There is a saying in the barcode industry: “it all starts with the label.” Some barcoding experts have changed that saying to, “it all starts with the right label.” The reason that barcode systems are implemented is to reduce errors. However, if the wrong label is put on the product, the barcode system now has an inherent flaw. With big fines, lost productivity, and reputation on the line, companies must have data accuracy. Are there any solutions out there to assure the right label gets put on the right product or part?
One solution is to get the part-making machines to tell the barcode printer what part it just made so that the barcode printer can print the right label at the right time. To do this, the barcode printer must speak the same language as the PLC (programming logic controller) in the part-making machine.
ToolWorx created software to load onto one of Intermec Technologies’ “smart” barcode printers, which come with their own interface board and internal computer programmable in a language called “Fingerprint.” This kind of barcode printer does not need a separate personal computer to give it commands. The ToolWorx Programmable Logic Controller (TWPLC) translates the signals from the part-making machine so that the barcode printer can create the barcode label to match the part that was just made. Intermec published a case study on ThyssenKrupp Budd, a division of one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world, who uses this solution in their plant in North Baltimore, Ohio.
ToolWorx has created other smart printer applications to ensure the right label on the right product every time:
- SmartPack for container labeling
- VPrinter for bar code verification
- SmartApply for print and apply systems
- PTServer and PTClient for communications and printer management outside of the printer
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