Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Techniques to Ensure Your Thermal Receipt Printer is Functioning Properly 

In this busy world we often find ourselves rushing to get the little things done such as loading our thermal receipt printers. This could be the difference between a functional printer and a non-functional one. When loading your thermal printer you may run into the problem that it feeds roll paper but it does not print. The cause could be that it's not thermal-coated paper or it was loaded upside down. There are three simple steps you can follow to fix the problem. 

1) To verify that the roll is thermal coated paper, scratch the surface of the paper with a coin or nail. 
2) Make sure the top coat shows a black mark where the scratch was made to ensure the paper is thermal-coated. 
3) Finally, verify the thermal paper was loaded correctly and try printing again. 

Example of proper paper loading: 

Thermal Printer Proper Paper Loading

Please let us know if you have any questions, thoughts or comments 

Friday, December 6, 2013

What is the Difference Between Paper Basis Weight, Caliper and Equivalent Weight for Paper Rolls?

We are often asked about the differences between paper basis weight, caliper and equivalent weight. So we thought a blog post was in order to explain the differences as it relates to paper rolls, thermal paper rolls, and wide format paper rolls

Basis Weight: The basis weight of a paper is the designated fixed weight of 500 sheets, measured in pounds, in that paper's basic sheet size. It is important to note that the "basic sheet size" is not the same for all types of paper.

Caliper: Refers to the thickness of a sheet of paper expressed in thousandths of an inch. This measurement is take with a micro meter. Normally, paper caliper should not have more than a + or - 5% variance within a sheet. Generally, the relation between caliper and basis weight- the greater the caliper (the thicker the paper) the greater the paper weight.

Equivalent Weight: While different paper types have different basic sizes, papers can still be compared by using equivalent weight.

Basis Weight ("Category") Table
Type of Paper
Basic Size – 500 Sheets
Rag Paper
17" x 22"
Coated Paper
25" x 38"
20" x 26"
"Tag Stock"
24" x 36"
25-1/2" x 30-1/2"

Friday, November 15, 2013

Virgin Bond Roll Paper and Blended Bond Roll Paper

We are often asked about the differences between Virgin Bond Roll Paper and Blended Bond Roll Paper.  So we thought a blog post was in order to explain. 
What is Bond Paper? The term bond was originally a term applied to cotton-content paper used for printing bonds and legal documents. They are distinguished by strength, performance and durability. Bond paper is now made from either cotton, chemical wood pulp, or a combination of the two. Bond receipt paper rolls are used in impact printers that utilize ink ribbons. They are strong and durable, consisting of wood, cotton, or both, most commonly used for letterheads, stationery, business forms, cash register, calculator rolls etc. Bond papers are made to perform equally well for a pen/pencil, offset printing, engraving, laser printing and inkjet printing.

Virgin Bond vs. Blended Bond: The term Virgin Bond, means the paper was made from the fibers in their first use, usually from wood pulp representing the highest quality paper rolls available. Virgin bond roll paper is also referred to as Hi Bulk or Bright White paper.  Blended Bond paper (aka Environmentally Correct Paper) are classified as “medium” or “standard” grade level products, which leads to continuous confusion regarding the quality of these paper roll products. Blended Bond is made from alternative pulp (Thermo-Mechanical Pulp) of fast growing hybrid trees grown specifically for this purpose. Blended Bonds are not the same as recycled paper products which are actually the lowest grade Paper Roll Products.

Brightness (aka Whiteness): The alternative pulp is naturally whiter with a lower resin content thus requiring less bleaching agent to be used. This results in discernibly lowering the amount of bleaching agents and other chemicals typically used that are expelled into our rivers and streams, creating a more environmentally friendly product. The only significant difference when compared side-by-side is the brightness of Blended Bond is slightly less than the Premium Grade Paper Rolls.
How is Brightness Measured? Brightness is measured as the percentage of light in a narrow spectral range reflected from the surface of a sheet of paper. It is not necessarily related to color or whiteness. A blue-white and yellow-white paper can have the same brightness value but look very different.  Paper with a brightness of 98 is an extremely bright sheet with almost all light being reflected back to the viewer. Bright white sheets range from 92 to 100; the papers illuminate transparent printing inks, giving cleaner, crisper color and better black contrast.  Most virgin bond roll paper is around 92 bright and most blended bond roll paper are 85 bright. 

