Getting the best out of your Zebra printer with ZBI

Zebra Printer using ZBI

Getting the best out of your Zebra printer with ZBI

There’s a secret feature that hides in almost all Zebra label printers.  It’s called ZBI, Zebra Basic Interpretor.  ZBI can use the powerful microprocessors inside your printer and eliminate the need for a PC and solve printing problems you never thought possible.

What is ZBI?

ZBI works in partnership with your Zebra printer’s language ZPL.  ZBI-2 is an interpretor – it takes data coming into your printer, intreprets it and prints it.  It’s found on most Zebra label printers, although it needs to be activated before it can be used.  In many cases it means you don’t need a PC connected to it.

Here’s an example of what ZBI can do:

Scan-then-print:  Acme Shipping Co. use barcode scanners plugged into their Zebra printers to streamline their  operations and make them more simple and efficient.  Workers receive a box with a unique barcode on it.  They scan the barcode and the barcode data is sent to the printer where a ZBI application matches the box with a specific  customer. The printer automatically prints an address label using a label format and customer address stored in printer memory. No one needs to key in the data and it’s doesn’t need a PC to print from.

Click this link if you think Zebra Basic Interpreter could help you.

Other uses for ZBI:

Display messages on your printer’s LCD screen.  For example “Scan ID Badge”.  This can be done on a counter without the need for a PC or network connection.

Print directly from a scanner or scale or other peripheral.  The printer and scale can be located anywhere in the factory eliminating the need for complex cabling or expensive computers.

ZBI interprets other printer programming languages.  You can switch from a TEC or Honeywell printer without the need to redesign labels.  You can setup your Zebra printer to convert the label instructions being sent to it.

Print Data Logs automatically.  Your printer can be set up to print records it receives from an automatic data capture device.  Print temperature records or times a door is opened.  Doesn’t need to print to labels – Zebra printers can print to paper.

Transfer data to and from PC-based databases as a part of the label printing process.

How do I get ZBI?

ZBI is optional.  You can use your printer without it.  You can order it when you buy your printer or enable it later using a software key.  For IT professionals you’re able to develop applications with Zebra’s free utility.  If you’re less confident with your technical skills – ask us to write your applications for you.  Remember – you will need the correct ports on your printer – USB or Serial.  If your printer is Wifi or Bluetooth enabled you can receive data wirelessly.
ZBI is not free and costs around £65 (May 2017).
Your Zebra printer is able to do more than just print labels.  Make use of it’s powerful electronics and make it more independent and flexible.

Want to know more?

Contact us for more information on how to enable ZBI on your printer.



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