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Free Upgrade for Zebra Card Printers Can Improve Speed up to 15%

Posted March 4, 2010

Zebra Performance class card printers are built to deliver reliability and performance for high-volume card production. Now the most popular of Zebra’s card printers—the P330i, P330m and P430i—offer more features and better performance to provide best-in-class card printers. The following enhancements will be implemented via the new firmware and driver (except where noted):

  • Improved data download efficiency with USB connectivity, which increases the overall throughput 10-15 percent when printing with full color ribbons.
  • Up to 50 percent faster encoding speeds for Smart Card contact and MIFARE contactless options. (Speed will vary based on conditions.)
  • Microsoft certified drivers: Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit), and Windows Vista (64 bit). (Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, XP, and Vista (32 bit) are currently supported.)
  • Increased standard memory to 20 MB. (hardware upgrade)

The enhancements noted above will be available via the updated firmware and driver shown in the chart below.

Take advantage of these enhancements immediately by downloading the firmware and driver.

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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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Zebra Xi4 High-Performance Label Printers Replacing XiIIIPlus Series

Posted January 22, 2010

ZebraZebra has announced the discontinuance of the XiIIIPlus High-Performance Printer line. The replacement for this product line is Zebra’s new Xi4 family of high-performance printers.

Zebra XiIIIPlus printers will stop shipping in May, but service, parts and support will continue to be available through July of 2015.

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police Streamline Lab System Using Bar Code Printing, Scanning

Posted January 21, 2010

ZebraChallenge:
The world may know the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), or Mounties, by their traditional crimson uniforms, but the RCMP is responsible for much more than maintaining its legendary image. A world-class police force, the RCMP is unique; providing law enforcement services to federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government. In the aftermath of 9/11, the RCMP decided to expedite the modernization of the information system infrastructure for its forensic laboratories, and Zebra thermal printers were an integral part of the solution.

The RCMP operates a Forensic Laboratory Service with six forensic sites across Canada, which used a homegrown case tracking system supported by Microsoft Foxpro databases. At that time, the laboratories operated somewhat independently and access to important case files was limited by location. The processing of crime scene evidence was sometimes slowed if the evidence reports and the experts who needed to review them were separated by geography. The system worked, but the RCMP wanted greater efficiency.

Solution:
The RCMP sought a Zebra Technologies partner, to provide a complete laboratory information management system (LIMS). They offered LIMS-plus, an off-the-shelf software application that mirrors best practices from forensic labs across North America. The RCMP wished to improve productivity, internal and external communications, reduce costs, leverage scientific talent across the country, enhance security, and introduce consistent scientific methodologies.

Joseph Buckle, Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP’s Forensic Laboratory Services, said there were two important considerations in selecting LIMS-plus. “The first was functionality. Could the system immediately provide us with the technical solutions we were looking for, and were they specific to forensic science work?”

“The second consideration was track record. I had to be certain that other forensic facilities in North America were using the system for interoperability purposes, and that the supplier had a good track record and reputation. ” said Mr. Buckle.

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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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The Nebraska Medical Center Saves Time, Improves Nurse Workflow

Posted December 14, 2009

Zebra HC100

Challenge
On average, medication administration accounts for 26 to 32 percent of adult patient medication errors in hospitals, according to the Institute of Medicine. To reduce incidents, hospitals are increasingly moving toward bar code medication administration (BCMA) systems to electronically scan patient wristbands for positive patient identification to reduce preventable adverse drug events.

Before implementing BCMA, The Nebraska Medical Center manually created patient wristbands. The only means a nurse had to positively identify a patient was to verbally confirm the patient’s name and date of birth, and visually compare their responses to the information printed on the wristband. For incoherent patients (critical care, infants, etc.) this manual validation was not even possible, increasing the risk for a preventable adverse drug event to occur.

