If you find users are walking around your warehouse, manufacturing facility, from department to department, hospital or blood lab with labels in their hands, you may be surprised to learn how easy it is to increase productivity, efficiency and accuracy without spending a lot of time or money.
Mobile workstations offer new levels of control and flexibility to everyday operations by providing the ability to print, scan and access database information exactly when and where the material is needed. Where ready access to central printer, PC, or wired scanner is inconvenient or impossible, mobile technologies can provide process improvements. New processes only need to save users a little time on each transaction to provide significant productivity gains and labor savings.
4 Types of Mobility for Barcode and Labeling Operations
No Mobility: This user is at a desk with a PC connected to a label printer and a barcode scanning device. Users must be at this workstation to access barcode and label equipment and supplies.
Pros: Entry level operation, low cost products, several operators can access this station.
Cons: Users are tied to this station, must walk back and forth if label are for items located elsewhere in the operation, labels can get mixed up and put on the wrong product.
Personal Mobility: This user walks around with a mobile computer in hand and a mobile printer over the shoulder or clipped to a belt.
Pros: The user can access database information, collect information to update the database in real-time thereby increasing the accuracy of your database for the entire operation. There is no longer a need for manual counting and your order points are continually updated to highlight out-of-stock items.
Cons: Can’t print large format labels.
Vehicle Mounted Mobility: Forktruck-mounted, compact printers enable printing labels, even large format, as the user drives around.
Pros: Benefits are even greater for those hard-to-reach items located on the highest shelves, corners of the warehouse or items that move around a lot.
Cons: If you have many forktrucks, it can be a more costly solution to outfit each one of them separately.
Cart-Based Mobility Solutions: Here your user or department is completely equipped with a PC, label printer, barcode scanner, replacement labels or ribbons, and other supplies to be productive no matter where they are. Bluetooth is a natural complement to mobile printing because it enhances user mobility, productivity, safety and convenience, and eliminates cable-related costs.
Pros: The cart is easily moved for jobs that move or when shifts change. By sharing equipment this way, you maximize the usage of valuable equipment and save the costs of equipment that remains idle throughout the day, week or month. Eliminate unnecessary foot travel and significantly improve accuracy by having your powered equipment right at your fingertips.
Mobile computing used to mean custom applications, expensive equipment, complicated networking systems all adding up to spending a lot of time, resources and budget money.
The current generation of mobile printers are lightweight, easy to use, durable, and offer outstanding print quality and graphics previously found only on stationary printers. Many offer a wireless interface that allows connection to enterprise networks and applications from anywhere in the facility, indoors or out. Mobile printers can be used to produce high-quality labels, receipts, coupons, and tickets using a variety of media.
Mobile printers are typically used in conjunction with handheld or wearable computers. Transaction information and print jobs may be generated within the mobile equipment or be received from a wireless network.
Because mobile applications require user comfort and convenience, wireless connectivity is highly desirable. Mobile printers may use various forms of wireless connectivity. Short-range Bluetooth® or infrared connectivity can be used instead of a cable to communicate between the printer and mobile computer or wireless local area network; 802.11b options are also available. Printers often have a direct connection to enterprise wireless networks.
With increased mobility, you gain efficiency, accuracy and help support ERP and WMS systems to achieve higher productivity by empowering users to act at the point of activity.
Read more >> Download Zebra’s whitepaper on “Understanding Mobile Printing Technology and Capabilities.”
Contact Winco ID to learn how to benefit from the latest advancements in barcode, labeling and RFID technology.
David Holliday X237