A large industrial hose manufacturer came to Current Directions frustrated with their existing batch barcode package labeling system. Their system consisted of a large file box of pre-printed labels organized in alphabetical order of all of their customers labels and their own internal package labeling; all pulled and applied by hand when needed. While there were serial numbers on the labels, they had no meaning. The hand selection of these labels was time consuming, prone to error, and required inventory management of the labels.
Current Directions designed a system using Intermec 9512 bar-code transaction managers equiped with Intermec 128x pen scanners and Intermec 3400 barcode printers located at each of the eleven packaging lines. This equipment attaches to an Intermec 9161 concentrator connected to a Novell based PC fileserver.
Each employee is provided a barcode badge. Work orders are pre-printed with barcode order numbers and (bar-coded) menus are provided at each workstation to identify production characteristics. Operators wand (scan) the appropriate labels from the menu to instantly print the correct quantity of package labels at their workstation according to each customer's unique specifications. The label is applied immediately, and the package is forwarded to storage or shipping. The system updates all information continually, enabling an order or product trace to be done at anytime.
The multitude of manual errors caused by pre-printed labels; filing mistakes, inaccurate labels, accidental application of incorrect labels; are a thing of the past. No more time is wasted as employees walk from the label files and back for each production run. There is no more manual entry. This time saving and accurate packaging information system has replaced the antiquated cumbersome tasks and streamlines production by increasing accuracy of packaging information. When production changes occur there is no longer a need to wait for pre-printed labels to be ordered, instead they are made to order - as needed. Serial numbers are now relevant to the production process and provide product traceability and customer satisfaction through an organized efficient product labeling system.