Irvine, California-based Printronix Inc has introduced a new family of line matrix and direct thermal and thermal transfer printers to its current line, and is hoping to lure customers off the reliable old faithfuls with lower maintenance cost incentives. The printers all use Printronix System Architecture, which enables them to interface with most hardware and software systems, and to fit easily into existing networks. The company, which claims to have 40% of the line matrix market, has launched its P4000 series of line matrix printers based on what it calls its fourth generation shuttle technology. This includes a number of features, such as Flash memory, which enables whole page formatting before printing, low energy shuttle, chrome hammers, longer life electric bulbs, all of which combine to increase reliability and should reduce maintenance costs by up to 50%, it said. Printronix also claims improved print quality, by which it means not just how the document looks immediately after printing, but how it keeps its quality over several years. The printers are available in both 475 lines per minute floor cabinet and pedestal models, and an 800 lpm pedestal model. The P4000 Series supports industry standard graphics languages including Printronix Graphics Language and Magnum Code V Language, making them compatible with already installed printers. The printers have additional support for a range of interfaces including Ethernet, Token Ring, Co-ax and Twinax. They are priced between $5,000 and $7,500, and are geared for large volume printing jobs such as statements, reports, invoices, cheques and bar codes. They are also recommended for harsh environments such as a manufacturing floor. Printronix has also introduced six new thermal printers to its ThermaLine family of label printers. These are available in 4.1, 6.4, and 8.5 models and operate in both thermal transfer and direct thermal modes suitable for on-demand, bar code printing jobs. As with the line matrix printers, the ThermaLine support Industry Standard Graphics Languages. They also offer a range of media handling functions for more efficient printing such as a ribbon saver function on direct thermal printing, which prevents the ribbon advancing unnecessarily over blank lines on labels. Printronix also offers automatic label mapping software that enables customers to move from line matrix printers to thermal printers without changing their label printing software. In addition to its new line of printers, Printronix supplies a complete line of Continuous Form Laser Printers including the L5031 and L1024, for print jobs including reports, bar codes, statements, invoices and picking lists. Both the line matrix and thermal printers will start shipping sometime this month.