An inkjet printer is the most important item in heat transfer business. Heat press is also as important. But it's much more likely that your heat transfer business will be affected by the printers not by the heat press. Why? That's because inkjet printer heads can get clogged easily. This will result in poor print quality, shifted colors or, in worst case, no print at all. What's causing this problem? First thing is the tropical weather like in the Philippines where wet things get dried quickly by hot temperature with air movement(wind/fan/aircon). Even in rainy season, humidity is not consistently high all day. Low humidity still can dry our printer heads some times during the day. Another cause of printer head clog is the ink, especially "pigment ink". We need to use pigment ink for durable prints that don't wash out after laundry. But this pigment ink is much thicker than dye ink. This high viscosity will cause clog more easily than dye ink or sublimation ink. Another cause of printer head clog is CISS system. Long tubes of CISS make it difficult to maintain optimum pressure for ink flow. Ink can dry in the tubes or connectors. Printer head is more exposed to open air because printer cover can't be closed completely sometimes. Good news is now Epson sells printer with built-in CISS that can eliminate these problems.
Once clogged printer head problems occur, clearing it could be very hard, frustrating and time consuming. And sometimes it is not possible at all. Your heat transfer business is badly affected and your only option will be buying another printer.
So, it is needless to say that we must maintain the printers in top shape all the time. But how can we do that? First, I think the most important preventive measures should be humidity control around the printer. For this, use a big plastic garbage bag and put the whole printer inside it. Put a completely wet sponge inside also. Seal the plastic bag. We need a drastic measure like this to combat dried printer head issue which is really devastating. Second, print as regularly as possible. Don't let the printer sit there without printing more than 3 days. If noting to print, print 2 or 3 pages of purge image (see above). While printing, check the sponge and wet it again if necessary. Third, use good ink from reputable company, or better yet genuine ink.