For those who are new to point-of-sale printers, all of the language surrounding these specialized printers can be confusing to say the least. Here at Hillside Electronics, we've gathered up definitions for more than 45 terms relating to the point-of-sale industry. We started off last time with the definitions of the most common types of POS printers and the interfaces used to connect them to your computer, internet router, or POS system (read: Types of POS Printers & Interfaces: A Comprehensive Guide). Today, we're back to introduce several of the most common POS Printer features and their definitions.
We hope this helps to clarify some common terms you will hear when deciding what POS printer is best for your business. If you have any questions, you can reach us here at Hillside Electronics between 8 AM and 4 PM eastern time at 413-238-5566, or you can email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Without further ado, here are some common POS Printer features you will run across when shopping for a new or refurbished point-of-sale receipt or label printer.
IPS (Printer Speed)
IPS stands for “Inches Per Second.” It measures the distance per second in inches that a given printer is able to print.
BPS (Printer Speed)
BPS stands for “Bits Per Second.” BPS measures the data transmission speed for a given printer, indicating how many bits pass a certain point in one second.
Anti-Jam Technology means that the printer is able to immediately sense a jam and stop the printing process automatically. This protects the printer and allows it to recover rapidly from a paper jam, so that the user’s productivity is not slowed down.
An Auto-Cutter works by automatically separating the paper from the roll each time a receipt is printed. Printers with auto-cutters are essential when speed is a must, particularly for busy kitchen or retail settings.
Some printers have an internal kitchen buzzer, while there may also be an option to purchase a POS Buzzer attachment. Kitchen buzzers create noise when the printer prints receipts, a helpful feature in noisy restaurants or other establishments where staff members might appreciate a heads up when there are incoming orders.
Internal SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply)
An internal Switched Mode Power Supply is a power supply that uses a switching regulator to efficiently convert electrical power. It allows you to safely connect your printer to a computer, router, or POS system, even if your printer and the device it is connected to have a different electronic power range.
All modern dot-matrix POS printers can print in two colors when a dual-color ribbon is inserted. Some thermal printers can also print in color with special paper that allows for two different temperatures-- one temperature for one color and one temperature for the second. This paper is difficult to find, so when dual color printing is needed, you are better off to go with a dot-matrix model. If you'd like a thermal printer that prints in color, certain models of TM-T88 and TM-T90 series printers can print in dual colors. Please see individual printer listings to learn which other models can print in two colors. If you have any questions, you can view our blog post Can a Thermal Printer Print Color?, email us at hec(at)hec.com, or call us at 413-238-5566.
A printer ribbon is a cartridge made up of panels carrying one or two colors of printing ink, which is then applied to the surface of the receipt when printed. Printer ribbons are used for dot-matrix printer models.
Thermal Receipt Paper
Thermal receipt paper has a thermochromic (heat-sensitive) coating. When a thermal printer's print head (consisting of tiny electrically heated elements) presses down, the paper’s coating turns black in areas where heated, producing text or an image.
Heat-sensitive paper is just another way of describing thermal paper as opposed to regular, non-heat-sensitive paper used for dot-matrix models (printers where ribbons are used to produce images rather than heat-sensitive paper).
Thermal labels are heat-sensitive labels for use with thermal printers. They work in a similar fashion to heat-sensitive paper.
Thermal Transfer Printing
Thermal Transfer Printing is a digital printing method in which a coating of ribbon is melted onto the paper, creating text or images. It contrasts with direct thermal printers (of which nearly all POS thermal receipt and label printers are) where no ribbon is present in the process.
Drop-in Paper Loading
Drop-in Paper Loading means that you can simply drop your paper into your printer without having to remove any printer components, usually just by lifting up the printer lid and placing the roll of paper inside. The Epson TM-U220B and the TM-T88 series (such as the TM-T88V) are popular models that have drop-in paper loading as a feature.
MICR / Drop in Validation
MICR/Drop in Validation allows for a document (usually a check, but can be cardboard or other document) to be inserted into the printer from the top for simple one-sided printing. Two printers with MICR/Drop in Validation include the Epson TM-U675 and the TM-U325D.
A slip print capable printer means a document can be inserted for printing via the slip deck for one-sided printing (prints the front of the inserted item). With a check, it would be possible for the user to print the front of the check, remove it, flip it over, insert a second time, and then print on the back of the check. Printers with slip printing include the Epson TM-H6000 series (such as the TM-H6000IV) and the Epson TM-U295 printer, pictured below.
Slip Printing with Endorsement
Slip printing with Endorsement works similarly to slip printing, however in addition to printing on the front of the item like slip printing allows, endorsement allows you to print on the back of the inserted material simultaneously. The TM-H6000 series (including the TM-H6000II, TM-H6000III, TM-H6000IV, and TM-H6000V) all include slip printing with endorsement.
If you have any questions about the information contained in this post, please feel free to give us a call at 413-238-5566, or email us at email@example.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on new products and promotions available here on our website, hec.com!