Humidity and Paper Science Project!

In an earlier post, I spoke about proper paper care of paper in humid and arid conditions. After this humid summer, I wanted to put the paper to the test. The question, “how does different types of storage (thus humidity) really affect paper quality?”

So I stored paper in different conditions for a week and a half to absorb surrounding moisture. These were the different areas of storage and their associated humidity:

  • AC office (optimal conditions)
  • Warehouse (low/moderate humidity)
  • Trunk of a car (moderate/high)
  • Humidity chamber (high)


Set up

  • All of the paper was unwrapped and put in their respective locations so they wouldn’t be moved or affected by anything but surrounding humidity. The humidity chamber was a large container with an inch of water at the bottom and stands to keep the paper dry. This was stored in the sun, building humidity inside this closed container. Then, the most crucial part…we let it sit.



  • I printed a sample email on half a ream for a reasonable sample size in a multi-function printer.  Inspected each stack for toner flaking and more importantly paper curling. This is what we found:



None of the pages had any visible signs of toner flaking or smudging. Printing graphics could have shown a better representation of toner flaking/smudging.  Surprisingly, the warehouse stored paper had more curling than the trunk. From best to worst results:

  1. Office paper = flat
  2. Trunk = slight curling on sides
  3. Warehouse = curling on sides, top, and bottom
  4. Humidity Chamber = extreme curling on sides, top, and bottom. The body of the paper also had significant wrinkling


To see the science project in action, watch the YouTube video!


How to Resolve Common Printer Issues

Printers are taken for granted when they are working and are extremely inconvenient when they aren’t. Printing is something that should be reliable, but for some reason technology seems to create more problems than it solves sometimes. Many errors can be fixed easily, but you have to know what you are doing. Figuring out the problem on your own can save you a lot of time and potentially money. I think the following video does an acceptable job of explaining how to troubleshoot and solve common printer errors.

Below I have listed the times to more easily navigate depending on the issue you are having.

  • Troubleshooting Printer Problems: 0:50
    • Printing a Test Page: 2:25
    • Print Quality Check: 3:30
  • Common Printer Problems: 4:20
    • Identify Solutions: 5:45
    • Out of Paper”: 7:00
    • “Lines or Smearing”: 7:55
    • “Error Codes”: 8:40
    • “No connectivity”: 9:40
    • “IP Address Issues”: 10:12
    • “Garbage Printout”: 10:40
  • Review: 11:10


If you have any further questions or need further service, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help!

8 Steps to Choose the Best Printer for your Needs


I just need a printer that works when I want it to. There is a lot that goes into choosing the most efficient and cost effective printer for your specific needs. No one wants to overspend, but it can be equally as frustrating to buy a printer that can’t perform up to standard. Finding that middle ground, searching through countless reviews is time consuming and the specs all end up blending together.

Below I’ve written steps to help guide you to your soul mate.



  1. What operating system are you using? Make sure it is compatible with specified printer. (For example, Lexmark printers don’t support Linux)
  2. What kind of printer do you want? Does it need to be color, print fast, need scanner, have memory card reader, etc.
  3. What is your budget? Let’s be realistic.
  4. What features are important? Wifi or PictBridge capabilities, things essential to make this compatible to your needs.
  5. What do you need the printer to do? Is it for the occasional word document or web page, then an inexpensive laser printer would suffice. If you are going to be printing in quantity, that is a different story. If you want something that can do it all, a multi-function printer is where you need to be looking.
  6. Factors you may need to consider.
    • Resolution
    • Operating Cost
    • Speed
    • Size of printout and type of paper
    • Post-Script Fonts
    • Photo Quality
    • Network Enabled
    • Compatibility and Warrently
  7. Deciding if a Color Inkjet Printer is Right for you: If you are looking for high quality color photo output. Choose an inkjet based on the price of the replacement ink rather than the machine itself. The INK costs can exceed the price of the printer multiple times over. Look for color with individual colors rather than a single color cartridge.
  8. Deciding if a Laser Printer is Right for you: If you are planning on document printing. Toner cartridges are more cost effective and are replaced less.


ORRRR If you want an expert to lead you in the right direction…we can help you. Just fill out the form below.


