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E-Citation Printing

Posted March 26, 2012

Industry Need

With increasing pressure on budgets, police and municipal operations are driven to increase productivity and revenues; citation programs pose a common target due to the high-touch environment. Adoption of e-citation among public safety agencies is rapidly increasing due to a quick ROI driven by increased accuracy, legibility (yielding decreased dismissals) and reduced or eliminated manual data entry. However, the ticketing environment has significant performance challenges. Hardware components such as computers or printers as well as citation media must often operate in punishing environments.

The two common E-citation applications have significantly different media requirements.

For parking and local ordinance violations, the citation must endure challenging service conditions. Vehicles are commonly unoccupied, requiring the parking enforcement agent to secure the ticket to the vehicle, often under a windshield wiper. These tickets are directly exposed to rain, snow, wind, and sunlight, conditions which can rapidly degrade common materials. Quick completion is a priority for efficiency; when agents encounter owners returning to a citation in progress, rapid execution is critical.

The time required to issue a citation is also important for moving violations. Drivers commonly complain about the time consumed when being cited. Additionally, exposure to moving traffic poses a safety hazard to both parked vehicles and officers, making rapid citation processing a top priority. While print quality requirements remain high, durability needs are lower since the printed citation is delivered directly from the officer to the driver.

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Durable Printing for Lockout/Tagout

Posted March 26, 2012

Industry Need

Ensuring employee safety is a foundational focus of any world-class industrial operation. Fully functional equipment has well-documented procedures and robust safeguards in place to eliminate hazardous conditions. However, during installation and maintenance, significant additional risks such as exposed sources of electricity, mechanical force, or pneumatic/hydraulic pressure are encountered. These risks are mitigated by a well defined set of lockout/tagout policies. As a frequently cited OSHA violation in 2009, the importance of compliant and effective procedures to fully de-energize and communicate equipment status is underscored. Selecting the optimal printers and media to support lockout/tagout helps ensure success of this critical process.

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Cryogenic Sample Tracking

Posted March 26, 2012

Industry Need

Modern life sciences commonly require long term preservation of biological material; cryogenic processing and storage provides a means to this end. With a large quantity of small samples in storage, accurate tracking is critical. Barcoded labels (with linear or 2D symbols) are the preferred method, but the extreme environmental stresses can cause failure with standard media.

Cryogenic conditions have become commonplace in multiple applications, ranging from pharmaceutical processing to lyophilization of vaccines. Cryopreservation of tissues and cell suspensions in small vials provides its own set of challenges, requiring conformability to small diameter surfaces and adhesion to low surface energy plastics such as polypropylene and polyethylene. Increasingly common cryogenic shipping of vaccines, tissues, and medicines in liquid nitrogen with temperatures as low as -112°F /-80°C now subjects a greater range of barcoded items to these stresses.

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Country of Origin Labeling Solution

Posted March 26, 2012

Application Description

In 2008, the USDA Country of Origin requirements expanded in scope. By March 31, 2009, food manufacturers and distributors need to clearly identify national origin for many products and provide corresponding recordkeeping documents with each shipment. Mishaps in this process can cost time, money, and even valued customers. Users can now streamline, error-proof, and cost reduce this process with Intermec’s Country of Origin Labeling solution.

The Challenge

Meeting the Country of Origin requirement commonly requires multiple steps: A thermal printer images the national origin information on a shipping label, meeting the identification portion of the standard. A separate printer, typically dot matrix or laser, creates the packing slip to meet recordkeeping requirements; this slip is usually folded multiple times and inserted into a packing slip sleeve. Finally, this sleeve is manually matched to the corresponding carton (introducing potential for error) and adhered for shipment.

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Block Out Labeling

Posted March 23, 2012

Industry Need

Labels are commonly used to convey important information about the products they mark. However, an important element of labeling has become more prevalent: concealing inaccurate or out-of-date information previously in place. These kinds of labels can clearly communicate changed pricing without drawing customer attention, or may enable use of re-tasked or inaccurate packaging. Intermec’s specially designed Duratran and Duratherm Block Out labels provide this important function, reducing costs and improving efficiency.

  • Retail/Price Markdowns – When retail items need to be price-adjusted or product information must be modified, relabeling with a material that obscures the original information saves time and maintains the integrity of the original packaging.
  • Pharmacy/Unit Level Dose – On prescription items, labels are commonly applied over original packaging for distribution to the customer/patient. It is often important that the original printing does not show through. For reliable retail barcode scanning, it is critical to eliminate interference from underlying codes.
  • Warehouse/Logistics – In shipping and receiving operations, labels are sometimes applied to materials that frequently go through multiple use cycles. Shipping containers arriving in a facility can be reused to send materials to another facility by applying a new label over the existing label on the container. Previous information must not be visible through the newly applied label, especially in automated handling systems where it could interfere with routing of the container or carton.

