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Optimising Industrial Supply Chains: Barcodes and Data Capture

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article image Toshiba TEC's B-EX series printers consume nearly 40% less power
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In this series, Ferret.com.au looks at products designed to assist manufacturers and distributors to enhance productivity and optimise management of the supply chain. Part one, discussing identification and recognition systems, can be found by clicking here.

The first part of this series focussed on systems designed to detect defects on the production line, in addition to system designed to facilitate faster, more productive order picking.

Now, an effective order picking system requires products to be clearly labelled and coded, not only to ensure correct identification of components before shipping, but also to assist in invoicing and stock control.

Ultimately, products destined for retail sale will need to be registered with a GS1 barcode that is clearly visible on the retail packaging, but barcodes and RFID tags are also used internally to track stock through the supply chain.

Retail and industrial information systems provider Toshiba TEC Australia offers a range of industrial printer solutions designed with efficiency and ecological performance in mind.

The company's B-EX series industrial printers are described as having 40% lower power consumption than comparable printers on the market, with a fast speed of 14 IPS.

For higher volume labelling requirements, and where a more automated system is desired, Matthews Australasia supplies in-line applicators and label print and apply machines with a high line repeatability of up to 60 cartons per minute.

Where manufacturers and distributors are looking to use RFID labels for tracking, Toshiba's B-SX series printers require limited training to operate, and as with the B-EX series, deliver a range of efficiency benefits.

Having ensured that a reliable labelling system is in place, there are many options available when deciding how to process barcode and RFID information for stock taking and inventory purposes.

Dematic , for example, offers the Motorola MC9090-G handheld computer, which is designed to withstand rigorous use in harsh environments. These devices can capture images and bar codes from as close as four inches to as far as 40 feet, and being portable, can potentially be used across many business areas to track stock and optimise handling procedures.

For use in-line, on the production line or in a distribution centre, sensor manufacturer SICK supplies a range of identification equipment such as barcode scanners and barcode readers, in addition to handheld scanners for mobile and stationary use.

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