Printronix Thermal Printers - Designed for Future RFID Needs
In this series of posts we review our thermal bar code printer product family and typical industrial printing applications. Product Marketing Director Andy Scherz goes in depth on how thermal bar code printers work. In addition to explaining key differences between direct thermal and thermal transfer technology. Andy also explains what applications are more appropriate for thermal resin ribbons or thermal wax ribbons and which applications are more appropriate for thermal transfer bar code printers.
Printronix and RFID
The other area we try to sell is our RFID and RFID upgradability, so our printers are all upgradable in the future. RFID is a technology that in addition to printing what I showed you on those labels before where we print on them all I can also write data onto this what I am showing you is an little inlay that is embedded in the paper itself, and I can write something to it, data to it. So if I print a barcode on it that says 1234 I can write onto this tag also 1234, and then just by maybe going through a portal with an RFID reader it will read as I go through there.
It's very promising technology. It's being used today in various point applications, so people are identifying specific applications and as it makes sense they are upgrading to normally a combination of human readable visible bar code and RFID applications. They can use a printer because it can do all three of those. But it's not pervasive yet, the vast majority of labeling is still not RFID, so we have a value in our printer that says look by this printer now, don't worry, if later on you needed to print RFID this printer is fully upgradable. The reason for why we call it the "R", R being RFID ready.
Another innovative feature is we have a quick change memory module. If somebody has a printer at here operating and it's late at night and the printer dies. Again, I'll point out in our market if the printer dies, business does not just carry on, you have to get another printer back up and running really quickly. The beauty of the quick change memory module is all of a sudden you pull this thing out but in the backup printer and it's almost like taking the brain out of one printer and putting it in the next one. This other guy takes on all the behavior of the printer came from. So imagine right now if I came to you and give you a spare printer you actually couldn't use it because if I gave you a spare printer you'd say "how's it hooked up?", "What's the network settings?", "What's the paper size?", Unless you knew how to do all of that stuff you wouldn't know how to get that going, and that's normally the way the operator is, they don't know what to do.
With the quick change memory module it doesn't matter, you don't have to know anything, you just pull it out and stick it in. It's almost like you have your laptop, I can pull out a little dongle and put it in another laptop and all my programs, all my Outlook everything was back exactly as is. A really powerful feature.