Thursday, 4 October 2012

Meet our Hardware Expert

Contributed by Farzana Rasheed

NATC recently hired an experienced hardware expert to handle our in-house and on-site diagnosis and repairs on a part-time basis. Alexander Baryou's expertise lies in repairs of all range of printers including heavy-duty network printers and plotters. Alexander is also an expert in handling other hardware issues for laptops and desktops. 

Alexander received his technical training at Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County where he studied general electronics for 4 years. He is currently employed with a printing business situated on Broad Street, Monrovia where he has received excellent working knowledge of hardware issues in terms of diagnosis and, where and how to source replacement parts. Working for 4 years in hardware has made Alexander into a real expert!

Since we got to know him, we offered him a part-time job at our company so that we could rely on his expertise and, better streamline our services. 

To date, Alexander has already successfully handled the following machines for us without breaking a sweat:

1) HP Design Jet 510 Plotter
2) HP Laserjet M4555 MFP Printer
3) HP Photosmart C5500 Printer
4) Canon iR2016 Copier
5) HP Laserjet 4345 Printer

So, I really wanted to pick Alexander's brain and ask him about what common issues he encounters. See below: 
  • One recurring problem affecting the malfunction of a printer is an over-used roller, a part inside printers 'picking up' your A4's. Nearly all rollers have a limited life and eventually need to be replaced in order to lengthen the life of a printer. 
  • Another common problem is that the software/firmware gets corrupted and, needs to be re-installed. This involves looking for the original CD that came with the printer (usually lost!) or going online, identifying and downloading it.  
  • Another common problem is over use of the printer which damages the fuser unit, a part which is responsible to dry the ink on the sheet. In smaller desk printers, the printing head acts as the fuser unit and gets over used and needs to be replaced. In bigger printers the fuser unit get damaged due to over use. They have a limited life and can be replaced so the printer is restored to almost new. 
  • Fake cartridges can also affect the functioning of a printer. In smaller printers, the ink from these cartridges spills out and damages the print head and in larger ones, it can damage the gear system's alignment. 
  • Lack of maintenance on a printer for an extended period results in a very dusty printer that can adversely affect nearly all functions and parts of a printer. Usually a thorough 'clean up' using a clean cloth, a compressed air can and a blower does the trick.  

Sourcing parts to repair printers can be tricky but there is a network of resourceful hardware technicians in Monrovia that can be relied on. These technicians, including Alexander, keep parts in their workshops 'harvested' from condemned printers for such scenarios. So far, Alexander has been able to find all the parts he needs to get a sick printer cured. In case the part is not available, we can order the part from our NATC office in the US. 

By having a dedicated person to handle printer issues on our team, NATC is going to be able to respond to our client's needs much more efficiently. 

Here are a few pictures of the expert in action!

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