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Real-Time Asset Tracking Drives Emergency Care Goals at Washington Hospital Center

Posted March 23, 2012

Unprecedented Insight Enables More Informed Decisions and Better Patient Care

About Washington Hospital Center

Washington Hospital Center, with 926 beds, is the largest private hospital in the nation’s capital. It’s also now ranked first among all 57 hospitals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region by U.S. News & World Report, recognized for its heart surgery, endocrine disorders, geriatrics and ear, nose and throat care. The not-for-profit hospital is a member of MedStar Health system and shares a 47-acre campus with three medical facilities in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Challenge

In 1998, three years before the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon, Washington Hospital Center began proactively looking at how to improve patient care in the emergency room. To that end, the hospital secured a federal grant to evaluate how to design emergency medicine for the future.

When the Pentagon was hit, bringing all seriously injured patients to Washington Hospital Center, the event reinforced the commitment to enhancing every aspect of the emergency care experience. The center sought to answer, how does ER medicine need to evolve to address major events like Sept. 11, bombings or Metro system accidents?

Today, the initiative has grown into the ER One Center for Building Science, under the MedStar Institute for Innovation. Specifically, a think tank of physicians, nurses, architects, researchers and others consider how building design, from flooring to lighting, can influence healthcare.

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Acosta’s Mobile Solution Speeds Time-to-Shelf for Candymaker Just Born

Posted March 22, 2012

Zebra Printer Helps Cut In-Store Time and Get Inventory on Its Way

About Acosta Sales & Marketing

Founded in 1927, Acosta has grown from a local food broker to become the leading outsourced sales and marketing agency serving consumer packaged goods companies and retailers across the United States and Canada. The company’s integrated approach engages shoppers at every point along the path to purchase and ensures that clients’ products are strategically positioned to most effectively convert shoppers at the shelf.

Challenge

You may not know the name Just Born, but you likely know their candy. The national confectionary company makes names such as Mike and Ike’s, Hot Tamales and marshmallow Peeps.

A couple of years ago, the company recognized an untapped opportunity—to get its candies into more convenience stores. Just Born turned to Acosta, which brings technology, expertise and connections with tens of thousands of stores nationwide, including an attractive segment of 30,000 independent convenience stores.

Once in stores, Acosta must help keep Just Born’s regular and seasonal candies on shelves. When Acosta reps check inventory at stores, they need a quick and simple way to print shelf tags and UPC-coded reorder lists for store managers.

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Thibodaux Regional Medical Center Enforces Bedside Medication Verification with Wristband Solution

Posted March 21, 2012

Durable, Flexible Bands Prevent Workarounds and Contribute to High Scan Rates

About Thibodaux Regional Medical Center

In Thibodaux, La., Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, a 185-bed acute care facility, provides inpatient and outpatient care for the people of Lafourche and seven surrounding parishes. For the third consecutive year, J.D. Power and Associates recognized the center for service excellence under the Distinguished Hospital Program, acknowledging Thibodaux Regional’s strong commitment to provide “An Outstanding Patient Experience” for inpatient and outpatient services.

Challenge

To achieve and maintain its award-winning reputation, Thibodaux has progressed on several key initiatives in recent years. The medical center has increasingly moved toward a more paperless environment and brought in bedside medication verification (BMV).

With those strides, the hospital knew it needed to upgrade its approach to patient wristbands as well. Paper labels created paper waste, and didn’t hold up well in the hospital environment.

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McAllen Police Department Reduces Dismissed Tickets by Half

Posted March 21, 2012

E-Citation Produces More Legible Tickets, Increases Revenue

About McAllen Police Department

The McAllen Police Department (MPD) serves the McAllen, Texas, metro area, with a population of about 130,000. Just five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and the Mexican city of Reynosa (with a population of 500,000), the city’s size can grow by 200,000 to 300,000 commuters each day. The MPD employs 272 sworn officers and approximately 380 total employees.

Challenge

Like many police departments, MPD had long issued hand-written paper tickets to offenders. The manual process left room for errors in two places:

  • Point of issuance—Handwritten ticket information could be incorrect or illegible.
  • Municipal court—Administrators occasionally entered dates, locations, license numbers, or license plates incorrectly.

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Schenck Company Invests in Durability for Demanding Delivery Environment

Posted March 21, 2012

Beer Distributor Chooses Zebra RW 420 for Proven Ruggedness

About Schenck Company

Since 1954, Schenck Company has provided beverages to the Central Florida region, which includes Orlando and coastal resort towns. From just six employees, the company has grown to 600 associates and serves 6,000 customers. Now within the top 20 beer distributors in the country, the full-service distributor represents MillerCoors, Crown Imports, Heineken USA, Diageo-Guinness, Boston Beer and other domestic, import and craft breweries. A commitment to its employees and customers has helped land Schenck among Florida’s top 100 privately-held companies.

Challenge

Every day, 90 Schenck delivery drivers bring hundreds of cases to retailers. With each stop, they verify orders, capture the customer’s signature electronically and print a receipt.

For several years, the company has relied on a combination of handheld devices and mobile printers; however, the demanding delivery environment quickly wears down the electronics.

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