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Automotive Quality Assurance Automated with help from BarcodesInc

Posted August 9, 2011

Cognex Checker industrial barcode scannersUGN Auto installs noise reduction headliners into cars of all makes and models. They use parts to help verify the correct components and where they need to be installed. With an automated system already in place to verify the correct colors, UGN wanted to make it even more efficient. Barcodes Inc recommended machine vision technology to make the process as simple as possible and helped UGN implement Cognex Checkers to take pictures of these components for fast and easy verification and quality assurance – speeding up the process, boosting efficiency, and enhancing productivity at UGN.

Account Manager: Patrick Martin

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

BarcodesInc Helps Hitachi Manage Their Hard Drive Inventory

Posted August 9, 2011

Microscan Quadrus EZ industrial barcode scannersHitachi Global Storage originally called Barcodes Inc about purchasing barcode scanners to read datamatrix codes on their manufactured hard drives in order to track them. Barcodes Inc supplied them with Microscan Quadrus EZ CCD scanners and even helped them set up their new solution by remoting into Hitachi’s computer network and installing the scanners into their existing system for them. With the Microscan Quadrus EZ’s, Hitachi is now able to scan at the speeds they require and have increased both their productivity and efficiency while reducing manual errors they were experiencing in the past.

Sales Engineer: Elliott Van Fleet

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

Tracking Assembly Line Assets with Industrial Barcode Scanners

Posted August 9, 2011

ADE Automatización Y Diseños, in Mexico, needed a ruggedized 2D scanner to track printed circuit board (PCB) components used for custom built electronics in their automated machine solutions. Barcodes Inc not only provided ADE with Datalogic Matrix scanners for their solution but also integrated the scanners into their current system for them. With a custom software suite, the scanners can now initiate and report data back to their host system. Barcodes Inc helped automate the automation experts.

Sales Engineer: Greg Hamilton

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

BarcodesInc Helps Business Track Assets and Tools

Posted July 25, 2011

Overview

Industry:
Manufacturing

Application:
Custom software and process to manage tools and inventory throughout a large scale facility

Solution Provider:
Nick Bruett

Product Solution:

American Metal Recycling Services Inc (AMRS) combines mobile computers and custom software developed by BarcodesInc to maintain better control and accountability of their assets and tools.

Executive Summary

AMRS is a leading innovator in the material recycling market. As part of their business process, there are assets and tools used to refine, process, and reuse the materials they salvage. AMRS was in search of a solution that would improve management of these tools and assets. BarcodesInc successfully developed a software and hardware solution to address inefficiencies, lost product, wasted time inherent in their previous asset management tracking system.

The Business Challenge

AMRS was looking for a solution to track the whereabouts of all of their tools and machinery throughout a fifty acre campus with multiple buildings and outside storage locations. The solution would allow AMRS to locate items in a more efficient manner saving man hours, time, and money.

The success of the project was contingent on attaining AMRS’s 7 main objectives:

  • Track an unlimited number of assets
  • Accurately manage the check out and return process for tools, equipment and consumables
  • Monitor and schedule maintenance as required
  • Improve operating efficiencies
  • Maximize the use of the current assets and avoid overstock or duplication of tools, equipment and consumables
  • Recapture tooling costs by billing for usage

Solution

In response to AMRS’s needs, BarcodesInc developed a custom software solution which enabled AMRS to successfully complete all objectives. The Motorola MC9090 mobile computer was chosen as the device to deploy and implement the software application, chosen because of its ultra-rugged form factor and data capture and communication features.

For the project implementation process, AMRS applied barcode labels to all of their tools, work locations, and storage areas. Next, they created and implemented the following process for anyone using a piece of equipment. An engineer must have an MC9090 to use a piece of equipment. To use it, they must sign into the unit with their unique user name and password, scan the code of the equipment that they need into their register book or online, go to the location of the unit, scan the equipment in receive mode, and finally scan their location in drop mode once they have arrived to their manufacturing location.

This allowed them to manage and track all of their items in an effective manner, and added a new layer of accountability to their process.

Benefits

After a successful training, AMRS saw an ROI on the project within the first eight months of implementation due to the cost savings and efficiency improvements. They also enjoyed peace of mind through effective, easy-to-use monitoring, tracking and locating of their valuable assets.

