How to Get the Most from Your Time Clock

If you want to get the longest service life out of your time clocks, you need to do some light routine maintenance. It’s nothing major, but if it’s done every month or so, you’ll see a real boost to the clock’s lifespan.

Getting Started

When cleaning a clock, always, always, always power it off. This will prevent any damage to the circuit board should any cleaner find its way inside. This will also reboot the clock which is recommended on occasion.

Be sure to use a mild cleaner. Screen or CD/DVD cleaner is a great option. For some items, normal isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol can be useful. You will also want a source of compressed air, either in a can or from a compressor. A small bristled brush, such as a toothbrush or paint brush, can help you reach smaller spaces.

For Badge-swipe Clocks

  1. Power it down and dampen a clean cloth or paper towel with your cleaner.
  2. Wipe down the face of the clock and any areas that look dirty.
  3. Dry these surfaces as needed.
  4. Using a clean, dry brush, gently sweep out the slot reader and the ports on the back. Don’t forget the keypad, if present.
  5. To clean the slot reader, soak a business card in rubbing alcohol or CD cleaner, and run it back and forth through the slot. This is particularly useful for magnetic-stripe readers and will help with the bar code readers as well.
  6. Finally, blast some compressed air through the slot and the ports on the back.

For Biometric Clocks

Cleaning and maintaining biometric clocks can be a little more complicated due to the differing technologies and designs used by various manufacturers. However, some basic rules still apply.

  1. Power down the clock.
  2. Wipe it down with a clean cloth or paper towel dampened with cleaner. Be particularly careful not to scratch any lenses.
  3. Use a brush to sweep away any dust/debris from the reader area, keypad, and ports.
  4. Blast some compressed air through the openings in the case to help mitigate dust accumulation inside the unit.

Finally, it’s a good idea to know how to use your clock’s diagnostic modes. These will help you to test the slot reader and keypad or review the calibration values of your biometric units. Refer to your clock’s documentation for diagnostic instructions.

Jon Finkel - Data Terminal Technician

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