RETAIL, TRANSPORTATION, AND MANUFACTURING ARE KEY TO THERMAL PRINT’S HOT FUTURE


The global thermal print market reached a total of $35.51 billion value at end-user level sales in 2018. The market is now forecast to expand at a rate of 5.0% compound annual growth rate through to 2023 – yielding a total market value of $45.39 billion in that year. The future success of thermal print will rely on new opportunities and market potential in a few key applications:

  • Retail
  • Transport
  • Manufacturing

Together, there three segments account for over $22.5 Billion (retail prices), 63% of the worldwide market, and will account for the majority of value growth across 2018-2023.

Retail

The retail industry is the largest end user of thermal printing technology. Specialist point-of-sale (POS) printers, designed for delivery of transaction receipts, mostly to consumers are common. Receipt paper is direct thermal media. The industry uses both manned check-out, and increasingly, automated self-check-out systems, with built in receipt printers.

E-commerce trade is disrupting retail, diminishing some traditional markets, such as POS receipts, as transactions move to an online world with electronic payment. In response, leading physical retailers, such as Walmart, Kohl’s, and Sainsbury’s, are developing their own e-commerce systems. These rely heavily on thermal print solutions. Customer orders are tracked using thermally printed barcode labels throughout the retailers own logistics chains, and thermally printed bin tags for customer store pickup systems were introduced in 2017, as a way to compete with the likes of Amazon. Also, demand for card printing continues to grow as stores develop more loyalty card systems for customers, and multi-retailer gift cards.

New developments in direct thermal media with greater outdoor capability will enter the space over the next few years. This creates a more flexible mobile situation as thermal printers are typically smaller than a portable inkjet printer. More kiosk type printers will be placed in the future, particularly in the aisles rather than check-outs, to provide more customer engagement opportunities

Transport

The transportation and logistics industry (e.g. airlines, distribution, mail, package and freight delivery, railways, etc.), represent the fastest growing application for thermal printing. This industry was one of the early adopters of barcode technology for functions like airline baggage tracking, and shipping packages with delivery giants UPS, DHL, TNT and FedEx.

Printer placement in delivery services is close to saturation in developed markets, but there is a major upsurge in the use of mobile printers for labelling and re-labelling, delivery notes for consumers, and delivery information. The use of postal services for last-mile delivery in North America and other regions is creating some new printer placements and label usages.

Forecasted changes in this sector include the increased use of security features in transportation ticketing to reduce fraud, a reduction in the need for near-infrared readable direct thermal for package delivery; smart labels for trucking of temperature-sensitive foods and pharmaceuticals; and increased use of QR and 2D codes for more trace data.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the second largest market for thermal printers and associated supplies, with combined revenues of $7.55 billion in 2018. This is divided between $1.7 billion in printers and $5.85 billion in supplies. Thermal printing is used in factory settings for industries as diverse as beverages, aerospace, and consumer electronics.

Barcode printers represent 64.2% of the total printer demand in 2018; and are standard fixtures in European, Japanese, and North American factories. Most of the growth in this segment in 2018-2023 will be in Asia-Pacific, which is becoming the global manufacturing center, where the use of barcode applications is only partially saturated.

The manufacturing industry is moving to mobile work forces in many areas like warehousing, inventory control, and parts picking. This has seen a tremendous increase in the placement of mobile printers, which can be either belt mounted on production personnel, or truck mounted on pallet trucks such as the Printek and TSC line. In all cases, it is usually a complete system (printer, scanner, microcomputer or smart device), which is wirelessly linked to the host system for data exchange.

The increasing use of 2D barcode labels for traceability of critical parts in the automobile industry that require high temperature durability is also an ideal fit for thermal transfer printing. One of the leading manufacturers in this area is Printronix Auto ID. Technologies that will grow in this segment will come from direct laser imaging, which will remove the need for a pressure-sensitive adhesive on the label, and new systems from Ricoh that can create rewritable bin tag labels for machine parts.

Advertisements

Zebra ZE500 Series Print Engine

Have you ever had to replace a drive belt on a print engine? Did you need as many tools as a car repair shop?  Well, put your rolling toolbox away, and take a look the new ZE500 print engine from Zebra!

