MATTHEWS Intelligent Identification has launched the Datamax MCL-enabled thermal printer series in Australia.
Mark Dingley, head of Matthews' Identification Systems Group (IDS), says the company's integration and software capabilities allow it to naturally leverage and exploit MCL's power for the benefit of end users.
"MCL basically turns a printer into an 'intelligent printer': giving the printer the ability to host an application - without a computer - and receive and process data from attached peripherals, such as barcode scanners, weight scales, keyboards, and so on. These devices literally just plug into the back of the printer."
Dingley says with MCL, as well as controlling data-collection applications, the "intelligent thermal printer" can then populate label-format variables with data from look-up tables either from a database resident in the printer or externally from remote host databases from WMS or ERP systems (such as SAP).
It can also write data to any printer-resident tables.
"MCL has many, many applications,” Mr Dingley said.
"For example, it might be used to gather information from weight scales and a scanner to then print a product label; or print a shipper and packing label from input received from a keyboard; or drive the printing process from a PDT.
"Take an example of a stand-alone application in a warehouse shipping and receiving department, which wants to print a variety of labels, in varied quantities, without the added cost, complexity, space needs or security issues of a computer attached to the printer.
“Using the printer's front panel display and keyboard, the end user can select different labels and quantities to print.”
MCL-enabled printers have particular application in warehousing (pallet labelling, receiving and re-labelling, shipping and storage), production (carton labelling, over-pack labelling, shipping labels and work-in-process) and logistics (container labelling, carton re-routing, distribution centres).
Dingley says Matthews has the capabilities to develop scripts that can be automatically executed, with no manual intervention either by the printer or server for batch communications.
Specific Datamax I-Class and W-Class printers can run MCL, including I-4210, I-4308, I-4212, I-4406, I-4604, W-6208, W-6308, W-8306. Other models may be added in the future.