Standalone Quality Control System – No PC Required!
Challenge: Design a worry-free solution that can print a quality control label at each step of an assembly process that contains multiple inputs of information.
Solution: Zebra printer loaded with custom ZBI program and inputs from a handheld barcode scanner.
Story: A manufacturing company out of Elkhart, IN has a team of operators taking parts off the line in order to complete a quality inspection on the product. The company wanted a solution that would allow them to trace any defective part in the field back to the day/time, station and operator that the product was inspected by.
EMP Technical Group’s team of engineers designed a clean, simple, and cost-effective solution. By utilizing Zebra Basic Interpreter (ZBI), the software engineers at EMP were able to write a custom program that allows the barcode scanner to connect directly to the printer. This eliminates the need for a PC!
An operator simply scans 3 different barcodes for the station, inspector ID, and print instructions, and a label is printed that contains the cell number, date (Julian years) of inspection, year (last number of year) of inspection, time (military time) of inspection, and the inspector identification number. The label is placed on the product before it is shipped out to the end customer. Should any quality issues arise in the field, the company is able to use the information on the label to trace back to the original point of inspection.
By eliminating the need for a PC, the solution becomes portable and can easily be moved from station to station if necessary. At the same time, it eliminates the headaches of any Windows updates or security network issues that come along with a solution involving a PC. IT is no longer needed to connect the hardware and update software every time that there is an update!
Technology: This particular set-up involves a Zebra printer (ZD500) along with an Ultra-Rugged Zebra barcode scanner (3600 series). However, this solution is scalable on any Zebra printer that utilizes the Link-OS. The custom program written by the EMP software engineers is what ties the inputs from the barcode scanner to the printer itself.
If you would like to rid your scan and print application of the PC headaches, contact EMP today to review your application!