ZE500 print engines were designed to keep mission-critical print-and-apply applications operating with no interruptions. Built with the customer in mind and leveraging customer research, the design focuses on ease of use, integration, and servicing. The ZE500 series takes an innovative approach to OEM print engines where ease of service is key to the design philosophy.

Downtime costs money. Loss of productivity, late shipments, and ruined job scheduling are just a few of the issues that come up when print engines go offline. The ZE500 mechanical design simplifies and shortens maintenance and consumable replacement time – dramatically reducing downtime in your mission-critical print-and-apply application. A quick-change modular drive system and wide-open printhead makes cleaning and replacement simple, and reduces printer repair time.

Your mission critical print-and-apply applications need to operate, uninterrupted, 24/7. Sealed front panel buttons and electronics enclosure that are dust resistant, robust, fan-less construction which prevents debris from being drawn into the print engine, and an all metal construction ensures optimal long term performance, even in harsh conditions. The ZE500 is optimal for production lines, warehouses, shipping docks, and more. With the ability to print in nearly any orientation, adapting it to your operations is simplified as well.

For more information please call us at 708-597-4222, and check out the full list of features and options below.

www.themrpsolution.com

Standard Features

  • Available in right and left hand configurations
  • Resolution: 203 dpi (8 dots per mm); 300 dpi (12 dots per mm)
  • ZebraNet 10/100 Print Server (Internal)
  • Rotatable front panel display (0,180)
  • 16MB SDRAM memory, 64MB Flash Memory
  • Embedded ZebraLink WebView™and Alert features
  • Real Time Clock
  • Applicator interface – provides status and control signals for applicators
  • Communications via serial RS-232, IEEE 1284 bidirectional parallel interface with auto detect, and USB 2.0 port
  • Full function graphic front panel and large multilingual back-lit LCD display with user programmable password protection
  • Thin film print head with E3 Element Energy Equalizer
  • Dual media sensors, transmissive and reflective, selectable through software or front panel
  • ZPL or ZPL II programming language, selectable through software or front panel
  • XML-Enabled Printing – allows XML communications from today’s enterprise systems for barcode label printing
  • 32 bit 133 MHz RISC processor
  • Zebra printer driver for Windows 7, XP, Vista, 2008, and 2003 operating systems
  • Advanced media counters

Optional Features

  • ZebraNet 10/100 External Print Server. Class B digital device, approved for residential, commercial, or light industrial environment use only. Degradation in performance could occur if used in a heavy industrial environment.
  • ZebraNet b/g PrintServer- supports advanced wireless securities through an internal integrated radio card.
  • Additional fonts available
  • Deported display (HDMI Cable up to 2 Meters in length).
  • UNICODE
  • WGL4 through Swiss 721
  • Firmware Support for Downloadable TrueType Fonts
  • ZebraLink™ Solutions- Software
  • ZebraDesigner™ Pro – An intuitive, easy-to-use software program for creating complex label designs (option)
  • ZebraDesigner™ Offers basic features for simple label design
  • ZebraDesigner™ for XML – Easy-to-use label design software that enables printing on XML enabled printers
  • ZebraNet™ Bridge Enterprise – Centrally manage Zebra printers from a single PC screen anywhere on your global network.
  • ZebraDesigner™ Driver – A powerful printer driver compatible with Windows/XP/2003/2008/Vista/Windows 7
  • Zebra Setup Utility – an easy to use, Wizard driven printer configuration tool.
  • ZBI 2.0™ an optional, powerful programming language that lets printers run stand-alone applications, connect to peripherals, & much more.
  • ZBI-Developer™ programming utility makes it dramatically easier for programmers to create and test complex ZBI 2.0™ programs and distribute them to the printer.

ZebraLink™ Solutions- Networking

  • ZebraNet® b/g/PrintServer
  • ZebraNet® 10/100 PrintServer (external)

ZebraLink™ Solutions- Firmware

  • ZPL II – Universal language for Zebra printers. Simplifies label formatting and enables format compatibility with existing systems that run Zebra printers.
  • XML-Enabled printing – direct connect integration for bar code label printing, eliminates license fees and print server hardware and lowers customization and programming costs.
  •  Web View – Connect and control Zebra bar code printer’s via the printer’s Web interface using a common Web browser.
  • Alert – Printers equipped with ZebraNet™ print servers provide alerts via any email-enabled, wired, or wireless device to minimize downtime.

