Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Pharma Businesses - 2018 EU Falsified Medicines Directive - Are you ready?

Is your warehouse prepared for the
2018 EU Falsified Medicines Directive?


To combat the global threat of counterfeit medicines, authorities around the world are tightening the supply chain to stamp out illicit goods, by using 2D barcodes and clever software to keep track of what is manufactured, shipped and delivered throughout the pharmaceutical industry.

In simple terms it means that every pack of medicine or pharmaceutical product will have to have a unique identifier applied at the point of manufacture and be tracked through the whole supply chain. The unique identifier will need to contain the product code, batch number and expiry date as well as its serial number to uniquely identify the pack. This data will also need to be contained in a barcode (a 2D Datamatrix) which can be scanned and tracked throughout the supply chain.

So if you are a pharmaceutical manufacturer, distributor or pharmacy there will be a requirement to record, capture and share this information. To satisfy the regulatory authorities for the new directives will take a lot of effort, and if you don't have a system in the warehouse, a lot of paperwork.
A "smart" Warehouse System will certainly be a must have to record and validate this level of information and will at the same time deliver the operational efficiencies through the use of 2D barcode scanning, WiFi technologies and configurable software to automate all the warehouse and inventory processes.

Dexterity WMS already supports this functionality, including being able to configure the 2D barcodes to suit your business, smart scanning and validation on goods receiving through order pick & pack to despatch with a full traceability record for every single transaction, so that a complete audit trail is available for immediate inspection .

Dexterity WMS will also enable you to validate expiry dates, track and locate product recalls down to individual batch numbers and achieve all this with no more staff than you have now. 2018 seems like a lifetime away but the industry reports that most companies are already behind with their preparations to implement the EU directives.  If you need to get ready, consider Dexterity WMS as part of your supply chain solution for the warehouse.

For businesses who already have the scanning and data capture capability in place, but may require the ability to print or re-print label to this specification, NiceLabel Control Centre Enterprise is the prefect product to enhance existing label printing systems.


NiceLabel Control Centre Enterprise ensures a centralised traceability and management layer for labelling, required in medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, manufacturing and in several other industries. It ensures compliance with regulatory requirements or your company internal security and quality standards.  For more information on Dexterity WMS or NiceLabel Control Centre Enterprise call the sales team at Barcode-IT for a full explanation of how you business can achieve full regulatory compliance without having to change the WMS or ERP system.


Written by Jim Southern, specialist in warehouse management at Barcode-IT.  To ask questions about this article or find out how barcodes with a Dexterity Smart Warehouse can transform your business, call 01200 441977 or email Jim @ Barcode-IT today.  Or do some research at www.warehouse-it.co.uk

Monday, 30 November 2015

Warehouse Location and Rack Labelling - Tips and Best Practise

When companies undertake a WMS project, the initial focus is always on the software, its functionality and whether it's a good fit and delivers the benefits for the business, which is of course the right place to start. Second comes the selection of the equipment including label printers and hand-held scanning terminals. Often forgotten or definitely an afterthought is the labelling of the locations in the warehouse: Racks, Overheads, Floor, etc. In fact this should be given as much consideration as the selection of the equipment as the type of barcode scanner in the terminal will need to be capable of scanning the barcodes on the locations. Lets take a look at some of the important considerations:
 
Location Label Types

For Warehouse Racking you will need to consider "Shelf Edge" labels that contain a barcode and human readable that identify the location it is assigned to in the WMS system. Depending on the type of equipment you are using in the warehouse will determine whether you will need to label the high bay levels.
Shelf Edge Labelling on racking

For example, if you are using man-up trucks you will need ID labels on every level as they will need to be scanned by the worker at eye level. If you are using reach trucks then you will need a scan chart or index at the lower levels as the worker will not be at the same level as the goods or pallet. Note the use of arrows to indicate the level the ID refers to. The use of colour codes also helps identify the higher level bays (these will have a corresponding colour label attached).


Index and Shelf Edge Labelling on racking
Of course not all stock will be stored in nice neat racking, there could well be floor stacked areas which can be would need either overhead suspended location ID's or Floor Mounted plates.

Overhead Suspended
Rugged Barcode Floor Plates
The overhead plates can be suspended from wires or attached to overhead beams or trunking. These are very large barcodes so they can be seen and scanned from ground level and often need high performance barcode scanners such as the Datalogic PowerScan or Falcon x3+ with long range scanner. Floor Plates are sometimes popular, but can be expensive due the the need for very rugged construction and installation to cope with fork truck traffic.



