Intermec PM43 – Command Language and Drivers

Intermec PM43 If you’ve read my review of the new Intermec PM43 printer family, you’ll have seen that I’ve had all kinds of issues with drivers and operating systems.

I finally got to have a conversation with Karl Perry (one of Intermec’s printer gurus) and he was kind enough to explain why things are the way they turned out and provide some hints for trouble free installations.

First thing when starting up a new printer, there are some choices to be made. This is really important because an incorrect selection here can prevent things from working properly.

The printer uses the Intermec Fingerprint printer command language by default. Seems an odd choice since Fingerprint isn’t the most common app for Intermec printers in the field. I believe it is this way because fingerprint is the native language for the machine and the other command languages are emulations.

From the manual:

The printer supports these command languages:
• Direct Protocol (DP)
• IPL (Intermec Printer Language)
• ZSim (ZPL command language simulator)
• DSim (DPL command language simulator)

OK, so which one should you use?

If you are in the US (as most of our readers are) your inclination is probably to choose IPL. If you have Intermec printers already, chances are they use the Intermec IPL language so we should use the same on the new printer -right?

Well, maybe!

Seagull Drivers Intermec PM43

Seagull Drivers for PM43 IPL

If you are currently printing by sending IPL files to the printer, then IPL is the way to go. If, on the other hand, you use Label software such as BarTender, Intermec suggests using Direct Protocol (DP) command language instead.

Intermec reinforces this by the fact there is not an IPL driver for the PM43 in the set of Intermec print drivers that comes with the printer (or is downloadable from the Intermec site). Note that Intermec’s drivers are made by Seagull Scientific and there is an IPL driver for these printers available from Seagull direct – confused yet?

Use Teklynx software? From what I can see, only DP drivers are available for PM43 from these guys.

Anyway, enough of that, here is my thought as to which command language is best for different scenarios:

  • Using Fingerprint Smartprinting apps? Fingerprint
  • Sending IPL label files to the printer? IPL
  • Using BarTender or other software? Direct Protocol (DP)
  • Sending labels as Zebra ZPL files? ZSim (Zebra simulation)
  • Sending labels as Datamax DPL Files? DSim (Datamax simulation)

Oh, one scenario I haven’t mentioned is when you are using IPL files that were used by very old Intermec legacy models. To get these to work properly you might have to use IPL and also set the printer into Legacy Mode. We had tried this at a client’s facility (with some success, but not 100%) and found that the command to set the printer into legacy mode was very well hidden – involved sending a command to the printer via HyperTerminal.

Thinking of buying a PM43 printer? If you get one from us (and Intermec has some nice trade-in deals going on right now, so it could be a good time to do it) make sure you include our installation and training as part of your purchase.

What set up would I use with BarTender? I’d put my printer in DP mode and get the PM43 DP driver from Seagull. With any luck we’ll be getting a new PM43 here soon – I’ll report back how everything goes.


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