Bar Code Printers Eliminate Need For Expensive Verifiers
A clothing manufacturer in California was having problems with bar code labeling in its order fulfillment facilities in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Those problems were resulting in charges from its retail customers and delays in shipment.
The order fulfillment facilities receive clothing from the company's manufacturing sites, then repackage and ship the items for each retailer's order. Each box to be shipped was individually labeled according to the customer's specifications. But those labels weren't always correct, and the company's retail customers were charging the manufacturer high fees for receiving packages with unreadable bar code labels.
The company installed several costly bar code verifiers to alleviate the problem. The verifiers checked each box as it traveled down the shipping conveyers. If a verifier determined that a bar code was unreadable, the box would be removed from the line and a worker would manually reprint the label. This process caused delays of entire shipments, as partial orders could not be sent. There were about 35 occurrences like this each day.
The manufacturer asked VAR Portable Data Systems (Carlsbad, CA) to provide a solution. Portable Data Systems implemented 20 Datamax Corporation (Orlando, FL) I-4212 printers with the Linear Scanner option at both facilities. The Linear Scanner, an add-on to the printers, uses charge-coupled device (CCD) technology to ensure that the printed bar codes are readable. As labels pass under the fixed-position head, they are scanned, converted electrically, and digitized. The captured information is analyzed for good contrast of symbology, correct bar width ratios, and sufficient quiet zone margins. Each printer also was connected to its facility's WAN (wireless area network).
If a bar code is not readable, the scanner voids the label and prints another with a readable bar code, eliminating the previous need to remove boxes from the conveyer and to have new labels printed manually. A single verifier was installed at the very end of the line as a final check. The new system has eliminated the need for several costly verifiers and reduced the number of incorrect labels to only one or two per day.