RFID options are a must-have
There are countless thermal printers with RFID functionality on the market. In order to stand out from the masses of printer solutions, you need to have more than just a standard solution. This idea created the basis for the development of the T800 desktop printer by Printronix Auto ID.
This device tops the company’s RFID-capable printer portfolio and offers a solution for small and medium- sized companies with print volumes of less than 1,000 labels per day. What are the features that separate this printer from other, similar series on the market?
“Despite its small size, the T800 has many of the features that our other high-end devices have. At the same time, its interface is intuitive and even employees without special training can use it,” says Rolf J. W. Diebenbusch, application engineer at Printronix Auto ID, in an interview with RFID & Wireless IoT Global.
Customer demand for the printer shows that the decision to integrate an RFID-enabled printer into the industrial printer portfolio was a wise one. Around 60 percent of the T800 orders include the RFID option.
High-end functionality in a low-end printer
The T800 – first introduced in late 2018 – is the youngest member of Printronix Auto ID’s printer portfolio. Rolf. J. W. Diebenbusch explains: “From countless conversations with our customers, we clearly received the message that there is a high demand not only for high-end but also for low-end printers that are RFID-enabled.
With the development of the T800 we aim to meet this demand and, at the same time, make the RFID functionality of our large industrial printers available in a compact device. No user should have to compromise when it comes to the possible features.”
Integrated software allows for greater flexibility
“In total, ten printer emulations make a smooth and quick installation possible in existing IT environments,” says Diebenbusch, elaborating on the possibility of using the printer without much additional effort. “This allows the T800 to be implemented in any network that already has other printers from different manufacturers.” Another feature that aids smooth usability is the optional QCMC (SD Quick Change Memory Card) function. User-specific information – such as special fonts, documents, or software – can be stored on a memory card.
“Should the printer become inoperative, the memory card can easily be swapped into another device. No reconfiguration is necessary. The new printer will be ready to use with the familiar configurations.” The QCMC card has a Mac address, which is transferred to the printer during initial installation. If an exchange printer has to be commisioned, this functionality ensures that no additional steps on the part of the IT administration are required to unlock the replaced machine.
Highlights: intuitive usability and RFID functionality
The feature that gives Printronix Auto ID the greatest added value for users is its utility in daily application.
“The T800 is based on the Printronix System Architecture Platform (PSA) that has been on the market for years in our high-end industrial printers. The smaller T800 has the same functions and usability as the larger T8000. The operator can use the integrated display to access valuable information. A keypad allows for easy and intuitive operability. This is especially important in the field of logistics and warehouse management with frequently changing or temporary staff who have not been trained to operate the devices.”
RFID options are a must-have
It is crucial to be able to offer the printer with an optional UHF RFID module. “We see that the demand for RFID solutions is increasing. The automobile industry, in particular, reports a rise in demand for RFID identification of parts, carriers, and containers along the supply chain.”
Further areas of application for the optionally RFID-enabled T800 are in the field of logistics and warehouse management, in health care, in the pharmaceutical industry, and in aviation. “The fact that around 60 percent of T800 orders include the RFID option right from the beginning really illustrates the increasing need for such a device.”
The T800’s compatibility with the Printronix Auto ID PrintNet Enterprise Software makes it possible to save all data from the coded and printed RFID labels. “This way, the person in charge can check the entire day’s production of RFID labels and recognise possible improvement opportunities – for example, regarding the materials.”
Accurate documentation with low energy consumption
“The T800 was developed with low energy consumption in mind. Nowadays, it is very important to customers that devices do not consume a lot of energy. In terms of printer development, we have already reached the limits of fesaibility at this point. In order to save even more energy, the printers would have to be turned off completely. However, starting them back up takes up time and causes additional consumption.”
Printers are indispensable in nearly every field
The experts at Prontronix Auto ID expect the market demand for printers for Auto ID label production to be met by providers in nearly all areas of application. “Only a few manufacturers still produce without a printer for the identification process,” the application engineer describes the situation.
“For us, it is about offering our customers quality products and winning them over with the integrated features, so that long-lasting partnerships can arise from collaborations.”
The market trend is definitely migrating toward RFID-enabled products. “Overall, the percentage of ordered printers with RFID features is at around 10 percent. Industrial printers have the option to integrate an RFID module retroactively, therefore the number is higher in that particular area. We definitely see a tendency towards orders that include the RFID options for the T800.”
Future plans for a solution for coding of on-metal tags
In order to keep up with the rising demand to present suitable solutions stemming from the automobile industry, Printronix Auto ID will bring a solution to the market in 2019 which enables the efficient use of elevated on-metal labels.
“In many areas of the industry there is just no alternative to on-metal labelling. The necessary labels, however, are not codable with a standard RFID module. The printer layout has been adjusted in such a way that it is possible to ensure 100 percent coding of these special tags.”