Please let us know if you have any questions, thoughts or comments. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Are your Currency Counters and Counterfeit Detectors ready for the New $100 Bill?

Get the Facts:
The Federal Reserve announced that the new $100 note will be placed into circulation on October 8, 2013.  All of POS Supply Solution’s Currency Counters and Counterfeit Detectors will work with the new $100 note.  

Security Features and Changes to the New $100 Bill
The new security features make it easy to check the new $100 note in seconds. Learn how to use the two advanced security features: the 3-D Security Ribbon and Bell in the Inkwell. All U.S. currency remains legal tender, so you do not need to trade in old-design notes for the new ones.

1.   3-D Security Ribbon: Blue ribbon woven into the note with alternating bells and 100s that shift as you bend the bill
2.   Bell in the Inkwell: Color shifting bell changes from copper to green
3.   Portrait Watermark: Faint watermark appears on the right when held up to the light
4.   Security thread: Vertical left of portrait and pink under UV light
5.   Color Shifting 100: Color shifting 100 on the front changes from copper to green
6.   Raised Printing: There is raised printing throughout the bill which is noticeable to the touch
7.   Gold 100: Large gold 100 on the back of the bill to help those with visual impairments
8.   Microprinting:  
The United States of America – Benjamin Franklin’s collar
·     USA 100 – Around the watermark
·     One Hundred USA – Along the golden quill
·     100s – Note borders Philadelphia’s Independence Hall rear view on the new $100 bill, the time will be changed to 10:30

Please call us at 888-431-5800 with any questions on currency counters or counterfeit detectors. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thermal Paper Storage and Shelf Life Recommendations

We are often asked about the storage and shelf life of our thermal paper rolls.  Listed below are some general thermal paper storage and shelf life recommendations.  

Shelf Life - Storage of thermal products in a dark place at a relative humidity between 45 percent and 65 percent and a temperature below 77°F (25ÂșC) will assure satisfactory performance for at least three years from the date of manufacture.

Image Life - Once thermal paper has been imaged on the recommended equipment, it is expected that the image will remain legible for at least seven years, assuming the documents are properly stored with compatible materials under normal filing conditions, with a relative humidity between 45 percent and 65 percent, as well as a temperature below 77°F (25°C).

Fade Resistance - Most thermal products use dye and co-reactant technology to form an image. The combination is sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light and may exhibit some image decline with extended exposure to office light or shorter exposure to intense UV light (sunlight). The stability of the image will depend upon the degree to which the image was originally developed, the individual product design, the intensity of the UV light and the character of UV (percent of UV range in a light source). Sheet discoloration may also occur with prolonged exposure to UV light.

Contact Storage - We recommend that thermal grades not be exposed for long periods to the following specific materials to avoid: 

1. Organic solvents, including: Alcohol, Ketones, Esters, Ethers, 
2. Cleaning fluids
3. Plasticizers: Alcohol-type (cellophane tape), Ester-type (PVC film), Polyethylene glycol-type Dioctyl phthalate, Dioctyl adipate
4. Petroleum solvents: Gasoline, Toluene and Benzene
5. Wet-type diazo copy paper
6. Carbon papers (certain types)
7. Cast-coated papers
8. Papers containing tributyl phosphate
9. Dissimilar thermal systems
10. Carbonless paper solvents
11. Ammonia
12. Certain oils 
13. Water (prolonged exposure)

Thermal Paper Rolls

An exception to these general guidelines would be our specialty top-coated media, tag, ticket and label grades.

Note: Most thermal papers, regardless of the manufacturer, are susceptible to many of the same items shown on this page. These incompatible substances are not unique to any thermal products.

Please feel free call us if you have any questions on thermal paper storage and shelf life recommendations. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Koehler Paper Announcement

Last week Koehler Paper Company announced they would begin withdrawing the supply of their lightweight thermal paper in the US.   This action is directly related to increased tariffs imposed by the US Department of Commerce stemming from an initial 2008 ailing. Koehler has outlined a phased withdrawal plan calling for reduced shipments to converters in February and March of 2013 with the potential for complete shutdown of shipments beginning in April of 2013.
thermal paper
Currently Koehler estimates it supplies approximately 44% of the US market for lightweight thermal paper. Their decision to reduce shipments and potentially exit the US market altogether will no doubt create tremendous strain on lire supply chain for thermal paper and has already had an impact on the price of thermal paper. 