Barcode Type, Size and Readability

Before you crack on and order all the locations ID's and get them fitted, take some time to test and verify that they can be read by the equipment you will be using in the warehouse. For example, don't expect to be able to read small barcodes from a distance just because you will use long range scanning devices. The scanning device and the barcode type and size need to be matched up for perfect scanning. Frustration soon sets in when operators have difficulties reading the barcodes.
Use the right scanner for the task.

As a general rule, the larger and the bigger the barcode the easier it is to scan. Also consider the distances you will need to scan from, e.g. from sitting in the fork truck, on foot, etc. The material used can also have a bearing on readability. Reflective material will provide better "scanability" and distance for example and is often used for Overhead Suspended barcodes.

Take all these points into account and you won't go far wrong, or simply ask us to advise.

We have a wealth of experience in implementing our specialist Dexterity WMS Systems to help clients realise the benefits of a smart Warehouse Management System. Get in touch for a no obligation and no pressure discussion on how Dexterity WMS could help your business.

Written by Jim Southern, specialist in warehouse management at Barcode-IT.  To ask questions about this article or find out how barcodes with a Dexterity Smart Warehouse can transform your business, call 01200 441977 or email Jim @ Barcode-IT today.  Or do some research at www.warehouse-it.co.uk



I Just want to Scan Barcodes in the Warehouse - It's simple, isnt it?

"All I want to do is scan barcodes in the warehouse to speed up the operation and make it more accurate"

Its a statement that we hear all the time from companies enquiring about our services. More companies are looking to use barcode scanning in the warehouse to get a more accurate view of inventory and reduce picking and delivery errors.

There is frequently a great enthusiasm for the subject until the analysis and investigation is done and it all becomes "more expensive than we thought".

The use of barcodes to speed up transaction processing has been around for decades, over 40 years would you believe. When did you last buy something at a store that wasn't simply scanned at the checkout? Actually, barcode scanning is now used in pretty much all transactional processes from your football tickets to renting a car or buying your lottery ticket.

It seems so easy, quick and efficient - rather than typing the details into a computer, we just scan the barcode label and the transaction becomes automated, right! So why can't I just buy a simple scanner for the warehouse and away I go? They are only cheap and I just scan the barcodes, collect the data and everything is updated automatically without error. It seems logical doesn't it? Lets take a deeper look at the realities and why its not that simple.


The barcode is simply a means of data input, its a quick alternative  to keying in the data. Simply scanning a barcode achieves nothing without a software system to verify that the barcode you are scanning is correct and represents the item you are supposed to be scanning for the transaction you are performing, be it a product code or location code for example. In the warehouse these transactions are not performed at a PC in an office so you also need a mobile scanning device. You need real time feedback to the operator to confirm or otherwise that the transaction has been accepted and verified, so you need a wireless network to make the system "live".

Traditional ERP systems are designed to operate on large PC screens not smaller handheld devices and generally won't handle inputs from scanners. These ERP applications are written in a way to accept inputs in a way that builds from the previous entry by the operator requiring multiple keyboard actions like TAB, ENTER, etc. Simply scanning a barcode doesn't duplicate the human intervention required to process the transaction. This is why you need specific warehouse management software like Dexterity WMS that works with the scanning technology to interpret and process the transaction in real time.

ERP software is designed for keyed in human input whereas a smart warehouse system like Dexterity WMS is all about the automation of the warehouse processes using smart technology and software to streamline every aspect of warehouse operations from Goods In to Pick, Pack & Ship.

What if the barcode contains more than one item of information?
Not all barcodes are as simple as you may first imagine. You will have multiple suppliers and more than likely they will provide different barcodes on their products. Some may embed more than a single item of data in a single barcode. This can be quite common where lots, batches and serial numbers are involved. Scanning and processing of these "complex" barcodes requires software that can interpret the barcode data and then intelligently verify and update the correct fields in the system. What would happen if you scanned a barcode that contained the product number, the lot number and an expiration date into the Item Number field on an ERP data entry screen - it wouldn't work and in this example, the use of barcode scanning without a proper software solution is counter-productive.