The Future

The BarcodesInc solution has provided AMRS with an efficient working system. AMRS has referred BarcodesInc to their parent company that is evaluating the process and is looking at implementing this nationwide.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

BarcodesInc Streamlines Field Inspections and Maintenance

Posted July 25, 2011

Overview

Industry:
Agriculture

Application:
Combining Unitech mobile computers, custom software, and pre-printed labels to track traceability and safety with chemicals and tanks

Solution Provider:
Alyce Miller

Product Solution:

Growmark, an IL based regional agricultural cooperative, offers their clients a safe and effective way to track chemical tanks used in the field to refill sites by means of the HT630 and BarcodesInc customized software.

Executive Summary

Growmark has many clients who lease tanks to farmers to store and spread chemicals for their crops. The clients purchase the chemicals from Growmark and then sell them to their customers. However, Growmark had trouble tracking which chemicals go where and when maintenance needed to be conducted. A lack of cleaning and maintenance could result in the wrong chemicals being mixed, thus producing an unsafe reaction, which would then affect the yield of the crop.

The Business Challenge

Growmark needed a simple application to enable them to track their clients’ chemical tanks that they leased for storage in the crop fields. There were three issues at hand. The first issue was accurately recording the tank identification numbers that were painted on and were now unreadable due to wear and tear from the harsh environments. Secondly, recording the tank locations was a manual process and often done incorrectly. Finally, identifying which chemicals were in each tank at what time was also being conducted manually, but often led to human errors. Each of these issues led to safety concerns and inventory loss.

Solution

Growmark turned to BarcodesInc to replace the pen and paper data collection process that was resulting in too many human errors with the introduction of barcode labels, a mobile computer, and a customized BarcodesInc software application. Growmark was supplied with pre-printed black barcodes on high tack polyester labels with ultraviolet (UV) coating to survive harsh environments including chemicals and weather.

BarcodesInc then created a two-part custom software application that runs on a Unitech HT630 mobile computer to track the tanks as they are being checked in and out of each respective facility. Once the chemical tank was leased to the end-user, the software application on the mobile computer would prompt the user to enter the tank number, location, and type of chemical. This allowed Growmark to account for all of their tanks and have knowledge of what chemicals were residing in each tank in order to identify a maintenance and cleaning schedule for each respective container; thus eliminating any hazardous or safety concerns with the crops.

Benefits

By using the Unitech HT630 and BarcodesInc custom application, Growmark’s clients were able to adequately track the chemical purchases and locations of their tanks while minimizing human error and safety issues.

The Future

The BarcodesInc solution was deployed to Growmark’s customers around the world to enable them to track their customers’ leased chemical tanks.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

Payment Processing Made Simple with BarcodesInc

Posted July 25, 2011

Overview

Industry:
First Responder

Application:
Combining Honeywell Dolphin Mobile Computers and BarcodesInc Custom Software to eliminate errors and increase efficiency in check issuance systems

Solution Provider:
Daniel Mnookin

Product Solution:

Mobile Computer and Custom Software Solution solves internal check processing system problem.

Executive Summary

DST Output came to BarcodesInc in search of a hardware and software solution that would eliminate errors in their internal check processing system while improving efficiency. The company was interested in automating all of their manual forms and reports while using OCR scanning technology to input check numbers into their database.

The Business Challenge

DST Output prints, mails and electronically delivers bills, statements and other transactional documents for many of the largest financial services, communications, insurance, healthcare, and utilities companies in the world.

At their South Windsor, Connecticut location, internal check processing was being conducted manually. The checks were tracked and entered into various reports by hand. This inefficient process resulted in a loss of productivity, as well as a larger amount of human errors. The errors produced lost revenue and dissatisfied customers.

DST Output was in search of a quicker, more efficient solution to track their internal check processing while eliminating human error.

Solution

In an effort to both reduce error and increase efficiency by automating DST Output’s internal check processing system, BarcodesInc recommended a solution that included a combination of mobile computing and custom software.

