Why use barcoding?
Customers nowadays expect you to have instant access to accurate information. The good news is that the computer technology within manufacturing, distribution, transportation, healthcare and other sectors now makes it possible to collect and process ‘real-time’ information.
However, to achieve the goal of real-time information you need good automated systems to capture and store the information. These systems also let you move away from manual methods, such as keyboard entry, which are often slow and prone to errors.
AM Labels offer you barcoding systems that bring you real-time information. But we understand that for first time buyers in particular it may be difficult choosing the right bar code equipment for your application. So as well as employing helpful, experienced staff to assist you, we have prepared this introductory guide to barcoding solutions.
The data collection process
The automated data collection process has three phases:
Automatic identification is the essential first step, accomplished by attaching a bar code label to an item that you want to be tracked or recorded.
The data collection phase occurs when a part moves in or out of inventory and/or an item comes in or out of a given stage in the manufacturing process. These actions are instantly captured by scanning the bar code label. Scanners can read information quickly and accurately.
Computer input occurs when scanned data is compiled into a central point. The result is accurate data automatically captured as each event occurs, permitting management decisions based on current information. Increased productivity and reduced costs are benefits of automated data collection.
Barcoding a product for retail – A label can be printed via a label printer, applied to your products that are sent out to your customers who scan your barcodes to identify the product and price at the checkout.
Barcoding a box for stock movement
A label can be printed via a label printer, applied to the box that is sent to goods outwards and scanned to indicate stock movement out of the warehouse. The barcode can also be scanned alongside racking barcodes to assign locations in the warehouse.
Barcoding items for asset tracking - A label can be printed via a label printer, applied to the asset in location and information stored with asset tracking software to track asset movements, depreciation and more.
What do you need to get started?
Bar code printers are used across various industries and public service sector. They come in a variety formats, from a low cost desk top bar code printer to a high volume robust industrial printer for more demanding environments.
The printing technology used is both direct thermal and thermal transfer. A direct thermal bar code printer uses heat sensitive label material and the print lasts 6-12 months before fading (unless exposed to direct sunlight). A typical application for a direct thermal bar code printer is shipping labels. A thermal transfer bar code printer uses an ink ribbon for a permanent printed label; the grade of ribbon determines the durability of the printed label.
AM Labels supply bar code software for all types of applications. Whether you are a small business with a limited need for bar codes or a large company, we can supply bar code software that will meet your requirements.
The main types of software are:
- Bar code font software
- Thermal label printers with bar code fonts built in
- Windows based label and bar code software
Label and bar code software is designed to be user friendly, so that all labels can be designed and printed in house, saving valuable time and money.
A wide range of consumables are available to compliment all our solutions and products:
Direct Thermal Labels
Direct Thermal labels do not require a ribbon. Uses heat sensitive paper to produce your label design via label software as heat is applied to the surface. Ideal for indoor applications where temperature is not high, the print lasts 6 - 12 months before fading unless exposed to direct sunlight.
Thermal Transfer Labels
Thermal Transfer labels use a ribbon and compatible label material to transfer a label design created by you via label software onto the label. The print lasts forever depending on the label material and grade of ribbon.
Wide selections of printer ribbons are readily available from stock and can be delivered to you by the next day. Ribbon sizes range from 25mm to 225mm wide depending on the size of your printer.