"I can’t see the benefit of spending money on a system for the warehouse" 

Another well worn statement we hear all the time, but there are always different parts of your business competing for the limited budget available for investment. Unfortunately when people think of the warehouse they think of spending money there as a “cost”



Turn that thinking from a “cost” to an “investment” and look at the benefits that are created:
  • Barcode Scanning at the point of receiving increases inventory accuracy by 35%.
  • Barcode Scanning is 10 times faster than manual data entry.
  • Order Picking using bar code scanning and a smart WMS system virtually eliminates picking errors.
  • Introducing barcode scanning and location tracking into your warehouse can increase operational efficiency by up to 25 percent.
These are very real figures and significant returns on an “investment” in a WMS system using wireless barcode scanning in the warehouse. We have a wealth of experience in implementing Warehouse Management Systems to help clients realise the benefits of a smart WMS.

Written by Jim Southern, specialist in warehouse management at Barcode-IT.  To ask questions about this article or find out how barcodes with a Dexterity Smart Warehouse can transform your business, call 01200 441977 or email Jim @ Barcode-IT today.  Or do some research at www.warehouse-it.co.uk

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

2D or not 2D - the Two Dimensional barcode revolution

Two Dimensional Barcodes have never been easier or cheaper to read with more and more barcode readers including a 2D reading option.  Even many Smart Phones will read 2D codes.  But the real revolution is taking place in product identification, manufacturing and logistics, where 2D barcodes like QR and Datamatrix
Manufacturers are using 2D codes to individually identify products to prevent counterfeiting, with the code acting like a serial number.  But these are not products that would normally have a serial number, instead the 2D code carries information about when and where the item was made, what its distribution area is and if the individual code has been properly registered.

Companies like CODIKETT® are offering clients a security service where 2D barcodes are embedded into the product and its packaging, with every code being unique and fully traceable, so that throughout the supply chain the items can be tracked, plus the customer can check the products authenticity and ensure its being sold in the geographical area it was intended for.  See out earlier BLOG on Tangle Teezer for more details.

2D barcodes are also used within logistics and can contain the full routing information as well as the final destination address.  This allows a parcel carrier to read the 2D code anywhere along the route and without having to refer back to a central database, the full routing can be read.  This is important if the consignment has become "orphaned" from rest of the shipment, so that its full delivery routing can be read and the parcel can rapidly rejoin the correct shipment.  Common 2D codes used in shipping include Maxicode, PDF 417 and Aztec.However its the ability to be able to read these 2D codes that is driving their use.  Gone are the days when a 2D scanner was so expensive it could not be deployed in the workplace.
Datalogic Gryphon GD4400 and PowerScan 9500 - Scan any 2D or 1D barcodes
Today manufacturers of barcode readers like Datalogic are bringing 2D reading to almost all barcode scanners and are building advanced readers that will read 1D and 2D barcodes and even scan damaged or partially covered codes, such as when they are covered with shrink-wrap.  These readers are using advanced imaging techniques to read the codes, rather than older laser scanners.  Laser still has its place, but for reading barcodes in any orientation, any symbology, near and far reading, Area Imagers such as the Datalogic PowerScan 9500 and Gryphon GD4400 are leading the way.  Particularly as the 1D barcode reading is even better than older laser readers and if 2D comes along later, the technology is already in place.

For more information on how 2D barcodes could enhance your business, call Nigel Holloway or the sales team at Barcode-IT for more information.  01200 441977  www.barcode-it.co.uk

Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and data capture solutions.
contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer



Monday, 23 November 2015

PowerScan by Datalogic. Rugged barcode scanners for Any Industry - Any Environment - Any Barcode

In business, barcodes are used everywhere; in manufacturing, the warehouse and logistics operations. They have become an essential tool of industry, so your barcode scanner had better perform. First time! Every time!

Meet the PowerScan from Datalogic

This truly industrial barcode scanner will meet every challenge in every industry where barcode scanning is needed.

  • Small barcode close to the user
  • Larger barcodes far away
  • Reads QR and all 2D barcodes
  • Reads damaged barcodes
  • Reads barcodes in any direction

In the rain, in the heat, in the cold, in the freezer, PowerScans keep on working.

Watch the video below to see how the PowerScan from Datalogic is helping other businesses scan problem barcodes.


Does your business need a barcode scanner that never stops?
Call the team at Barcode-IT now to start reaping the benefits of superior scanning
01200 441977

Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and data capture solutions.contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

How using barcode technology helped British startup Tangle Teezer grow into an iconic hairbrush brand


In a recent article published in Techworld, a website dedicated to New and Disruptive technology and their impact on UK business and society, executives from Tangle Teezer discussed how the early adoption of innovative technology has helped this rapidly growing business cope with doubling the turnover every year since 2007 and the challenges that this brings.

