The next time you receive a printer fuser error message, you may be able to quickly solve the problem yourself. That’s great news for time-starved HP printer technicians who want to avoid minutes on the phone with refurbished parts providers’ service lines, or the hassles of product returns.
Armed with the following checklist, you can reacquaint yourself with some “fuser basics”, and avoid frustration or an unnecessary return.
The 10 things you should know about fusers below is meant to be a memory jogger about simple things that may be overlooked even by the most experienced technician who gets rushed by having too much to do and too little time. Over the years, HP laser printers have evolved into highly complex, networked, high-speed machines.
However, they still retain the core group of parts and other little things that can be frustrating when trying to service them.
First, a back-to-the-basics reminder of the critical importance of the fuser in the printing process, for your team, or for conversations with your customers. Essentially, without the fuser’s proper function, the toner will not be properly fused into the page.
In the final stages of printing, the printer passes the paper through the fuser, which has an upper roller and a lower roller. As the paper passes through these rollers, a combination of heat and pressure fuse the toner with the fibers in the paper. The fuser
rolls the paper to the output assembly, and you have your finished page. Then the paper exits the printer.
The next time you hit a fuser error speed bump, we hope the 10 Things you should know about fusers help you “de-fuse” your frustration.
1. The Printer Fuser Heat Source
If you receive a printer service error, or equivalent, the fuser’s heat source may have burned out. This is the equivalent of walking into a room, flipping on the light switch, and the light bulb burns out.
There is no foolproof way to prevent or predict when the lamps will burn out in either OEM or refurbished fusers. The fuser’s necessary heat comes from two primary sources: halogen quarts lamps or ceramic heating elements. One contributing factor can be shipping.
Though it is rare, shipping may weaken or break the filaments in the lamps or cause the ceramic to crack. At Metrofuser we take special precautions with all packaging on fusers and other refurbished parts to keep this occurrence to a bare minimum.
2. Printer Fuser Lower Pressure Roller
If proper pressure isn’t applied, the fuser can’t function. A sign that there’s a lack of pressure is an improperly fused page. The pressure the fuser needs comes from the LPR lower pressure rollers and springs.
The springs in the fuser put pressure on the fuser’s lower pressure roller. Rollers are available in many different forms: foam, solid rubber, multi-layer coated and other materials. Some fusers can work with either a solid or foam LPR.
The type of material used by the OEM is specific to each printer. Metrofuser uses the same type of material as the OEM, unless another qualified roller passes our exacting quality standards. For example, a foam roller could work where one would expect a solid roller.
3. Printer Fuser Upper Roller
It takes two rollers to make a fuser function properly. If the LPR isn’t the issue, it’s possible the upper fuser roller or hot roller is.
Upper fuser rollers come in many types. Older printers used a aluminum tube coated with Teflon, or a similar material, not unlike what you would find on your pans at home.
The way the coating is applied and the cure temperature of the coating are critical. If the coating is nicked or scratched, toner can accumulate on the upper fuser roller and transfer print defects to the page. It is normal for separation claws to make marks or thin lines on the roller. This can happen even after a page or two has printed. In this case, the coating is not damaged, but a line does appear on the roller.
To minimize the issues, our refurbished fusers have a brand-new UPR installed. This means you can be sure that you’ll receive maximum life and performance from this component of your refurbished fuser.
4. Printer Fuser Fixing Film Sleeve
Another fuser component that may be the cause of a fuser malfunction is the fixing film or sleeve. If the sleeve isn’t turning properly, the paper can’t move through the printer to its final printed state. There are two common myths about fixing film or sleeves.
The myth is that the fuser film sleeve must turn when the main drive gear turns. When examining the fuser, as you hold it in your hand, the sleeve may or may not turn. This does not necessarily mean your fuser is defective, since fixing film fusers rely on the paper’s thickness to provide the friction needed to rotate the sleeve.
Another myth is that sleeve color determines quality. This is simply untrue. Like the OEM, Metrofuser uses new sleeves for films in our refurbished fuser