The users of the printers can upgrade various aspects of the printer from time to time for its longevity. Printers may need memory upgradation. While upgrading the memory, following two points should be kept in mind:
- The memory should be compatible with the printer, and should be bought from only company specified hardware. Although, DIMM memory chips are widely used in printers however printer manual or related official website should be referred in selecting
- It is also necessary to ensure that the printer memory is expandable in future. The buyer should know this while buying the printer.
Apart from that it is necessary to install Network Interface Card (NIC). The NIC is also referred to as print server. The NIC in a printer is proprietary. The same manufacturer makes the printer and the NIC. The NIC is used to keep a printer directly accessible to all the networked devices. The NIC used in the printers is almost like the NIC used in the computers but there are a few minor differences between them. The NICs used in the printers contain a processor that performs the function which the host computer would have performed for networking the printer. This is technically referred to as “Print Server”. Normally, compatible NIC needs to be purchased from the printer manufacturer. So, when a printer is available with the NIC, it can work faster in the network than in any other configuration. The operators in any computer can directly access the printer which makes any printing job more efficient and flawless. But all printers are not NIC compatible. So, the buyer needs to check the manual for a specification that can clearly depict whether the printer can be used with the NIC or not. Another important thing that needs to be upgraded regularly is printer firmware. Like memory upgradation, it is also necessary to upgrade the firmware from time to time. Upgrading methods for printer firmware depends on the printer model. Often, you can simply download and install it freely from the manufacturer’s website. Printer firmware upgrades are usually done from the machine that hosts the printer. In most of the cases, the manufacturer provides the files relevant for firmware upgradation free of cost. These are available on the official website of the printer (manufacturer). These days many printers have auto-upgraded features in which firmware are upgraded systematically.
Apart from the above-mentioned updates, some other types of updates can be available in laser and upper premium version printers. All manufacturers provide a detailed list of accessories, options and upgrades available for their printers. The following important names come inevitably:
Hard drive: While printing a document, fonts and font sizes must be downloaded in the printer. Desktop publishers and graphic designers who use laser colour printers often look for suitable solutions through which they can at least increase the speed of printing in the same printer they use. In a new process, many of them install printer-resident fonts. It is a process to fix some fonts in the printer memory so that they need not upload a font every time while printing. However, this is not always possible due to the shortage of memory. To solve the issue, many manufacturers provide an option for increasing the internal memory of printers. So, the upgradation of hard drive becomes useful in some situations when a large file requires to be printed and the operators are interested in uploading many fonts beforehand.
Trays and feeders: Another interesting upgradation available is the paper tray. In general, the paper trays can accommodate a maximum of 500 pages. Some older versions of laser jet printers are still available in the market where less than 500 sheets can be fed. In many offices where the printers undertake bulk works, an additional paper tray can be used to accommodate more papers for printing. This reduces operating cost and requires less human intervention. Moreover, some printers are now providing spaces for multiple paper trays. That means, if the operator requires printing envelopes or other types of printing in large quantities, they can do so by adding that type of tray. Feeder is a different type of tray that can be added with a printer to feed one paper or one envelope in a tray at a time. A feeder can easily hold 100-200 envelopes depending on their thickness and supply them into the printer one at a time.
Finisher: As the name implies, a finisher is meant to finalise the physical presentation of a document. Some documents may need hole-punching, folding, stapling. So, a finisher takes an important responsibility in finalizing the physical shape of a complete document. This hardware is costly but in the long run, it saves much of the overhead expenses. This option has been getting popular in offices and business establishments where bulk documents are .required to be presented in a particular (predefined) form on a regular basis. It inevitably saves manpower and also brings accuracy in this job.