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.