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Case Study No.0006
Inline Print and Apply w/ Scanner Portals

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Customer needed an automated print and apply system to replace a manual application of labels to cartons that not only printed and applied labels, but verified the label through barcode scanning .

Major Issues

Box specifications:
• Heights from 4” to 20”
• Widths from 7” to 14”

Vendor label:
• Could be placed anywhere from bottom of box to 8” high with up to 14` of skew.
• Varying qualities of barcode to be read

Application of shipping label:
• Top application meant label had to be applied to different height cartons
• Single printer/applicator could not keep up with the customer’s 40 cartons/minute requirement due to height variance.

Informational label:
• Applied to side of carton

AIDEA’s solution

After the system’s issues were outlined, we decided a dual inline printer/applicator for the shipping label and a third printer/applicator for the side label would more than fill the customer’s requirements at a cost much less than the multiple conveyor line solution offered by other integrators. Utilizing Videojet Labeljet series printer/applicators and Microscan MS-860 barcode scanners for the primary hardware and a Windows based application, we created the three zone system. The first zone determines the height of the carton and scans the vendor applied label to determine the shipping label and informational label to apply. The second zone prints and applies a shipping label and customer information label. The last zone scans the vendor applied label again, the shipping label, and the information label to ensure the correct labels were applied. Any failure in the last zone would push the cartons onto another conveyor to be checked and re-inducted into the system.

The essential piece of the system is the tracking of the cartons as they pass through the zones. As the carton enters our system, we put the carton into a software slot that allows us to apply the labels at the correct time and to the correct carton. Without this piece of software, the system would be incomplete.

Partial product list:

Videojet’s Labeljet series printer/applicator
Microscan’s MS-860
Conveyor system by Hytrol


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