Read the full Techworld article here:
How tech helped Brit startup Tangle Teezer grow into an iconic hairbrush brand

Tangle Teezer discusses its paperless mission, smart tracking QR codes and the technology that helped build it into an iconic British brand.







QR codes are now being used to create unique "serial numbers" to allow individual products to carry an "identity".  Tangle Teezer has adopted this technology and working with a specialist Security company CODIKETT®  Tangle Teezer have been able to mark every single hair brush that not only identifies the brush, but is registered with Codikett so that customers can check that their brush is genuine and Tangle Teezer can control products by geographical area.
Special QR Codes from Codikett
OK, so now we have QR codes on the brushes and on the packaging, but the code has to be read so that its "identity" can be registered with Codikett and its here that Barcode-IT helped Tangle Teezer use the latest WiFi data terminal from Datalogic fitted with an amazing multi-function barcode reader, that can not only read the high resolution QR codes, but also read normal barcodes within the warehouse.

The challenge was that in the warehouse the normal barcodes on the racking and the pallets, are stacked in racking 5 meters high and need a special long range barcode reader to read barcodes at that distance.  However Tangle Teezer did not want two devices and so Barcode-IT were able to supply the Falcon x3+ with 2D long range reader and special software to allow an operator to use a single terminal for normal warehouse tasks and scan the QR codes for upload to the Codikett servers in Germany.

Datalogic Falcon x3+ with Dexterity
Fortunately Tangle Teezer were already using Dexterity WMS for Sage 200, a high performance Warehouse Management System (WMS) that deals with the 850,000 products that Tangle Teezer ship every month!  So the software team at Barcode-IT were able to create a module that allows the data from the special QR codes to be captured and securely transmitted to Codikett as a normal part of the product picking and dispatch process within Dexterity WMS, then uploaded using a custom written web application.

Barcode-IT is a specialist barcode and data collection provider, supplying cutting edge hardware and software solutions to some of the UK's largest companies.They have created and supply Dexterity Warehouse Management System, as a bolt on for small and medium ERP, such as Sage 200, Navision, etc.  Dexterity is perfect for businesses where the requirements of the warehouse and logistics dept, outstrip the built-in stock control of many ERP systems.

Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and data capture solutions.
contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer




Monday, 12 October 2015

Mobile Printer with WiFi Diversity from Printronix

A new mobile printer from Printronix proudly trumpets that it has Diversity.  Diversity? What the heck does that mean, that it can be used by men and women, it's not prejudiced?

Well no its none of these.  Diversity in this context is about WiFi Diversity, a hidden radio technology that is increasingly being used in industrial WiFi devices and which can have big benefits in many manufacturing and warehouse businesses.

Most WiFi used on Laptops, pads and even mobile phones, has a single radio antenna that connects to the nearest local Access Point (AP).  Most homes have only one AP and many offices will only have a few APs scattered around.  But in a large manufacturing or warehouse environments, there could be many many APs allowing the WiFi network to span the whole business and It is in these multi-access point spaces that WiFi Diversity can become important.

Most ordinary WiFi devices use a single radio antenna to connect to the most powerful AP it is authorised to use and the device will only look for another AP when the current signal becomes unacceptably low.  This can lead to the loss of WiFi while the device negotiates with the next AP for access to the network and while this can be irritating if you are looking at a web page or downloading e-mail it can be catastrophic it your device is doing real-time transactions on your ERP or if the device is a mobile printer trying to print business critical barcode labels.

The solution, you guessed it, WiFi Diversity!  Here the device has two antennas and talks to the first AP while secretly negotiating with other "next connection" APs in the background. So when the WiFi signal from the current AP becomes too weak the swap to the next AP is seamless and instant.

Printronix is the first manufacturer to recognise that many mobile printers are now used in highly dynamic environments, attached to fork trucks and industrial vehicles or being used by a worker who is highly mobile.  The M4L2 has a number of other enhancements, an extended life battery as standard giving over 10 hours life, beefed up rugged construction and ZPL and CPCL languages as standard.


Full details about the Printronix M4L2 can be found on the Barcode-IT web site or watch the video above for a quick overview.

Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and data capture solutions.
contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The need for speed - DLoG offers a high performance truck computer.


It's a confusing, fast changing world for mobile computers used on fork trucks and vehicles.  In the past, most users of these truck computers didn't really need high powered computers as they ran Browser, Terminal Emulation or Remote Desktop applications, but with the end of XP and the push to Windows 7- 8 - 8.1 and now 10, the need for more powerful devices to run a wider range of ERP applications has never been greater.

Modern operating systems like Win 8.1 and Win 10 are now offering the possibility of using the "full fat" corporate ERP client or "process control" software directly on the truck, and DLoG have responded to this need by offering a powerful Intel Core i5 version of the DLoG DLT V-8310.

The DLT-i5 uses the dual core i5 1.9 GHz with a custom made mother board for truly high performance, which can accept up to 16 Gb RAM and up to 128 Gb storage, although 8Gb Ram with and 16Gb storage is enough for most.


This means that users can order the DLT-i5 with Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit (upgradable to Windows 10) and run any application that will run on a standard workstation in the business, even coping with the corporate security and anti-virus systems that choke lesser computers.

A number of users of DLoG truck computers run complex, power hungry process control applications on computers mounted on fork trucks, so that operators can see in "real-time" how production machines are performing. This allows them to take instant action to replenish stock, resolve problems or make sure that dysfunctional systems don't stop production.

The DLoG DLT range is offered with a wide range of industrial features, that keep DLoG as the number one choice for many Global Businesses. Look here for details of who uses DLoG and why. Its an impressive list!  UK and worldwide users of DLoG truck computers

DLoG DLT features include:
  • 10 - 12 or 15 inch Colour TFT
  • Intel Core i5 or Intel Atom processors
  • Unbreakable, scratch resistant touch screen
  • Integrated, uninterrupted power supply - UPS
  • Extreme temperature range -30 to +50 °C
  • Suitable for deep freeze operation
  • Rugged construction - IP66
Plus there is the legendary DLoG rugged chassis and build quality that ensures that DLoG remains the darling of the German Automotive Industry.  I defy you to name a German car maker that does NOT use DLoG.

Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and data capture solutions.
contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Its time to upgrade to NiceLabel V6

NiceLabel Upgrade Website

NiceLabel is amazing software for anything to do with barcodes and labels. In 2012 Version 6 of NiceLabel was introduced with many new features as well as support for the latest Windows Operating Systems such as Windows 7 or 8.1 and the forthcoming Windows 10.

Now we are announcing the end of support for NiceLabel Version 5, Express and Pro and offering customers the chance to upgrade to Version 6 at a special price, but don't wait too long because when its gone, its gone!

Upgrade prices:  
  • NiceLabel Express V5 to Designer Express V6 - £95.00 + vat
  • NiceLabel Pro V5 to Designer Pro V6 - £245.00 + vat
NiceLabel Version 6 has a host of new features and support for the very latest colour and duplex printers, as well as enhanced support for EAN 128 and SSCC Pallet Labels. Powerful database access to SQL, Access and Excel, plus connectivity to any database via ODBC (ODBC is the standard Microsoft method of automatically getting data from almost any data source and is supported by almost all other software suppliers and operating systems)

Don't miss out on the very best Windows drivers for Barcode label printers in the world, free!

NiceLabel Windows drivers are available for a huge range of labels printers from Avery to Zebra.  They provide the perfect label printing platform, for your NiceLabel software and work well with any other software too. Because the guys at NiceLabel are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner the Windows drivers are perfect and also include extra controls to ensure that you have total control.  Download NiceLabel Drivers Here

Barcode-IT and NiceLabel working together to bring you the best Label Printing Solutions.

http://www.barcode-it.co.uk/nicelabel-upgrades.htm
Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and data capture solutions.
contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer

Friday, 29 May 2015

SAP and ERP Web interfaces - How to make them work for you!

As ERP systems mature and migrate away from old "Green Screen" or Terminal Emulation (TE) methods of connecting to the data systems, several challenges have arisen, particularly for Mobile devices.

Many of our customers have stuck doggedly with TE, because, well "it just works" and any change is seen as a distraction from the real business of making and shipping products.

But slowly and surely ERP systems like SAP are temping managers and office workers into using Web Application screens, where the display is more that just green text, but has colour, pictures and buttons can offer a more immersive on screen environment like Windows.  However the last bastion of TE is the manufacturing and logistics environment, where workers often know the workflow so well, they only need to glance at the screen for updates and confirmation.