Stop Searching. Start Finding.

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The Reality of Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

Finding the right ink for your printer can be a difficult task, especially among the variety of different online ink cartridge providers. Questions can range from: inkjet to laser, and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to remanufacture. If you are one of the few familiar with printers you should have no problem, otherwise… here are some things you should consider when looking for your ink.


Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

  • Advocates emphasize their green qualities, much using recycled plastic or cardboard.
  • Buying remanufactured cartridges save upwards of 15 to 50 percent every order.
    • This is because rather than competing with other name brand companies (HP, Lexmark, Brother, Dell), remanufacturers are setting their own prices.
  • These cartridges are filled to capacity, whereas said OEM cartridges are usually not… less ink, more orders.
  • However, quality of remanufactured cartridges may be inconsistent between different providers.


What to look for when purchasing remanufactured ink cartridges:

  1. Read customer reviews. In a world with, this should be a no brainer.
  2. Find the extent of warranty that is offered. If the cartridges shipped are not up to standard, it is important to know how long it is under warranty so money is not wasted…No, remanufactured toner cartridges will not void the warranty of your printer.
  3. Ask how the quality compares to its OEM counterpart. It is important they understand their cartridges forward and back, that means quality testing.
  4. Remanufactured cartridges will not damage your machine’s print head or cause depreciating print quality. Those are lies to get you to spend more for OEM products!




The Paperless Office, Not Yet a Reality

The end of the printing age has not yet come, despite speculations. Although the worldwide page volume continued its slow decline in 2012, the world continues to print at a steady rate.

According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide page volume from digital hardcopy devices* decreased to 2.98 trillion in 2012 from 3.03 trillion in 2011, a decline of -1.5% year over year. IDC expects worldwide page volume to remain flat for the 2013-2017 forecast period.

While printing continues to be more accessible by mobile users, it boosts their ability to print. While many still don’t take know how to advantage of this capability (50% smartphone of owners and 35% of tablet owners), this will increase as it become more intuitive. According to IDC, more than 50% of smartphone and tablet users are expected to utilize mobile printing in the office by 2015.

So while our use of the printed page does seem to be slowly declining, the paperless office isn’t quite ready to become a reality.

3 Reasons Why You Made the Right Decision Switching to MPS

More IT managers find they don’t have to live with unknown and/or excessive printing costs. They turn their printing environments over to area experts. This simple change optimizes printing resources, saving money and relieving time previously needed for service and support.


Benefit #1: A Range of Choices

Managed print contracts come with a wide variety of options, but we begin with an assessment of your current infrastructure to determine exactly what the current equipment is and how much is costs.

This is usually the most surprising part. The tech analyst firm Gartner states, organizations spend from 1 to 3 percent of their annual revenues on printing. “But when you talk about how much they spend on print, they often don’t have a clue,” states Chris Iburg, director of managed print services for Xerox. “That includes how many devices they have and how the devices are being used.”


Document intense businesses benefit the most from switching to Managed Print Services:

  • Law offices, for example, may see a savings of 41 percent, according InfoTrends
  • Financial firms: expect an average savings of 33 percent
  • Healthcare organizations: 27 percent savings


Right sizing is the key — we turn the assessment data into an opportunity to find ways of eliminating unnecessary equipment. Also included, is an ongoing monitoring of printing volumes so devices are never low with toner or ink.

Routine maintenance on equipment and abilities to step in to fix any breakdowns that occur keep business running smoothly. A formal approach to managing the devices can be a catalyst for big cost savings and an increase in office efficiency, says Bruce Dahlgren, senior vice president for managed enterprise solutions at HP’s Imaging and Printing Group. The average Fortune 1000 company can save up to 700 metric tons of paper annually and reduce energy costs by up to 40 percent, he estimates.


Managed Print Services Benefit #2: Predictable Printing

  • Printing costs are more predictable.
  • You do not have to spend money to keep inventory for the equipment.
  • IT staff can use the freed time more wisely. We take care of any issues that may arise so you do not have too.


