Printers Perform In Diverse Networks

Printers are often the most reliable components of a network and, as a consequence, are also the easiest to take for granted. That is, until your networking needs change.

With the introduction of its latest line of open pedestal line matrix printers, Genicom Corp. (Chantilly, Va.) is attempting to stay ahead of network printing needs. As a result, the new 4840p and 4810p printers are designed for manufacturing and warehousing environments where connecting to heterogeneous platforms is essential.

"We’re noticing in a lot of companies the desire to connect with multiple networks in heterogeneous environments," says Chuck Ward, product manager for Genicom’s line matrix printers. "Printers have become more networked over the past three to five years. About half of the printers we sell are into networked environments."

With the 4840p, for example, users have the option of up to three hot ports for concurrent network/host connectivity, according to Ward. These hot ports function essentially as avenues from the network to the printer. The 4840p accommodates one serial port, one parallel port and an optional Twinax/Coax port, which identifies the type of connection through an autosensing feature, Ward says. "This is particularly helpful for companies in transition from Twinax to Ethernet connections," he adds.

A key feature of Genicom printers is the modular design of the print module. "All print modules have a finite lifetime," Ward says. The print modules on the 4810p and 4840p are replaceable without the need for additional alignment. In addition, the entire print module bank may not have to be replaced in the event of a failure, which cuts down on the amount of time and money such an event will cost a business.

Genicom’s printers are capable of supporting Ethernet, Token-Ring, IBM Twinax/Coax SCS and IPDS environments. TCP/IP printing is supported through the use of an additional network interface box, which connects to the printers via the parallel port, according to Ward.

The life of a pedestal printer is typically 5-7 years, which is why replacement sales are a large part of Genicom’s business, according to Ward. "This long life is actually a key selling point to Genicom’s customers," he says, adding that there is always a segment of the market due to upgrade printing devices.

The 4840p/4810p printers are available through Genicom distributors and VARs. Prices begin at $5,745 for the 4810p. The 4840p starts at $7,245, with a cost of $7,745 for the three-port configuration.