Thermal printers may not be the sexiest part of your hospitality venue (we hope not), nor even the sexiest among your point-of-sale hardware (we think our Impos terminals are pretty easy on the eye). But aesthetic appeal aside, you do have to admire the resilience, reliability and affordability of thermal printers.
Because they don’t get much love, we thought we’d treat thermal printers to their own devoted blog post, to showcase 10 fun facts and some quality info about the POS printer of choice for hospitality venues Australia-wide.
1) Thermal printers are the most common type of POS printer
Thermal printers have become the most popular POS printer because they can print quickly, at a high quality and more quietly than other printing options.
2) Almost every receipt you get handed has been thermally printed
To emphasise their popularity, think about all the receipts you get each day. Chances are, every one of them was printed on a thermal printer.
All the dockets printed for the chefs in the kitchen or a barista in a bustling cafe will likely be printed via a thermal printer too.
3) Thermal printers can print 20 lines a second
We said they were quick. But did you know they can print at 20 lines a second or even faster? That’s just what the doctor ordered in terms of the fast-paced nature of the hospitality industry.
4) Thermal printers don’t require ink
Most thermal printers work in one of two ways.
The traditional method involves feeding rolls of heat-sensitive paper inside the printer. This generates heat, which reacts with the paper and the printer head transfers hot pigments of the image/words onto the sheet.
Newer printers may use ribbon printer cartridges, which contain a waxy material. Paper is fed through the printer and the heat melts the substance and sticks it onto the paper.
5) Thermal printers just keep on keeping on
One of the benefits of thermal printers is that they have few moving parts. There are really just 3 key components:
- the thermal head to generate heat and print on paper
- the platen rubber roller to feed paper
- the spring that applies pressure to the thermal head, causing it to burn the thermo-sensitive paper.
The simplicity of thermal printers allows them to hold up well over time and makes them naturally more durable than their non-thermal printer cousins.
6) Thermal printers date back to the early 1970s
A few years after the invention of laser printing came thermal printing, a method of printing quickly adopted by popular microcomputer systems of the late 1970s, like the now infamous Atari 8-bit system.
However, a much more popular application of thermal printing came with the advent of that once popular piece of kit called the fax machine in the 1990s.
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7) Thermal printers are now on the cloud/Wi-Fi
The merging of thermal printers and modern technology is change we can believe in. Now you can say goodbye to a hospitality venue full of cables and say hello to a seamless, wireless printing process that relies on a cloud or Wi-Fi connection.
8) When a connected thermal printer has an issue, dockets get sent to the next printer in the network.
We get it if you’re a bit sceptical about technological advances like the cloud and Wi-Fi. That’s why Impos has innovative receipt printing software that can detect any print failures and divert print jobs to your designated backup printer.
This safeguards your hospitality venue so you never need to worry about losing orders. Instead, you can rest easy, maintain your efficient service and focus on the stuff that matters, like your customers and staff.
9) Epson is the most searched-for POS thermal printer in Australia
Unlike cafes or restaurants, there isn’t a ton of articles about the best thermal printers. But we’re pretty stoked that Epson is the most searched-for thermal printer brand in Australia because, well, Impos stocks the latest Epson models.
10) Getting your hands on a thermal printer, and a great POS, has never been easier
As we’ve mentioned, thermal printers are reliable, fast and quiet. They’re also an important cog in Impos’ hardware suite and in any hospitality POS system, helping hospitality venues of all shapes and sizes stay on top of orders and sales.
And on the very rare occasion your printer does throw a hissy fit, Impos’ renowned support is on hand to guide you through your pain points.
Just get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss any hardware or POS related questions you might have.