Printronix Inc. (NASDAQ: PTNX), the leading integrated supply-chain printing solutions manufacturer, today introduced the 5r multitechnology thermal printing platform. The 5r platform, which builds upon the technology innovation of the high-performance T5000e and SL5000e series, further enhances the industrys first commercially available UHF multiprotocol radio frequency identification (RFID) printer for EPCglobal. It is designed to give users the immediate benefit of Printronixs industry-leading throughput for barcode/label printing while offering the flexibility of RFID field upgradeability to address future technology needs. With this product introduction, Printronix also brings EPCglobal RFID printing to Australia, Singapore and Taiwan. The SL5000r RFID printers now are the most widely commercially available EPC printer across the globe.
The new architecture is based on a 32-bit PowerPC processor and comes standard with 32MB DRAM and 8MB flash. It is the first printer capable of supporting multiple printer languages developed for Zebra, SATO, Intermec and TEC printers, as well as Printronix PGL. Users may simply select the printer language and seamlessly integrate their Printronix printer into legacy systems. The 5r products offer innovative and unique features, such as PrintNet Enterprise remote printer management software, integrated closed-loop barcode and RFID Data Validation and user interchangeable snap-in print-heads, setting new standards for versatility, reliability and ease-of-use.
As the first printer manufacturer to provide the market with a UHF, RFID printer for EPC applications, Printronix has gained new customers and experience by actively participating in RFID pilots that meet Wal-Mart and Department of Defense requirements, said Printronix President and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Kleist. We developed the 5r platform based on customers priorities for reliable barcode printers that deliver uncompromising performance today but offer the flexibility and scalability to match their future demands as they change. RFID is an enterprise changing technology that promises greater supply-chain productivity. The 5r platform gives buyers the ultimate in printing technology upgradeability without having to buy a specially configured printer or a premium upgrade program: Users buy exactly what they need today, with the option of upgrading features themselves.
The SL5000r MP RFID printer family employs Printronixs recognised RFID Smart encoding technology, based on the AWID reader module. It is compatible with EPCglobal Gen 2 and delivers RFID solutions that address a range of applications requiring EPCglobal Class 0, 0+, 1 and Philips 1.19 standards. EPCglobal Gen 2 will be upgradeable via free firmware updates, and field kits also allow for global frequency changes, providing RFID encoding flexibility around the world. These printers also enable encoding and printing of various label sizes and inlay designs that have emerged as industry standards. Nested within the 5rs RFID Smart encoding technology is the new Intelligent Media Detection feature, providing advanced notification and remote alerts if a non-RFID job is sent to a printer containing RFID labels. This saves customers from the costly mistake of wasting expensive RFID labels on a standard barcode print job.
Leadership By Design
Based on Printronixs implementation of a Leadership by Design framework, the 5r platform derives its name from its five cornerstones of competitive differentiation:
Scalable Users can standardise their legacy printing environments, with a direct plug-in replacement for printers manufactured by Zebra, SATO, Intermec and TEC, as well as Printronix, and meet their changing requirements.
Innovative Printronix is an established technology leader with innovative solutions for real-world challenges. These innovations include the first UHF RFID smart labelling solution; Online Data Validation (ODV) for a zero-tolerance approach to bad barcodes entering the supply chain; a Mobile Print System for a self-contained mobile wireless printer, allowing users to print and encode labels wherever required; and a programmable general purpose input-output (GPIO) interface.
Best of Breed The 5r platform sets the standard for producing the highest quality barcodes and RFID labels. It offers unique aspects of dependability to keep printers reliable and clean in the toughest environments, including a 29 percent greater consumable capacity than competitive printers, resulting in fewer user interruptions.
Built for Change 5r is the only platform to provide a clear field upgradeability path for future printing needs, such as RFID, print resolutions and barcode validation as part of the standard product.
Smart-Ready With FCC-B- and ETSI-certification, the 5r platform provides field-upgradeable support for RFID when required and designed. It is designed to accept software updates to merge with new standards.
Customer Sees Clear Path to RFID
Air Products (NYSE:APD) is an early adopter of the 5r series in its operations.
The company serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates.
We easily made the transition from using a Printronix T5000e to the new T5000r without any application changes or adjustments, said Gene Prokop, global print team, Air Products. The T5000r now gives us a clear upgrade path to RFID. Whats more, its PowerPC processor tripled our throughput on jobs.
Specifications and Availability
The 5r series is available immediately in North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the Asia-Pacific region. Check with local Printronix representatives for specific lead times and model availability information in each region. Printers come in a choice of 4-, 6- and 8-inch wide models with a standard choice of 203 or 300 dpi resolution; they all print at speeds of up to 10 inches per second and come with a series of high-performance drivers. Printronix also offers a Smart Label Developers Kit version of the SL5000r, which includes certified RFID labels and software to fast track the set up of RFID test labs and pilots.
The new T5000r and SL5000r are complete replacements for the 5e models providing current customers with a seamless transition. Customers can continue to order the T5000e and SL5000e products during the month of April.