Posts Tagged Automation

Know How to Keep Track of School Equipment Using Barcode Labels

Barcodes labels are printed by baracode printers. Barcode labels contain the information about product. This information can be read by barcode scanners like Symbol barcode scanner. Barcode labels are used to inventory management and asset tracking.

Because of technology advancement, portable IT equipment and other teaching aids are being used in schools today. So, it is important to keep track of the assets of school. Equipment tracking means, when a member of staff or student wants use somethings, it can be found easily with out wasting time.

Problems in schools: It is a challenging thing to keep track of the equipment in schools. Many members of the staff need to use many types of equipments at different times. So it is difficult to monitor everything.

They want to protect the items like musical instruments along with IT equipments. It is necessary and critical to keep track the instruments in school.

Trying asset labels to track equipments is considered as the best way. This means, a label (barcode label) is assigned to each item with a unique number. Using barcode labels save time while tracking an inventory. They use the asset labels in conjunction with an asset register. Asset register is the record of all equipments and can be kept as hard copy.

There are different materials used to create asset labels like aluminum, steel, and polyesters. Like this school equipments can be tracked by using barcode labels.

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Barcodes Facilitate Effortless Business Operations

A barcode is a scanned representation of data presented in the form of series of bars and spaces. A number of barcode standards have been developed to make organizations to perform more efficiently and accurately. Barcodes facilitates to run business operations easily, enabling the automation process in the routine tasks improving work efficiency and productivity.

  • Ease of use and accuracy:
    Barcodes help to run business operations easily and accurately, without hindrances. Barcodes are commonly referred in performing the activities like label printing, video stores, work in progress, warehouse automation, point-of-sale, time and attendance, useful in Universal Product Code (UPC) etc. Barcodes are provided with appropriate hardware & software aspects that help to maximize the performance.
  • Quick and effective performance:
    Barcodes helps to perform the functions quickly and effectively by coding the data into the series of black and white lines, which can be applied to packages, cartons, identification cards, and bottles. Barcodes are used to implement the Auto ID Data Capture (AIDC) systems that improve the speed and accuracy of computer data entry operations.
  • Improves productivity & increase profitability:
    Barcodes improves the productivity by performing various routine activities. Using barcodes, task becomes automated, enabling personnel to perform tasks where the human element is needed, which in turn improve the human resource management. Bar coding enables companies to save the cost, which paves the way to increase the profitability by reduction in errors, improved workflow management, and easy & accurate data entry operations.
  • Document management and other applications:
    Bar-coded sheets in document management tool for the separation and indexing of documents can be used in batch scanning applications. Barcodes are used as very common application in numerous ways, which involves, timely feedback operations, tracking of an item movement. Including rental cars, airline luggage, nuclear waste, mail and parcels, used on automobiles, tickets, price tags, and to develop matrix codes.

Barcodes have become an essential part of modern business. With the widespread use of barcodes, the technology behind barcodes is constantly improving to meet the new requirements. Barcodes are business-friendly, as they are relatively low cost and extremely accurate compared to manual data entry.

Source: Systemid.com

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Differences Between Direct Thermal and Thermal Power Transfer Barcode Printers

As the use of barcodes has been increasing day by day, obviously the use barcode printers has also increased. Most of the manufacturers are using the barcodes because of the advantages like asset tracking etc.

Some of the people get confused in detecting the best type of printer for their use. There are different types of printers which can be used for printing the barcode. But the most commonly used barcode printers are the thermal printers. There are two types of thermal printers. They are direct thermal and Thermal Transfer printers. There are many differences between these two types of printers. Based on the requirement people select the best thermal barcode printer for their purpose.

Now, let us see the differences between the Direct thermal and thermal transfer printers.

Thermal transfer Barcode printers: Here a ribbon is used for printing purpose. Ribbons are available in many colors, so the printing can be done in many colors apart from black. One face of the ribbon is coated with the wax or the resin material. This coated side will be in contact with the label on which you want to print and the heat is applied from the print-head and the ink is applied to the label surface. This is the working procedure of this printers.

The Thermal transfer printers are most durable, the printing is crisp. For printing the large density of labels this thermal transfer printers are useful. Even for the longevity purposes this thermal transfer printers are useful. For the wide variety of images and for the long lasting of these images, these thermal transfer printers are used. But the disadvantage with this type of printers are – ribbon should be of good quality for providing good images and the ribbon should be changed frequently. They are used mostly for certifications. The cost of this barcode printer is high.

