Driver for Markem Imaje 8018 printer

byundt
byundt used Ask the Experts™
on
The Markem Imaje 8018 is a specialized printer intended for use in highspeed packaging lines to print labels directly on plastic. It is made to communicate with a handheld "pendant" control for data entry. I don't want to do that because the text needs to change after every 10 items being printed, and instead want to send the text from a laptop running Windows XP.

pdf file dscribing the printer http://www.markem-imaje.com/international/com/en-us/home-page/products/file.cfm/Markem_Imaje_8018_DS_HQ_A1_S.pdf?contentID=2054
It uses RS422 to communicate with the printer according to the Communication protocol document.

I realize that other Markem Imaje printers have drivers available on the web. But not this series. I also realize that Markem Imaje makes available the CoLOS software to make it easy to print logos and other fixed content using the printer. I need variable text, however.

What's the best approach to communicating with the printer? Do I need to write a driver? A plug-in for a generic driver? Markem Imaje refuses to help, saying take it or leave it--a surprisingly cavalier attitude for a $10,000 product.

Brad
series18-communications-protocol.doc
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®

Commented:
I tried to search the internet for a driver for it, but didn't find any..so the only solution for now is contacting the company to send you a driver by email or ordinary mail
this is the form for contacting them
http://www.markem-imaje.com/international/com/en-us/home-page/support/index.cfm?page=/international/home/contact
byundtMechanical Engineer
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2013

Author

Commented:
mawni,
As stated in the question, my starting point was to request a driver from Markem Imaje. They refused, saying that the only way to input variable information was through the pendant control, which contains its own keyboard.

For this reason, I need to reverse engineer some means of communicating with the printer--or else abandon its use in my current application. My question is which would be the best approach. Write a printer driver? Write a plug in for a generic printer driver?

Brad

Mechanical Engineer
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
I downloaded CoLOS 4.2.1 from the Markem Imaje web site (the freeware version) and installed it. I found by building a sample label image file that its output is really just a couple of pages of XML tags, and is entirely in human readable format.

Since my application involves fixed layout, but variable information, the easiest solution is to parse the image file using a text editor like Notepad into variable fields and static text before and after each variable field. After entering new information into the variable fields, the static parts may be concatenated with the variable fields. The end result is an image file that may be sent to the printer over its USB port.

No printer driver was necessary for my purposes.

Brad
can you supply me the link for freeware...
byundtMechanical Engineer
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2013

Author

Commented:

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial