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Datamax 4te Printer and Qualcomm OmniTRACS Mobile Information System Refine Crude Oil Transportation

Posted December 14, 2010

Genesis EnergyEvery day, millions of people drive into gas stations to refuel their cars without giving a thought to the process of how that fuel gets there when they need it. Genesis Crude Oil plays a central role in transporting fuel to gas stations in the Gulf Coast region of the Unites States, which encompasses the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

Genesis Crude Oil is a division of Houston-based Genesis Energy, a growth-oriented company with a diverse portfolio of customers, operations, and assets, including refinery-related plants, pipelines, storage tanks, and terminals The primary function of Genesis Crude Oil is moving crude oil, via trucks, from pumping stations to strategically located storage facilities, where the product is held until it’s time to move it to a refinery.

To make sure its deliveries always flow smoothly, Genesis Crude Oil equipped its fleet of trucks with the OmniTRACS® Mobile Information System from Qualcomm Enterprise Services. This system allows Genesis dispatchers to maintain contact with all drivers at all times. “We can use the OmniTRACS® System to send messages to drivers in places that cell phones don’t reach,” says Terry Lincecum, Louisiana district manager for Genesis Crude Oil.

The system, which relies on satellite technology, also sends data about conditions on the truck—such as its current location or the temperature and weight of the product being carried—back to regional headquarters. “If there’s a problem with one of our trucks after it leaves the pick-up location, we can find out about it before the driver reports it,” Lincecum says. That’s an important capability, because drivers are picking up crude oil from pumping stations in remote areas, and having to wait for drivers to be in cell phone range to learn about problems could delay finding solutions.

Problem

About a year ago, as the Louisiana region was adding new trucks to its fleet, Lincecum discovered a way to make the OmniTRACS® System even more valuable: he upgraded the printers they use with the system. Genesis Crude Oil drivers rely on wireless mobile printers to generate receipts confirming the contents of the loads they pick up from each customer. The driver also keeps a copy of the receipt to use as a manifest if a Department of Transportation inspector asks for documentation of the truck’s contents.

The information on that receipt also is transmitted, via the OmniTRACS® System, to Genesis Crude Oil headquarters, facilitating accurate recordkeeping. “As we were adding the new trucks, we realized that the printers we were using were becoming obsolete,” Lincecum recalls. One clue to this obsolescence was the increased frequency with which those printers were being repaired. After reviewing the costs of those ongoing repairs, Lincecum thought it was time to consider replacing them.

Solution

Genesis Crude Oil selected the Datamax microFlash 4te wireless portable thermal transfer printer. The 4te is the latest version of Datamax-O’Neil’s legendary 4t printer, the industry’s leading portable thermal printer and the defacto standard for route accounting and field mobile printing applications.

To accommodate the need for faster transaction processing in the fast-paced world of mobile field applications, the 4te printer incorporates a new, 32-bit RISC ARM 9 processor that allows the printer to process complex applications up to ten times faster, and enables the user to enjoy exceptionally high print throughput. It can print up to 2,240, 6-inch receipts on a single battery charge with automated, power-saving sleep and wake-up modes.

That printing capability was a selling point for Genesis Crude Oil, which was getting complaints from drivers about having to replace the paper in the older printers too often. But the most attractive feature of the 4te, according to Lincecum, was the newly developed kit for pairing the printer with the Qualcomm OmniTRACS® System. The kit made the transition to the new printer seamless. “Our drivers and customers really like these new printers,” Lincecum says. “The drivers like them because they don’t have to change the paper as often; that improves their efficiency. Customers like them because the print quality is much better. The receipts are much easier to read.”

Results

Lincecum says Genesis Crude Oil is pleased that the 4te is continuing the Datamax-O’Neil tradition for product reliability. After six years in the field, fewer than 10 percent of the units have ever been in a repair facility, even though they operate in harsh industrial environments.

“We don’t have nearly as much downtime now,” Lincecum says. “With our previous printers, when one went down, the driver would have to locate another truck nearby and wait for that driver to show up to print a receipt for the customer. We haven’t had those issues with the Datamax-O’Neil printers.”


Datamax-O’Neil RL4: Rugged 4-inch Portable Label Printer

Posted November 3, 2010

Datamax-O’Neil extends its expertise in building rugged portable receipt printers to a new class of portable label printers ideal for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution applications.

Datamax-O’Neil, a global provider of label printing and receipt printing solutions, today announces an entirely new and “ground breaking” 4-inch label printer, the RL4, which is designed for rugged environments typically found in manufacturing, transportation and logistics applications. Combining flexibility and speed with easy integration, the RL4 has proven its superior rugged reliability by delivering labels even after a series of grueling tests.

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Star SM-S300 and SM-S400 Portable Printers

Posted July 13, 2010

Star Micronics is proud to add the SM-S300 and SM-S400 to its offering of Portable Receipt Printers.

Star SM-S300

The SM-S300 is a 3-inch wide portable printer designed to assist and empower mobile and field service industry users who require a small and light (335g – including battery and paper) portable printer to “get the job done.”

The SM-S300 is ideal for the hospitality as well as retail “line busting” as its sleek design fit in a customer friendly environment. In addition to easy drop in & print paper loading and print speed of 65mm per second, the SM-S300 features an LCD display, magnetic stripe reader and comes standard with Serial and Bluetooth connection.

