Intermec 4400 Bar Code Label Printer
This was the second printer project I worked on at Intermec. I was the Mechanical Project Engineer on this project. This product was to be the replacement for the "bread and butter" mid and upper end label printers in the Intermec line. As printers accounted for the majority of revenue at Intermec at that time, this products success was paramount.
The project was a very long and difficult one, somewhat due to technical reasons and some due to management. The technical reasons included the use of multiple processors and a dedicated "imaging" processor (an Intel i960) to pre-image the bar code and graphics for maximum print speed. It also has some very advanced electronics and software to keep the print quality consistent label after label no matter what the duty cycle. We also designed many options for the product including various I/O interfaces, label strippers and cutters, etc.
In contrast with older Intermec printers that had hardly any "hard tooled" parts on them, this printer had a total tooling cost of nearly $1,000,000 for the many plastic parts and several die cast metal ones.
Fortunately, it paid off. The product was very successful in the marketplace and is still being built today.
On the downside, this project burned out many, many top people at Intermec. Besides myself, at least half a dozen other engineers in the printer group left Intermec as this project wound down.
Intermec sales brochure for the product
Last updated: November 09, 1996