Direct Thermal Barcode Printers: No, ribbon is used for the printing. Here the heat activated thermal ribbons are used. Only the black color barcodes are provided using this printer. When compared with the thermal transfer barcode printers these are not crispy and they can be produced only in black color. The color of the barcode printers may fade with the time. They are not used for longevity purposes. They are sensitive to heat, light. So, they are used in the industries of food processing, parking tickets, event tickets etc. The cost for this low. They stay for less than 1 year.

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Benefits of Automation in Retail Financial Services

A lot of paper work has to be done in the financial service organizations. In order to avoid the manual work i.e. the paper work, automation is being used. Making use of the automating techniques helps us to increase the financial services.

Suppose, for serving the customers in banks, for the processes like creating a new account, for the application of the loan, all these need paper work. These applications are inefficient and are the costly methods. So, in order to meet the needs of the customers, different technological advancements are being done using the automation techniques.

The main benefits are:

  • Labor Costs: Because of the decrement in the manual labor, cost of the labor is also increased. There is a wide variation in the number of documented files using the automated techniques and the manual approach.
  • Time of Process is being decreased: Speed of the process is being increased using the automation process, which means the time taken is reduced. Even, there will be a faster access to the client assets, customer service will be improved.
  • Processing errors are reduced: Besides reducing costs and improving the customer satisfaction, error rates are being reduced.
  • Security: Security of the documents is also increased using the automation techniques. Whatever the documents which are produced are the e-documents and they are produced with a great care.

So, these are some of the benefits of the automation. By reducing the paperwork and by improving the automated technologies, one can improve the speed and accuracy of the business.

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Need For Sensors In Programmable Automation

For extending the present capabilities of the robots and to improve their capacities sensors are used in the programmable automation. Specifically the use of sensors makes the programmable automation system reliable, simpler and faster and makes the system suitable for the factory environment.

Sensor needs can be broadly divided into three types. They are:

  1. Inspecting the parts visually
  2. Finding parts
  3. Controlling manipulation

1. Inspecting the parts visually: Here the visual inspection is not done entirely. But the subsets of the Inspection are being performed using the manual techniques rather than by using the machinery methods. So, in order to overcome the manual errors the subsets of the Inspection like qualitative and semi quantitative inspections can be done by using the sensory methods. These sensory methods are used for accurate measurement. These sensory methods are used for detecting the cracks, assessing completeness of the assembly, examining surface finish etc. To avoid lengthy and complex processes which are done by man these sensory methods are used for inspection.

2. Finding Parts: Present industrial methods cannot come up with the advantages of picking process of the parts from a bin which contains many randomly oriented parts. The inability of the past existing robots to adapt random positions has limitations even for material handling and assembly operations. Thus the robots by the use of visual sensors are used for determining the orientation, identity and position for doing visual inspection.

3. Controlling Manipulation: Manipulation of the tools and work pieces for material handling and assembly operations includes many basic operations like inserting, holding, grasping etc and the human manipulations which are very inaccurate and they mostly rely on the sensors for those operations. After assessing which sensor is useful at which place both the sensors are used for controlling manipulation. Therefore visual sensors can be used for positioning the manipulator automatically with precise matching.
So, the sensors are used especially in these three applications.

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Applications Of Home Automation

Billing mediation softwareHome Automation has become an all round technology which is used for all the purposes. It is used in many ways for different services. Some of the applications of home automation are:

HVAC – The first and the foremost applications used in any industry are heating, ventilating and air conditioning which includes temperature control and humidity control. It in turn saves the money of the owner.

Security – Including fire alarm and detection systems, access control, as well as the intercoms. Security cameras can be accessed, allowing the user to observe activity around a house or business right from a monitor or a touch panel. Security systems can include motion sensors that will detect any kind of unauthorized movement of a person and notify the user through the security system or via cell phone. Sensors are used for maintaining the security in any organization.

Lighting – Even for lighting control, automation of electricity and water metering home automation systems are used. Lighting control techniques can be used for switching on/off of the electrical bulbs around the home.

Telecom – Automation devices are used in day to day objects, safety and security issues, even in new telecom and management production. Many of the home automation devices have the facility of the caller ID information and the even the information of incoming and outgoing messages.

Health Care – Home automation is being implemented into more and more homes of the elderly and disabled in order to maintain their independence and safety. Automation can provide both the elderly and disabled with many different types of assistance systems, security features, fall prevention, automated timers, and alerts.

Robotics – Home robots are used to control the action even with the help of domotic devices we can use home automated objects in the robotics.

Intercoms – Intercom is basically nothing but a device like microphone or loud speaker to communicate in between multiple rooms. Here also automation plays a major role.

Video/Audio – Even in the Video or Audio communication systems switching devices are used which are again automated devices only.