So what the big deal?  They should be able to run the same screens as the guys in the office, after all mobile computers all all the same, right?

Wrong!  Mobile devices are often much lower power devices, to save weight, maximise battery life and  keep costs down.  Plus they are all WiFi driven, so any data is transmitted over radio and competes with all the other wireless data hungry devices in the modern business.  Now with TE it did not matter, as very little actual data was sent or received, just the actual data text really, but Web based HTML screens are just Web pages and the fancy text, pictures, buttons and graphics just eat up bandwidth so the data and screen refresh is slow, slow, slow.

On fork truck terminals like DLoG, it can be even worse, as the large screen can be packed with even more complex screens.

Fortunately a solution is now available, WaveLink Velocity is an Industrial web browser, that means its like Internet Explorer but without all to bad stuff and much lighter and secure, but linked to a local proxy server that manages all the web traffic, maintains the connection to the web host application and reduces the traffic between the web host and the server.

The real beauty is that the server can handle multiple client devices at the same time, so that each client is getting an updated web screen that has only changed data refreshed and the remote web host is only having the provide the minimum amount of data to the Velocity server, so the hosting load on the ERP web server is greatly reduced too.  Win Win!


No changes are required to the web host and the Velocity automatically "learns" what to store and what changes for each screen.  In reality ERP web screens are not very dynamic, so users very quickly see the improvements and much faster server response.

An added bonus is that the client to web host is "kept alive" by the Velocity server, so that a user who is logged on to a web session via Velocity is kept connected even if the device is powered off (to save battery) or temporarily loses WiFi.  Normally a device losing power or network connection would result in a session disconnection with the ERP, requiring a new log on and a loss of the transaction in progress.

Velocity is simple to deploy, requires little or no configuration and can produce major benefits for the business. 
Speak to an expert now on 01200 441977 or email sales@barcode-it.co.uk

Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and data capture solutions.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Future Proof - More customers choose the DLoG DLT range

The DLoG DLT V8310/12 range of fork truck computers have been around for a little while now, but this year we have seen a marked increase in customers choosing this range over the previous MTC6/10 range, which has been the best performer for some years.

Now major businesses are choosing the DLT, because of the advanced features and future proof operating systems that it supports.

The DLT is even more rugged that the MTC and offers businesses who need extra processing power the ability to really up-spec the machines. But in most cases users running SAP or ERP connected devices don't need super powerful computers and are really looking for the legendary DLoG reliability and a platform that will run the latest Microsoft OS with the option to keep up to date for the next five years.

Many big businesses were caught on the hop by Microsoft's decision to make XP end of life and now want a truck computer that will span whatever Windows 10 and onwards brings. The DLT has a hardware spec that far exceeds Windows 7 or 8.1 and is designed to allow the transition to Win 10 without issue. Any ERP will run with ease on the DLoG DTL V8310 making the investment future proof
Windows 8.1 and 10, with their touch screen front end are ideal for the DLoG platform, where most users want touch screen and even an on-screen keyboard to make life simpler for the workers, with a barcode scanner to do the bulk of data input.


Recently, long time DLoG users Michelin Tyres and new customer Whitford (who Manufacture the world's largest range of high performance fluoropolymer coatings), have chosen the DLoG DLT range as their truck mounted ERP platform of choice, both run complex ERP systems and rely on high speed transactions in the workspace.


 
For full detail on DLoG mobile computers or to see if your business could benefit from fork truck mobile terminals:

call Nigel Holloway on 01200 441977 or email sales@barcode-it.co.uk


Monday, 9 February 2015

Is label printing getting the better of you? Take control.

Barcode label printing seems such a simple task that it is often overlooked by many companies and relegated to a lowly production office or put in the hands of shop floor workers.  But when labelling goes bad, it can bring a company to its knees.

Barcode and product labels are on everything these days and are often pre-printed on the packaging and looked after by the marketing or packaging dept. This is a good thing as the packaging guys understand the importance of getting this detail right and go the extra mile to check and double check that the barcodes meet the industry specifications.


But many other barcode labels need to be produced in both the manufacturing and logistics areas of most businesses and often little attention is paid to the quality, security and readability of barcodes on carton, box and pallet labels.

