Jul 21 2010

All Locked Up

The Troy MICR 3015 offers the ability to secure sensitive files by controlling access to the printer's trays.

If your organization needs a secure printer that supports magnetic ink character recognition, take a look at the Troy MICR 3015dt, an innovative printer that combines the reliability of HP LaserJet technology with the feature-rich and fully compliant MICR security for which Troy is known.


Printer setup is relatively easy. The physical setup is like that of any standard HP LaserJet, except for the additional paper tray, atop which the printer itself sits. Instead of using HP drivers, administrators will need to install the custom Troy drivers that ship with the unit. These allow full use of the printer’s MICR enhancements. In my test environment, the setup took less than an hour.

Printing at speeds of up to 42 pages per minute, the MICR 3015dt is fast enough for most high-output applications, while the price point and form factor are modest enough to make it a smart choice for less demanding environments as well. Not only is the printer fast, but it also boasts a monthly duty cycle of 100,000 pages, allowing high-yield results while requiring little maintenance.

The MICR technology within the printer and its toner cartridge produces quality results that meet American National Standards Institute standards; for example, MICR can print the numbers along the bottom of checks.  Security is enhanced by tamper-resistant technology that prevents unauthorized modification of checks while protecting sensitive areas such as the payee’s information and the check amount.

The MICR 3015dt’s additional security features double the printer’s appeal, especially in a government setting. The standard locking paper trays make this an ideal printer for accounting departments that need to secure not only check stock, but also purchase-order forms and other sensitive printed material. Both tray tumblers are keyed identically, and four keys are provided.

Why It Works for IT

Troy’s multiple security enhancements keep sensitive data private, even in multiuser environments. The 3015dt fully supports password protection: All print jobs can remain encrypted until the printer receives them and deciphers their data stream, preventing interception and exploitation of any confidential information. With post-processing audit technology, administrators can oversee completed print tasks, either to verify success or to ensure accountability.

Although the 3015dt is designed for MICR applications, its technological platform is similar to that of an HP LaserJet 3015 printer, making it a viable high-speed workgroup printer. Using MICR toner for everyday printing certainly isn’t cost effective, but the sturdy 3015dt can provide much-needed redundancy in the event that another workgroup printer unexpectedly goes offline.

Also, with its generous 1,100-sheet paper capacity, the MICR 3015dt is suitable for high-volume printing with few interruptions. Because the printer’s media capacity is mainly divided between two independent lockable trays, administrators can assign different types of paper stock to each tray, or even lock one tray while allowing access to the other. This flexibility empowers IT departments to limit access to specific groups of users.


My complaints with the MICR 3015dt are primarily aesthetic. The paper tray seems a little flimsy. The horizontal retention tabs in the tray are tiny, plastic spring-loaded tines that will likely hold up well if handled gently, but feel delicate enough to easily break in the hands of a frustrated user.

Additionally, while the locking paper trays work well to keep unauthorized people away from sensitive print media, the tumblers themselves seem a bit loose. After pulling the paper tray out to add stock, the tumbler often fell back into the locked position from the weight of the key, which could prevent proper closure of the drawer.