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Bar Codes Help Celera Map Human Genome

Posted November 2, 2009

From Sampling to Sequencing, Bar Coding Helped Celera Discover First

For some companies, asset tracking is simply a way to save money by using bar code
labels
to keep tabs on computers and other company equipment. But for Celera Genomics of Rockville, MD, using bar code labels to keep track of DNA samples and test results is an absolute necessity. Celera, the first company to sequence and map the human genome (the genetic blueprint of humanity), was managing procedures, critical machinery, raw materials, and data long before their scientific breakthrough.

“From the onset of our mission to genetically define ‘human,’ we realized that keeping tabs every step of the way was a must to ensure our results and validate our findings,” says Celera Genomics’ director of quality systems, Peter Amanatides. “Coming from a logistical background, I was familiar with the benefits of bar code printing and scanning. We decided to implement the technology here to drive our sequencing process and structure the procedures around it.”

Celera’s first challenge was to find a label that would withstand the unusual conditions of a gene-sequencing lab. The labels needed to be water- and chemical-resistant, heat- and cold-tolerant, and maintain visual and scanning readability while staying affixed to the plates and equipment.

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Distributor Improves Bar Code Scannability, Reduces Non-Compliance Fees

Posted October 30, 2009

Challenge
Compliance chargeback fees due to unscannable shipping labels.

Solution
Dedicated printers provide maximum readability for error-free scanning.

Results
Productivity has increased by 20% and label accuracy is 99.9% or better.

Products
High-performance Xi Series printers for their reliability and mission-critical performance.

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Bar Code Labels Provide Inventory Accuracy Improvement To Cosmetics Manufacturer

Posted October 29, 2009

ZebraChallenge
Bergen Brunswig, based in Orange, California, is the third-largest wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical and medical supplies in the United States. The distributor needed shipping software that could fit the needs of its new direct-to-consumer fulfillment service to various on-line drug stores, run on the company’s AS/400, and be easily integrated with its primary distribution system, ASW by IBS. The company also needed to integrate electronic scales and bar code printers to allow for package labeling and tracking.

Solution
Bergen Brunswig met its Internet Fulfillment Center’s shipping system requirements through software, produced and installed by an IBM Business Partner. The software integrates seamlessly with the IBS system, electronic scales, and thermal, on-demand barcode printers from Zebra Technologies.

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Build-to-Order Made Easy With Bar Coded Work-in-Process Tickets

Posted October 28, 2009

Challenge
When a major Texas-based computer manufacturer made the leap from traditional order fulfillment to customized computer assembly, it had to employ a new system that would enable it to track the assembly process from the moment a customer places an order until the delivery of the finished product.

Solution
The company installed wide-format Zebra® printers to produce work-in-process (WIP) job tickets: letter-sized documents that provide specific assembly and delivery instructions and guide the assembly of each product until it arrives at the customer’s doorstep.

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Hospital Admissions More Productive, Records More Accurate with Bar Coding

Posted October 13, 2009

Challenge:
Provenant Health Partners, a group of affiliated Denver-area hospitals, needed a profitable and reliable system to replace its older card embossing machines. These machines were costly and cumbersome to use. They were also unreliable; imprints of the cards were illegible four to six percent of the time.

Solution:
The hospitals installed Zebra® Stripe® thermal transfer printers to replace the card embossing machines. Hospital employees no longer sent the cards to every department to mark records, but merely printed labels to identify the records of each patient. Bar code labels mark patients’ file folders, order sheets and patient wristbands.

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Zebra G-Series GX Desktop Printers Now Offer 64 MB Flash Memory

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra GX430tZebra’s G-Series desktop printers are now available with an expanded 64 MB Flash memory option.

Available on the GX420d, GX420t, GX430t models, the factory-installed option can store large graphics detailed logos, and formats.

The memory adds support for large fonts, like the Andale® WorldType® series fonts, and offers quicker processing speeds.

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Zebra Xi4 Printers: New Levels in High Performance

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra Xi4 printersIf your business requires high-performance printing, Zebra’s next generation of Xi series printers are your smartest investment. Xi4 printers ensure lower total cost ownership—first, by delivering the hallmarks of Zebra’s legendary built-to-last, all-metal Xi series:

  • trouble-free, 24/7 operation for reduced downtime and maintenance costs;
  • fast print speeds for greater productivity;
  • and consistently outstanding print quality, delivered over the long life of the printer via Zebra’s durable metal print mechanism.

Second, Xi4 printers build upon this legacy with new advanced and flexible features that make them faster and easier to operate, customize, maintain, and integrate than previous Xi generations.

  • Up to 40 percent faster print speeds on the 110Xi4 and the 140Xi4 improve batch printing and print-and-apply productivity. At 14″/356 mm per second, they provide one of the fastest technologies on the market.
  • Larger, brighter, easier-to-read LCD offers an option for customizing menu content to your needs. With support for a wide variety of languages, the Xi4 is easy to use around the world.
  • Xi4 printers offer versatile connectivity choices for easy integration, such as included internal ZebraNet®10/100 PrintServer (Ethernet) with faster data transfer rates.
  • Advanced ribbon- and media-low alerts help keep your printers printing with maximum productivity.

All these Xi4 features help you stay focused on your business, not your printers.

