers to dry before attempting your print job again.

Another fix for static in the print shop can be found in an unlikely space: the laundry room. Dryer sheets can reduce static cling, as they do for our clothes; simply wipe the media with the dryer/fabric softener sheet and proceed with your print job.

Consider a static eliminator

Static removal technology can help reduce the charged office environment. However, it's important to maintain appropriate relative humidity in the space, or these gadgets will not be effective. Static removal devices may include ionizers, static wands, and static elimination tinsel.

Printer, copier, and business machine problems with static?

We hope these tips for managing static cling in your print environment are helpful to you. If you're experiencing printer, copier, and business machine issues related to static, or any other problems related to your technology, we can help. Contact EO Johnson Business Technologies for this or any other equipment questions.

 

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