Pcounting set-up/monitoring.

Recently the site I work at had a new print server installed along with every printer being replaced. During this process I have learnt many skills which I will discuss now.

With the assistance of the printer manufacturers engineer, I am now at the stage where i can manage the print server of the site comfortably. To get to this stage took a few days of training and trying out things. On the print server we use software called “Pcounter”. This is a fantastic bit of software that allows for a high level of customisation regarding how you want the printers to print. In this i can spec who see’s what print ques. Who can fain access to the printer. How many copies of an item can be printed in a particular place before being moved to a different printer etc. There are endless possibilities.

The purpose behind setting up a new server was due to the old one running for a very long time anyway, and it coinciding with funds regarding a whole new printer hardware upgrade. The old machines and server still worked effectively, but as the finances were there to upgrade, it was decided that an upgrade now was the best way to future proof our infrastructure. The added benefit of the old one still working meant that during this process, the amount of down time was purely how long it took to physically swap the new/old machines. Once they were in place and assigned a fixed IP, service was resumed.

The long term plan from now onwards is to monitor the spec of the system newly set in place, and make adjustments accordingly. These can be found by interacting with the users and what can be seen on other sites (info from engineers that have seen deifferent set-ups) For example, the large production line level printer in reprographics has been set as to only allow 5 users to log in, It is possible in time that this  will need to change, maybe remove some / add others etc. Along with access permissions, I will monitor how a printer works in terms of que. The “follow-me” que is set to pause the print after the pcounter pop-up. The purpose of this pause is to ensure it does not print anywhere on site. To resume the print, the user must log-on and force it out, making for better security when it comes to confidential documents. It may be decided that this que should be assigned to a specific printer and directly print, meaning I would have to change it. As a final example, it is possible that i could restrict certain jobs by filters (Cost / size / spec i.e colour), and assign them to sectors. So if a user had a black and white print that costs over 300credits, it automatically gets assigned to the reprographics printer/s. These will all have to be monitored to ensure how the system runs, to get the best out of the users, machines, and end product. Additionally I have also been given a contact number in which i can participate in dial-in session with the company’s engineer, to discuss advanced training/guidance if needed.

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