Digital Check scanners and teller equipment

Why is my scanner having repeated paper jams?

Buildup on the feed rollers can be a source of unexplained jams and misfeeds.

Dirty feed rollers, debris in the paper path, or obscured track sensors

A true paper jam happens when something blocks a piece of paper from traveling all the way through the scanner’s track. In check scanners, that’s frequently an object like a staple or a paper clip that has gone undetected and fallen off inside the paper path; or sometimes, there’s something wrong with the document itself — it’s torn or wrinkled, or it’s the wrong size.

The first thing you should do after you clear a paper jam, especially if it’s been happening repeatedly, is inspect the paper track to see if there’s an obvious blockage. If not, you may be looking at a maintenance issue that’s causing phantom “paper jams” that aren’t really paper jams.

As illustrated in the video above, dust and debris will rub off on the scanner’s feed rollers, and over time it’ll be pressed into a hard, slick layer that coats them and makes them lose their grip. That will make them “slip” on the paper, resulting in an abnormal feed that causes the scanner to stop. It might not happen every time — users often report that their machine will jam, work for a few items, then jam again, seemingly at random. Fortunately, cleaning the rollers, or in extreme cases, replacing the rubber tires that grip the checks, will correct the problem relatively easily.

This is an unavoidable part of operating the scanner, as the documents being fed MUST come in contact with these rollers, and majority of all the dirt, dust, ink, and other debris from the environment is going to rub off on them first. So, if there’s one part of your scanner that’s important to keep clean, this is it!

Another, less common cause of mysterious stoppages that appear to be paper jams (but really aren’t) are dirty or obscured track sensors — see this article for a more detailed explanation.


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Digital Check Corp.
630 Dundee Rd. Suite 210
Northbrook, IL 60062