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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

BarcodesInc Helps Track Trade Show and Conference Attendees with RFID Tracking System

Posted July 20, 2011

Overview

Industry:
Trade Show/Event Management

Application:
Combining Motorola barcode scanners, Motorola mobile computers, Motorola RFID readers, and Printronix RFID printers with custom software to add valuable data collection services to trade show events

Solution Provider:
Chris Vassilos

Product Solution:

Alliance Tech combines mobile computers, fixed mount RFID readers, RFID printers to conduct event attendance, lead generation, visitor statistics, attendee networking and mobile point of sale solutions.

Executive Summary

Alliance Tech offers value-added services at trade shows and large events by providing accurate, real-time data as well as summary statistics and reports about attendees to exhibitors. Their customers know who entered their booth and how long they visited. Alerts are sent in real-time when high profile visitors are present. Sales organizations present are able to collect order information and lead reports without need to return to their offices. Additionally, visitors are provided a paperless solution that provides event information including maps, schedules, and contact information.

The Business Challenge

Alliance Tech was outfitted with discontinued mobile computers that had lower resolution, less memory, an outdated operating system, and no radio. The exhibitors and organizers at trade show events needed to maximize their investment of time and resources dedicated to each event. Continue reading »

Filed under: BarcodesInc,Case Studies

Microscan’s Vision MINI Smart Camera a “Perfect Fit” for Clinical Instrument Manufacturers

Posted July 8, 2011

As the world’s smallest fully-integrated vision system, Microscan’s ultra-compact Vision MINI is designed for reliable vision performance in embedded clinical and lab automation applications.

Microscan announces the new Vision MINI smart camera. As the world’s smallest fully-integrated vision system, the ultra-compact Vision MINI is designed for reliable vision performance in embedded clinical and laboratory automation applications.

Original equipment manufacturers in clinical diagnostics and other life sciences are turning to machine vision to increase throughput and improve the accuracy of their instruments. Auto ID systems such as barcode readers have long been used for sample tracking and identification; the Vision MINI machine vision system takes this capability a step further by automating critical inspection tasks such as cap presence, color matching, and test tube identification in addition to reading 1D and 2D barcodes.

Continue reading »


GammaTech Durabook S15C Review

Posted July 8, 2011

GammaTech Durabook S15CRugged PC Review has posted a review of the GammaTech Durabook S15C rugged laptop.

Here are some highlights from the review.

GammaTech Durabook S15C highlights:

  • Very solid and well-made
  • Very good performance with Intel Core i5 processor (i3/i5/i7 available)
  • Bright display with good outdoor viewability and modern 16:9 1366 x 768 pixel wide format
  • 1920 x 1080 display option
  • Excellent keyboard and touch pad
  • Very solid magnesium-alloy chassis and very clean construction
  • Low starting price, and even well-equipped a good deal
  • Spill-resistant design
  • GammaTech does built to order (BTO)

But keep in mind:

  • Narrow vertical viewing angle
  • Small standard battery
  • No HDMI port
  • Limited ruggedness (2.5 foot drop)
  • No operating temperature range listed
  • Fan a bit noisy and comes on often (adjustable in BIOS setup)
  • Adding options can quickly double the cost
Filed under: Product News
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“Electronic Instant Camera” Project Prints Photos via Receipt Printer

Posted July 7, 2011

Niklas Roy, possibly best known for his robotic curtain, has created a new project that combines an analog black and white video camera with a thermal receipt printer. Combined the two form a sort of Frankenstein Polaroid camera which he calls Electronic Instant Camera. The camera prints the photo directly to the receipt paper as the photo is being taken. The process can take up to three minutes, during which the photo subject needs to sit still the whole time.

Definitely not practical, but interesting.

Filed under: Barcode Fun

Teklynx LABELVIEW 9 Barcode Labeling Software Now Available

Posted June 23, 2011

Teklynx LABELVIEW 9 includes a number of improvements over previous versions.

  • Updated Printing Interface
    The Quick Print interface has been updated to include a live preview. As you select database records or enter When Printed text, the preview will update to display the data that will print on the label. The print interface has also been updated to provide quick access to the When Printed inputs that are needed every time you print, but retain the ability to change printer settings and quantity in the same window.

  • Additional Activation Options
    Protection method updates have provided additional activation options. You can now activate LABELVIEW from a separate workstation using a USB drive, along with online activation, online by proxy, phone, and e-mail activation. The activation wizard automatically selects online activation if you are connected to the Internet.

  • Layers Feature
    The Layers feature has replaced run separators, offering more flexibility and an easy-to-use interface. Layers give you the option to add a unique header and footer to each batch of labels.

  • New Wizards
    Wizards are available to assist with creating new labels and adding barcodes, images, text, and variables.

  • Form Designer
    The Form Designer allows you to create a custom printing interface, which simplifies printing for print users and reduces user error by eliminating the need to search for labels. The Form Designer replaces Label Select by offering a graphical approach to selecting the label and label data.

  • Data Sources Categories
    Data sources can now be organized in sub-categories at a display level (Data Sources view).

Filed under: Product News
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Star Receipt Printers Certified for KissPOS Software

Posted June 21, 2011

Combined Printing, Point of Sale Solution Yields Competitive Edge

Star Micronics announced that software company Keep It Simple Software has certified Star Micronics’ TSP100 family of thermal receipt printers, which includes the TSP100ECO, TSP100U, and the TSP100GT, as well as, Star’s TSP650, TSP700II, SP700 and SP500 to operate with Version 3.0 of its KissPOS (formerly RegistWARE) point of sale software.

An affordable, comprehensive, and user-friendly point of sale solution, KissPOS Version 3.0 incorporates such Microsoft tools and innovations as .NET and SQL Database, enabling independent retailers and restaurateurs to run their businesses, rather than worry about the point of sale. It is the only software of its kind to feature Flex-Screen, a proprietary technology that allows point of sale systems to be designed to suit end-users’ specific needs as well as to be entirely intuitive, thereby decreasing training time and errors while improving customer service. Other features of KissPOS Version 3.0 include a time-and-attendance module, price-embedded bar codes, purchase order generating and tracking capability, a 100% touch screen interface and easy data import/export.

Continue reading »

Filed under: Product News
Tags: ,

Play a Racing Game on Your Receipt Printer

Posted June 20, 2011

Receipt racer combines input and output devices in an unusual way to make a complete game. It was made during the “Let’s feed the future workshop”, organized by creativeapplications.net as a part of the 2011 OFFF Festival in Barcelona.

The game is played on a thermal receipt printer using rolls of thermal receipt paper up to 50 yards long. According to the author, “Ecologically it’s pretty much a disaster, just like any real car.”

As a company that sells receipt paper and receipt printers, we hope this game becomes the most popular thing since Angry Birds. 🙂

Filed under: Barcode Fun

What barcode scanners read colored barcodes?

Posted June 20, 2011

The Intermec SR61HP offers unmatched performance on colored barcodes. Equipped with the latest 2D Imager generation, the SR61THP delivers best in class performances when it comes to reading colored barcodes. Colored barcodes are used on medicine packages, in postal applications and in retail/consumer good packages. By choosing the SR61THP, you can read colored barcodes easily and quickly, and increase productivity by avoiding manual entry.

Filed under: Tips

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