Hello, I’m Brian Ferrill, and welcome to PACE
I T’s session on laser printers. Today, I’m going to do an introduction to the laser printer, then I will discuss the laser printing process,
and then we’ll touch on laser printer maintenance. There’s a fair amount of ground to cover and not a whole lot of time, so let’s go ahead
and jump into it. So, I will begin by introducing you to the
laser printer. Laser printers produce high quality print jobs through the use of a laser, electricity, toner, and heat. Now, unlike
other types of printers, the actual printing to the page is done a whole page at a time,
rather than a line at a time like other printers
do. Laser printers can be relatively small and simple or they can be large, high capacity printers that are highly complex. They can
duplex, they can collate, they can organize, or, like I said earlier, they can just be
a simple printer. Laser printers are faster than other types of printers. Part of that is the fact that
they print the whole page at a time, instead of line by line. Laser printers also have a higher
initial cost to acquire. That means they are more expensive than other types of printers
to buy. But, in most cases, they also have a lower cost to operate on a per-page basis than printers like inkjets. That means it actually costs
you less per page to print, but you have to spend
more upfront to get it. Color laser printers use the cyan, magenta, yellow, black color
model that is used in printing rather than the RGB,
the red, blue, green model that’s used in display technology.
So how does it work? Well, a negative electrical charge is evenly applied to a rotating photosensitive drum. A laser is then used to neutralize the electrical charge in specific
areas of the drum, that is the actual page image, it’s the neutralized area. Toner is attracted to the image area. The toner is
then transferred to the paper. The toner and the paper are then sent to a fuser assembly,
where the toner is fused or melted to the paper
and the printed page is produced. Now, let’s move on to the actual laser printing process. So, the laser printing process has seven steps. The first step is processing. This is also called the raster imaging process.
A raster is a single line of dots that are used as a component of an image. A raster
image is all of the lines of dots that make up the
image of the page or on the page. A raster image processor, or RIP, is used to take input
from the computer about the print job and create
the raster image of the page. Now that that’s over with, what you need to remember is that processing is the creation of the raster image of the page. The next step is charging. A primary charging
roller applies an even high-voltage negative charge to the photosensitive imaging drum. The common voltage ranges between a -500 and -600
volts direct current, but it may be as high as -1000 volts direct current. The charging process will actually remove any left over
charge from previous jobs, and it prepares the drum to receive the new image, which is
the next step, exposing.
A laser is used to expose the raster image to the drum. Where the laser hits the drum,
the high-voltage negative charge is neutralized, preparing the drum to receive the toner, which
occurs in the developing step. The toner, which has a negative electrical charge, is attracted to the raster image area on the
image drum, so it’s attracted to the neutralized area of the image drum.
Step five is the transferring process. During this process, pickup rollers roll over the
paper, while separator pads roll in the opposite direction to ensure that only one page is
picked up at a time. While the transfer roller is rolling over the paper, it gives an electrical charge opposite to that of the toner to the
paper. The paper then moves past the imaging drum and the toner is attracted to the paper. It actually kind of jumps to the paper. As soon
as that happens, a static eliminator removes the electrical charge that was on the paper.
And we’re on to the fusing process. During the fusing process, the paper with the toner
is passed through the fuser assembly, which uses heat to melt the toner into the paper, making it a very durable image. The last step in the process is the cleaning
process. Excess toner is scraped off of the imaging drum and collected for disposal. An
erase lamp is also used to neutralize any remaining
charge on the imaging drum, preparing it to receive the next raster image. In some manuals, you may see the cleaning process being listed
as the first process. First or last, it doesn’t really matter, as long as everything flows
in order. Now, let’s move on to laser printer maintenance. First up in maintenance is safety. Always
remember safety first. Because laser printers deal with high voltages, care and caution
when working on them is mandatory. It’s not optional, it’s mandatory. There is also a
danger of being burned by the fuser assembly. Always
review the operating manual and follow all safety precautions.
Now, let’s move on to the maintenance tasks. First up, replacing toner is required. It’s
going to be the most common task that you perform on a laser printer. Now, something to remember,
if toner is spilled, avoid contact with it. It’s not very healthy for you to get it on
your skin. And clean up the spill immediately.
If you use a vacuum, make sure that it has a HEPA type filter. You don’t want to push
that toner into the air.
Cleaning the inside of your laser printer is the next most common maintenance task.
Remove paper dust and debris following the printer’s service manual. Then, there are maintenance
kits. You need to apply maintenance kits at the recommended service intervals. Most of
the time, those service intervals are based on
the number of pages that are printed. Most maintenance kits include new pickup and separator rollers, transfer rollers, and fuser assemblies.
Applying the maintenance kits correctly will prolong the life of the printer and help to ensure that quality print jobs are produced.
And, finally, you need to calibrate the printer as needed. Most printers come with calibration
software to ensure that the quality of the print job remains high.
Now, that concludes this session on the laser printer. I did an introduction to the laser
printer, then we talked about the laser printing process, and we finished with laser printer maintenance. Now, on behalf PACE I T, thank you for watching the session and sure I’ll do another one soon.
Written by Brian Rohrer
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