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Strategies for bar code printer/applicators

"The biggest mistake made in the deployment of label printer/applicators is to treat the purchase and installation of the applicator as a stand-alone piece of equipment, similar to sourcing a tabletop printer." So writes Dan Gilmore of Forte Industries (Mason, OH), a systems integrator, in a white paper entitled, Integrated Bar Code Printer/ Applicator Systems, Keys to Successful System Implementation.
FILED IN:  Machinery  > Labeling

Considering the strong growth of printer/applicators the non-commercial guide's timing could not be better. Unit sales of printer/applicators have been growing at an annual rate of about 30% in the U.S. the report says. The driving forces behind this demand include cost reduction automated material handling increased bar code tracking and compliance labeling. Typical systems configuration systems integration and software and data communications are described in easy-to-follow prose. The paper also explores the role of label stock adhesive and ribbon materials. "Print media is a fundamental and often overlooked component of any bar code system" the paper asserts. "It is not good business to save a few dollars on media if that savings puts in jeopardy the operation of the applicator system upon which the manufacturing or distribution function depends. It can lead to finger pointing between label supplier and applicator provider with the user stuck in the middle." The white paper suggests that problematic printer/applicator installations usually stem from either the wrong machine implemented into a specific application or from problems in the material handling environment in which the applicator is installed.

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