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Datamax-O’Neil’s Microflash 4t printer Makes NYPD Parking Citations More Accurate and Efficient

Posted May 21, 2010

Datamax O'Neil Microflash 4tCautionary words to those who park in New York City— obey the rules, or pay the price. A computerized parking citation system rolling out to the NYPD’s parking enforcement division will effectively eliminate hand-written traffic tickets. The result: a more accurate, efficient and cost effective solution. City officials say the new system will significantly reduce errors associated with hand-written tickets and, according to some estimates; realize millions in unpaid fines owed the city.

The solution consists of Symbol Technologies’ handheld computer, the PPT 2800, and Datamax-O’Neil’s portable Microflash 4t thermal printer. The terminal’s pocket PC platform and features, including bar code scanning and real-time wireless communications, allow officers to scan vehicle registration stickers, print tickets, and upload the information to a central database.

The solution works well in New York City, as New York State requires that all vehicles have their registration affixed to the inside of the windshield. The registration includes a 2-D barcode, which the parking officer scans using the handheld computer, and information about the vehicle is instantly and accurately captured. A traffic summons is printed on the spot by the wearable thermal printer, which is connected to the PC via a wireless LAN.

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Zebra RW 420 Takes the Cake in Head-to-Head Printer Comparison at Tastykake

Posted May 20, 2010

Zebra RW 420

About Tastykake

In 1914, a baker and egg salesman decided to join together to produce baked goods with the freshest ingredients. When the baker’s wife deemed the results of their efforts “tasty,” Tastykake was born. Now, the Philadelphia-based company sells more than $250 million worth of cakes and pies annually across the East Coast.

Challenge

With nearly 500 delivery routes, Tastykake brings fresh baked goods to hundreds of stores every day. The faster that drivers can restock each location, the more stops they can make in a day.

Drivers use Motorola® MC9000 handheld mobile computers to log the inventory coming off and onto store shelves. As they bring in new products, they print out invoices for each store on printers back in their trucks.

In an effort to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and add new capabilities, Tastykake began looking at new mobile printers.

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Improve Truck Freight Carrier Productivity and Cost-Effectiveness with Mobility Technology

Posted April 26, 2010

The Case for Automating Freight Logistics

In today’s tough business conditions, over-the-road freight carriers are looking for ways to increase productivity, decrease operating expenses, and retain customers. The cold truth is that unpredictable fuel costs, rising labor rates, and other expenses continue to whittle away at freight trucking profit margins. Just as challenging, truck freight customers demand supply chain management solutions that offer reverse logistics and forward/backward traceability.

As many businesses have already discovered, mobility technology delivers exceptional benefits to a wide range of operations. Handheld computers, networking, and mobile thermal printers are proven productivity enhancers. When deployed to truck freight carriers, drivers could quickly enter information into networked handheld computers, scan labels, or tag shipments with bar code or radio frequency identification (RFID) labels. In fact, personnel throughout a trucking enterprise could benefit from instant access to accurate information—while in the office, at the customer location, or on the road.

This white paper discusses key considerations when selecting mobility solutions, and unveils how mobilityenabled operations can improve freight trucking efficiency, reduce operating expenses, and boost customer satisfaction.

The Business Value of Mobility Technology

To help identify, classify, and categorize the benefits of mobility technology across a trucking organization, Zebra developed the Zebra Business Value Map. The map relates how mobile computing and printing applications affect people, processes, and profits.

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Zebra Mobile Printer Batteries Tips

Posted April 23, 2010

Frequently asked questions and tips for your Zebra mobile printer batteries

Why is it beneficial to use a Zebra-branded battery?

Zebra batteries provide maximum run-time, they assure maximum cell life, and they utilize protective circuitry to guard against premature failure.

What is the difference between the various battery technologies?

Battery Technology Used in Advantages

Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)

Older, end-of-life Zebra products such as the PA™/PT™ series

Older, but reliable, battery technology. Must be conditioned. Can be damaged by repeated charging without fully discharging. This is called the “Memory Effect.”

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

Encore (EOL), Cameo, PS 2100™ series base

These batteries offer capacities up to 30% higher per charge than NiCd batteries of the same physical size. They are less likely to be damaged by the “Memory Effect.”

Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)

QL™ Plus series, RW™ series, MZ series™ PS 2100™ series controller

The newest rechargeable battery chemistry available. The “Memory Effect” does not affect Li-Ion. It can deliver the same capacity and run time in a smaller, lighter pack. The chemistry is most popular in cellular phones, PDAs, data terminals, and laptop products.

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Citizen CMP-20 & CMP-30 Mobile Printers Announced

Posted March 19, 2010

Citizen printersCitizen Systems America Corporation, a supplier of world-class printing solutions, continues to expand its portfolio of Next Best Mobile Printing Solutions with the introduction of the new CMP-20 and CMP-30 mobile printers. With improved designs, the new models are engineered to provide an unsurpassed customer experience. Compact, robust and powerful, the CMP-20 and CMP-30 printers are ideal “Next Best Mobile Printing Solution for your receipt and labeling needs.

Built with a durable and strong plastic case, and put through the most rigorous quality tests at Citizen’s high end R&D facilities, these new mobile printers feature 2” and 3” receipt and label printing as well as high capacity batteries and media rolls of approximately two inches diameter — thus, allowing for long print runs without changing the media.

