John and I recently visited with John O’Kelly and Christine Wheeler at Newcastle Systems. These guys specialize in building Mobile Powered Workstations and we wanted to see how they would fit into our Winco labeling solutions.
Labeling and data capture mobility within a facility has traditionally been taken care of in one of two possible ways; vehicle mounted technology, where printers and mobile computers are mounted in fork lift trucks and personal mobility which used wearable printers and handheld mobile computers.
The Newcastle MPW offers a third option – the means of taking a bench top setup and making it mobile. This allows for full size, high output printers along with laptop or desktop computers to be taken right to where they are needed. Because the Newcastle MPW’s can have their own built-in power, there is no need for power to be available at the point of labeling or data collection.
One thing was clear from checking out the systems – these are very well made carts, ideal for tough industrial use. We saw several different styles, designed to carry different loads of equipment and various sizes of power pack. There is also a lighter weight system intended for use in healthcare establishments. There are a lot of options and attachments for holding different types of computer, touch screen interfaces, barcode scanner mounts etc. All in all, it’s a nicely thought out product line up.
So who would use these workstations? My first thought was that a Newcastle MPW would make a super DoD labeling workstation. Indeed, we are planning to show such a system at Nepcon this year – a cart that would include two label printers (one for RFID and one for UID labels) and a UID Verifier. All will be controlled by our idWorx software from a touch screen GUI. I’m really looking forward to putting this together.
A mobile workstation can be a huge time saver in any operation where people have to constantly move from where they work to collect labels from a central label printer. Bringing the workstation right to the job not only saves time, but helps ensure that the printed label is placed immediately onto the correct item. If the staff has to interact with an ERP or warehouse management system, having a full size monitor on-board is often much better than dealing with a tiny PDA-sized display.
The range of Newcastle Mobile Powered Workstations is now available from Winco ID. Give me a call at 603-598-1553 x237 to discuss how this kind of mobility can help in your operation.