BarTender, label and barcode creation software, is also a great tool for managing label formats. This capability is illustrated in a case study, where using BarTender, Adaptive Data helped a specialty chemical manufacturer in Ohio reduce label files from 9,000 to less than 30.
Quality Control at Line-Side
For a Tier 1 automotive manufacturer supplying to Honda, making sure only “good” parts were shipped was the end goal. However, the difference between a "good" part and a "bad" part was only thousandths of an inch, leaving the supplier little room for error.
Getting the Green Light from Honda
The supplier manufacturers only one part, but faced two key challenges in delivering the part:
- Delivering only good parts to Honda
- Delivering the right quantity of good parts to Honda
One key dimension is the singular factor that determines if a part is good or bad. The measurement is taken with an electronic micrometer to validate a part has been produced to spec. A green light on the micrometer indicates a good part.
In both the old and new systems, this process is the same. However, under the old system, what happened next was completely on the operator who had to visualize the light indicator for each part and act accordingly:
- A good part, indicated by a green light, was labeled and put in a tote
- A bad part, indicated by a red light, did not receive a label, but was redirected to be reworked
Due to its repetitive nature, the process was prone to errors. Distractions and interruptions in the process also added to the probably of errors occurring.
Smart Printing is the Solution for Line-Side
adi POWERPRINT Solo provides a stand-alone, smart printing solution for production labeling. In this case, the Honeywell PD43 smart printer was used. Smart printers run independently of a host computer and are programmable. These capabilities make smart printing ideal for line side printing, where environments are not suitable for PCs.
For this supplier, the solution consisted of 2 stand-alone printers, providing checks and balances for the following printing processes:
Printer 1 is responsible for printing the item label. Through the POWERPRINT Solo program, the printer receives input from the electronic micrometer and will only print an item label if the “green light” was given for that part. This ensures that a bad part is never labeled or put into a tote for shipment to Honda.
Printer 2 is responsible for printing the tote labels. Through the POWERPRINT Solo program, the printer keeps count (by scanning the barcode on the item label) of the number of parts going into the tote (all of which have been previously verified as “good” parts) and will only print the tote labels when the tote has received the right quantity of parts.
By automating production labeling with adi POWERPRINT Solo smart printing, the supplier was able to automative production labeling and eliminate errors.
By Jevon Kennedy August 2, 2018
Setting the IP Address on a Zebra ZT620
The 5 second rule . . . that highly subjective rule of thumb everyone uses when you drop something. For me, the value of the item that errantly falls to the floor is tied to how much I really, really, really want to save it. Drop a piece of broccoli and even before it hits the floor, it’s been there too long. A piece of chocolate . . . a completely different story. You get the gist.
However, when setting or resetting the IP address on a Zebra ZT620 (using the printer itself), the full 5 seconds applies.
Watch the video for step-by-step instructions on how to set the IP address on the ZT620.
As a general guideline, medical experts recommend 10,000 steps a day as a good level of activity for personal health. To get to that number, I walk everywhere; taking the long way just to elevate my step count. However, the same 10,000 steps may not be a sign of health in your business . . . especially when it comes to your label printing operation.
Centralized Label Printing
Printing labels at a centralized location and then bringing them to the point of use is petty standard practice in many business. However, centralized printing has it's flaws. It may seem like a big deal, but it does take time to walk back and forth to a centralized place to pick up labels. And if changes are required, the trip is being taken more than once.
Labeling at the Point of Use
As evidence by the study conducted by Zebra Technologies, mobile printing brings label printing to the point of use and can significantly increase productivity throughout the supply chain. Read the Full White Paper
However, if you already have stationary printers that are doing a good job of printing labels, you may not have the resources to invest in mobile printers.
Never fear. Newcastle Systems has the answer . . . Mobile Workstations!
Newcastle Systems provides mobile workstation cart solutions to suit the specific needs of a broad range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, retail, healthcare, and education.
Because of the activity level in a typical warehouse and the importance of knowing exactly what you have in inventory and where it is located, the DC is a good place to start when considering mobile workstations for labeling at the point of application.
Wondering which unit is best for you? Visit our website for more information on mobile workstations from Newcastle Systems
Are there areas in your organization that could benefit from labeling at the point of use? Not sure where to start? Contact us to start the conversation!