The solution would create digital versions of DST Output’s forms and reports that would integrate directly with their internal databases. A mobile version of the software would operate on a mobile computer that could scan check numbers into the application, thus reducing the human error aspect of inputting the wrong numbers into a pen and paper format.

Since the checks incorporated OCR fonts, BarcodesInc recommended the Honeywell Dolphin 6500, which is capable of scanning OCR technology. The Dolphin 6500 was also a good option for DST Output due to their requirement for a larger screen size, which allowed for BarcodesInc to create a custom application that would reproduce the newly automated forms onto a mobile computer screen.

Benefits

After successful development of the custom software application and delivery of the Honeywell mobile computers, DST Output has begun rollout of their new fully automated check issuance system.

This new solution not only eliminates human error created when entering check numbers by hand, but also speeds up the check issuance process.

The Future

BarcodesInc continues to provide custom solutions that combine software applications with mobile hardware and help companies around the world reduce error while increasing efficiency – in the end saving companies both time and money.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

BarcodesInc Improves Library Asset Tracking

Posted July 25, 2011

Overview

Industry:
Library

Application:
Enabling on-demand mobile printing using ruggedized barcode scanners and firmware to communicate wirelessly

Solution Provider:
Michael Neubert

Product Solution:

The Brooklyn Public Library System Ensures Accurate Tracking of Library Assets with BarcodesInc’s Mobile Scan & Print System.

Executive Summary

The Brooklyn Public Library was looking for a way to maximize productivity by enabling librarians and staff to replace damaged labels on their books. The BarcodesInc solution takes the task – normally handled by a desktop PC, monitor, and a full-sized desktop printer on a cumbersome cart – and pares it down to a lightweight barcode scanner and hip-mounted mobile printer. BarcodesInc installs customized and pre-programmed version of their Scan and Print firmware to ensure the barcode scanner and mobile printer are communicating.

The Business Challenge

The library had been looking for an efficient approach to keep their stacks up-to-date and in good order. Due to wear and tear, the barcode labels on books wear over time; making it difficult to track the books in real-time without having to reproduce stickers. The Brooklyn Public Library turned to a cart-style solution that included a desktop printer, connected to a battery placed on a wheeled computer cart. The librarians would then maneuver the loaded cart down the aisle, scan a barcode and replace the sticker via the desktop printer.

The Brooklyn Public Library soon learned that their cart solution resulted in a physically heavier load for the staff to carry and a loss of productivity from the amount of time it took to replace all barcode labels. They decided to invest in a lighter and quicker solution using the newest wireless technology. In this case, using a software-ready mobile computer would’ve been too cost prohibitive. Therefore, they turned to BarcodesInc for help.

Solution

Taking into consideration the current systems the library had in place, BarcodesInc provided an all-in-one package that would supplant the current bulky setup. The older technology simply could not be applied to newer hardware in an effective way. BarcodesInc recommended the new line of Zebra P4T mobile printers, which incorporates mobile ruggedness and functionality, and rugged synthetic thermal transfer labels which can withstand the periodic handling of the staff or the daily abuse of the borrower. BarcodesInc combined that printer with the Motorola LS4278 Bluetooth barcode scanner, which offers advanced programming features onboard that would make pre-configuration easy. BarcodesInc uploaded the scan and print firmware necessary to pair the devices in order to work together in a wireless environment.

BarcodesInc designed a solution to merge the capabilities of Motorola barcode scanners and Zebra mobile printers to create a lightweight, simplistic, and time-efficient way of replacing barcode stickers on library books.

Benefits

After customizing and pre-configuring the hardware to the library’s standards, BarcodesInc deployed the solution to their location.

The new solution allows the Brooklyn Public Library staff to pick up a pre-configured Zebra printer and Motorola scanner, walk down aisles with a lighter load, and reprint damaged labels while significantly cutting down on time and hassle over previous solutions.

The Future

The BarcodesInc solution was exactly what the Brooklyn Public Library had hoped for. It was so well-received that multiple scan and print kits have already been deployed to over twenty public libraries.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

BarcodesInc Solution Assists in Gulf Oil Clean-up

Posted July 25, 2011

Overview

Industry:
First Responder

Application:
Use of the Motorola MC55 for geo-tracking and reporting real-time data

Solution Provider:
Gary Seiko

Product Solution:

The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH) Use Mobile Computers to Provide Disaster Relief For Gulf of Mexico Oil Spills.