Rest assured, POS Supply Solutions is doing everything possible to ensure we continue to have a continuous source of supply. This includes on-going discussions with the remaining thermal paper converters & mills as well as looking at offshore alternatives. Our most immediate, and number one goal is to create an uninterrupted source of supply for our thermal paper needs.

POS Supply Solutions will make every effort to keep you updated on developing news as it relates to the supply of lightweight thermal paper. POS Supply Solutions appreciates your business and values the relationship between our companies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Power of Color for POS Receipts

From retail stores to restaurants, businesses are always looking for new ways to sustain and grow a steady customer base and increase product awareness.  Color printing on receipt paper rolls helps to enhance branding and customer communications. This creates the ability for businesses to use their receipts as promotional tools. 

Memory retention studies show that humans are naturally drawn to color. When color is combined with the printed word, there is greater recall, recognition and retention. Leatrice Eiserman, director of the Pantone Color Institute’s speech on the Impact on Consumer Behavior spoke to the impact of color on consumers: “Memory retention studies tell us that consumers are up to 78% more likely to remember a word or phrase printed in color than in black and white. The human eye is naturally drawn to color. Color activates the right brain, while the printed word activates the left brain. When color is combined with the written word, it impacts consumers with the triple whammy of greater recall, recognition and attention.”

There is a distinct psychology to color and it is shown that different colors naturally evoke certain feelings among consumers. Here are some examples:

Color Meanings/Association

Red: Encourages appetite and evokes strong emotions. Many restaurant chains like Wendy’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds use red in their logos.

Orange: Incites feelings of excitement, enthusiasm and warmth. Orange is often used in signage to draw attention or promote a sale. It is also an appealing color to children.

Yellow: Makes people feel optimistic and warm. It is a stimulating color that draws your attention so it is often used in promotions.

Green: Associated with nature, ecology, health and tranquility. It is often used to promote natural products.

Blue: Induces feelings of serenity, trust and dependability. It is the color most preferred by men. 

Purple: Often thought of as symbolizing wealth, royalty and success. Businesses often use purple to represent a high quality product.

Pink: A youthful and lighthearted color that is also calming. Businesses targeting women may benefit from using pink in their promotions.

Black: While it can be thought of as a powerful and controlling color, it is also thought of as trendy and high end. It works well when used with vibrant jewel tones. 

Brown: Evokes feelings of comfort, maturity and reliability. Like green, it is often used to promote wholesome and organic products as well as outdoor products.

Whether a customer is buying groceries at the supermarket, getting a coffee at the local espresso bar, paying for gas, or buying a big-ticket item, receipts are indispensable. You can choose from several different options of color receipts that will help your business stand out from the competition:

Custom Printed Receipt Paper Rolls
By investing in custom printed paper rolls, you can instantly increase awareness at a low cost. At a minimum, adding a color logo and website information will reinforce branding and increase product awareness. But that is just the beginning. Why not go one step further and use the receipt as a more powerful marketing tool? Your business can increase customer visits and build brand loyalty by simply featuring a color coupon or special promotion on the back of your pre-printed paper roll receipts. 

Two-color Thermal Receipt Paper Rolls
Another way to achieve color accents on your receipts is through 2-color thermal papers. This thermal media has been available for some time and offer blue / black and red / black printing combinations. These high tech thermal papers generate 2-color images within the receipts. There are many printers on the market with the firmware needed to generate the two color text and graphics. The down side is that the paper is currently hard to find and thermal coaters require a significant volume to produce these products.

Colored Paper Rolls
This option is an economical alternative to pre-printed rolls. These colored paper rolls are a simple and easy way to make your business stand out from all the rest. Instead of custom printing, you can choose a paper roll in a solid color like blue, green, yellow, or even pink. Using colored paper rolls is a simple yet effective marketing tool to ensure customers remember your business by your attractive receipt. With plenty of colors to choose from, it couldn’t be easier to brighten up your receipt! 

Now that you know how to add color to enhance your receipt, the options for promotions on your receipts are almost endless. They can include logos, coupons, email registration, advertising specials, promotion of special events, customer surveys and employee recruitment.