The next generation in the class-leading MC3000 Series with even more options. Choose the right operating system for your business – Android Jelly Bean or Microsoft Embedded Compact 7. Your choice of Motorola’s most advanced 1D laser or 1D/2D imager scan engine allows your workers to easily capture bar codes in any condition. And much much more….
Manufacturing big machinery involves a lot of grinding, welding and metal cutting which creates dust and particles in the air. These particles settle and create a layer of film and dust on everything in the room, including the barcode printers. Certain printers in this manufacturer’s shop are used in the company’s fabrication area, while others are used in the warehouse and manufacturing areas. With 32 printers in all, most are crucial and print time sensitive labels. Without these crucial printers at their highest performance, the manufacturing process slows down and employees have to walk away from their area to get a printed label off of another printer.
Preserving the efficiency of the printers involves preventative maintenance and having spare printers on hand. This manufacturing company has a semiannual preventative maintenance contract with Coridian. Coridian comes in twice a year to inspect and clean the printers to keep them from having downtime. They make sure that dust and metal shavings are not building up on the sensors, drive roller and printheads. They check the belts, all electrical components, sensor functionality and test the print quality. If Coridian does find something wrong, they will replace it at that time. Coridian also helps the company rotate the printers from the clean areas into the dirty areas to increase their lifetime functionality.
Having the preventative maintenance contract with Coridian decreases the downtime of printers, allowing employees to be more productive. Preventative maintenance on any printers will extend the life of the printers, decrease the number of parts put into them and result in less replacement printers over time. Preventative maintenance is a great choice when you work in a dirty environment, in a high/fast production environment or your company is far away from your service provider. Scheduling preventative maintenance monthly, quarterly, or semiannually ensures you receive the best performance from your printers.
Being able to track a part, product or component through a manufacturing process can go a long way in preventing defects, recalls, product returns and combating counterfeit components.
Ultimately, a solid traceability process will save your company time and money while improving your brand’s integrity.
See the value of traceability in this new INFOGRAPHIC.
Use bar code technology to stay competitive with Inventory Management
How well is your warehouse stocked? Purchasing agents work closely with warehouse managers to ensure that there is enough inventory in a company’s warehouse so that when an order is placed by a customer, it can always be fulfilled. However, much of the time, warehouse managers are carrying a surplus of inventory simply as a security measure to make sure that there is enough inventory. Typically, the companies that can’t provide timely and accurate information about their inventory are the ones that carry excess amounts to make sure they can fulfill order promises. As a result, warehouses are jam-packed with inventory, creating special problems. This inventory overage can cause confusion when it comes to cycle counts. Billing becomes bogged down and extra inventory creates less profit to the bottom line. But the most important issue to consider in order to run your warehouse smoothly and effectively is how competitive your operation makes your business within your industry. Businesses that have easily accessible information that is accurate and reliable earn a competitive advantage.
Bar coding systems provide users with the ultimate level of control. If you can show your customers your well-run operations, you have the opportunity to earn new business simply based on your efficient operations management. You must be able to retain information not just for your customers but for your own profitability as well.
One area of your warehouse that could prosper from introducing an automated inventory management system that integrates bar coding technology is your receiving area.
The first step is answering the following question:
What type of information do you gather when you receive an incoming shipment from another vendor or a customer?
There are various ways to implement bar coding that will allow you to record and then view the entire history of a product, case box, or pallet. An employee can not only tell where the product has been, but also understand where the product must be stored, which could include a direct delivery to the production line versus storage in the warehouse. This information is vital to reducing storage space and to saving time in warehouse and product labor, simply because the receiver knows exactly where the product must go next. In addition, the bar code may include tracking information that is invaluable if there were ever a recall for a particular part used on the product being recalled, saving thousands of dollars for the company.
Come back for PART 2 – Using bar coding for Inventory Management
- Label parts in the production department for easy access and seamless development. Knowing where your inventory is located so you can build a product is key to efficient manufacturing. Being able to locate a necessary item at all times, reducing search time and keeping a tighter control on parts’ inventory will keep the manufacturing process running smoothly and cost effectively.
- Implement bar coding for improved work-in process and lower finished goods costs. Bar coding allows you to track the productivity of a product build, reducing production time but still remaining efficient. As a result, your finished goods are produced for less, saving you money directly to your bottom line.
- Order fulfillment and distribution can use bar coding for greater efficiencies and inventory accuracy. Naturally, once the finished goods reach the warehouse and are prepared for distribution, those who work in this area of the supply chain depend on accurate inventory counts in order to fulfill orders as well as to let the manufacturing department know when they are low on various products. Manual inventory counts are a recipe for disaster – prone to human error, miscounts, misships, and general overall data entry mistakes. Bar coding eliminates manual steps. It also allows managers to cross-train employees in warehouse inventory control, so when the warehouse manger isn’t available to count inventory, another employee can pick up where he left off, simply by using the bar coding system.
By: Dana Ray, Global Market Manager at Brady Worldwide for Lab and Medical
When was the last time you lost your license or ID card? For most of us, it’s been a long time, if at all. Identification is one of the things we know is vitally important for us to function in our lives so we tend to keep really close track of where it is at all times. Driving a car (legally), boarding a plane, cashing a check, buying beer – all rely on having ID available. So keeping tabs on that plastic card is critical because we know that if we lose our ID… we’re screwed.
So ID is crucial to our lives. But do we feel the same about the ID of our lab work?
Who has time to worry about labels?
In the lab, few people spend time thinking about the specimen label when they are setting up their sample identification protocol. Most efforts are spent determining which information needs to be added to the sample and how it will be tracked. But we don’t necessarily consider how the ID will survive for as long as the sample itself is in existence.
Losing a sample’s identification can have the same detrimental effect as us humans losing our personal ID. Here are just a few examples:
- Time lost relabeling samples
- Repeating tests
- Patient misdiagnosis
- Lost research
A lost sample label can result in millions of dollars of waste annually in the lab. In fact, in 2005, the cost of identification errors was estimated at $280,000 per million specimens. No doubt it is much higher now.
Where labels can fail
Selecting the right method to identify your samples should be a critical element of your identification protocol, given harsh temperatures from -196°C to 121°C and chemicals like, ethanol and xylene, used in the lab for sample prep, testing and storage. It is just as important as how the samples are handled, the type of information on the sample and how the resulting data will be stored and used.
Because a lost sample ID is the same as not having a sample (or the resulting data) at all.
Fortunately, ensuring you have the right sample identification solution is easy when you follow these tips:
- Know your environment! Think about the environment the sample will live in through its entire life cycle. For example, if samples will be incubated during processing but ultimately stored at -80°C, make sure you select a label material that survives both temperature extremes.
- Dump the marker! Handwriting is the least durable and most unreliable way to identify a specimen. Not only is chemical exposure a big challenge for that type of ink (aka “the dreaded ethanol drip”) but you also have to deal with your lab mate’s illegible handwriting. Always print your specimen identification – I recommend thermal transfer printing for the most durable print.
- Look for evidence! You’re a scientist so you should love this part! Find a label supplier who has developed labels specifically for the lab and has the technical information readily available to prove performance for the label and print.
- Test, test, test! Last step…No supplier can recreate your specific lab environment so ask for samples and test in your lab to confirm performance. Reputable label suppliers will provide test labels for free.
You wouldn’t do things to risk losing your personal ID so don’t put your work at risk with an inferior sample ID protocol. Now let’s go grab a beer – don’t forget your ID!
For more on best lab labeling practices, lab solutions, and Brady label samples, contact Coridian at 952-361-9980 (option 3) or email@example.com.