The hospital realized that BCMA could add a layer of patient safety by leveraging technology to verify and validate patient-specific information. But in order to fully leverage the BCMA system, The Nebraska Medical Center needed a printing solution that could simultaneously produce both two-dimensional bar codes as well as linear bar codes—a capability that existing laser printers lacked. It also needed to print two bar code types on each band; one for positive patient ID and the other to facilitate glucometer device readings.

Solution
With the BCMA go-live date soon approaching, the hospital had to select and implement new printers quickly. Considering the hospital’s two-dimensional requirements, they went with Zebra Technologies.

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Shoe Zone’s Feat of Logistics

Posted December 11, 2009

Zebra QL 320Hands-free scanning technology has helped to double output for a leading UK shoe retailer, Shoe Zone. Its warehouse now handles 1,000,000 pairs of footwear per week and delivers to the company’s 400 shoe stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Challenge:
• Lengthy manual data-entry process of product codes for warehouse stock items

• Heavy reliance on printed packing lists which can get lost

• Short implementation time

Solution:
• Equipping warehouse workers with a mobile solution

Zebra mobile QL 320 bar code printers (for printing labels on demand for each filled warehouse carton)

Motorola wrist-mounted computer and ring scanner

• All scanners, computers and printers link to Shoe Zone’s host system

• The scanning software is integrated in real time to the company’s stock- replenishment system

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6 Illinois Counties Expedite Traffic Stops with Fast, Streamlined Ticket Printing

Posted December 8, 2009

Zebra RW 420Challenge
No one enjoys getting a traffic ticket. But at least the experience should be as quick and painless as possible for officers, citizens and administrative staff.

That’s the driving force behind an initiative in six greater Chicago area counties. Circuit court clerks from the counties of Kane, Will, DuPage, McHenry, Cook and DeKalb are switching to electronic citation systems to nearly eliminate data entry throughout the public safety and court systems.

As the counties move from traditional handwritten tickets to generating tickets from mobile laptops, they need a way to print tickets legibly and without consuming too much space in squad cars. When one county tried an impact printer with pre-printed forms, the units required too much cab space and were nearly impossible to load straight, making them print illegibly.

“The biggest complaint with the old printers was that they were constantly jamming or printed in the wrong spaces,” said Tim Bosshart, Commander, Carpentersville Police Department.

Solution
In order to address these concerns, Kane County has turned to Zebra Technologies. For the citation software, the counties use QuickTicket from APS. With it, officers issue citations via laptops, auto-populating an electronic version of the state’s citation form. They can obtain data from motor vehicle queries, or from a swipe or scan of the offender’s driver’s license.

That system reduces the time for officers to issue citations and eliminates the need for law enforcement to re-key data back at their office—replacing a time-consuming, error-prone process.

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Raising the bar for positive patient identification

Posted December 4, 2009

Zebra 2844-ZThe Challenge
The concept of ‘positive patient identification’ is much talked-about in the medical world, and is a fundamental requirement for correct patient care. This phrase covers all types of verification and identification practices which effect patients, hospitals and procedures. Using patient ID wristbands goes a long way to ensure the correct drugs are assigned to the correct patient – as hand- written wristbands can be misread, easily damaged or even lost.

Previously ward nurses would have to hand write all patient wristbands using information from the patients medical history. By eliminating this manual process, the hospital would save time for medical staff, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their jobs.

It was also important that the key patient demographics were taken from the hospital information system to avoid the risk of transcription errors.

Effective barcodes
According to Helena Roddy, Haemovigilance Officer, Portiuncula Hospital: “We wanted to implement a blood tracking system to assist with compliance to the EU Blood Directive. The first step in this process was to introduce barcoded patient identification wristbands.”

“Implementation and support were also key” Roddy continued. ”We needed a solution which required minimal maintenance and expense.”

The hospital chose a Zebra solution of printers and wristbands for use with all its adult patients and installed six LP 2844Z printers throughout the hospital as well as working with hospital staff to design the wristband. This design was key to its success, and had to contain the patient’s name, date of birth, sex, and hospital number.

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