By Matt Kowalski
Manufacturers already know bar coding is good for business and they’re using it more than ever. In virtually every industry, processes have been redesigned to rely on the speed and accuracy of automatic data capture. But can too much of a good thing create problems?
Reading bar codes on every item, every stacked pallet, and every shipping container demands a lot from your scanning hardware. Lighting in industrial environments is inconsistent – too dim here, so bright there that the glare interferes. Packages got tossed, dropped and dragged, so bar code labels can be damaged, making them harder to read. Many scanners can’t capture data outside a limited range, which starts the familiar “bar code shuffle” as the user backs away, dances around and waves the device through the air in search of that satisfying beep of success.
Every time your scanner misses a code, you lose time and money. In the worst case, the user gives up and enters the code manually. When someone in a hurry reads a tiny number under less-than-ideal conditions, mistakes can happen … and the wrong product could be about to show up on a receiving dock somewhere. That makes no one happy.
Fonterra, the largest dairy cooperative in New Zealand, believes in the power of bar code automation to speed processing and improve handling accuracy. But as their reliance on scanning was going up, their satisfaction with their existing scanners was plummeting. They were seeing too many missed scans and resulting manual transcription errors, too many problems integrating their scanners with new automation devices, and too many scanners dropped and broken as users stretched to read labels that were outside the device’s range.
Fonterra found their solution in the Motorola DS3508-ER Extended Range Scanner, reporting “We didn’t know how slow our current units were until we tested the DS3508-ER. Operators were reporting scan speed improvements of several seconds per transaction.” Learn how the DS3508-ER helped Fonterra realize faster scan times, better range and fewer breakages in this case study.
Matt Kowalski is Product Manager, Data Capture Systems for Motorola Solutions
Get more information about the DS3508-ER Extended Range Scanner online: http://www.motorolasolutions.com/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services/Bar+Code+Sc anning/Rugged+Scanners/DS3500-ER.
See the DS3500 series scanners at MODEX 2014, March 17-20 in the Motorola Solutions booth, #3527.
Read the Fonterra case study “Global Business Finds Sweet Spot with Rugged, Extended-Range Scanners” to see how the DS3508-ER scanners made an impact on the New Zealand diary company’s business.