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Zebra LP 2824 Plus and TLP 2824 Desktop 2-Inch Label Printers: Small Printer, Big Power

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra TLP 2824 Plus & LP 2824 Plus printersTuck the ultra-compact 2824 Plus desktop printer into your tightest work spaces and print 2-inch-wide labels or receipts easily and quickly with best-in-class print speed. The LP 2824 Plus™/TLP 2824 Plus™ offers new and more powerful features than its predecessors, yet is every bit as affordable and easy to use.

  • New Zebra Setup Utilities, for instance, guide you through simple setup steps so you can get up and running quickly.
  • Increase your printing productivity and capabilities with the robust 32-bit processor and large 8 MB SDRAM, 4 MB Flash memory and 64 MB Flash with real-time clock option.
  • With co-resident EPL™ and ZPL programming languages, the 2824 Plus works seamlessly with other Zebra printers, while serial/parallel/USB connectivity and 10/100 Ethernet option ease system integration.

The LP 2824 Plus and TLP 2824 Plus combine the EPL capability of the LP 2824 and TLP 2824 with the ZPL capability of the LP 2824-Z and TLP 2824-Z.

The 2824 Plus is easy for anyone to use, with OpenACCESS™ design and clear media window for simple media loading and monitoring, color-coded user guide points, and a new instant reset button to retain your customized settings after accidental power loss.

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Managing Bar Code Printers Over the Internet

Posted October 12, 2009

Zebra Z6MViking Direct is a provider of office supplies, based in Germany, which serves the entire European market. It promotes its products through catalogs and the majority of its customers are small and medium sized companies. The company has 600 employees in the German cities of Großostheim and Munich. A third office is scheduled to open in Hamburg later this year. Due to the bar code labeling of products, Viking has been able to meet its ambitious service objectives by delivering products within 24 hours of having received the order.

Previously at Viking
Frank Frost is the IT team leader who provides technical support on a local basis and supervises the work of his six-member team based in Germany, Holland and Belgium. His responsibilities include training employees to manage IT issues and to resolve any problems that may arise locally.

“Viking used to experience difficulties with the bar code printers that were previously in use,” comments Frost. “This was mainly related to the layouts of labels, insufficient print speeds and weak networking capabilities. To add to the matter, all of Viking Direct’s printers are linked to the AS/400 platform, a link that often proved to be difficult to manage.”

Selection Process
“We started looking for a more effective solution. We sought expert opinion at various trade fair exhibitions and via the Internet,” Frost explains. “One of the most critical issues that we faced was how to access our printers in other regions of Europe or even the world. After all, we were looking to establish one consistent printing environment,” he adds. “Ideally, the new printers that Viking required would have to provide high printing speeds, ease of use and allow operators to enter commands in their own language in order to overcome any possible language barriers.”

After reviewing many different printers, Viking Direct chose Zebra’s 140XiIII printers because they fulfilled the criteria that Viking required. The integrated Ethernet adapter and user specific selection of languages were particular bonuses. The printers can easily be installed over the Internet and, therefore, be moved from one location to the next without difficulty. They are controlled through the AS/400, whereby label content is generated as a spool file directly from within the platform, forwarded to the printer and then printed on location. In order to reduce network traffic, logos are generally stored locally in each printer and then printed as part of each label.

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Mobile Printing Keeps Productivity Percolating at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Posted October 9, 2009

Highlights

  • Forklift-mounted mobile printers cut travel time, reduced labeling errors, and increased throughput in the DC.
  • Updated printing operations lowered supply costs.
  • Driven natively from within PeopleSoft and other leading ERP software packages, Zebra printers’ ease of integration saves considerable time and costs.
  • Four different types of Zebra printers are now used to handle various tasks through- out the company, all sharing a common printer language for ease of support and to share label formats.
  • Zebra’s rugged and reliable printers support the broadest range of wireless security standards.

Challenge
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was named one of America’s “100 Fastest-Growing Small Companies” by FORTUNE Small Business in 2006. The company was growing fast, but its main distribution center in Waterbury, Vt., was not. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters expected the facility to meet its needs for at least six years after it was built, but after three the DC was running at full capacity. The company needed to seek out new ways to make the distribution center more efficient, and to get more out of the capacity it had. Mobile printing was one of the answers to these challenges, making a key process more efficient to help Green Mountain keep up with its growing business.

Green Mountain coffee grew from a local favorite to a successful national brand through its mail-order catalog and Web site. More success followed. Green Mountain coffee is sold nationally under the famous Newman’s Own® Organics brands, and is served in McDonald’s restaurants throughout the Northeast. The company boasts more than 7,000 wholesale customers, was one of the first coffee companies to offer a successful Fair Trade Certified® product line, and ranked No. 1 on Business Ethics magazine’s list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens.”

In short, Green Mountain coffee is hot. Workload at its central distribution center was overheating. The facility runs three shifts and operates 24 hours a day to ship orders to customers and other distribution centers. The company needed to find new ways to keep up with the growing demand.

Solution
To support the output it needed, Green Mountain decided to increase automation at its main distribution center in Waterbury, Vt. Products are stored in aisles that are each 60 yards long. Material handling systems specialist Diamond Phoenix was contracted to develop a customized warehouse control system (WCS) to integrate with Green Mountain’s legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from PeopleSoft. A Zebra Technologies Premier Partner, recommended new bar code label printers and processes to provide more time savings and efficiency gains.

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