And its not just barcodes that managers need to worry about, the text information on the labels can be just as important too, with many industries now under legal obligations to ensure the accuracy of the information on the label, particularly where it can impact human health and safety.  So many Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Food and other regulated industries need to control the data, processes and security of the printed labels and then keep a full audit trail of the labels printed and used in production and distribution.
Example Unique Device Identification Label
NiceLabel have engineered Control Centre Pro to deal with these complex requirements, so that production workers get correctly printed labels with as little fuss as possible, while ensuring that all regulatory requirements are observed.

Control Centre Pro works in conjunction with NiceLabel PowerForms to manage every aspect of the label printing process, making sure that only the correct data is allowed on the label.  Then Control Centre logs every part of the printing process, creating an audit trail, which is a requirement of some Regulatory Authorities.

Other important features are:
  • Full Version and Approval Control of label designs
  • Centralised label and document repository
  • Full Revision History
  • Full Traceability - who printed what, when, with what data and to which printer
  • Total Printer control - with groups, errors, scheduling and managed print queues
  • Re-print control for labels
  • Centralised client licensing
All this is run from a Web front end, that can be administered from any standard computer with login and password access.

Control Centre Pro is not for small businesses printing everyday product and shipping labels, but for multi-site operations or any business that produces labels for regulated and mandatory products in the Chemical, Food, Drug or Medical Device industries.

Label printing may seem trivial, but product recalls because of incorrect barcode and product labels, cost industry Millions of pounds every year and the fines from Authorities and Customers, plus the disruption to manufacturing and logistics, should not be under estimated.

If you are serious about Label printing, take charge with Control Centre Pro.

Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and barcode label printing solutions.
contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Power to Your People!

Mobile computing on the factory floor has become increasingly important in the fast paced, just in time world that we all live in, with many workers using portable barcode terminals to receive instructions and complete transactions.

Mobile printing on the shop floor is also very important and many new wearable printers are now available to produce tickets and delivery labels.

However some labels required in the manufacturing process, need to have a longer life, some up to 25 years and these can only be produced using good old Thermal Transfer barcode label printers. The downside to this printing process is that it requires a full sized label printer using 240v mains electricity, which sort of defeats the mobile concept.


The type of labels that need to be printed using a full size
Thermal Transfer printer includes very high quality product  and identification labels for parts, location and sub-assemblies. Often printed with batch, serial, or specific product information, such as a automotive VIN labels or maintenance location labels made of plastic. All these need special ribbons and print characteristics not found on most mobile printers.

Enter the mobile PrintCart from Printronix, a purpose designed mobile platform with a fully integrated 240 volt power supply and all the features needed to create a totally mobile, full power workstation.

Now I know what you are thinking... that's EASY, just find some old trolley, throw in a UPS and Hey Presto, a mobile 240 volt work cart.  But in practise it turns out not to be so easy, as many who have tried have found out.  UPS are designed to provide power for a short time to bridge a temporary power outage or to allow time for a safe shut down of servers and computer infrastructure.  They most certainly will not provide a steady flow of power for a full double shift (in fact up to 20 hours) for printers and mobile workstations on the factory floor. Printronix have used a combination of specially designed batteries, combined with sophisticated electronics to create the perfect Powered Work Cart.

High end Automotive Manufacturers, Aerospace production and other large scale manufacturing and engineering businesses are all users of Printronix PrintCarts, who often don't have fixed manufacturing locations for their complex or very large products.  However surprisingly it seems that Asda/Walmart are the world biggest users of the PrintCart, so I guess in their case, its a requirement for functionality and reliability for the label print job that dictates the need for a Full Fat label printer.

I hear that a certain very large Luxury car manufacturer in Cheshire has ordered some carts for a new project, following an on site trial.  In this case they are using Printronix T5204r printers connected to SAP via WiFi (T5000r printers are their standard label printer), but other makes of Label Printer will work just as well, such as Zebra, Datamax, Intermec etc.

Plus, with a full mains power supply, any kind of workstation with a WiFi connection can be added to the cart to act as an interface for the worker.  Throw in some well designed storage, bins, slide out work surface, a location for a barcode scanner and even a waste bin!  Then you have the perfect fully mobile, 240v or 110v heavy duty work platform, capable of running for at least a double shift.

Check out this video for a full walk through of the features.



Written by David Parkinson - partner at Dash Computer Products, who specialises in barcode driven WMS, hand held and fork truck mounted computers and barcode label printing solutions.
contact David on 01200 441977 or email here:  Sales@Dash Computer