Included with the printer is:
– Battery Pack
– AC Battery Charger
– Serial Cable
– Sample Paper Roll

Star SM-S400

For field service and public safety applications that may require a wider printout, Star offers the SM-S400. The SM-S400 is a 4-inch wide portable printer.

In addition to easy drop in & print paper loading and a print speed of 50mm per second, the SM-S400 also features an LCD display, magnetic stripe reader and comes standard with Serial and Bluetooth connections.

Included with the printer is:
– AC Charger
– Serial Cable
– Battery Pack
– Sample Paper Roll

The SM-S300 and the SM-S400 come with a 1-year limited warranty and are FCC (Federal Communications Commission) certified.

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Zebra Mobile Printers and Motorola Mobile Computers Help Chicago Gasoline Hauling Company Improve Efficiency and Service to Customers

Posted May 20, 2010

Zebra RW 420McMahon Cartage is a gasoline hauling and delivery company that services gas stations and trucking companies in the Chicago area. It employs 32 drivers to deliver approximately 5. 5 million gallons of gas a week to more than 300 gas stations.

Challenge

Three years ago, McMahon Cartage determined that its delivery system was inefficient and decided to streamline the process. “In the old system, a gas station owner called the distributor; then the distributor called us and we entered the load into the system; finally, we called the driver to give him the information,” John McMahon, vice president of McMahon Cartage, explains. “Each delivery had to go through four people before it made it to the driver. As a result, there was a lot of miscommunication and wasted time. ”

“Because we had so many steps in the process,”McMahon continues, “there were more chances of making mistakes. Plus, we had no way to track our orders. If something went wrong, everyone was pointing fingers at someone else. ”

In addition to the lack of accountability, drivers often got lost on their routes or wrote down the wrong name of the gas station on their order, resulting in the driver being held responsible for the billing inaccuracy, which could mean as much as $30,000 taken out of his or her paycheck.

“I spent a lot of time organizing the drivers’ schedules. In order to keep route errors down, I placed drivers only on routes that were familiar to them,” notes McMahon. “I wanted to ensure that our drivers could focus on driving safely to their destinations instead of having to worry about looking down at a map or getting lost. ”

So, the company began searching for a solution that would track orders more efficiently and make deliveries faster, as well as minimize the time customers spent placing orders.

Solution

McMahon Cartage selected an integrator of wireless, bar code and mobile solutions, to establish an online ordering system for scheduling delivery to gas stations. With Digital Fuel Solutions, the Web-based program developed by McMahon Carthage, delivery process time has been cut in half by allowing customers and distributors to order their gas online. The online orders are then given directly to the drivers via a Motorola® handheld device. After the driver delivers the gasoline, he prints a receipt using a Zebra® printer, eliminating errors and illegible writing.

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Datamax-O’Neil Integrates the Former Extech Apex and S2000i Printers into Solution Portfolio

Posted May 12, 2010

Extech S2000iApex and S2000i Printers Bring Diversity into Datamax-O’Neil’s Mobile Printer Family

Datamax-O’Neil, part of Dover Corporation’s Product Identification Platform and global provider of label and receipt printing solutions, announces that it has integrated the former Extech Apex and S2000i printers into its printer portfolio, and the rebranded printers are now available to the company’s worldwide partner network. The Apex and S2000i printers expand the range of applications where the company’s mobile printers have been successful and will provide new opportunities for growth in the increasingly mobile global workforce.

“The Apex and S2000i printers bring tremendous diversity into the Datamax-O’Neil portable printer family and will expand our ability to sell products in applications where our existing line might not have been the perfect fit,” said Paul Lehmann, director of product management for Datamax-O’Neil. “The existing Datamax-O’Neil portables are known throughout for their industry-leading rugged reliability, and the Apex and S2000i printers bring a value element that will appeal to customers that demand ease of operation, reliability and low cost, but don’t require the extremely rugged characteristics needed for certain applications.”

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Star Introduces SM-S200 and SM-T300 Portable Receipt Printers

Posted March 22, 2010

Star Micronics is proud to add Portable Receipt Printers to its long roster of point of service printers – compact, light weight, wireless portable printing solutions in different printer widths.

Star SM-S200

Star SM-S200

The SM-S200 is ideal for the hospitality industry. Easily fastened on a belt for “table-side” order taking as well as retail “line busting” as its sleek design fits in a customer friendly environment.

In addition to easy drop in & print paper loading and print speed of 75mm per second, the SM-S200 also features an LCD display, a Bluetooth connection and comes standard with magnetic stripe reader.

  • 2-Inch
  • Blue LCD Display
  • Bluetooth/Serial

Star SM-T300

Star SM-T300

Ideal for the ever growing field service/mobile industry, the SM-T300 may be utilized for workers requiring handhelds to seamlessly print to the worker’s mobile printer.

Its rugged and waterproof design coupled with a long battery life makes the SM-T300 a welcomed option for applications in harsh outdoor environments, such as service & delivery, public safety and utility applications.

In addition to easy drop in & print paper loading and print speed of 75mm per second, the SM-T300 also features an LCD display, magnetic stripe reader and comes standard with a Bluetooth connection.

  • Rugged 3-Inch
  • Blue LCD Display
  • Bluetooth/Serial/WiFi