Executive Summary

The CTEH was in search of finding a device with GPS locating capabilities for rapid response teams to capture time sensitive data out in the field. The solution uses the camera and GPS radio of a MC55 mobile computer to capture data at the oil spill sites and relaying all of the information to a database at headquarters.

The Business Challenge

CTEH is a science-based consulting firm established to provide toxicology and environmental health consulting services to the public and private sectors. With the disaster of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the rapid spread of oil, immediate actions were required. CTEH needed to scan employee badges on the device and deploy the individuals at various locations along the coast line in order to capture the magnitude of the oil spill.

CTEH was unsure of how to quickly collect critical information with individuals scattered all across the coast line, while preserving as much time as possible. They decided to reach out to BarcodesInc to identify a solution that can collect and send the data wirelessly so that a proper evaluation can be made.

Solution

In response to CTEH, BarcodesInc recommended the Motorola MC55 mobile computer, which possesses a GPS radio and camera. The individuals located on the coast were able to capture images, while being tracked with GPS to maximize productivity. The built-in imaging scanner allowed technicians to scan their employee badges for quick log-ins. Additionally, the device was lightweight and portable, thus allowing the technicians to carry more necessities on their person.

BarcodesInc suggested a specific configuration of the MC55 mobile computer in order to fulfill CTEH’s other requirement of streamlining data to their headquarters. With the use of mobile data connectivity over a cellular network, the data was received quickly from any location, thus saving time and allowing the right people to make educated decisions with the information captured.

Benefits

After coordinating for overnight delivery of the mobile computers to the respective locations, CTEH was capable of quickly responding and evaluating the oil spill. With the solution provided they were able to double proficiency of data and eliminate hundreds of hours of manpower.

The Future

The BarcodesInc solution, which includes an advanced mobile computer, has been incorporated into several first responder agencies. With the ever-evolving geo-tracking technology, agencies can now respond quicker in emergency cases, thus saving money, time, and possibly lives.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

BarcodesInc System Helps Find Missing Items in a Warehouse

Posted July 25, 2011

Overview

Industry:
Warehousing/Route Accounting

Application:
Using Motorola RFID enabled mobile computers with custom preprinted and encoded RFID tags to track and locate missing packages of recalled products

Solution Provider:
Sean Foley

Product Solution:

Stericycle Effectively Tracks and Locates Recalled Medical Equipment and Prescription Medication in their Warehouse using Motorola RFID Enabled Mobile Computers and Custom RFID Tags.

Executive Summary

The new solution replaces their current system of checking every single pallet to locate a missing package. Switching to a Motorola mobile computer allows them to quickly check their entire warehouse for the correct pallet that contains the package they are searching for.

The Business Challenge

Due to the chaotic nature of taking in and warehousing recalled items for manufacturers they work with, Stericycle has always struggled when trying to locate a specific recalled item returned from a specific customer.

Stericycle groups their returned recalled items by the manufacturers recall number, so several customers’ recalled items are going on the same pallet. Each recalled item is tied to a pallet and each pallet gets a shelf location in the warehouse. When a customer calls in to make sure their recalled item was received, it is supposed to be as easy as entering the customer’s item ID number into their inventory system and finding the pallet at the correct shelf location to verify that it was received. In reality, some packages get misplaced and in a large warehouse it ends up being like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Stericycle has tried other solutions for being able to track down missing packages, but nothing has reliably been able to work because of the way their pallets are stacked and the density in which the pallets are placed on the shelving racks. At times they need to find a very small package that might be in the middle of a full pallet. If they couldn’t find a missing package after checking a few locations with their best guesses, they would have to systematically go through each pallet in their warehouse and inspect each package to find the item ID they were looking for. This would result in a lot of lost time and paid overtime.

Stericycle was in search of an effective and efficient way of tracking down missing packages.

Solution

After an onsite visit to test hardware in their environment, BarcodesInc recommended using the Motorola MC9090-G RFID reader with the new Sailfish RFID antenna. This new antenna allowed RFID tags that were placed on packages located in the middle of pallets to be read with ease. Using pre-encoded RFID tags ensured that each tag had a unique ID number. These tags were also printed with the ID as a barcode and a human readable number string so that the missing package could be identified several ways.

