Mobile Printing Solves A Problem You Didn’t Know You Had
Did you know you are spending up to twice as much on labor on your Receiving Dock as you should be? Or that the error rates on your labeling in Receiving could be 10x what they should be? If the results that nearly half of America’s Top 100 Retailers and 3PLs are getting with Mobile Printing is any indication, you have a problem you didn’t know you had – extra footsteps.
While Zebra printer users are likely very familiar with the portability and convenience of the versatile clamshell printer, you may not have been aware that the original motivation of wanting to have a printer to take with you can now be met by a printer of almost any size. Since 2005, Newcastle Systems of Haverhill, MA has been revolutionizing many of the processes in Distribution Centers and Manufacturers by converting traditional workstations into mobile workstations powered by a rechargeable Lithium battery.
Instant ROI on the Receiving Dock
Facilities deploying a mobile workstation for the first time tend to start on the Receiving Dock, generally because the Receiving process is fairly uniform across industries and one of the simplest to measure.
“Once they know the value of reducing footsteps, most facility managers easily make the connection to speeding up the Receiving Process” according to Kevin Ledversis, Director of Sales at Newcastle Systems.
The key is the ability for the Receiving team to have a print-on-demand capability right at the point where they process the pallet. Your stationary printer forces staff to walk back and forth, resulting not only in lost time, but more errors and lost inventory.
While a handheld computer and clamshell printer can do the job, it has two major disadvantages – the need for the team to manage equipment on their body and in their hands and the relatively small capacity of around 75 labels, which would mean the need to potentially replace the labels after every 2-3 pallets.
With a full-size label printer on-hand wherever the worker goes, one printer can print up to 1,000 labels and process every carton coming off of a 40 ft container. With a laptop, scanner, monitor or other devices mounted on the workstation, troubleshooting, research, other printing tasks are all possible. As the graphic on the right illustrates, one produce company that deployed mobile printing averaging 18 truckloads received every day saved $22,000 per year in labor just on the Receiving Dock.
In addition to Thermal Label Printers, almost any common device found in the warehouse (or production floor) can “go mobile”. Current deployments installed by Newcastle System and its Resellers include the following:
1. Thermal Label Printers
4. Dimensional Scanners
5. RFID Antennae
6. Testing Devices
8. Laser Printers
9. Dual Monitors
The Unlimited Possibilities
What makes Newcastle Systems’ version of “Mobile Printing” truly revolutionary is that it allows your team to mount your traditional full-size label printer to go mobile – along with their laptop, a monitor, scanner and more. It is essentially a way to make ANY kind of workstation mobile by virtue of their powerful Lithium battery system, the PowerSwap Nucleus (pictured). With dozens of different configurations possible that combine different sizes of carts, power packages and accessories, you can make any device-dependent process mobile.
While Receiving tends to be the first application for most users, they quickly get creative as the possibilities become clear:
A Partner common to both Zebra and Newcastle Systems devised a unique solution to doing inventory by combining the mobile power capabilities of a the Newcastle System’s mobile workstation and an RFID antenna that allows the client to walk through the warehouse and complete inventory in just 15 minutes. The telescoping pole mounted on the cart can carry multiple antennae and is raised to ensure coverage to the full height of the racking and both sides of the aisle.
A large importer with facilities across the US and Canada uses Newcastle Systems’ carts equipped with Dimensional Scanners and Scales to measure incoming products and identify the appropriate size bins to go in for products requiring irradiation (i.e. spices and medical supplies).
For 2020, new additions to the lineup will add significant capabilities to the Newcastle portfolio. In addition to a smaller, lighter Nucleus MINI for less demanding workstations “fleet management” software will be available to allow a comprehensive online view of the power levels and status of all your batteries.
Ask Yourself TWO Questions:
While “mobility” has been a mandate for over a decade now, both users and Resellers can benefit from adopting a “mobile mindset” by re-examining their core processes especially where a label printer is part of it. The key questions to ask that can point to potential opportunities for productivity and savings are:
- How many labels per day does this printer create?
- How much walking is involved in applying the labels?
If a stationary printer is expected to produce a high volume of labels every day for tasks that are done in various parts of the warehouse, then “mobile printing” will likely provide a large and immediate impact on your productivity, labor costs, and error rates.
Learn more about how Receiving can be transformed in a day with “The Receiving Revolution”, free for download at www.newcastlesys.com
Contact SK&T or Newcastle Systems to learn more about currently-available industrial and desktop “mobile” printing solutions for your labeling applications.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Kevin Ledversis, Sales Director
As Sales Director for Newcastle Systems, Kevin Ledversis helps customers identify where and how process improvements can be made in warehouse operations. Mr. Ledversis has over 20 years of experience within the Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) industry. Prior to joining Newcastle Systems, he worked in sales for Weber Labeling Solutions, Intermec and Printronix where he developed solutions for complex labeling applications in a variety of verticals such as distribution, manufacturing, healthcare and retail. Mr. Ledversis earned his MBA degree from University of Hartford and a bachelor’s degree from Bryant University.
This article was republished with permission from our partners at Newcastle Systems. Originally published here on July 06, 2020