Image Credit: Softchoice Corporation | Vision Computers, Inc. | CompUSA
Laser printers use a laser beam to produce an image on a drum that is rolled through a reservoir of toner. The beam is picked up by the charged portions of the drum to fuse the image onto paper. General performance specifications, printer specifications, bar code symbologies, and features are important to consider when searching for ink jet printers.
Important performance specifications for laser printers include resolution, printing width, and memory. Printer resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi) and refers to the number of dots per square inch the printer is capable of achieving. Generally, more dots per inch means a higher resolution. The printing width is the width the printer can print characters, not the width of the media it is printing on. Memory choices for laser printers include RAM, Flash, and EPROM. Memory capacity is the amount of information the printer can store in memory. Bytes are used to measure memory. Interface choices include serial interface, parallel interface, Ethernet, and USB. Media types handled by laser printers include single sheet, fan fold or continuous, and roll. Important media specifications to consider include maximum media thickness, maximum media width, maximum media length, media roll outside diameter, and media roll inside diameter.
Common features for laser printers include color printing, copying and or sorting capabilities, industrial metal housing, user controls, indicators, application software, and cutters. Laser printers with color printing are capable of color output in addition to monochrome output. Printers with copying and/or sorting capabilities are a multifunction system for printing, copying, and/or scanning. An industrial metal housing a cabinet for protection. Controls on the front panel are used for user programming. These controls can include a touch pad user interface, or buttons for power, on-line, menu, store, form feed, reset, up, or down. Audio or visual indicators are used to indicate for paper out, paper jam, or other errors. The indicators can be LED lights or an alphanumeric display. A cutter is used to cut media from continuous forms or rolls. Applications include graphics, CAD or engineering, GIS or mapping, bar codes, labels, forms, receipt or POS or kiosk, mail pieces (envelopes), checks or financial documents, and ID cards.
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Bar Code Printers
Bar code printers are used to output bar code data in printed form.
Computer Printers and Plotters
Computer printers and plotters are used to output industrial data in printed form.
Industrial Printing Equipment
Industrial printing equipment includes screen printers, pad printers and offset printers. These devices are used for applying inks and colors to packaging cartons, web or sheet material and other packaging supplies.
Ink Jet Printers
Ink jet printers project electrically charged droplets of ink onto a page. Types of ink jet printers include thermal and piezo.
Kiosk and POS Printers
Kiosk and POS printers are used with kiosks and point-of-sale (POS) systems such as electronic cash registers (ECR) and electronic funds transfer (EFT) devices.
Label printers are used to print a variety of labels or adhesive stamps. Most label printers are capable of printing bar codes.
Marking and Engraving Equipment
Marking and engraving equipment marks or engraves products and packages with bar codes, lot codes, date stamps, graphics, labels, and other information. Marks are applied during the manufacturing process, eliminating the need to generate labels or papers for subsequent application.