DASCOM dot-matrix printers at RohrMax Perfect on-site printing

DASCOM dot-matrix printers at RohrMax Perfect on-site printing (PresseBox) (Ulm, ) Optimal scheduling thanks to an innovative system

With a fleet of 90 vehicles throughout Switzerland and several hundred callouts a day, scheduling is key to efficient operations. For this reason RohrMax and the specialists from SatWork have developed an SMS and GPSassisted system for the scheduling and processing of orders, allowing assignments to be sent directly to the technicians' vehicle. This allows RohrMax to react quickly to customer requests, while optimising their use of technicians and vehicles.

When a new order is received the scheduling manager can determine immediately which vehicle is nearest to the new order location. The order is then sent by SMS to a small computer in the driver's cockpit. Via a printer connected to the computer the technician can print off the new order. After completion of the contract the technician scans the chargeable items via bar codes and sends a report by SMS to headoffice, where the data can be used immediately for invoicing. If, in the meantime, a new order has been received it can be printed off straight away without wasting valuable time.

Important criteria for a professional operation

The possibility of printing orders onsite was a particularly important aspect for Rohr- Max during the development of the entire system. A printout, as opposed to an SMS, can clearly display all order details, which allows the customer to review the order prior to execution. In addition, this is the only way of leaving a copy of the order with the customer after completion. The challenge, however, was trying to find a printer that would match RohrMax's exacting requirements. Of course, a printer for use in vehicles needs to be robust, but also easy to use and most importantly must be extremely reliable - after all, the onsite technicians have no access to specialist help or a replacement printer. Furthermore, the printer should also be mounted in the cockpit in such a way that the drivers view is not obstructed, yet it has to be easily accessible at all times. During the first couple of years RohrMax used 9pin matrix printers that were mounted in a specially developed metal casing. In 2006 the printer system was reevaluated, especially as the print quality was no longer stateoftheart and because the special casing was obstructing the drivers view due to its size.

First choice for use on the road

During the search for alternatives RohrMax and SatWork came across the MIP480 24pinmatrix printer by DASCOM, which had been developed especially for use in vehicles. Highly reliable, low maintenance and ease of use were the deciding design aspects. In addition, the MIP480 offers flexible mounting options for the driver's cockpit. The printer can be operated with 12 or 24 volt, which makes it ideal for all commonly used outputs. Thus, in collaboration with the Print Tech Plus AG from Samstagern, DASCOM's specialist trade partner, a concept for the MIP480's use by Rohr- Max was developed and installed in the first couple of vehicles.

Proven in practice

"The new printers are genius", Christian Strickler, a RohrMax technician, sums it up. His vehicle was one of the first to be fitted with the MIP480. Not only has the print quality and speed significantly improved, compared to the old system, it is also much easier to use. "Until now I was forced to disassemble half the device, if I needed to replace the paper. Now I can do it by pressing two buttons. Especially when working with multiple forms this makes it a lot easier." The compact design allows the printer and additional paper to be installed in place of the cockpit's middle seat, which is not used by RohrMax, and therefore does not obstruct the driver in any way. New RohrMax vehicles are now fitted with the MIP480 as standard, while the existing systems are gradually being replaced.

Mobile printers: MIP480

The market for invehicle printers has exact requirements for size, performance, connectivity and costs. DASCOM's MIP480 combines speed, flexibility and robustness and is therefore the ideal output interface for order confirmations and other mobile applications. With a printhead lifespan of 250 million characters, an ink ribbon able to be used for up to six months and a continuous usage of 7000 hours without fault, the mobile printer is a very reliable partner, especially for the use in storage logistics, transport and security technology. The MIP480 has a print speed of up to 480 characters per second and with its 24pin printhead prints excellent text and graphics, both on continuous print forms as well as single sheet paper. It can process paper with up to 4 carboncopy layers. The MIP480, therefore, is the ideal device for printing multiple copies or printing on continuous paper on the road.

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DASCOM Europe GmbH
Heuweg 3
D-89079 Ulm
Michael Ried
Marketing Manager

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