Many people may think that serial matrix printing is an outdated technology, but serial matrix printing continues to be a very viable and cost-effective method of printing. In fact, it is one of the MOST cost-effective methods of printing for select business niches that must deal with multi-part forms. While lasers and ink jet printers may provide some minimal level of solutions, their maintenance cost and the cost of consumable supplies to operate these printers make them less than optimal in many applications.
Serial matrix printers have print heads that print up to hundreds of millions of characters and thousands of pages per month. For example, the Tally T2365, shown above, prints over 40,000 pages per month at a very high print speed. The ribbons for these printers also last a very long time, making them an attractive option for forms printing. The ribbons also maintain a high level of uniform print quality throughout the ribbon life. Again, an example of the above printer’s ribbon is a rated life of 20 million characters. This means users get crisp, clear print without having to change ribbons often. AND, the ribbons are generally much cheaper than costly toner that is used with laser printing.
Further, most serial matrix printers utilize continuous form paper. That means that the paper feeds automatically and the printer does not have to stop and wait for paper to be loaded. This of course increases speed, limits user intervention, and prints without unnecessary interruption.
Serial matrix printers such as the Tally T2365 are also designed for heavy duty use in areas such as warehouses, logistics centers, trucking terminals and industrial environments. In these areas, dust can be a problem for laser printers or printers that do not have the robust build or design of a heavy duty dot matrix printer.
The next step up in terms of forms printing from the serial matrix printer can be a line matrix printer, which can be the fastest option and also the lowest cost per print overall, but users have to be especially careful about maintenance costs and truly how much the printer is being used. Many companies end up with very large capital expenditures as the line printers are very pricey and maintenance costs can be high. For example, most of those units use hammer banks which can be very expensive to replace, whereas a serial matrix print head is easy to replace (actually user-replaceable in many instances) and quite a bit less costly.
So, an important consideration when looking at printing is choosing something that has enough horsepower to get your printing done, is robust enough to withstand your print environment, and also, and just as importantly, the underlying cost of acquisition and maintenance of the unit.
DASCOM Americas has some great ongoing trade in programs that make their high end serial matrix printers an excellent choice for relatively low capital outlay, easy migration with little downtime when replacing existing printers, and printers that will give you years of high quality printing backed by exceptional support and service.