Printer technology needs to provide cost-saving, convenient and compact service. Industry expert Jörk Schüßler evaluates recent developments maintaining and enhancing efficiency in retail printing
The printer industry has evolved significantly over the past 40 years. “Our business and trading culture is changing dramatically too, particularly in the retail sector, where it faces new challenges in an ever-evolving economy and technology environment,” said Jörk Schüßler, European marketing manager for Citizen Systems Europe
. “The application of the five Cs – connected, cost-saving, convenient, cashless and compact – will be a key factor throughout the sector.”
To help traders manage costs and maximise profitability in a difficult economic climate, Schüßler said market-leading printer manufacturers are designing and manufacturing new units that are fast, tough and easy to use. “The new generation of energy efficient printers cut costs and reduce waste, and there are some impressively compact models that both save space and allow portable printing. These qualities are meeting the needs of our modern trading culture by providing printers that are cost saving, convenient and compact.”
Design development advances resilience
He also highlighted how, crucially, modern point-of-sale (PoS) machines are far more resilient and easier to use than their predecessors. “Casings are frequently robust and the finest models are tough on the inside, too, with an “inner life” that offers resistance to twisting,” he said. “Today’s best PoS machines also offer strong in-built safety and reliability features that require minimal maintenance, such as failsafe, easy to use, drop-in paper loading systems that dramatically reduce the need for pressurised retail staff to fiddle fruitlessly with rolls of media. Indeed, it is now possible to purchase a PoS unit that allows media to be simply dropped into the paper holder and the lid closed on the leading edge of the paper in a matter of seconds.”
Schüßler continued: “On the desktop, a significant recent development in PoS printers has been the enhanced efficacy of modern mechanisms, which are now capable of providing the equivalent of 200km of travel before they need replacement, whereas earlier mechanisms could only manage 100km at best. Meanwhile, the potential of portable PoS units has been greatly enhanced by wireless connectivity to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi interfaces that, in tandem with other features, such as the introduction of high capacity Lithium-ion batteries that allow printers to operate throughout the day on a single charge, allows machines to be fully mobile.”
Improved functionality and sustainability
Having enhanced reliability, mobility and longevity, the industry expert said that designers of modern PoS units have also improved functionality. “Today’s printers come complete with their own convenient, tool-free maintenance systems, such as self-clearing cutters that keep PoS systems running without delay in the case of a cutter jam,” he suggested. “Even on occasions where such internal components as auto-cutters and print heads require human attention, they are now easily removable and accessible via vertical, flip-top opening mechanisms. The latest machines also incorporate print, sleep and standby functions that help save energy consumption during use, while paper-save functions can control even line spacing and font compression to reduce the volume of paper required and thus minimise the frequency of paper roll changes.
“Robust, reliable printing equipment is essential in the commercial environment and the companies that succeed in this sector attach great importance to their choice of partners,” Schüßler concluded. “By working with an experienced partner businesses can specify and install machines with features that offer hassle-free, high quality output with minimal maintenance and stay connected with the changing face of printer and labelling technology.”
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