With this new solution, employees at Stericycle are able to enter the item ID into the RFID mobile computer and walk up and down the warehouse aisles constantly searching for the missing package. The mobile computer works like a Geiger counter, or a game of hot and cold, with it beeping more frequently the closer an employee gets to the missing package. This solution allows them alerts them that a missing package is on a specific pallet quickly and easily.

Benefits

For Stericycle this solution allows them to find missing packages in a fraction of the time which increases productivity and reduces costs. Being able to find packages quickly translates to better customer service as well, because ultimately they are trying to find these packages to verify to their customer that their recall has been received.

The Future

Stericycle is planning to expand the use of this system to other locations. We are also working with them on implementing forklift mounted RFID readers to this solution so that the item ID’s of missing packages can be entered into a database and as the forklifts are being operated they can be continuously looking for missing packages during normal daily work shifts.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

BarcodesInc Provides Inventory Tracking Solution for Warehousing

Posted July 25, 2011

Overview

Industry:
Warehousing/Transportation Logistics

Application:
Combining Motorola mobile computers/access points, Zebra industrial label printers, and Dell PowerEdge Servers to provide visibility, traceability, and accountability for Cargoquin Group’s warehouse goods

Solution Provider:
Doug Kettler

Product Solution:

The Cargoquin Group validates and tracks the inventories of their logistics customers’ goods, warehoused at several facilities.

Executive Summary

Cargoquin Group was in search of an inventory solution for their new warehousing division. They wanted a hardware infrastructure that could easily integrate with their own customized software solution. BarcodesInc built a solution that included a main and backup server, wireless infrastructure, mobile computers, and industrial label printers.

The Business Challenge

Initially, Cargoquin Group’s business typically dealt with cross-border logistics. However, as their customers’ needs expanded, so did Cargoquin Group’s. Cargoquin Group was asked to store inventory for their customers that did not require immediate delivery. As they decided to fill the void for their customers, they soon realized the resources, time, and processes that would need to be incorporated for their new venture.

Luckily, Cargoquin Group had some experience in the warehouse environment and decided it was best to invest in an electronic system rather than implement a pen and paper process, which would soon become obsolete and difficult to manage.

Cargoquin Group knew where they had to be in terms of technology, but decided to reach out to BarcodesInc for assistance on the best way to implement their solution. They wanted to use a wireless hardware solution that could complement their existing process of tracking items throughout their warehouses.

Solution

BarcodesInc recommended a rugged Motorola MC3090 mobile computer for inventory tracking, an industrial Zebra ZM400 for label printing, a Motorola AP5131 access point for wireless connectivity, and a Dell Poweredge server for storing data.

In response to the warehouse’s need for a more effective inventory solution, BarcodesInc recommended a real-time system that would allow management to track the flow of products throughout their warehouses. Additionally, it was built to minimize the amount of manual errors that were caused by multiple workers scanning several items at one time. Cargoquin Group’s process was further streamlined with the addition of a central server (and back up) that would house all of the information for the entire warehouse system, which was necessary since customers’ products would be located at multiple locations.

BarcodesInc also saved Cargoquin Group some time and money by recommending a batch system at their smaller warehouse locations, where only one worker would be present. When the overall scope of work was presented to the decision-makers of the company, it was a higher initial cost than expected. However, the return on investment resulted in higher time and cost savings in the long run.

Benefits

Having implemented the solution Cargoquin Group has seen the benefits of using an electronic real-time inventory solution. They have seen an almost flawless picking, receiving, and storing process, while their inventory loss has been non-existent with the accuracy of their data collection. There is also a level of transparency for their customers to track their merchandise and see what they have on-hand at any facility at any given time. The solution has led Cargoquin Group to offer their own value-add to their customer base and has resulted in higher customer satisfaction, a reduction in costs, and an expansion in their warehousing facilities as the business continues to grow.

The Future

The BarcodesInc solution, which includes mobile computers, access points, label printers, and a server has been used at several warehouses and can be scaled down to fit the size of the facility.

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

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