Kitchen appliances – Kitchen appliances are mostly a part of the automated systems. Some of the appliances like dish washer, microwave oven, for sprinkling of water, for turning on/off of washing machine etc. are some examples of home automated systems.

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Application Of Barcode Technology In Laboratories

Barcodes are progressively being used to assist laboratories to automate the recognition of slides, microwell plates, tubes and other containers.

Customized barcoding systems can assist laboratories in tracking samples through different  locations by eradicating the risk of error. One leading barcode company produced a custom software application and relational database to discover samples in an adolescent AIDS research study. Collection sites were provided with high-quality barcode labels to attach to the samples before they were delivered to a laboratory for testing. This made the primary sample to be marked at the time of collection with the same label assured for tracking through long-term storage.

Microwell plate labeling can be currently automated by utilizing automatic print-and-apply devices in combination with different robotic devices in the lab. Three options involved with this task are:

  • The operator will embed a plate into the nest, and the printer-applicator prints and places the barcode label to the plate.
  • A robotic device can be combined for inserting and removing the plate from the nest.
  • For excessive throughput scanning applications, a conveyor is used to quickly move the plates.

Some barcode firms offer a service bureau for naming labware like plates, tubes, vials, or glass slides. The service bureau specifies the labware as per the specification, ensuring no duplicate numbers and sequence integrity.

Barcode automation in the laboratory is not necessarily difficult or expensive, as the results may well be thorough and moreover data collection is fast and accurate. With barcodes, there is no compromise between speed and accuracy. The technology is examined, the costs are low, and if homework automating is done the lab can instantly offer payback as productivity is increased.

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How Barcode Attendance Systems Work

Barcode Time and Attendance system consists of three components. There are barcode readers which are used to make employees to perform quick and accurate time transactions. Now data is collected from these devices is managed and stored by PC’s. After this, administration of the time transactions, payroll generation and detailed reports is performed by the Time and Attendance software. Let’s look at each one in turn:

Data Collection Devices: Quick and correct method for recording time transactions by employees is done by using fixed and movable secure barcode scanners and ID card which has employee number in a barcode. Both types of scanners need help in processing the data. The transactions taking place on the fixed scanner will be similar to those of a time-clock and the device can be programmed to update the time and attendance database correctly. In order to get detailed job or operation information, the employee uses a barcode scanner connected with a cord to a PC or other computer operating the time and attendance software. The software manages the order of input data and updates the time and attendance database properly.

Data Collection and Storage Computers: After scanning of barcode by employee, the data must be stored correctly into the database. This is done by entering the transaction data onto a PC which is running the time and attendance software. Normally, the individual PC will be connected to a computer network. The updated data on a database will be stored on either a company server or in a shared file area on a particular computer.

Barcode Time and Attendance Software: This software is very essential component of barcode time and attendance system. So, selection of software must be done correctly. The software must be easy to use and provide robust reporting facilities to increase system ROI (Return-On-Investment).

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RFID Application In Inventory Control

Even though several companies are using advanced warehouse management systems combined with supply chain systems, enterprise systems, and electronic data interchange (EDI), the movement and tracking or locating of goods by using manufacturing and supply chain procedure is difficult to manage.

Using RFID technology, inventory will be restored in real time without product movement, scanning or human involvement. It also helps in determining inventory status, while shipping and receiving documents are also generated automatically. RFID system can also generate automatic orders for stock, which are low in inventory.

Benefits of using RFID Systems in inventory control:

  • Provides visibility of total assets
  • Provides history of full inventory
  • Allows “Just-in-Time” deliveries
  • Allows full process control for all products in the store
  • Decreases lead-time
  • Reduces cross docking time
  • Increases sort or pick rate
  • Shortens shelf space
  • Gives higher-level security
  • Lessens errors and overall cost of operations

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Importance Of Barcodes In Medical store

In health care systems, there is inclusion of standards based technology in order to progress business systems and processes. While product identifiers i.e., barcode systems are successfully implemented in the retail, apparel and grocery industries universally, the health care industry has also implemented this for supply chain efficiency.

Health care facilities can be easily identified and ordering of necessary items can be done without catalog research. Manufacturers will have better product visibility, and distributors can be saved, as there is no need to maintain multiple cross-references to find products. Everyone has benefits with increased ease, speed, and correctness of ordering, distribution, payment, and reimbursement.

The application of barcode technology in medicine is also important to patient safety. Barcoding system is considered as a vital tool to decrease medical errors. In the report, To Error is Human: Building a Safer Health System, by the US Institute of Medicine proposed the application of barcode labels on pharmaceutical and medical supplies and explained its use as inspection of administration processes for timeliness and accuracy.

Barcoding is also used in several industries other than medicine and provides results that are error free.

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