Sunday, February 10, 2008

Printing Technology

Printers are routinely confidential by the underlying print technology they employ; numerous such technologies have been developed over the years.

The choice of print engine has a considerable effect on what jobs a printer is suitable for, as various technologies are capable of different levels of image/text quality, print speed, low cost, noise; in addition, some technologies are inappropriate for certain types of physical media (such as carbon paper or transparencies).

Another aspect of printer technology that is frequently forgotten is resistance to alteration: liquid ink such as from an inkjet head or fabric ribbon becomes absorbed by the paper fibers, so documents printed with liquid ink are more difficult to alter than documents printed with toner or solid inks, which do not penetrate below the paper surface.

Checks should also be printed with liquid ink or on special "check paper with toner anchorage". For similar reasons carbon film ribbons for IBM Selectric typewriters bore labels counsel against using them to type negotiable instruments such as checks. The machine-readable lower portion of a check, however, must be printed using MICR toner or ink. Banks and additional clearing houses employ automation equipment that relies on the magnetic flux from these specially printed characters to function properly.

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