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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.


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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Zebra Supports Philips Roll out Largest RFID Supply Chain

Posted May 13, 2010

Zebra R-2844-Z RFID Printer


Philips Semiconductors is a top 10 supplier of semiconductors with several top three positions in targeted markets such as RFID technology, where over 1 billion chips are sold into RFID & contactless smartcard markets. From its manufacturing facility in Kaohsiung Taiwan, to its distribution center in Hong Kong alone, the company ships and tracks several million wafer cases and carton packages per year. To ensure warehouse efficiency and customer service satisfaction, Philips’ semiconductor manufacturing and distribution supply chain must operate at the most efficient levels of inventory turns, stacked lead time and delivery reliability.

Philips looked to the latest in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to improve efficiency in its supply chain. A leader in the RFID market, Philips has been offering business improvement solutions to its customers since 1988. “We decided to take the RFID technology we’ve been offering customers and use it internally to get the benefits ourselves,” said Mathieu Clerkx, CIO and senior vice president, Philips Semiconductors. “We have a great deal of experience in providing RFID chips to the market, and we decided it was time for us to benefit from the technology ourselves by implementing it in our own supply chain.”

With implementation costs of RFID in the supply chain still high, and the long time needed to achieve quantity at a low cost, most vendors have taken a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Philips knew that RFID would be advantageous to its business processes and thus to its customers. This was the impetus for Philips: to prove that RFID could benefit the integral supply chain and at the same time, be at the forefront to showcase a successful deployment of RFID on such a large scale. With goods being RFID-ready, Philips and its customers could benefit from low cost and time efficiency. This in turn would eventually generate maximum returns on investment.

As with all changes to existing workflows, it was necessary for Philips to first identify the areas which could benefit from the introduction of RFID. Philips decided to carry out an initial rollout in Kaohsiung Taiwan manufacturing facility and Hong Kong and identified a number of processes in both locations which could be improved. The company then developed a view of the future processes they wanted to implement and installed a change process to manage the transition. As RFID technology addresses operating efficiencies, Philips focused on getting benefits as quickly as possible by addressing those areas which would gain most.


Philips chose Zebra Technologies as a partner in the project because of its diverse product portfolio and leadership in RFID. Globally, Zebra and Philips already had a long history of collaboration on RFID projects. As a pioneer in RFID printing/encoding technologies, Zebra has been researching and developing RFID ‘smart label’ technologies for over 10 years and was the first company to produce an integrated, on-demand RFID printer/encoder. Zebra has been working with some of the industry’s foremost technology companies in the advancement and development of RFID solutions.

An RFID test lab in one of Philips’ warehouses was set up by Zebra to conduct the initial tests, where Philips analyzed the results to calculate the potential ROI and benefit to customers. Based on the potential savings the RFID system delivered and the effective trial run, the company’s senior management made the decision to deploy the technology throughout the Kaohsiung and Hong Kong supply chain operations.

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Achieving PCI DSS v1.2 Compliance on Wireless Printers

Posted May 11, 2010

Executive Summary

The challenges of meeting Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards and the horror stories of failing to comply continue to grow. Security breaches at several major retailers have resulted in estimated costs of as high as $1 billion per retailer. The U.S. Identity Theft Protection Act has established fines of up to $11,000 per customer record for databases breaches. In fact, 14 percent of retailers have suffered a breach and only 28 percent of retailers are fully compliant with PCI requirements, according to the Retail Systems Alert Group 2006-2007 Retail Data Security study. Since that study, retailers are taking notice, and compliance rates are steadily increasing.

Merchants who do not comply are at risk for fines, higher processing fees and even the loss of card-processing privileges. PCI implementation costs are a major concern for many businesses, even if the cost of noncompliance is potentially so much higher. Consider that the cost of new preventative measures only averages 4 percent of the total breach cost, or $180,000.1

Amid these concerns, it is easy for retailers to lose sight of both the big picture and important details. PCI compliance is a major milestone, but it is only a means to an end of having secure processes, networks, data, devices, and peripherals. If a single networked device is non-compliant, the entire network and the retail information systems behind it are all non-compliant. This is why protecting peripherals is an essential, if somewhat overlooked, component of PCI compliance.

This white paper explains how PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) version 1.2 applies to wireless peripherals and presents options for including secure wireless printers in PCI-compliant wireless networks.

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Bar Code Printing Options for Zebra Printers with Oracle WMS and MSCA

Posted May 6, 2010


Executive Summary

Bar code output from the Oracle E-Business Suite® environment is traditionally accomplished through third-party software. However, Oracle’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Mobile Supply Chain Applications (MSCA) offer a new approach that can simplify bar code label printing. Oracle WMS and MSCA produce output in XML data streams, instead of a proprietary Oracle format. Zebra Technologies has embedded an XML parser in its XML-enabled printers, so output from Oracle WMS and MSCA is natively understood by the printer without additional middleware or server hardware. The graphic below illustrates the system architectures and components required for bar code output from Oracle WMS and MSCA using the middleware and Zebra direct connection approaches.

This white paper describes the middleware and direct-connect bar code printing options for Oracle WMS and MSCA, explains the system requirements for each, and provides guidance as to when each approach is best suited to particular environments.

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Zebra Z-Band Comfort Wristband: Softer and More Durable

Posted May 6, 2010

Zebra Z-Band ComfortWith Zebra’s new Z-Band® Comfort direct thermal adhesive wristband, healthcare providers can take a softer approach to patient identification.

  • Z-Band Comfort is softer and more flexible than our existing Z-Band Direct wristband and most competitors’ products, so it’s more comfortable for patients.
  • The material’s superior resistance to hand sanitizers and other common healthcare solvents increases patient safety by ensuring superior image durability: Text is readable and bar codes are scannable for up to 14 days.
  • Healthcare-providers will also appreciate that the Z-Band Comfort enables 50 percent more wristbands per HC100™ cartridge or desktop printer media roll than the Z-Band Direct—which means fewer cartridge/roll changes and greater efficiency for staff.
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Zebra ZebraDesigner Version 2: Updated and Enhanced Label Design Software

Posted May 6, 2010

Zebra ZebraDesignerZebra’s new ZebraDesigner™ v2 label design software products make creating complex labels click-simple. Updated with a host of new enhancements, these new editions make creating label designs even easier. Zebra has updated the entire product family—ZebraDesigner, ZebraDesigner Pro, ZebraDesigner for XML and ZebraDesigner for mySAP™ Business Suite—to help end-users get the most from their Zebra printers while using the latest versions of Windows.

The enhancements include:

  • New, easy-to-use design tools
  • Expanded RFID tag support and updated wizards
  • New printer drivers with enhanced printer configuration tools
  • New printer diagnostic and configuration tools
  • Support for Windows Vista® and Windows® 7
  • And much more!

The no-charge, limited-feature “ZebraDesigner” product has also been updated to v2.

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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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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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