Bar Code Symbologies

  • Bar code ratios: 2:1, 7:3, 5:2, and 3:1
  • Linear bar codes: Code 11, Code 39, Code 93, Code 128 with subsets A/B/C and UCC Case Codes, ISBT-128, UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC and EAN 2-or 5-digit extensions, Plessey, Postnet, Standard 2-of-5, Industrial 2-of-5, Interleaved 2-of-5, Logmars, MSI, Codabar and Planet Code
  • 2-dimensional bar codes: Codablock, PDF417, Code 49, DataMatrix, MaxiCode, QR Code, TLC 39, MicroPDF, RSS-14 (and composite), Aztec

Communications Specifications

  • USB 2.0 port
  • High-speed bidirectional parallel interface, IEEE 1284:Compatibility mode, EPC, Nibble mode.
  • High-speed serial interfaces: RS-232C with DB9F connector
    – RS-232C with DB9F connector 
    – Configurable baud rate (300-115,200), parity, data and stop bits
    – Software(XON/XOFF) or hardware(DTR/DSR) handshake protocols
  • ZebraNet 10/100 Print Server
  • ZebraNet b/g Print Server (optional)
  • Applicator interface with DB15F connector +5V I/O and +24V to +28V I/O versions available

Operating temperature:

  • Thermal Transfer: 40° to 104°F (5° to 40°C)
  • Direct Thermal: 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C)

The Printronix New T2N Thermal Bar Code Printer

T2N left resized 600

Printronix T2N

Printronix announces new T2N Thermal Bar Code Printers

MRP is an Authorized Printronix Distributor

Contact MRP for Pricing 708-597-4222

The T2N series creates an opportunity for distribution, logistics, manufacturing, retail and healthcare companies to adopt thermal bar code printing technology at the lowest cost available. Priced below competitive models, the T2N series comes standard with Ethernet connectivity and design features that enable faster installation. The T2N provides the best value in the market, aggressively priced less than $1,000 USD for the 203 dpi model.

“With the introduction of the T2N, Printronix now offers a wider range of thermal bar code printers targeted to different business environments,” said Mark Edwards, senior vice president, global sales and marketing, Printronix. “The T2N satisfies the most cost-conscious buyer sourcing for a reliable entry-level printer while other models in our portfolio address the needs of midrange and high-performance applications. Whether you’re establishing industrial printing operations or simply expanding a well-running environment, Printronix has the thermal printing solution for you.”

More Standard Features, Smoother Integration and Faster Installation

Printronix created the T2N series to bring thermal bar code printing to budget-minded buyers who don’t want to sacrifice quality. In this entry-level industrial printer segment where Printronix did not compete previously, the T2N registers as a “best value.” Its outstanding performance and standard features usually are not found in this price range. Printronix designed the T2N to meet the needs of customers in a wide variety of industries and complements Printronix’s successful line of midrange and high-performance bar code printers.

“The compact design of the T2N occupies a small footprint for easy installation, also making it ideal for retail and healthcare environments where space is limited. It measures a mere 11 inches by 17 inches and weighs only 24 pounds,” Edwards said. “The T2N provides Printronix with new opportunities to deliver the best-value thermal bar code printer to both developed and emerging markets.”

Printronix’s new T2N industrial barcode printers will begin shipping in March 2013 and are available for ordering now. The series includes direct thermal and transfer thermal printers with print speeds of up to 6 ips and offers PGL, ZGL and EGL emulations. Serial, USB and Ethernet connectivity comes standard, as does 32 MB SDRAM and 8 MB flash memory; a SDMC slot is available for memory expansion as well as to add the optional Andale or DBCS fonts. The T2N features 450M (1,476 feet) side-loading ribbon capacity.

Click here to see video of all the great features of the new T2N.

This printer is available through MRP 708-597-4222