“Our mission to grow our share and to be The Next Best Printing Solutions Source is evident with our new and more effective product introductions”, said Robin Pierce, Sr. Marketing Director at Citizen. “These new mobile printers will allow our channel partners to take advantage of a rapidly growing mobile printing market by generating net new turnover with our excellent Citizen brand and new printers”.

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Video: Zebra P4T/RP4T Mobile Thermal Transfer Printer

Posted February 12, 2010

Zebra brings you the world’s first mobile thermal transfer printer with optional RFID upgradability. With the P4T, you can print long-life bar code labels and documents up to 4″ wide that withstand harsh and outdoor environments.

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ECHO Inc. Achieves 99.9 Percent Distribution Accuracy, Better Customer Service with Mobile Printing

Posted December 22, 2009

Zebra QL 420 PlusChallenge
ECHO parts and finished products—numbering more than 15,000—are housed in a 156,000-square-foot distribution center at the company’s Lake Zurich, Ill., headquarters. Over the years, ECHO’s distribution methods have evolved, increasingly becoming more efficient and customer-focused. ECHO has moved from picking products off a carousel and tagging them for shipping to picking with individual forklifts. Both approaches had their drawbacks in terms of efficiency and accuracy.

As the company’s volume increased, it needed a more precise and clear method of picking and labeling to improve internal efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Solution
In the mid-’90s, ECHO implemented bar code printing in every step of its process, from manufacturing to receiving to labeling to picking and shipping. Later, the move to a wireless mobile bar code solution transformed its distribution center.

The company brought in Zebra® QL 420 Plus direct thermal mobile printers, which work wirelessly with Motorola® MC9090 handheld computers. The QL 420 Plus printer is specifically designed for complex mobile printing applications and built to handle increased levels of wireless security and to process complex labels.

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police Department Sees 30 Percent Increase in Revenue with E-Citation

Posted December 21, 2009

Zebra RW 420

Challenge
For resource-constrained police departments, time is money. The faster they can issue citations, the more revenue they bring in to fund the department. Moreover, completing each citation more quickly minimizes safety risks for officers.

With a traditional approach to citations, MSP airport officers spent five to seven minutes handwriting each one and then had to re-enter that data into an office system when their shifts were over. In addition to the redundant data entry, as many as 30 percent of the handwritten paper tickets were subject to typos, illegibility or the elements of Minnesota weather—reducing the department’s ability to collect on citations.

“We always had problems being able to read names and numbers or ink would wash away in the rain,” said Officer Jeff Mademann, MSP International Airport PD. “We needed something that was easy to use and would allow officers to pay more attention to offenders and less on paperwork.”

Solution
After years of looking for a better approach, the MSP airport police department found a solution.

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Queues disappear with wireless printing solution

Posted November 12, 2009

Zebra RW 420 Portable PrinterByggmax sells building materials and has premises at 27 locations in Sweden. The product range consists of base products needed for construction work e.g. timber, insulation materials, plaster and cement. They have a drive-in service, which means that the customers drive their cars into the premises and load the goods they require from the yard and the storage area, themselves. Byggmax staff register the goods in the cars, whereupon the customers are given a sales order to take to the checkout. It used to take longer, as the sales staff wrote down all items by hand on the sales order and made all calculations on a pocket calculator. At the checkout the items on the paperwork were registered together with those the customer wished to purchase from within the store. There were often problems with queues forming, when the checkout staff needed to enter all the items on the hand-written slip.

After a six month trial period of the new system, it has been installed in all stores. The sales staff at Byggmax are equipped with handheld computers and mobile printers from Zebra Technologies. The handheld computers always have an up-to-date item register and communicate wirelessly both with the checkout environment and with the mobile printers. The sales order is printed out for the customer within one or two seconds of the goods being keyed in. There is a bar code on the slip referring to the customer (usually the registration number of the car). The checkout staff only need to scan the bar code in order to take payment for the goods, which the customer has loaded into the car. If a customer leaves the premises without having paid, the registration number can be used to contact the customer.

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Pricing Accuracy Through Wireless Portable Printing

Posted November 11, 2009

Zebra Mobile PrintersChallenge
One of America’s largest retailers faces a daily challenge of maintaining accurate pricing of all merchandise across its entire chain of stores.

Further complicating the task is that the prices of more than 1000 products change every week, and up to five percent of the company’s inventory changes in any given month. As recently as the early 1990s, these changes were sent via fax or e-mail and were printed out by store managers at each location. A night shift was required to print out appropriate shelf labels, canvass the store to put these labels on corresponding shelves, and manually update pricing information in the store’s main computer for the check-out terminals. For the average store, these tasks required 20 employees to work six hours after the store closed.

“Every week we’d forfeit nearly 20 percent of our profits from each promotion through the cost of setting up for the sale,” recalled the chain’s operations manager. “Even after spending all of this time and money, human error was nearly out of control. The price of merchandise on the shelf frequently didn’t match the price at checkout. Our customers were frustrated, which was compromising customer loyalty and company reputation.”

Solution
To correct these problems, the retail chain adopted a corporate-wide pricing network with frame-relay host-to-store communication; a wireless, 2.4 GHz frequency-hopping LAN in every store, and network addressable Zebra® portable mobile printers to move the operation onto the floor.

Today, the company uses a team of price checkers to update prices and ensure that shelf labels match checkout counter prices. Each price checker is armed with a small handheld terminal capable of scanning existing shelf labels and a Zebra portable mobile printer that wirelessly connects both devices to the store’s network.

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