Modern technology has brought enormous progress in the world of printing, since the first printing press was developed in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg. A more recent phenomenon has seen a huge increase in the use of remote printing.
Remote printing can be used in many different ways:
- A satellite orbiting the earth can send images to a computer which is linked to a printer to provide the printed copy.
- Information from space is used in monitoring the earth, for instance to measure the polar ice (a critical factor for assessing climate change), or for weather forecasting.
- GPS navigation systems in cars, ships and aeroplanes rely on satellites.
- A manufacturing company can manage its whole label printing operation remotely, using software in an office to control the numbers and designs of different labels as the production line changes, all connected via the Ethernet.
- Remote label printing is particularly useful when space is at a premium, or when the product’s labels, including the barcode data and “use by” dates change frequently.
- A number of people in a family can use a single printer, through wireless connections from different rooms in the house.
- There may be occasional minor disagreements within the family about who is responsible for ensuring the paper tray is kept topped up, or who has priority - printing out some homework or the weekend’s tee-off times for the local golf club!
- The results of a blood test or X-ray taken in one part of a hospital can be sent via computer link to a hospital ward and printed out for use by a doctor.
- Remote printing is invaluable for the many employees who travel as part of their work. They are able to send files via computer that can be printed at the head office or other location where needed.
- Journalists are another occupation which finds this modern technology useful. How else would the latest stories appear in print so quickly?
Remote barcode label printing makes it easier to control stock to ensure that food products on the supermarket shelves are within their “sell by” dates. Inventory management is also essential for manufacturing companies.
There are at least 2500 artificial satellites orbiting the earth, with over 1000 of these actively sending data.
April 2015: 3D printing was used to create spare parts in the International Space Station – a far cheaper and more effective method than transporting them by rocket driven space shuttles!
Many people use credit cards on a daily basis without realising that it is the communications satellites in our skies that make the instant authorisations possible.
1998 The failure of a communications satellite caused around 80% of the pagers in the US to be temporarily silenced.
Many thousands of miles of cable have been removed from factories with the introduction of remote label printing via the Ethernet.
Things have come a long way since 1440. It would be interesting to know what Johannes Gutenberg would make of it all. One thing is certain – the modern world would find it difficult to operate without remote printing.
Infographic provided by Quicklabel Printers.