Printer Selection Guide

To help you select the right printer

Receipt Printers
What’s important in selecting a printer?

Build a printer, or purchase a finished product?

A finished printer product largely consists of the “mechanism” for printing, an “auto cutter” to cut the paper, and a “control board” for controlling these components as well as for sending and receiving data.
This guide offers the individual sales of mechanism units, auto cutter units, and control boards to allow you the option of putting together your own customized printer.

Different forms of products suit each application

The form of a finished printer depends on the type you select, such as a “stationary printer,” a “mobile printer” that you can carry with you, or a “panel printer” which is set up with the paper output exposed.

System Composition

A system configured for using a printer is composed of a “host” for sending print data, the “main printer unit”, and the “power source” for the printer’s power supply, and for some models there is also “external output equipment” such as a cash drawer.
In addition, there are now “intelligent printers” available. These are printers which are often equipped with wired LAN and various wireless communication boards to expand their capabilities and handle host functions

Printing Methods
The printing methods of Citizen Systems business-use printers

Business-use printers for issuing receipts use one of the two printing methods described below. Select a method according to your intended use.

Direct Thermal Printing
This is a printing method that uses specially coated paper that is printed on by adding heat from a thermal head, which induces a chemical reaction to produce the print.

Paper Type

Aside for the standard thermal paper, the following special printing papers are available.
* Whether a type of paper is appropriate to use or not depends on the printer’s specifications.

About Storability

Direct thermal printing uses a chemical reaction to print. Passage of time and environmental conditions can cause further chemical changes, possibly making the print difficult to read or causing it to completely fade away. Prolonged preservation is possible by storing the printed material in a location not exposed to light and in which temperature, humidity, chemicals, friction, etc. will have little effect. In addition, paper manufacturers offer paper with a capacity for long-term storage, making it possible to store printed paper over a long period of time even under conditions that are not ideal.*

* We cannot list specific periods of time as results will differ under varying conditions.

Impact Dot Printing
This printing method consists of a printing solenoid that pushes out head pins to form a character over an ink ribbon to strike the paper, leaving an inked imprint on the paper’s surface.

Two-Color Printing

Depending on the model of the printer and the ink ribbons, two colors of printing such as red and black are possible.

Citizen Systems Digital Photo Printer Printing Method

Dye Sublimation Thermal Transfer Printing
A thermal head heats an ink sheet that has a coating of solid ink on a thin film, and the vaporized ink is applied to paper. (The process by which a solid is changed to gas is referred to as sublimation) Three colors of sheets are sequentially stacked.

Unlike the inkjet method which relies on fine dots of ink to express a color, the sublimation method paints color over color, using 256 gradations of yellow, magenta, and cyan for each dot to form 16.77 million colors. This allows a high resolution that’s equivalent to a silver-halide print.

The final phase in the process is to protect the surface by applying a transparent film.

By covering the surface with a special layer of film, the surface is protected from fingerprints and water while withstanding ozone and light much better than other methods.

Paper Output Direction
Select between top exit and front exit

Choose from two paper output directions: front exit or top exit. Installing the printer under a shelf may limit the space above the printer, for example, making a model with front exit a better choice. Select a model with a direction that suits the location where it will be installed. Certain models are designed for several horizontal placement.

A wide range of interfaces

In addition to the standard four types which are Serial (RS-232C), Parallel (compatible with Centro or IEEE 1284), USB (printer class, virtual COM) and wired LAN, certain models have other interfaces available such as wireless LAN. The supported interfaces vary depending on the model. Certain models may require wiring or the modification of an included cord.

* There are no models compatible with RS-422/485 and current loops.

Auto Cutter
Equipped with a high speed, highly durable, low noise auto cutter.

The auto cutter has two cut methods: “Full Cut” and “Partial Cut”.
Changing the cut method may involve changes in the hardware, or the model may be limited to full cut only. For models without an auto cutter, a manual cutter is provided.

For a receipt printer, a single portion can be left uncut with a slide-shearing cutter. For a label printer, there is a “pizza” method and a “rotary” method.

Various Sensors
Internal sensors detect the printer’s status

The various sensors built in to the printer detects the printer’s condition, and also detect and control errors. For most models, the type of error is indicated by means of the blinking pattern of an error LED.