Zebra Introduces "Budget-conscious" Metal Printer

Also debuts lower-cost 802.11b radio option for mobile printers

Also debuts lower-cost 802.11b radio option for mobile printers

Vernon Hills, IL — January 12, 2006 — Printing solutions provider Zebra Technologies has debuted its new "budget-conscious" metal printer, offering a thermal bar code label unit designed to support labeling applications in manufacturing, distribution and healthcare.

Elsewhere, Zebra also rolled out a lower-cost 802.11b radio option for Zebra's RW and QL Plus series mobile printers.

New Printer

Built with a metal enclosure and die-cast frame for longer life and better performance, Zebra's new S4M printer offers heavy-media management features intended to minimize downtime and promote productivity.

It holds eight-inch label rolls, resulting in fewer stoppages to change media. The side-loading mechanism has guides to make it easier for operators to change rolls because new media doesn't need to be threaded through the printer. The two-line LCD and keypad offers streamlined menu to change setup options.

"Our customers who are starting to print on-demand or upgrading from desktop printers told us they wanted a metal printer with the same quality, functionality and ease-of-use Zebra printers are known for, at a price to meet the restrictions of their tight IT budgets," said Mike Terzich, senior vice president of Zebra.

Printer Features

The solution provider said that the S4M has features designed to help save time for personnel responsible for managing print environments. It can process label formats developed for both Zebra's ZPL and EPL printer command languages. The S4M also is available with the ZebraLink Alternate Programming Language (APL), so it can operate in competitive printing environments.

The printer offers various ways to connect — from 10/100 Ethernet, USB, 802.11b wireless, parallel and RS-232 serial — for simple system interfaces. The S4M is also compatible with the ZebraNet Print Server II, which enables various advanced configuration, monitoring and management features.

Standard features include: support for multiple linear and two-dimensional bar code symbologies including Code 39, Code 128, U.P.C./EAN plus extensions, RSS, Data Matrix and PDF417; native Unicode support for international character printing; LCD control panel, 4MB Flash memory and a 203 dpi (8 dots/mm) printhead. The S4M supports direct thermal printing, six inches per second (152mm/sec) print speed, with a print width of 4.09 inches (104mm) and label width of 4.50 inch (114mm).

The printer measures 10.7 by 11.6 by 18.8 inches (272 x 295 x 477mm). Options include a thermal transfer ribbon handling system, a 300 dpi (12 dots/mm) printhead, up to 64MB Flash memory, label peeler, real-time clock and keyboard display unit.

New Radio Option

Zebra also debuted a lower-cost 802.11b radio option for Zebra's RW and QL Plus series mobile printers.

The new Value Radio 802.11b wireless network radio has similar functionality to existing 802.11b radios at a 30 percent reduction in price, while providing customers with more product choices and price options to meet their mobile/wireless needs, Zebra said.

Wireless mobility enables users to print at point of use, eliminating the need to make return trips to a central printing station. Wireless networks such as 802.11b also make it possible for mobile printers to be used over a company network, making them more tightly linked to a company's IT systems as a shared resource to a variety of supply chain processes, according to Zebra.

The Value Radio, 802.11b option supports network security protocols, encryption and mutual authentication, including VPN (virtual private network) and WPA (Wi-Fi protected access) and is suitable for such applications as direct store delivery, inventory management, receipt printing and retail, when integrated with Zebra's RW and QL Plus mobile printers.

Additional Articles of Interest

— Consumers spent nearly $28 billion on the "Black Friday" after Thanksgiving 2005, up 21.9 percent over 2004's results. Great news for retailers, but a potential nightmare for supply chain executives trying to get the right product on the right shelf at the right time. The lesson: Now is the time to plan for the next peak shipping season. Read more in the "Seasons' Peakings," the Executive Memo column in the December 2005/January 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— With its customers increasingly requiring new levels of connectivity, C&H Sugar deploys a 21st century IT infrastructure. Read more in "B2B Integration Spells Sweet Success," Best Practices article in the December 2005/January 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Analyzing past transactional spend data will get you only so far in understanding and managing your company's future requirements for direct materials. A new approach to analyzing spend offers opportunities for targeting the most strategic spend categories. Read more in "Transactional Data Don't Equal Spend Visibility" in the December 2005/January 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.