Managed Print Services Benefit #3: Hardware Consolidation

  • Rightsizing the print environment is a vital first step because most organizations maintain far more printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines than they need. We do this by recording monthly use volumes of each device.
  • After an analysis by a printing technology expert, we implement a more practical device per employee ratio. You not only save money by reducing ink/toner waste, but electricy bills are reduced as well.
  • More efficient hardware options, such as multifunction printers (MFPs), reduce cost without effecting efficiency. These combine a printer, copier, scanner and fax machine within a single device. Once expensive, MFPs are becoming more affordable options, workgroup models sell for under $700.
  • Industry estimates show that for every $1 spent on printing — for toner, ink and other supplies — organizations spend another $9 to manage the printing environment.

Do I need Managed Print Solutions?

Proper fleet optimization requires much more than “one size fits all” amortization. Managed print solutions deliver a clear benefit; aprinters_size11llowing your company to have an optimized document imaging fleet. If you haven’t optimized your fleet of office equipment, here are the top five signs that you may need a managed print solutions:


Lack of Continuity: Is there a lack continuity in your office? Has your company chosen multiple manufacturers’ products without regard to how they will work together? This lack of continuity creates challenges when it comes to getting service. We recommend sticking with brands not tied to a specific dealer. Rarely do dealer specific brands bring enough benefit to justify being tethered to the dealer that sold it to you. Use a brand that has the features you like along with the option to choose multiple service providers.


Maverick Spending: Impulsive or maverick spending on procurement of print devices leads to over-spending and sub-par equipment selection. Purchasing without adequate research often leads to higher cost of ownership. Many times, equipment manufacturers will make two similar models. Model A, requires a low capacity toner only to operate; whereas, Model B, can use the low capacity or high capacity toner. Unless your print volume is extremely low, it almost always pays to buy the model that can utilizes the high capacity toner!


Missing Metrics: Minimal or no tracking of device metrics means you may not know where inefficiencies lie or how to fix them. You cannot control what you cannot see, such as page counts, visibility of over and under utilized devices, page coverage, service reports, alerts and more. With access to the right metrics, companies can leverage its purchasing power for smart, centralized fleet purchases, instead of uninformed, individual purchases from various locations.


Lack of Procurement Processes: Especially where metrics are missing, the company lacks the data needed to apply to fleet purchasing decisions, so no rational, strategic process exists. With proper software-enabled standardization and proper metrics, the company can put in place strategic processes that lead to an optimized fleet.


Incorrect Amortization or Expense Structure: Another reason that a company may fall short of having an optimized document imaging fleet is that devices have already been expended or procured through a capital expenditure. The truth may be that capital budgets are being stretched with erratic purchases of output technology, reactive supply orders and emergency service calls. Furthermore, your company may be unaware of hidden costs that are hurting your bottom line.

3 Steps to Maintain Printer Performance

Here are a few tips to keep your printer happy and working to its potential.copier_choose_209x280_size11


Keep your Printers Clean

Dust or toner is the culprit to most printer related issues, including even electronic issues. One easy solution is to clean the inside of your printer when changing toner cartridges. Simply use a damp cloth or Q-tip to reach the machine’s nooks and crannies.


Record Recurring Service Issues

Service technicians will record their visits in a log, but a personal record is also helpful. Less than one in twenty communications failures is caused by a defective printer. Your computers and its network  are constantly changing. First check network and computer alternatives before moving onto the printer. If you have any questions, feel free to use the chat feature to talk to the service department.


Each Error Message is Unique

Common error prompts that printers send out include: PAPER OUT and PRINTER OPEN, reset errors such as 13 PAPER JAM and 51 SERVICE (beam detect error), and fatal errors like 50 SERVICE or 55 SERVICE. Each message is unique, so it is important to address them accordingly. Not all are major problems. If in need of service, simply include the exact error message for more optimized assistance.


MCE Accepted into Brother Partner Program

Effective November 7th, 2014, MCE has been accepted as an authorized Brother Partner. This new

relationship with Brother allows MCE to offer a dependable and economical line of business solutions

only available through authorized business partners.

When asked, Mike Presnal, President, commented, “We are very excited about our new

relationship with Brother! In the past, we felt there was opportunity to improve certain segments of our

printer and MFP offering. Brother equipment is a perfect fit for many of our clients.

MCE has been an authorized service provider for many years, and this expanded relationship is an ideal


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