Dot matrix printers have been around for more than four decades now, and are still going strong with noticeable presence in many large organizations such as railways, banks, and courts. Have you ever wondered how this seemingly old tech managed to remain so relevant even to this date?
Well, it’s simple. Dot matrix printers provide two huge benefits to business owners. The first one being that they are very cost effective. Secondly, they are a simple solution for someone who wants to generate multiple copies at once. And then there are some more benefits of dot matrix printers, but we’ll get into them later.
In this article, we’ll explore all there is to know about dot matrix printers— right from the history to what the future looks like for them. We’ll also get into the working of a dot matrix printer and dive deeper into the reasons why they still make so much sense for so many organizations. So let’s get started.
A brief history of dot matrix printers
Up until the 1970s, that is when the first dot matrix was introduced to the world, line printers were commonly used as computer printers. These line printers would use a combination of ink ribbon, a metal cylinder, and hammers to imprint characters. However, line printers were very limited in terms of the variety of characters they could print.
Enter dot matrix printers. Dot matrix printers are also impact printers like line printers but instead of hammers they have smaller pins for imprinting characters. Think of these dots from pins as pixels on a screen. Just like pixels combine to form complex shapes on screen, the dot matrix printer can also print complex graphics.
The anatomy of a dot matrix printer
Dot matrix printers follow the ‘head and ribbon’ method of printing. As mentioned earlier, they consist of small pins. These pins are then hammered on an ink ribbon which leaves a mark on the paper.
The head, consisting of pins, moves in a line by line motion. Based on the kind of dot matrix printer you use, the pin matrix would consist of either 9 or 24 pins. The 9 pin model is the faster option whereas the one with 24 pins will give you high-quality and high-resolution images. So essentially, there is no better option among the two, and it all depends on your specific use case.
Another key to dot matrix printers is their ability to generate multiple copies at once. Well this is possible because they are impact printers. You can add multiple sheets in dot matrix printers with a carbon paper inserted between subsequent sheets. And then by the virtue of impact printing, the same dots will get printed on the other pages.
Dot matrix printers allow for as many as 10 copies at a time. Doing something similar with a modern laser or inkjet printer would not only require more time but also increase the cost manifolds.
Because the dot matrix printers have relatively simple mechanics, they are usually very robust and are much easier to maintain. It is among the many reasons that lead to lower operational costs.
While the printing mechanism of dot matrix printers has remained the same over decades, the newer models come with WiFi and bluetooth connectivity options. Feature additions like these keep these printers relevant even for modern offices.
You should also know that dot matrix printers make a lot more noise compared to other printers. However, if slight noise isn’t a deal breaker for you, then a dot matrix is the more logical choice in a lot of situations. Let’s have a quick look at various reasons why you should get a dot matrix printer.
Benefits of a dot matrix printer
Low running cost
In the long run, dot matrix printers turn out to be very cost effective. The two usual drivers of cost, i.e. the ink ribbon and printing papers, do not cost a lot. Additionally, dot matrix printers consume very less power, making them an affordable option for a lot of businesses.
Prints multiple copies at once
You can easily generate multiple copies in a single pass using dot matrix printers. Doing so in any other kind of printer would require multiple passes and then the additional headache of assorting the different copies.
Various businesses such as retail, railways, fleet management, etc. need multiple copies of receipts and documents. The different copies go to the various parties involved. Dot matrix printers turn out to be a great device for such businesses.
Minimal maintenance needed
Thanks to their simple mechanics, dot matrix printers don’t require much maintenance. They are usually very robust and operate for very long durations with ease. Less maintenance also translates into higher savings for businesses.
You must have not imagined this as being one of the benefits of dot matrix printers. But as surprising as it may be, this dated tech is much greener than other printers. They consume a lot less power, significantly reducing your organization’s carbon footprint.
Dot matrix printers have held their ground for a very long time now, and for all the right reasons. While it’s obvious that these printers do not sit well in every office, it’s also true that they are simply irreplaceable for such organizations.
If you are someone who thinks a dot matrix printer is the right peripheral moving forward, then the next big challenge for you is to identify the right one. One good place to start your research would be the TVS range of dot matrix printers
We, at TVS, are the primary dot matrix printer providers of some of the most reputed organizations in the nation. You’ll find our printers in action in railway offices, SBI branches, LIC offices, and so on.
Our ‘made in India’ dot matrix printers use patented inkbank technology that makes the ink ribbons last 10 times longer than other dot matrix printers. Additionally, our rich pan India infrastructure provides you readily available quality services, in case any issue arises.
So feel free to explore our range of reliable and sophisticated dot matrix printers and start reaping benefits of this timeless tech yourself.