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Oneskate Web DiectoryArticle Details

Thermal Printing Cuts Cost and Adds Value for DSD

Date Added: April 23, 2012 04:22:44 AM
Author: Ross Moore
Category: Shopping: Electronics and Electrical Components

Printing documentation at the time of the visit helps ensure accuracy, reduces paperwork and clerical labor in the back office, and accelerates the cash cycle. In some countries, it is a legal requirement that DSD companies to provide and maintain a printed record of each transaction. The actual value companies can attain by mobile printing depends on the printer itself. For example, the media used in thermal printers typically costs 45 to 50 percent less than multi-part forms used in dot matrix printers and the total cost of ownership (TCO) for ruggedized mobile printers is 58 percent lower than for non-ruggedized models. Media cost, reliability, ease of use and compatibility with mobile computers and DSD applications give businesses a lot to think about when selecting a printer to support their operations. The decision is also made challenging because there are more technology and product options than ever. For companies that already use mobile printing in their DSD operations, product choices may have changed considerably since the last replacement cycle. Many first generation DSD automations included a vehicle-mounted dot matrix printer. Today DSD printers can be worn, carried or remain mounted in the vehicle, and thermal print technology is selected for the majority of new and replacement rollouts. Dot matrix and direct thermal technology account for nearly all the printers used in DSD operations worldwide. This white paper will compare the two technologies and explain how they differ in the areas that are important to direct store delivery operations, including ease of use, reliability, media support and TCO. Convenience & Ease of Use Reliability aside, printers should be as convenient as possible for normal use. DSD drivers often have tight schedules, so anything that saves time or prevents delays is valued. Features that add convenience include easy media loading, an LCD screen to display prompts, alerts and error messages, intuitive menus and controls, and ergonomics so the printer can be used (and carried or worn if not vehicle mounted) comfortably and without interfering with unloading, stocking or other normal activity. Print speed is the convenience factor that users and customers will notice most. DSD printers are productivity tools, so models that keep users and customers waiting for their paperwork to print are unacceptable. Printer spec sheets present the print speed in inches per second (ips), but in real world use ips is not a reliable indicator of performance because there are many variables to actual output speed, including the amount of graphics and bar codes on the printed document, printer memory, the amount of variable data to be included (price adjustments, notes, etc.), whether acceptance signatures will be digitized and printed, application software and the mobile computer used. The best way to evaluate this performance is to test different printers with the actual documents that are printed on the route. For more information on thermal printing or thermal transfer printing, please visit: http://capacitysystems.com.au/.